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

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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 in 1968, it appeared for the first time in instalments in the periodical

Sinn und Form

(1972) during a political “thaw” after the…

1231 words

Citation: Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "Die neuen Leiden des jungen W". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 March 2008 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=23533, accessed 13 April 2024.]

23533 Die neuen Leiden des jungen W 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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