Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lenz

LenzLenz by Georg Büchner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hmmm...well, first I should have found out a little more what this book was about before I picked it up. My excitement over the fact that it's in German with the English translation over rode all other facts about this book. That aside, I did read the book in German up to page 40 before I switched to the English translation. I will be hanging on to the book to read again.

I enjoyed the story Lenz. I would have enjoyed it a little more if I had known it was bio-fiction. I didn't discover this until the end of the book - my copy includes a note from Goethe (a frienemy of Lenz)as well as a note from the translator describing the life events preceding and following the events in the story. I would have liked to read these before reading the story (think of it as reading the book before seeing the movie).

Overall, it was poetically written and highly entertaining.

Synopsis: Set against the beautiful backdrop of the Vosges Mountains, this chilling novella tells the tale of the real-life writer J.M.R. Lenz’s 19-day stay in Waldersbach in 1778. It describes his wanderings around the mountainous surroundings and his worsening fits of madness that eventually culminate in his removal, under guard, to Strasbourg. Valued both as a chilling exploration of paranoid schizophrenia and an influential forerunner of literary modernism, this existential drama boasts a prose style startlingly ahead of its time.

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