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3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,090 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Lenz, Georg Büchner’s visionary exploration of an 18th century playwright’s descent into madness, grew in part out of Alsatian pastor Johann Oberlin’s journal, which is translated here in its entirety for the first time. Lenz is a dispassionate account on the nervous system of a schizophrenic, perhaps the first third-person text ever written from the “inside” of insanity. ...more
Paperback, 199 pages
Published December 1st 2004 by Archipelago Books (first published 1835)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,755)
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May 26, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: digibib
OK. I've got to get this straight. Straight! You hear me?!. So there is this writer Lenz, and this other writer, Kaufmann is his friend. And Goethe Goethe! was his frenemy, I mean Lenz's friend and enemy. And Kaufmann said to Lenz to go and see Oberlin. "He can help you", Kaufmann says. "Go to Oberlin." Where is Oberlin? Go to the Vosges mountains, Lenz, find Oberlin! And so he did. And Büchner, haha a child this Büchner is when he wrote about Lenz. You hear me Georg? You're a child and you writ ...more
Jan 14, 2011 Debra rated it it was amazing
I have re-read Lenz nearly every year since it was first introduced to me by a German woman I used to clean for. She was born with a dislocated hip and I took care of her house for her and her young child when she was a visiting professor at the university I attended. She gave me such a strong love for this book, for all of Buchner who died when he was in early twenties after producing some of the most compelling works of fiction and theatre. Lenz is based on a true story and Buchner describes t ...more
May 01, 2016 Talieh rated it really liked it
این داستان از سه جنبه جالب بود:

اول این که این داستان در واقع داستان تقریبا واقعی اتفاقاتیه که تو روزای آخر هوشیاری نویسنده ای به نام لنس اتفاق افتاده. لنس نویسنده ای بوده که زیر سایه ی دوست و در عین حال دشمنش، گوته، و البته عدم حمایت های خانواده و اجتماعش، نتونسته به موفقیتی که باید، دست پیدا کنه. در نهایت مجبور میشه از خانه و خانواده و اجتماعش به دل یه روستای مذهبی پناه ببره که چندان کمکی به بهتر شدن حالش نمی کنه. جالبی این جنبه از داستان، به این علته که در کنار همه ی آدم های موفق، مثل موتسارت
An early example of the blending of fiction and non-fiction in this novelization of German playwright Jakob Lenz. Focusing only on a short period of Lenz's life, it shows his slow descent into madness, but notably leaves out all other context in terms of what led up to any of this, and what happens afterwards. The effect is strange, though I can't put it into words why. The prose is very interesting also. There is a quality to it, where the kind of depression Lenz was going through seeps down in ...more
May 04, 2013 Troy rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
I came to Büchner through Deleuze. Deleuze's Lenz is in a process of schizophrenic becoming. Büchner's Lenz is a playwright who escapes into the mountains, walking, walking, walking, and lost in rapture at the sublimity of it all. Lenz wanders to a priest's house and, Lenz, well, Lenz is in the process of what we might call "losing it." That is, if "it" is his ability to operate in the world; his ability to distinguish between reality and "non-reality." If that is "it," then "it" is what Lenz is ...more
Daniela Durko
First read: 17.04.2015 - 3 stars
Second read: 29.02.2016 - 3.5 stars
Mar 07, 2016 MulderNo rated it it was amazing
I am a German student and had to read the book/novel for my A-Level.
And what can I say, I absolutely love it!
Not only because it's very short (which is always good for a book you have to read in class), but because it is extremely extraordinary written (at least in the German original).
With Büchners novel we have the first real literary study of the, to his time, non existent psychological studies. The novel deals with Lenz, a young author who suffers from schizophrenic and manic-depressive ep
Apr 10, 2014 Gustl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Capolavoro! Mi chiedo cosa sarebbe diventato questo frammento una volta completato; Buchner: il primo grande drammaturgo tedesco, morto giovanissimo, scrive questo viaggio nella pazzia, - ispirato dalle pagine del diario del pastore Oberlin, che ospito' il poeta Lenz, presso la sua casa- all'età di 22 anni, in pieno periodo Sturm und Drang. Ho trovato delle analogie, che accomunano la sensibilità, e la fragilità impotente del poeta Lenz, con la breve esistenza di Kaspar Hauser, altro personaggio ...more
Man bemerkt sicherlich schon zu Beginn der Inhaltsangabe, dass diese fragmentarische Erzählung nicht unbedingt dem entspricht, was man heutzutage ein gewöhnliches Buch nennt. Alleine das Wiedergeben des Inhalts fällt wirklich schwer, da es an sich eigentlich keine kontinuierliche Handlung gibt, was natürlich grundlegend dem psychischen Zustand des Protagonisten zuzuschreiben ist. Im Vordergrund steht sein Charakter und die durch ihn nur in Bruchstücken erlebte Realität; logisch, wenn man betrach ...more
/ when silence, loneliness and sublime nature (mountains) makes one restless and to lose oneself. /
Jun 10, 2008 André rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to André by: Jörg Suchy
Shelves: school
Boring book, stupid story. Unfortunately there were only very few books in school that were actually good.
Nov 04, 2015 Elisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tedeschi
Il controcanto de "I nutrimenti terrestri" di Andrè Gide.
May 29, 2008 Anne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Yuval, Ben, Melissa, Jolivette, Lynn
Recommended to Anne by: NY Times Review
One of the few books by the brilliant writer whose life was all too short, Georg Büchner's LENZ was one of the early nineteenth century examples of docufiction. The novella, compressed into three weeks of the life of the schizophrenic poet Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz (1751-1729), may be the first 'speculative biography' that captures this mode of insanity from the perspective of the third person. The version I read was the critically acclaimed translation by Richard Sieburth, a dual-language boo ...more
yellow tree
Apr 22, 2009 yellow tree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested into the height and the abyss of the human soul
Shelves: prose
"lenz" is one of my favorites of büchner and one of my favorites of all time, for it touched me deeply. of course, it's not a novel, a fragment in best case; it's short, the dialogues are disrupted; the narrow plot might make some people think it's "boring", and others might get bored by just any book they were forced to read in school.

