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"Zuwachs unsrer existenz" : the quest for Being in J.M.R. Lenz O'Regan, Inge Brigitta 1991

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"ZUWACHS UNSRER EXISTENZ" THE QUEST FOR BEING IN J.M.R. LENZ By INGE BRIGITTA 0'REGAN M.A., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1980 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Germanic Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1991 @ Inge B r i g i t t a 0'Regan, 1991 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date / / O c J t ^ ^ - ^ DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT "Zuwachs1unsrer Existenz" The Quest for Being i n J.M.R. Lenz Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz (1751-1792), whose plays have been acclaimed as the prototype of the modern drama of Brecht and Durrenmatt, i s a controversial figure who rose to prominence on the German l i t e r a r y scene i n the early seventeen seventies. Among Lenz's theoretical writings i s the i n f l u e n t i a l essay "Anmerkungen iibers Theater," i n which he introduces his innovative dramatic theories and describes the independent protagonists he envisions for the German stage. In the same essay, he demands "Zuwachs unsrer Existenz" (a heightened awareness of existence) from contemporary drama. However, i n marked contrast to the "Anmerkungen," the protagonists of his two most prominent plays, Der Hofmeister (1774) and Die Soldaten (1776), are self-alienated, o n t o l o g i c a l l y insecure individuals who seem victims of the s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s of their times. Not surprisingly, c r i t i c s are divided i n their opinion as to what the contradictions i n Lenz's oeuvre sig n i f y . Lenz was a student of Immanuel Kant's between 1768 and 1770, a time when the l a t t e r was formulating ideas that would f i n d t h e i r f u l l expression years later i n his c r i t i c a l philosophy. In 1770, Kant presented his inaugural address "de mundi s e n s i b i l i s atque i n t e l l i g i b i l i s forma et p r i n c i p i i s " (On the Form and Principles of the Sensible and I n t e l l i g i b l e World) to the assembled faculty and students of KCnigsberg Academy, among them J.M.R. Lenz. It i s i n the inaugural d i s s e r t a t i o n that Kant introduces his thesis of the individual as an inhabitant of two "worlds," the noumenal and the phenomenal, a central concept i n his f i r s t critique, K r i t i k der reinen Vernunft. which would be published i n 1781. This study examines Lenz's thoughts as they surface i n his t h e o r e t i c a l essays and his major plays and puts forward the thesis that i t i s Kant's d i v i s i o n of the s e l f into an i n t e l l i g i b l e and a sensible realm which prompts Lenz's c a l l i i i for "Zuwachs unsrer Existenz." Lenz's quest i s fuelled, furthermore, by his acute awareness of the ontological insecurity of the individual s e l f , an awareness which seems to anticipate the thought of Kierkegaard. The overriding purpose of this thesis i s , through a reevaluation of Lenz's theoretical and dramatic works, to elucidate this eighteenth-century writer's quest for authentic being, a quest that he considered to be the individual's most urgent task. TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE Abstract i i Acknowledgements I. INTRODUCTION 1 a. Overview 3 b. Lenz C r i t i c i s m 5 I I . THE PHILOSOPHICAL BACKGROUND 27 a. Kant's Two Worlds 2 7 b. Lenz and Kant 3 3 c. E x i s t e n t i a l Thought 40 I I I . THE DIVIDED SELF 50 a. The Theoretical Essays . 50 b. The Prose 5 6 c. The Drama 61 IV. THE QUEST FOR FREEDOM 101 a. Free W i l l versus Determinism as a Philosophical Problem 101 b. The Theoretical Essays 109 c. The Drama 120 d. The Aesthetic as a Mode of Existence 124 e. The Et h i c a l "Point of View" of the Subjective Thinker 133 V. THE PARADOX OF EXISTENCE 149 VI. CONCLUSION. 