Frank Wedekind

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Frank Wedekind
Benjamin Franklin Wedekind
BirthplaceHanover, German Confederation

Wedekind, Frank

(frängk vā`dəkĭnt), 1864–1918, German dramatist. He was also a journalist and publicist, and he worked on the staff of Simplicissimus. A forerunner of the expressionists, he employed grotesque fantasy and unconventional characters in order to attack the bourgeois ideals and hypocrisy of his society. Wedekind was particularly concerned with sexual themes, stressing the primacy of man's instincts. His plays include Frühlings Erwachen (1891, tr. The Awakening of Spring, 1909), Der Erdgeist (1895, tr. Earth Spirit, 1914), and Die Büchse der Pandora (1903, tr. Pandora's Box, 1918). Alban Berg compiled the libretto for his opera Lulu (1934) from the latter two.


See study by S. Gittleman (1969, repr. 1980).

Wedekind, Frank


Born July 24, 1864, in Hanover: died Mar. 9, 1918, in Munich. German writer.

By education Wedekind was a lawyer. In the 1890’s he satirized the German Empire under the reign of William II in verses that he published in Simplicissimus. In his play Spring’s Awakening (1891), the bourgeois figures are grotesques. The influence of F. Nietzsche became apparent in the play The Earth Spirit (1895) and its sequel Pandora’s Box (produced 1901, published 1904), as well as in the novella Mine-Haha (1903) and in the plays Hidalla (1904) and Wetterstein Castle (1910). In his best play, The Marquis of Keith (1901), Wedekind shows the capitalist world as overrun with crime. In the plays Samson (1914) and Heracles (1917) he portrays lonely humanists. In style and in mood Wedekind is a forerunner of expressionism.


Gesammelte Werke, vols. 1-9. Munich, 1924.
Prosa. Dramen. Verse. Munich, 1954.
In Russian translation:
Sobr. soch., vols. 1-8. [St. Petersburg] 1912-19.


Golicher, A. Zhizn’ sovremennika. Mo scow-Leningrad, 1929.
Istoriia nemetskoi literatury, vol. 4. Moscow, 1968. Chapter 35.
Mann, H. “Erinnerungen an F. Wedekind.” In his book Essays, vol. 1. Berlin, 1954.


References in periodicals archive ?
Jonathan Franzen has translated"Spring Awakening," by the fin-de-si'e8cle German dramatist Frank Wedekind, and the essays of Viennese satirist Karl Kraus.
It sees The Tiger Lillies put their trademark dark stamp on the 1895 tales of Lulu by German playwright Frank Wedekind who, having earlier shocked audiences with Spring Awakening, followed up with more sex and violence in his life of a young dancer who rose to be the toast of society then fell into prostitution, with a Jack the Ripper encounter along the way.
Alban Berg compiled his Lulu from two late 19th century plays by Frank Wedekind, Earth Spirit and Pandora's Box.
Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind is a play dealing with the sexual and spiritual awakening of teenagers and their conflict with parents, religion and teachers.
Lou knew and enchanted three of Mann's greatest artistic and intellectual heroes--Richard Wagner, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud--and also head-hunted many of the leading writers of her time: Leo Tolstoy (whom she visited in Russia), August Strindberg, Knut Hamsun, Gerhart Hauptmann, Arthur Schnitzler, the predatory Frank Wedekind, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, her longtime lover Rainer Maria Rilke and the theologian Martin Buber.
Written by Frank Wedekind, a German dramatist, between autumn of 1890 and spring of 1891, Spring Awakening opened across the pond to controversy.
Spring Awakening is an adaptation of a play written in 1891 by Frank Wedekind which was banned in its native Germany for more than 100 years due to its controversial subject matter.
Best New Musical - Spring Awakening music by Duncan Sheik, book and lyrics by Steven Sater, based on the play by Frank Wedekind at the Novello
Pamela was the daughter of playwright Frank Wedekind, who wrote the 1903 play on which the current Broadway hit musical Spring Awakening is based.
It's a rock musical based on a once-scalding, now outdated 1891 play by the German writer Frank Wedekind.
In the class I taught, students greatly benefited from and enjoyed this hybrid approach and such in-depth examination: in addition to established techniques of teaching literature such as staging in-class mini performances and engaging in varieties of character and plot analysis, students learned about the German school system (past and present), analyzed the text's political background based on videos and lectures, listened to contemporary music, and read excerpts from Goethe's Faust, from Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy, Freud's writings, and even Euripides' The Bacchae to place the author, Frank Wedekind, and the play's protagonists within the cultural everyday of late nineteenth-century Germany.