Caroline von Gunderode is much less famous than the poet Prince Goethe – and this is a mistake, as director Elsa-Sophie Jacques at the performances of the Munich Residenz Theater.
- Fack you Göhte? boss Elsa Sophie Jack Brings Residence theater Johann Wolfgang Goethe Werther on stage.
- The piece is called Werther – Theatrical neglect by Johann Wolfgang Goethe with texts by Caroline von Gunderode
- Yak completes the story of suicide in love with texts by a forgotten poet. In the an interview Explain why to us Caroline von Gunderode He must discover us today.
- Premiere on June 22nd.
Elsa-Sophie Jach, Goethe originally planned his submissions novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther” as a play, to which she will now catch up – and expands the material with texts by Goethe’s contemporary poet, Karoline von Günderrode, a feminist and egalitarian. Why this supplement?
Elsa-Sophie Jach: “This age seems old and empty to me,” Karoline von Günderrode writes, “we are now at low tide.” This sentence resonates in our present, but it was written in Goethe’s time. Werther symbolizes love addiction, longing for death, obsession with language, and losing himself in his unfulfilled love. But we are not only interested in the psychological drawing of crazy and tragic lovers. Gondrod’s words highlight the image of a generation of questioners, longings, and skeptics who are out of time and find themselves neither in the flourishing of nationalism of their time nor in the gradual rationalization and benefit of the world. who think that they can only find truth in nature and poetry. or in love. But where Werther loses himself, Günderrode just begins the search.
A tragic twist is that von Gunderode killed himself out of love – just like Werther…
After its publication, Werther triggered a real “Werther fever”: many young people committed suicide after reading it, carrying the book with them or even dressed like the character in the novel. One of them was Caroline von Gunderode, like Werther who had fallen into an unhappy love triangle, was like an out of her time. She writes in her letters and poems against unfulfilled love, against feeling marginalized by society. She writes against oblivion, which threatens her as an author and at the same time foreshadows her suicide. Fantasy and reality meet here brutally.
Goethe wrote to Caroline von Gunderode: “These poems are a really strange phenomenon.” What did he mean by that?
Maybe it sounds weird because it bothers you instead of explaining. You are starting into something while reading. Also in our work: Since Werther’s beloved “Lotte” always remains a drop surface and barely gets a sound by itself, it was important for us to expand the material with that feminine voice. She may have been ahead of Goethe in seeing love not as a power relationship between the sexes, but merely as a mirror of a male artist (“Werther” a proper painter), but as a true living dialogue, as meticulously expressed in letters with her loved ones—men and women—and in her poems for them as an attempt utopianism.
Why is Caroline von Gunderaud no longer as familiar to us today as she is to Bettina von Arnim’s contemporary?
Her poems are sensual, political and strange at the same time. Of course, this was not granted to women of her time, which is why she was initially published under a male pseudonym: “Tian”. She knew how frail her attempt to write a cover letter was against reality.
I stuck to a sentence written by Caroline von Gondrode: “Oh, what a damn good thing you shouldn’t be able to move the wings I bought!”
…and yet he encourages me, as she asks herself: “So do not resist the impulse to write, but learn to think with pain …”
Interview: Volker Seifert
Werther – Theatrical neglect by Johann Wolfgang Goethe with texts by Caroline von Gunderodee for the first time on June 22. Other shows will take place on June 29 and July 19 and 25.
June 20, 2022 // Volker Seifert