165 WORKS CONSULTED 174 Acknowledgements I would l i k e to thank the chairperson of my thesis supervisory committee, Professor Thomas Salumets, for his help and sound counsel and the considerable time and e f f o r t he spent on my behalf. The suggestions and comments offered by Professors Edward Mornin and Karl Zaenker, the other members of the committee, are grat e f u l l y acknowledged. For continuous support and advice over the years I am indebted to Professor Michael Batts. I would also l i k e to take this opportunity to acknowledge the assistance of Professor Peter Remnant of the U.B.C. Philosophy Department. A special thank you to my husband Edward and my three children, Karen, Martina, and Rory for their love and understanding. The moral support given by May and Lynne Cannon i s also appreciated. This thesis i s dedicated to the memory of my parents Gertrud and Werner Frauenhoff. Vancouver, October 1991 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Kant's interpretation of the individual as an inhabitant of two realms, the noumenal and the phenomenal, f i r s t presented i n his inaugural dissertation, "de mundi s e n s i b i l i s atque i n t e l l i g i b i l i s forma et p r i n c i p i i s " (1770), i s rejected by his former student, the Livonian poet and dramatist, Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz. It i s worth noting that Lenz was not only present on 21 August 1770, the day Kant gave his inaugural address to the KOnigsberg Academy, but that i t was Lenz who wrote and presented a laudatory poem to Kant>on the occasion (Rosanow, 54). By the early seventeen seventies, Lenz asked questions that are more personal than Werther's r h e t o r i c a l , "Was i s t der Mensch, der gepriesene Halbgott?" His important essay "Uber Gdtz von Berlichingen" opens with an account of human l i f e from b i r t h to death: the predictable routine of day to day l i v i n g , the s o c i a l and family relationships, and the f u t i l i t y of i t a l l . Summing up the sad biography, Lenz confronts the reader with the question, "Aber heiSt das gelebt? heiSt das seine Existenz gefuhlt, seine selbststandige Existenz, den 2 Funken von Gott?" (Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz. Werke und  Schriften I, 37 8 ) A Lenz speaks to us from the distance of eighteenth-century Germany, a time when the bourgeois class had yet to ascend to power. In the following century, Kierkegaard considers the question of authentic human existence; he seems to be echoing Lenz's summation of the human condition when he notes: "To have been young, and then to grow older, and f i n a l l y to die, i s a very mediocre form of human existence; this merit belongs to every animal" (Concluding Unscientific Postscript. 311). Yet regardless of the differences i n their socio-p o l i t i c a l environment and the h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i t i e s that confront them, Lenz and Kierkegaard off e r a diagnosis of the human condition that points to the progressive fragmentation and alienation of the s e l f . It i s not surprising, therefore, that the quest for authentic being permeates the work of both writers. 1 Unless otherwise indicated, a l l subsequent references to Lenz's writings i n the body of thi s thesis w i l l be to the two vols, of the Titel/Haug edition, prefaced with (I) for the theoretical essays and prose and (II) for the drama. 3 a. , Overview This study t r i e s to account for the often diagnosed contradictions between Lenz 1s theoretical writings and his major plays. To that effect, the focus i s on the theoretical essays and ideas put forward i n Der Hofmeister (1774) and Die Soldaten (1776), and to a lesser degree on Der neue Menoza (1774).2 i n addition, reference i s made to his lesser known plays, his prose, and his correspondence. The following i s a short description of the topics addressed: Chapter I presents a review of the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e to date with special emphasis on the scholarly contributions of the past three decades. The philosophical background i s the focus of chapter I I . Kant's two worlds, the i n t e l l i g i b l e and the sensible, as presented i n the inaugural dissertation, are considered * Der neue Menoza was not well received by Lenz's contemporaries (I, 728). Lenz himself was c r i t i c a l of the play; he wrote to Sophie von La Roche i n July 1775: "Menoza i s t ein ubereiltes Stuck, an dem nichts als die Idee schatzbar i s t " (Briefe I, 115). And according to Rosanow, Lenz claimed, "Der neue Menoza hat nichts als dramatische Einkleidung" (194). 