Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Büchner, Georg

(1813-1837) German writer, physician and revolutionary who, despite his death at age 23, has been one of the most powerfully influential figures in European drama. His first play, Danton's Tod (bowdlerized 1835; restored 1850), shows GB's ferocious opposition to the Romanticism of the immediately preceding generation. Leonce und Lena: Ein Lustspiel (1850), a comedy set in two imaginary kingdoms (called Popo and Pipi, for scatological reasons), makes use of Fairytale conventions to fiercely satirical effect (see Satire). GB might be considered one of the most impassioned anti-fantasists of the 19th century were it not that, by a tremendous irony, his fragment Woyzeck (1850 as Wozzeck) has become, partly because of the 1921 Opera by Alban Berg (1885-1935), an important forerunner of much 20th-century drama, exerting an unmistakable influence on the work of such fabulists as Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) and Günter Grass. The grandmother's tale recounted in the play evokes familiar Folklore tropes to devastating effect. The three plays are translated as Danton's Death, Leonce and Lena and Woyzeck in The Plays (omni trans Geoffrey Dunlop 1927 UK). [GF]

Georg Büchner


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.