Dramatische Werke: Der Phönix/ Chrysippos/ Durchtönte Larve | Rolf Engert (German)

Dramatische Werke: Der Phönix/ Chrysippos/ Durchtönte Larve | Rolf Engert (German)

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From the  Verlag Max-Stirner-Archiv, this is a collection of three of Rolf Engert's plays. Please note: this book is in the German language.

From a review:

The literary scholar Rolf Engert (1889-1962), who worked as a dramaturge, director and actor at the Regensburg City Theater, wrote the Olympic drama "Phoenix" in 1950. It deals with the self-immolation of the Cynic philosopher Peregrinus on the occasion of the Olympic Games in the second century AD. What prompted him to go back to this ancient subject? In the afterword, Engert explains that he was inspired to do so by the eyewitness Lukian's writing "On the End of Peregrinus' Life". Peregrinus, leader of a Cynical sect, had decided to burn himself openly in order to give the community the spectacle of a tragic and heroic suicide, to increase the reputation of his sect and, as Lukian emphasizes, to satisfy his own pursuit of fame. Why was Lukian so keen to fight and ridicule the Cynic Peregrinus? Peter Sloterdijk's "Critique of Cynical Reason" (1983) revived interest in Cynical philosophy. A chapter in it is dedicated to Lukian, the humorist and mockery. Sloterdijk believes that the Cynical polemic of civilization is one of the most powerful impulses Western philosophy has emerged. Cynicism has been called the hippie and dropout movement of antiquity. According to Sloterdijk, the cynic is the comic, not the tragic, who attacked the Roman state, the civilization of the Greeks and the psychology of the ambitious citizens. Sloterdijk characterizes Lukian as "ironic-educational conservative", Peregrinus' vitae seems to him like a biography of a criminal: he suspects him of adultery, pederasty, bribery and father murder. Peregrinus is so dangerous for the state because it takes the last inhibitions away from criminals who are threatened with the death penalty because of the lack of deterrence. In my drama "Phoenix", Engert has managed to elaborate on the ambiguity of the material, ie to show why Peregrinus 'suicide was subjected to the most contradictory judgments, on the one hand as an act of madness by a glorious Charlatan, on the other hand as a feat of a godlike person.In addition, Engert sees an inner relationship between Peregrinus' deed and the Olympic thought, because his suicide should also be a contest - represent pedaling namely, a competition between Greek philosophy and Christian martyrs. After giving his own funeral speech, Peregrinus burst into the flames, and the legend immediately began: his followers reported the ascension of their master, that he was seen in white robe with an olive wreath on his forehead. Many authors have grappled with the figure of Peregrinus, in Germany Christoph Martin Wieland and Goethe deserve special mention. Wieland was the best connoisseur of Cynicism in the 18th century and was considered "the German Lukian". For him, the Lukian satire had one timeless value as it exposed basic human vices, and in the novel “The Secret History of Peregrinus Proteus (1888/89) he painted a friendly picture of the philosopher.


Imported from Germany. 

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