Georg Büchner: Lenz

(2067 words)
  • Gerhard P. Knapp (University of Utah)

“Lenz” is Büchner's only narrative text. Written in 1835, it was left unfinished in draft form, though perhaps relatively near completion. There has been speculation that “Lenz” (the title was supplied by later editors) was to be part of a planned novel or that Büchner conceived it as a novella. Neither seems convincing. As it stands, the text is a biographical narrative about the Sturm und Drang author Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz (1751-1792) and his stay of nineteen days (20 January until 8 February 1778) in the Ban de la Roche in the Vosges with the Pietist pastor and philanthropist Johann Friedrich Oberlin (1740-1826). The beginning and the end of the narrative are set by the historical Lenz' arrival and departure, …

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Knapp, Gerhard P.. "Lenz". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 March 2003
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]