Georg Büchner: Leonce und Lena

(1098 words)
  • Gerhard P. Knapp (University of Utah)

When Büchner wrote Leonce und Lena [Leonce and Lena] in the spring and summer of 1836, he was living in exile in Strasbourg. The Stuttgart publishing house Cotta had announced a competition for the “best comedy” which was to be awarded a substantial prize. Büchner was in dire need of funds and this was certainly a motivation to participate in the competition. A further incentive was to write a satirical play in disguise which, regardless of its critique of German absolutism, would be approved by the jury. It did not come to pass: his manuscript arrived after the deadline and was returned. He revised the play, and it was published posthumously in 1838. No authorized text is extant. The premiere took place in 1895. …

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Knapp, Gerhard P.. "Leonce und Lena". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 March 2003
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]