Overview

Lenz, Georg Büchner’s visionary exploration of an 18th century playwright’s descent into madness, grew in part out of Alsatian pastor Oberlin’s journal, which is translated here in its entirety for the first time. Lenzis a dispassionate account on the nervous system of a schizophrenic, perhaps the first third-person text ever written from the “inside” of insanity. At his death at the age of 23 in 1837, Georg Büchner also left behind Leonce and Lena, Woyzeck, and Danton’s Death—-psychologically and politically ...

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Lenz

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Overview

Lenz, Georg Büchner’s visionary exploration of an 18th century playwright’s descent into madness, grew in part out of Alsatian pastor Oberlin’s journal, which is translated here in its entirety for the first time. Lenzis a dispassionate account on the nervous system of a schizophrenic, perhaps the first third-person text ever written from the “inside” of insanity. At his death at the age of 23 in 1837, Georg Büchner also left behind Leonce and Lena, Woyzeck, and Danton’s Death—-psychologically and politically acute plays well ahead of their time.

Richard Sieburth’s translations include Friedrich Holderlin’s Hymns and Fragments, Walter Benjamin’s Moscow Diary, Gerard de Nerval’s Selected Writingsand Henri Michaux’s Emergences/Resurgences. His English edition of the Nerval won the 2000 PEN Book-of-the-Month-Club Translation Prize.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Büchner’s Lenz represents a brilliant and widely influential prefiguring of the modernist narrative imagination. For the first time, thanks to Richard Sieburth’s astonishing skills, we have a version in English that respects and communicates the radical inventiveness and stylistic singularity of the original. It is a work that fully breathes in the present. —Michael Palmer

Richard Sieburth is one of handful of magnificent literary translators among us—witness his Hölderlin, Nerval, Scève, and Gershom Scholem’s poems. His extraordinary rendition of Büchner’s Lenz is both a superb version and a startling interpretation of a great and vital work. The beautifully produced little volume is amazingly rich, giving us Büchner’s "source’ in Oberlin, Goethe’s reflections upon Lenz himself, and crucial commentary. —Harold Bloom

Like a jewelry chest, the covers of this book open on a gem of German prose, brought to its full radiance by Richard Sieburth’s splendid translation, accompanied by the German original as usually befits only poetry, and set among extensive notes and additional texts which allow the reader to appreciate its historical importance as well as its present powerful effect. I’d like to call Lenz a score, a score to go mad over . . . —William H. Gass

A totemic work of German literature.—Times Literary Supplement

Lenz is a writer’s cry from psychic hell, and an astounding act of drawing from nature, where the nature in question is not hill and dale (though the landscape is in the foreground here), but the soul in distress.... Lenz recalibrates the literature of its time, and in this fine translation by Richard Sieburth, with its wealth of supporting material, it recalibrates our literature too, reminding us how unsturdy are these sands of the innermost self.  Rick Moody, author of The Ice Storm

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780981955780
  • Publisher: Steerforth Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2004
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 199
  • File size: 179 KB

Meet the Author

Georg Büchner (1813-1837) was born in Germany. His plays (Leonce and Lena, Woyzeck, Danton's Death) were ahead of their time both psychologically and politically, influencing contemporary playwrights as different as Ionesco and Brecht. Richard Sieburth's translations include Friedrich Holderlin's Hymns and Fragments, Walter Benjamin's Moscow Diary, Gerard de Nerval's Selected Writings, and Henri Michaux's Emergences/Resurgences. His English edition of the Nerval won the 2000 PEN Book-of-the-Month-Club Translation Prize. Richard Sieburth's translations include Friedrich Holderlin's Hymns and Fragments, Walter Benjamin's Moscow Diary, Gerard de Nerval's Selected Writings, and Henri Michaux's Emergences/Resurgences. His English edition of the Nerval won the 2000 PEN Book-of-the-Month-Club Translation Prize.
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Read an Excerpt

The 20th, Lenz walked through the mountains. Snow on the peaks and upper slopes, gray rock down into the valleys, swatches of green, boulders, and firs. It was sopping cold, the water trickled down the rocks and leapt across the path. The fir boughs sagged in the damp air. Gray clouds drifted across the sky, but everything so stifling, and then the fog floated up and crept heavy and damp through the bushes, so sluggish, so clumsy. He walked onward, caring little one way or another, to him the path mattered not, now up, now down. He felt no fatigue, except sometimes it annoyed him that he could not walk...
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Table of Contents

Lenz 1
Mr. L... 81
From : Poetry and truth 129
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