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The Theater of Franz Xaver Kroetz

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Ingeborg C. Walther

This fascinating study explores the critical «Volksstücke» of Franz Xaver Kroetz as they confront the crisis of contemporary West German theater in representing social reality and effecting social change. Focusing particularly on problems of intention and reception, the author undertakes a detailed analysis of representative plays from «Männersache» to «Furcht und Hoffnung der BRD». What emerges is an aesthetic model which subverts the very forms it employs, and derives its effectiveness from the tension between word and image, identification and distance, self-reflection and political commitment. Offering an interpretation which sees in Kroetz's plays a radical attempt to rescue the communicative and utopian dimensions of the theater, this study yields insight into the limits and possibilities of the Kroetzian «Volksstück», and locates it firmly within the context of contemporary aesthetic concerns.
Contents: The book explores the critical «Volksstücke» of Franz Xaver Kroetz within the context of West German theater during the nineteen seventies, showing to what extent they both reflect and resist the «New Subjectivism» of Handke, Strauß etc.