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Lenz and Büchner: Studies in Dramatic Form


This study challenges Volker Klotz's widely accepted notion that the plays of Lenz and Büchner are seminal or exemplary open form dramas. This involves an account of the theory of the open and closed form, its origins in art-historical writings and German «Geistesgeschichte», its implications and place in recent criticism of drama. This leads to close studies of (a) the major plays of J.M.R Lenz (Der Hofmeister, Die Soldaten) the emphasis being on the dramatic structure, suggesting a rarely appreciated development in dramatic technique; and (b) Georg Btechnique; and (b) Georg Büchner's Dantons Tod (complexity of dramatic structure, presence of dramatic conflict, absence of open ending) and Woyzeck, where particular attention is devoted to the order of scenes and unsolved editorial problems, reference being made to the newly published facsimile edition of the manuscripts.