'Everyone's an abyss. You get dizzy if you look down.' -- Woyzeck
Georg Büchner's Woyzeck was left unfinished at the time of its author's death in 1837, but the play is now widely recognised as the first 'modern' drama in the history of European theatre. Its fragmentary form and critical socio-political content have had a lasting influence on artists, readers and audiences to this day.
The abuse, exploitation, and disenfranchisement that Woyzeck's titular protagonist endures find their mirror in his own murderous outburst. But beyond that, they also echo in the flux and confusion of the various drafts and versions in which the play has been presented since its emergence.
In this fresh engagement with a modern classic, Gritzner examines the revolutionary dimensions of Büchner's political and creative practice, as well as modern approaches to the play in performance.
Karoline Gritzner is a Lecturer in Theatre Studies at Aberystwyth University, UK. Her research focuses on the interconnections between theatre and philosophy, and she is a core convenor of the research network Performance Philosophy.
1 Woyzeck the open wound
2 History, politics, tragedy
3 The fragmentary demand
4 Woyzeck in performance