Bertolt Brecht attended the funeral
of German playwright Frank Wedekind. He later wrote in his diary,
"They stood perplexed in top hats, as if round the carcass
of a vulture. Bewildered crows."
Wedekind was a prophet in the darkness. He had come before
his time. A moralist who wore the mask of an immoralist, he had
been the terror of the German bourgeoisie, alternately praised
for being a saint and condemned for being a devil. He did not
follow any group, or subscribe to any political ideology of the
day. And his expressionistic visions preceded the rise of expressionism
by several decades.
During Frank Wedekind's lifetime, his plays were persecuted
and only performed in censored versions. They were considered
pure pornography, for he dared to deal with issues of sexual
freedom and release, problems of puberty, moments of ecstasy
between the sexes, and moments of misunderstanding and violence.
Wedekind's language was brilliant and poetic, constructed mainly
of cascades of short one-line sentences often consisting of only
one or two words, like verbal exchanges between pistols. His
plays broke through all the clichés of the theatre of
his time, and today he is considered one of the founders of modern
- Read monologues
by Frank Wedekind
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