4 i n (b); and f i n a l l y , a short overview of what constitutes e x i s t e n t i a l thought i s given i n section (c). Chapter III looks at Lenz's treatment of the mind/body dichotomy i n the theoretical essays (a), the prose (b), and the plays(c). Lenz's guest for freedom i s the focus of chapter IV. In the f i r s t section (a), a short h i s t o r i c a l overview of "free w i l l versus determinism" as a problem i n Western philosophy i s given. In sections (b) and (c), Lenz's understanding of freedom, i t s place i n human consciousness, and his d i a l e c t i c a l approach to the problem of free w i l l versus determinism i n the the o r e t i c a l essays and the plays come under scrutiny. The aesthetic as a mode of existence i s examined i n section (d), and i n (e) the eth i c a l point of view of the subjective thinker i s explored. Chapter V examines the significance of paradox i n Lenz's dramas. In the f i n a l chapter, the focus i s again on the existential.questions that Lenz poses, questions that defy l o g i c a l analysis but are i m p l i c i t i n his quest for authentic being. b. Lenz C r i t i c i s m There are several dominant approaches to J.M.R. Lenz. There are the studies which focus on s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m ; for example, the pressure exerted upon the individual by his socio-economic status and the father/son c o n f l i c t . The influence of the philosophical thought of Leibniz, Shaftesbury, and Rousseau and the r e l i g i o u s implications of Lenz's thought have also been probed. Lenz's innovative use of language and gestures has received much attention. In addition, the a n t i - A r i s t o t e l i a n form and the realism of his plays have been acknowledged i n recent studies. However, i t i s the discrepancy between the dramatic theories put forward i n Lenz's "Anmerkungen ubers Theater" and the characters i n his plays which represents the main thrust of Lenz scholarship i n the past decade. In parti c u l a r , the figure of the independent protagonist portrayed i n the "Anmerkungen" comes under close scrutiny and i s contrasted with the i n e f f e c t i v e and dependent characters that emerge from the pages of Lenz's major plays. This unsolved dualism, which manifests i t s e l f i n the discrepancy between ideas put forward i n the theoretical essays on the one hand and the drama on the other, i s commonly 6 acknowledged. For example, Werner Preuss comments that only an i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y study can hope to address this dualism i n Lenz's l i f e and work. He writes: Leben und Werk, das poetische und theoretische, von Jakob M. R. Lenz zeigen sich i n dieser Weise bedeutsam und zerrissen. Sie erwecken Neugier nach ihrem Zusammenhang, von dem j e t z t schon zu vermuten i s t , daS es ein antinomischer s e i , der dem erkannten, bis zum Ende ungelosten Dualismus Rechnung tragt. Deutlich i s t auch, daS nur eine f acheriibergreif ende Studie hier weiterfiihren kann. Zu befragen sind Theologie und Philosophie Gesellschaftswissenschaft, Padagogik und Literaturwissenschaft. (1) The aim of this review i s to f a c i l i t a t e a thematic overview of the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e and to indicate the point of departure which led me to probe the philosophical paradigm of Lenz's oeuvre and examine the p o s s i b i l i t y of reconciling ideas put forward i n the theoretical essays with his dramatic writings. I would l i k e to begin by recognizing two important contributions to the Lenz scholarship of the past two decades. F i r s t l y , there i s David Price Benseler's 1971 doctoral thesis which i s the only indexed Lenz bibliography to date. Secondly, 7 the comprehensive account of recent Lenz c r i t i c i s m given i n Hans-Gerd Winter's 1987 survey i s acknowledged. From the untimely death of J.M.R. Lenz i n the spring of 1792 to the present, the