J. M. R. Lenz (2295 words)

Gerhard P. Knapp (University of Utah)
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The Livonian J.M.R. Lenz was the most innovative and uncompromising talent in the group of predominantly young authors who made up the Sturm und Drang [Storm and Stress] movement: a brief but highly productive literary epoch situated in southern Germany around 1767-1786. His premier domain was the theatre, and his plays radically challenged all existing conceptions of the dramatic genre. Lenz abandoned the linear succession and causal nexus of Aristotelian dramaturgy in favour of an episodic arrangement of scenes and tableaux, a multi-layered plot development, frequent change in locale and a seemingly haphazard array of characters and grotesque events. His focus was invariably on the ills of the given social conditions: the …

Citation: Knapp, Gerhard P.. "J. M. R. Lenz". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 April 2003 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5222, accessed 25 June 2021.]

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