Ulrich Plenzdorf: Die neuen Leiden des jungen W. [The New Sufferings of Young W.]

(1231 words)

Almost 200 years after Goethe’s Die Leiden des jungen Werthers [The Sufferings of Young Werther, 1774], Ulrich Plenzdorf revived and reinterpreted the tragic love story of the Storm and Stress era by transplanting it to Berlin under Communist rule in the German Democratic Republic with the title Die neuen Leiden des jungen W. [The New Sufferings of Young W.]. With a strong admixture from J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (1951), the story of a runaway teenager who is disgusted with the phoniness of the adult world, Plenzdorf presents the tale of Edgar, the “Red Werther in Blue Jeans” (Rolf Michaelis). Initially composed as a film-script i…

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Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "Die neuen Leiden des jungen W.". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 March 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=23533, accessed 25 September 2016.]