reception of his works has been mixed. There i s l i t t l e doubt that Lenz was well received by the Romantics: Brentano expresses his fondness for Der neue Menoza^ and Tieck produces the f i r s t edition of Lenz's oeuvre .4 The dramatist Georg Buchner takes an interest i n Lenz and attempts a psychological interpretation of the writer i n his famous 1839 documentary novella Lenz. His source i s Pastor Johann F r i e d r i c h Oberlin's account of Lenz's bout with mental i l l n e s s during the l a t t e r ' s v i s i t to Waldersbach i n early 1778. Buchner presents Lenz as an individual who suffers e x i s t e n t i a l anast and loneliness, a condition which, although commonly associated with twentieth-century man, i s the predominant mood of Buchner's Woyzeck. published i n 1886. Negative reviews of Lenz and his work, prompted perhaps by Goethe's often c i t e d Lenz po r t r a i t i n book 14 of Dichtuna und Wahrheit (X, 7-11), are not unusual i n the c r i t i c a l 3 Clemens Brentano, l e t t e r to Achim von Arnau, February 1806, quoted i n Hinck, J.M.R. Lenz: Der neue , Menoza. 93 . 4 Tieck's edition was published i n 1828 by G. Reimer i n B e r l i n (Huyssen, Drama des Sturm und Drana. 157). 8 l i t e r a t u r e of the second half of the nineteenth century. Erich Schmidt, for example, writing i n 1878, bases his Lenz characterization on Goethe's unfavourable comments: Die Halbnarrheit, die Goethe dem einstigen Freunde zuschreibt, aussert sich i n einer dammerhaften Unsicherheit und Unwahrheit des Denkens und Handelns, starker Phantasterei und Ubertreibung. Er beliigt immer sich selbst zuerst. (9) Lenz's star i s i n the ascendant at the turn of the century, when the Naturalists, influenced by Max Halbe's 1892 laudatory essay "Der Dramatiker Reinhold Lenz. Zu seinem 100. Todestage," adopt him as their role model. Halbe describes the innovative form of Lenz's plays as an objective r e f l e c t i o n of '4, r e a l i t y and considers i t as a blueprint for the "Charakterdrama" of the Naturalists (568-82). Yet i n the f i r s t decades of the present century, c r i t i c a l reviews of Lenz and his work were often based on l i t t l e more than Lavater's physiognomy.5 For example, M.N. Rosanow--although sympathetic to Lenz--writes i n 1909: 5 In his study. Phvsiocmomische Fraomente zur Beforderuna der Menschenkenntnis und der Menschenliebe. Lavater claims that a person 1s,character can be read from his or her f a c i a l expressions. 9 Seinem inneren Wesen haftet die gleiche Unzuverlassigkeit und Unbestandigkeit wie seiner aussern Gestalt an. Betrachten wir die bekannten Portrats unseres Dichters: welch weiche, verschwommene, fast noch unfertige Linien und Ziige! (441). While H.A. Korff claims that Lenz's drama i s devoid of any e t h i c a l component but consistent "mit der g r i l l e n h a f t e n Natur ihres Dichters" (Geist der Goethezeit I, 246) , Hermann Hettner goes a step further and dismisses Lenz as "Affe Goethes." These two words, attributed to the Duke of Weimar by Hettner (184), are cited and endorsed by Leo Balet i n 1973! (223 f f ) . And Karl Goedeke's summation of Lenz's creative powers, "... i n dumpfem Drange verkam er, i n Entwiirfen und Skizzen b l i e b er stecken" (774), simply r e f l e c t s the popular Lenz p o r t r a i t of the time. Schmidt, Korff, Hettner, and Goedeke seem to share a bias against a l l l i t e r a t u r e of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century that does not subscribe to the c l a s s i c a l ideals put forward by Goethe and S c h i l l e r . Consequently, l i t e r a r y contributions of writers l i k e Lenz, Holderlin, and K l e i s t are considered to be somewhat i n f e r i o r . Heinz Kindermann i s the f i r s t c r i t i c to challenge the popular thesis that Lenz was either unwilling or unable to outgrow his Sturm und Drancr period and incapable of following Goethe into the realm of German classicism. In his comprehensive study, J.M.R. Lenz und die deutsche Romantik ( 1 9 2 5 ) , Kindermann argues that from the very beginning Lenz's path was not destined to lead to the gates of classicism ( v i i i ) . In his eyes, Lenz