Büchner, Georg

Büchner, Georg gāˈôrk bükhˈnər [key], 1813–37, German dramatist. He was a student of medicine and a political agitator. He died at the age of 24, leaving a powerful drama, Danton's Death (1835, tr. 1928), a pessimistic view of the French Revolution and revolutionary politics; a fragmentary tragedy, Woyzeck (1837, tr. 1928), a psychological study of an alienated character that Alban Berg adapted for his opera Wozzeck; and a comedy, Leonce and Lena (1850, tr. 1928). Büchner greatly admired the poet J. M. R. Lenz, whom he made the hero of a novella, Lenz (1838, tr. 1955), which he never completed. His plays, unorthodox in subject and style, were not staged until many decades after his death.

See collections of his plays ed. by V. Price (tr. 1971) and M. Hamburger (tr. 1972); studies by A. H. J. Knight (1951) and R. Hauser (1974).

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