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Book Report: Woyzeck

I hated Woyzeck. I oughtn’t to be surprised, I suppose—I’ve never finished reading any of Neil LaBute’s plays before, and I’ve never finished reading any of the translations of Georg B├╝chner’s play before, either. I thought I would give it a try, though.

I know that the fragments that make up the original playscript form a tremendously influential piece of writing, and that theatrical expressionism and modern drama may well date from the discovery of the thing. I dunno. It’s awful, and I don’t see any merit in it. The language, the situations, the characters, the theater. It seems as if it would be somewhere between depressing and boring, unless it were laughable. Most likely it would fall into the irritatingly superior category. I mean: yes, various despicable people treat poor Woyzeck cruelly and drive him to madness and murder, it’s terrible what such people do, tsk tsk tsk. I’m glad I don’t know anyone like that. And you don’t. I swear to you, you don’t know anyone like any of the men in this play.

I don’t see any wit in Mr. LaBute’s adaptation, either. It doesn’t even seem to be a great part for an actor. I mean, it could be, with enough time for the poor sap to run around wordlessly and wildly breaking down whilst the rest of the cast shouts at him, but… yicch.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

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