i s a precursor of the Romantic movement i n Germany. In particular, Lenz's sce p t i c a l attitude towards reason as the predominant force i n human l i f e i s interpreted as diametrically opposed to the philosophy of the Enlightenment and akin to the Weltanschauung of the Romantics. To support his hypothesis, Kindermann points to the tensions between individual and society which are s i m i l a r i l y treated by Lenz and the Romantics. Since Kindermann's primary concern i s to establish Lenz as a forerunner of the Romantics, he considers Lenz's philosophical and l i t e r a r y associations; for example, he examines the influence that Shakespeare and Rousseau exerted on Lenz, and the la t t e r ' s relationship to Goethe, Herder, and Lessing. Gert Mattenklott examines melancholy as a malaise prevalent among the Sturmer und Dranger of the seventeen seventies i n his comprehensive 1985 study Melancholie i n der  Dramatik des Sturm und Drang. With regard to Der Hofmeister, he observes that melancholy i s the dominating mood of the play 11 u n t i l the f i n a l scene, when Lenz makes a halfhearted attempt to commit himself on a p o l i t i c a l and aesthetic l e v e l (166-68). The question of genre i s the focus of K.S. Guthke's study Geschichte und Poetik der deutschen Traaikomodie. According to Guthke, alternation of tragic situations and comic characters produces a tragi-comic effect i n Lenz's plays (58-64). C r i t i c a l of Guthke's c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , R6n£ Girard concedes the term tragi-comedy to Die Soldaten (Genese. 402-07); however, he regards Der Hofmeister as both comedy and tragedy (Genese. 288-89) and Der neue Menoza as an experimental tragi-comedy (Genese. 318-20).In conclusion, Girard points to two major impulses that run p a r a l l e l i n Lenz's drama: the search for a harmonious and reassuring world and the c r i t i c a l representation of the world as i t is--seen through the eyes of a c a r i c a t u r i s t (Genese. 421). While Horst Glaser views Der Hofmeister as a parody (137), Hans Mayer simply categorizes the play as "eine bose Komodie" (809). More recently, Dieter Liewerscheidt, who uses the term "apokalyptische Farce"(144) to describe Lenz's Der  neue Menoza. wonders i f i t s structure i s not an adequate r e f l e c t i o n of the "grotesk-apokalyptische Signatur" of the declining n o b i l i t y of the eighteenth century (148). He claims, furthermore, that the play reveals "den Hass des burgerlichen Autors auf die h i s t o r i s c h il b e r f a l l i g e Adelsgesellschaf t. . . ." 1 2 (150). Wolfgang Kayser i s another c r i t i c who points to the grotesque elements i n Lenz's work and acknowledges caricature as a ch a r a c t e r i s t i c feature of Der neue Menoza (43-44). Kayser describes the beggars' b a l l scene as a po r t r a i t of a dissociated and estranged world, inhabited by puppet-like characters (45). The grotesque, as a common feature i n Sterne's Tristram Shandy and Lenz's Per Waldbruder. i s also the focus of a study by L i l i a n Fiirst. Comparing the use of sa t i r e i n both narratives, she acknowledges that "Lenz, by contrast, has a sharper edge to his sat i r e , a more b i t t e r i n t u i t i o n of the absurdity of l i f e and, above a l l , of i t s t e r r i f y i n g proximity to the ex i s t e n t i a l abyss" (20),. Of Der  waldbruder she writes, "The sense of a chaotic world and of man's t o t a l bewilderment i n i t assumes r e a l l y frightening r proportions here" (19). Bruce Duncan c l a s s s i f i e s both Der Hofmeister and Die  Soldaten as belonging to the genre of the "dark comedy" since, however negatively, "dark comedy" s t i l l attempts to fi n d a raison d'§tre for the existing world order, an attempt that i s no longer possible within the realm of the grotesque (25). He describes Lenz's characters as automata, as "mere constructs without autonomy, t o t a l l y defined by their 'Stande'" (217). The dark side of Lenz's drama i s also acknowledged by Allan Blunden who interprets Wenceslaus's character i n Der Hofmeister as "surely s i n i s t e r i n his absurdity, and not just