DAS WECHSELSPIEL VON TEXT UND KONTEXTEN – GEORG BÜCHNERS DANTON'S TOD UND DIE ZWEI GESICHTER DER REVOLUTION
Analysing two faces of revolution – Georg Büchner’s Danton’s Death and the interactions of text and context
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This reflection begins with a scandal: In 2007 Martin Mosebach the recent prize-winner of the prestigious Georg-Büchner-Preis provoked a public outcry with his thesis comparing Saint-Just, Büchner and Himmler for their dealing with violence in giving ideological excuses. It shows how extreme interpretation can be. Especially Georg Büchner´s Danton’s Tod is since its existence a battle field of ideological standpoints between left and right concerning Georg Büchner’s sight towards revolutionary action and the needs and risks of violence. Up to our days we can see that ideological battle in the first discussions about the Marburger Ausgabe (the critical edition of Büchner’s literal work in 2000) and the crucial edition of Danton’s Tod. There it is shown once more how different the same literal communication can be interpreted and judged especially if it is focused on a single item like the speech of St. Just in II, 7 as a standpoint of the author himself – pro or contra violence. We should transparently control our methods without cutting new and creative approaches. Methods more close to the text and methods more focused on history of ideas, historical and social contexts could deliver an answer how Georg Büchner wanted to show the problems of terror in avoiding old ideological discussions. The sociological approaches like Niklas Luhmann ́s theory of systems and Jan and Aleida Assmann ́s theory of collective (social) memory deliver a good framework helping to show changes in the shapes of production, reception and interpretation. In the view of Niklas Luhmann’s theory of systems the French Revolution marks the turning point towards a modern functionally orientated society.
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