Wedekind, Frank

(Benjamin Franklin Wedekind, 1864-1918)
   Playwright, actor. Wedekind was a seminal figure in the German theater's transition to modernism. His departures, both formal and material, were radical, utilizing a cabaret sensibility to disrupt bourgeois expectations of theater performance. The dialogue in his plays was characterized by Aneinandervorbeireden, which characters "spoke past each other." These characters were often disquieted adolescents, murderers, confidence men, pimps, nymphomaniacs, bank presidents, or lesbians, all of them jumbled into an environment with realistic contours. Beneath the surface lurked profoundly controversial topics intended to agitate moral certitude. Wedekind's first play, Frühlings Erwachen (Spring's Awakening, 1891), scandalized audiences, critics, and producers; it and nearly all his other plays remained unperformed except for private audiences: the Lulu plays Erdgeist (Earth Spirit) premiered in 1898 and Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandoras Box) in 1903; Der Kammersänger (The Court Tenor) premiered in 1905. Spring's Awakening opened in 1906—and ran for 117 performances, by far the longest run of any Max Reinhardt production that season. Most observers had considered it pure pornography; Reinhardt had to cut the homosexual and masturbation scenes in order to get it past the police censor. It featured 26-year-old Alexander Moissi as the 15-year-old Moritz and Wedekind himself as the Man in the Mask. Throughout the Wilhelmine period, Wedekind continued to shock audiences as a playwright, cabaret performer, and political commentator. Many scholars have since hailed him as a forerunner to Expressionism, though his preoccupations with sexuality, sexual relationships, androgyny, bisexuality, and tendencies toward the scatological distinguish Wedekind most clearly as a Bürgerschreck ("scourge of the bourgeoisie"), determined to erode and subvert the era's moral convictions.

Historical dictionary of German Theatre. . 2006.

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  • Wedekind, Frank — orig. Benjamin Franklin Wedekind born July 24, 1864, Hannover, Hanover died March 9, 1918, Munich, Ger. German actor and playwright. He lived in Switzerland (1872–84) and then in Munich, where he worked at various jobs, including journalist and… …   Universalium

  • Wedekind, Frank — ► (1864 1918) Escritor alemán. Su obra es una exaltación de la vida libre y natural. Autor de La caja de Pandora. * * * orig. Benjamin Franklin Wedekind (24 jul. 1864, Hannover, Hannover–9 mar. 1918, Munich, Alemania). Actor y dramaturgo alemán.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Wedekind, Frank —    см. Ведекинд, Франк …   Энциклопедический словарь экспрессионизма

  • Wedekind — Wedekind, Frank …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • WEDEKIND (F.) — WEDEKIND FRANK (1864 1918) Dans l’Allemagne de son temps, Frank Wedekind a fait figure de provocateur qui s’acharnait à violer les conventions esthétiques et morales de l’ère wilhelminienne. Né à Hanovre, il passe sa jeunesse en Suisse à partir… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Wedekind — Wedekind,   Frank, eigentlich Benjamin Franklin Wedekind, Schriftsteller, * Hannover 24. 7. 1864, ✝ München 9. 3. 1918; Sohn eines Arztes; verbrachte seine Jugend auf Schloss Lenzburg in der Schweiz. Nach einem (abgebrochenen) Jurastudium war er… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Frank — Frank, Karl Hermann Frank, Leonhard Frank, ll´ja Michailovič * * * (as used in expressions) Baum, L(yman) Frank Buckley, William F(rank), Jr. Burnet, Sir (Frank) Macfarlane Capra, Frank Chapman, Frank Michler Frank James Cooper …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Wedekind — Wedekind, Frank, Dichter und Schauspieler, geb. 24. Juli 1864 in Hannover, schrieb stark burleske Dramen (»Der Erdgeist«, »Totentanz«, »Hidalla« u.a.), Gedichte und Erzählungen …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Wedekind — (Frank) (1864 1918) dramaturge allemand, pionnier de l expressionnisme: l éveil du printemps (1891); l Esprit de la terre (1895) et la Boîte de Pandore (1904), remaniés et réunis en 1913 sous le titre Lulu. A. Berg récrivit Lulu, dont il fit un… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Frank Wedekind — Benjamin Franklin Wedekind (Hannover July 24, 1864 ndash; Munich March 9, 1918), usually known as Frank Wedekind was a German playwright. His work, which often criticizes bourgeois attitudes (particularly towards sex), is considered to anticipate …   Wikipedia

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