funny" ("Lenz, Language, and Love's Labour's Lost," 260). Helmut Arntzen's 1968 study, Die ernste Komodie. points to the al i e n a t i o n that exists between the individual and society as the starting point of Sturm und Drang comedy (85). With regard to Lenz, Arntzen views the i s o l a t i o n of the in d i v i d u a l as central to the c o n f l i c t i n Der Hofmeister (89). Contradiction and paradox are important considerations i n John Osborne's study J.M.R. Lenz: The Renunciation of Heroism. He sees "the tortured alternation between s e l f - a s s e r t i o n and s e l f - d o u b t [ a s ] characteristic of Lenz" (23). Helga Madland also acknowledges contradictions as recurring phenomena i n Lenz's drama and interprets them as a res u l t of "...his v i s i o n of the autonomous individual based on a r a t i o n a l approach to problem solving and his simultaneous recognition of man's dependency on nature" (Diss. 320). She believes, furthermore, that "this profoundly disturbing paradox with which mankind i s forced to contend creates a dilemma for Lenz which he i s unable to resolve and which i s reflected i n his two major dramas" (Diss. 320). Michael Butler's study,"Character and Paradox i n Lenz's Der Hofmeister." views the presentation of paradox as the p r i n c i p a l source of comic effect i n Lenz's plays (96). More importantly, he notes that paradox i s "deeply rooted i n the characters' i d e n t i t i e s and persistently r e f l e c t e d i n their words and actions, i n the discrepancy between what they say and what they do, or more often between what they wish to do and what they actually achieve" (96). The majority of Lenz's c r i t i c s support the thesis that his works constitute a break with the Enlightenment and i t s i d e a l i s t i c conception of the individual's freedom. For example, Huyssen writes: Lauffers Seelenheirat mit der Bauerstochter Lise i s t i n einer korperlichen Verkruppelung begrilndet, die schwerlich durch i d y l l i s c h e s Landleben oder geistige Werte wettgemacht werden kann. Ganz und gar unidealistische Entsagung bleibt somit beider Los, und damit widerlegt das Stuck den universalen Anspruch der Aufklarung, Freiheit und Selbstbestimmung der menschlichen Personlichkeit i n der Vernunft begriinden und g e s e l l s c h a f t l i c h verwirklichen zu konnen. (Drama des Sturm und Drana. 172-73) This view i s not shared by Ottomar Rudolf, however, who considers Lenz loyal to Enlightenment ideals and, consequently, interprets the f i n a l scene i n Der Hofmeister as 1 5 a tableau which r e f l e c t s the harmonious world order propagated by the Enlightenment (162). It i s worth noting that, as recently as 1980, Timothy Pope views Lenz's drama as r e f l e c t i n g the optimism of Enlightenment philosophy. In his doctoral thesis, e n t i t l e d "The Concept of Action i n J.M.R. Lenz," He writes: Lenz's f i r s t major drama: Der Hofmeister, brings the idea of metanoia^ to bear on the f a l l i b l e nature of human l i f e . The play concerns not so much the cause of the family tragedy: ostensibly the hi r i n g of a private tutor, as the way i n which that tragedy i s overcome by moral renewal and by the joy of believing that the curse of the past i s outweighed by the i n f i n i t e p o s s i b i l i t i e s of the future. (Pope, i i i - i v ) Huyssen sees contradictions between Enlightenment ideology and sentiments and Lenz's r a d i c a l opposition to them 6 Pope gives the following d e f i n i t i o n of metanoia: "Freedom of action i s freedom to make mistakes and to p r o f i t from those mistakes; this, to Lenz, i s the gospel of Christ. At the heart of i t i s the idea of metanoia. which i s the new mentality, the l o f t i e r perspective that comes about through the performance of action that i s followed by moral evaluation. Metanoia means not the p i e t i s t i c dwelling on past failures and past wrong-doing. ..but the sense of freedom to turn those f a i l u r e s to account" ( i i i ) . 