but where else would you find such wonderful descriptions of landscapes, both of a beauteous nature, and such an intense depiction of a mad, broken and finally ru
A wonderful incomplete novella - the nature descriptions start it off like a "classic" German romantic novel, then it turns very modern in its description of the deteriorating mental status of Lenz. It's great how the narration is in third person but is still influenced by Lenz' mental status due to paranoid schizophrenia - for example, when he doesn't know what he's doing and loses his memory, the narration skips to afterwards.
Sadly we will never know what happens to Lenz in the end as this is
Jan 13, 2016 Sherry rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-2013
Hmmm...well, first I should have found out a little more what this book was about before I picked it up. My excitement over the fact that it's in German with the English translation over rode all other facts about this book. That aside, I did read the book in German up to page 40 before I switched to the English translation. I will be hanging on to the book to read again.

I enjoyed the story Lenz. I would have enjoyed it a little more if I had known it was bio-fiction. I didn't discover this unti
Sep 13, 2015 Laurent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Erg indringende weergave van de helletocht naar de waanzin van wonderkind Jacob Lenz, de grote rivaal van Goethe, zowel in de liefde als in de genialiteit en de letteren. Tevens een mooie ode aan de krachten van de natuur en de scheppende mens.
Dina Rahajaharison
"Tout ce qui l'assaillait, la musique, la douleur, l'ébranlait. Pour lui, l'univers n'était que blessures ; il en ressentait une douleur profonde, indicible."
Nov 25, 2014 Rainer rated it it was amazing
This story is much more than just a tale of an intellectual falling into madness. Yes - schizophrenia it is. Whatever that is - schizophrenia. But what is really touching deep levels of ones mind and heart is the matter-of-factness of the diary style of the work which at the same time is written in a language that conveys a feeling of despair, loneliness and total loss of orientation that can be considered as a general human affliction - a kind of generalized all-human schizophrenia if you like. ...more
James Miller
Sep 26, 2014 James Miller rated it really liked it
A vivid description of going crazy. It's a tiny book. More like a fever dream.
Feb 01, 2010 Ed rated it liked it
In 1777 Jacob Michael Reinhold Lenz suffered an attack of insanity and the following year was sent to stay at vicarage in Vosges Mountains of Alsace above Strasbourg, where he stayed for a time. Buchner, using the diaries of the minister who cared for Lenz, wrote this long story in 1836. It provides an interesting glimpse of how some people viewed and treated the mad before medical diagnoses were established. The mix of kindness and exasperation displayed by the minister reminded me of how lovin ...more
Mar 04, 2015 Naomi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
[2.5 -3 stars] I liked this German classic more than others which I have read but still it was sometimes confusing because the protagonist is losing his mind. But I am looking forward to discuss the novel in class.
Mar 19, 2016 Ce-ba rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
more like 3.5 stars. I liked it even though it was confusing at times. Lenz is an interesting character and this is better than some of the things that mainstream media calls cool, so.....
Gizem Tuncer
Abitur 2014 LK
Markus Sakoschek
Jan 09, 2016 Markus Sakoschek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
Eine sehr kurze aber ausserordentlich schön geschriebener Text, lierarische Pathographie genannt, über die Entwicklung der Geisteskrankheit des Poeten Jakob Lenz.
Jan 16, 2016 Cat rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-read, i-own, fiction
I wrote a whole essay about how Georg Buchner predicted Nietzsche's famous "look into the abyss" quote, the entire stream-of-conscious-thought modern lit movement, Inception's "how do I know if I'm awake or asleep" and modern medicine's rhetoric on schizophrenia. It's actually a bit unsettling but the short story makes up for it by being almost completely incoherent.
Alex Obrigewitsch
Sep 05, 2014 Alex Obrigewitsch rated it liked it
Madness, or utter clarity?
No answer. Only the ever haunting sounding of silence.
Read it but didn't really get it. Going to read it again before I have uniclass and have to work with it, maybe I'll get it then.

But I can already say that this is the typical style of writing of Georg Büchner, something that I adored in other works of him I came to dislike in this novel. It just didn't seem right to me.

Feb 05, 2016 Julia rated it really liked it
Beim ersten Mal Lesen fand ich das Buch noch besser...
Nov 20, 2012 Dennis rated it really liked it
Die letzten Jahre des kranken Schriftstellers Lenz werden eindrucksvoll beschrieben, gleichzeitig zeichnet Büchner ein schönes und trauriges Naturbild und löst dabei starke Emotionen aus.
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Karl Georg Büchner (October 17, 1813 – February 19, 1837) was a German dramatist and writer of prose. He was the brother of physician and philosopher Ludwig Büchner. Georg Büchner's talent is generally held in great esteem in Germany. It is widely believed that, but for his early death, he might have attained the significance of such central German literary figures as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe an ...more
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“Slechts één ding is blijvend, een nooit eindigende schoonheid, die van de ene vorm overgaat in de andere, vluchtig doorgebladerd, voortdurend wisselend, maar die je zeker niet voor altijd kunt vasthouden, in musea neerzetten en in noten vastleggen kunt, om dan jong en oud erbij te roepen, zodat ze erover kunnen zwetsen en druk doen.” 3 likes
“Müdigkeit spürte er keine, nur war es ihm manchmal unangenehm, dass er nicht auf dem Kopf gehen konnte.” 1 likes
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