Professor Marc Caplan To Speak on the Yale Comparative Literature Open Forum

March 27, 2017

Yale Comparative Literature Open Forum presents:

 Prof. Marc Caplan (Judaic Studies)

“An Overture to Modernism: Georg Büchner, Karl-Emil Franzos, and the Evolution of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck.”

This lecture will discuss the textual history of Georg Büchner’s posthumous dramatic fragment Woyzeck, from its first publication in the 1870s, forty years after Büchner’s death, to its theatrical debut just before World War I, to its transformation into Alban Berg’s first opera, Wozzeck (1925), one of the great achievements in German-language musical modernism. The central mediating figure between Büchner and Berg is Karl-Emil Franzos (1848-1904), who first prepared Büchner’s fragments for publication, transcribing his misreading of the work’s title as “Wozzeck” rather than “Woyzeck” for posterity. In addition to his editorial work, Franzos was a leading exponent of the Ghettoliteratur genre, which presented portraits of his native East European Jewish origins for a liberal German readership. Franzos’s understand of Büchner shares in his translation, and scribal errors, of Yiddish culture into German. Berg’s dramatic decisions and musical transformation in turn amplifies on the formal, dramatic, and allegorical significance of Franzos’s representation of Büchner’s work.

Monday, April 3rd @ 4:00pm, Bingham Library

Contacts for 2017 Open Forum:

Ariel Pridan ( and Jackie Rice (