By Olaf Berwald
The performs and prose works of the German author, director, and political activist Peter Weiss (1916-1982) have been immensely influential within the shaping of eu Modernism within the moment 1/2 the 20 th century. Combining exploratory aesthetic openness with an uncompromising moral force, Weiss's literary works, specifically the performs Marat/Sade (1964), The research (1968), and Holderlin (1971), in addition to the radical The Aesthetics of Resistance (1975-81) proceed to supply very important issues of reference for any dialogue of tradition and politics in our instances. Berwald's research serves as a complete advent to Weiss's paintings and imaginative and prescient. The introductory bankruptcy outlines Weiss's existence and paintings in exile. 3 chapters supply designated discussions of Weiss's theater paintings, from his early ugly performs and the documentary dramas from the Sixties that tackle Auschwitz, Angola, and Vietnam, to his most intricate performs during which intellectuals are staged as outsiders. the following 4 chapters talk about Weiss's prose works, which come with his autobiographical novels from the early Sixties, essays and notebooks on paintings and politics, and his summum opus, The Aesthetics of Resistance.
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Extra resources for An Introduction to the Works of Peter Weiss (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)
Sprengt die Zeitgrenzen. Ja. War zum Tod durchs Feuer verurteilt. Schrieb im Exil. Durfte nie mehr zurück. (36–37) Characterizing Trotsky as an ardent admirer of Dante, Weiss once more interweaves the Italian poet into one of his plays. The difference and possible interaction between art and political praxis is negotiated in the seventh scene, which goes back in time to Zurich, where Lenin lived STAGING WRITERS AS OUTCASTS E 41 in exile around 1915. Some of Lenin’s neighbors in Zurich included Hugo Ball and other founders of the dada movement.
However, Lenin, who is aware that he will not live much longer, issues a warning to Trotsky concerning the coming fight for power within the Communist Party: Wir sind einander gewachsen. Aber ich hab nur noch wenige Jahre. Studenweise bin sich schon weg, ausgelöscht. Die andern, sie werden dich nicht neben sich dulden, wenn ich nicht da bin. Deine Selbstsicherheit, deine Weltsicht, sie werden nur Hochmut, Eitelkeit drin sehn. Sie werden sich zusammentun und dich ausstoßen. (54–55) The act ends by illustrating Lenin’s premonition.
The play soon was performed worldwide, for example on Broadway in 1966, in Moscow, Buenos Aires, and Montevideo in 1967, and in Tel Aviv in 1968. As productions in the United States and Italy in 2001 and spontaneous readings in Germany in 2002 have shown, the play is still widely performed throughout the world, partly in order to counter new occurrences of racist violence. For example, actors visited schools in Cottbus in 2000 and performed passages from Weiss’s play in 7 order to act against the emerging juvenile ethnic hatred in that city.