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The Case of LiteratureForensic Narratives from Goethe to Kafka$
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Arne Höcker

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749353

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749353.001.0001

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Drama, Anecdote, Case

Drama, Anecdote, Case

Wedekind’s Lulu

(p.132) 7 Drama, Anecdote, Case
The Case of Literature

Arne Höcker

Cornell University Press

This chapter looks at Frank Wedekind's Lulu (1894), which was written more than fifty years after Woyzeck. Unlike Büchner's drama, it is not based on the adaptation of a singular historical case that would allow interpretive access to the documentary material. From a literary perspective, Wedekind has often been seen as a successor to Büchner, insofar as his dramatic work displays similar traits such as an open form and a lack of narrative closure. Although not a single historical case can be identified as the model for the Monstretragödie Lulu, the modern form of the play can be understood as commentary and critique of contemporary discourses on sexuality and deviance that refer to forms of knowledge derived from cases. Wedekind's Lulu presents cases from a sexological context as an arrangement of dramatic skits, exposing their anecdotal potential and staging sexual perversions as the reality of bourgeois fantasies and desires.

Keywords:   Frank Wedekind, Lulu, play, sexuality, deviance, dramatic skits, bourgeois fantasies

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