1 6 as a central concern i n Der Hofmeister: he rejects, however, enemy or a proponent of the Enlightenment ("Gesellschaftsgeschichte und Literarische Form," 135). Huyssen's.position i s one that Madland f u l l y endorses. She writes, "Lenz's theory of the drama and his philosophical p o s i t i o n are neither an extension of the Enlightenment nor a complete reject i o n thereof" (Diss. 321). Several scholars interpret Lenz's writings as stressing the s o c i a l context of the individual, for example, Guthke (TracrikomSdie. 274-86), Schwarz ("Lenz und Shakespeare," 93), Glaser (151), and Duncan (Diss. 217). However, Walter Hinderer takes the position that s o c i a l conditions serve as a mere backdrop i n Lenz's drama against which the individual's right to s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n i s asserted ("Lenz: Der Hofmeister." 73). T i t e l observes that Lenz's major concern, the summa  summarum of his work and his l i f e , i s the r e a l i z a t i o n of the individual's potential f o r genius on the one hand, and his limit e d and oppressed condition on the other (Diss. 70).7 she i s also one of the f i r s t c r i t i c s to note that Lenz presents his characters i n a sensual manner and that, consequently, his characterization i s as dependent on non-verbal communication ' Here, T i t e l seems to echo Pascal's thoughts on the "grandeur" and the "misere" of the human condition (Pensees de Pascal. 143; 145; 147). 1 7 methods such as mimicry and gestures as i t i s on the logos. Of Lenz's characters she remarks: Sie sagen meist recht unbedeutende und a l l t a g l i c h e Dinge; aber sie werden dabei i n ihrer sinnlichen Erscheinung lebendig: i n ihrer Art zu sprechen, sich zu geben, zu reagieren, i n der Gestik der Bewegungen und dem Gestischen der Sprache. (Diss. 178) As i t s a l l i t e r a t i v e t i t l e suggests, Blunden's study, "Lenz, Language, and Love's Labour's Lost," compares the language of Shakespeare and Lenz. He notes that Lenz exhibits an awareness of the social and psychological function of language i n Der Hofmeister akin to Shakespeare's use of language i n Love's Labour's Lost. He examines the r h e t o r i c a l world that i s inhabited by Wenzeslaus i n Der Hofmeister and comes to the conclusion that a l l the schoolmaster's responses are "mechanically conditioned by the rhetoric of his bookish world" (260). He also observes that Lenz i s "a pre-incarnation of Wittgenstein" (257), but he does not elaborate on t h i s important insight. He does note, however, that "Shakespeare's paradox--that language i s important for the very reason that many people take i t to be too important--is one that Lenz makes f u l l y his own" (273). Hdllerer notes that "Sprechspharen" --language re g i s t e r s -- which correspond to the socio-economic status of an indivi d u a l , are donned as a disguise by the characters i n Die  Soldaten. To support his thesis, he i d e n t i f i e s f i v e different language registers for Mariane alone (133). In addition, he notes that Lenz employs gestures as a technique to continue the action when language f a i l s and that, i n the process, language i t s e l f becomes "gestische Formulierung" (139). Walter Hinck also considers gestures to be of primary importance i n Der neue Menoza. He maintains that p r a c t i c a l l y everything that happens on stage can be gathered from either the stage directions or the gestures of the actors (Per neue Menoza, 90-91). And i n a more recent study, Madland credits Lenz with "a scep t i c a l attitude toward language that resembles the l i n g u i s t i c concerns of later generations of writers" ("Gesture....Language Scepticism," 556) . Mattenklott i d e n t i f i e s l i n g u i s t i c stereotypes i n Der Hofmeister (144-46); t h e i r existence was denied by T i t e l i n her 1963 dissertation, "'Nachahmung der Natur' als Prinzip dramatischer Gestaltung bei Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz" (223-24). Bruce Kieffer's Storm and Stress of Language addresses common l i n g u i s t i c concerns of the period. He claims that an investigation of Sturm und Drang language points to "unity i n a philosophical-anthropological area of thought, as opposed to 1 9 s o c i a l - p o l i t i c a l and li t e r a r y - t e c h n i c a l areas" (143). He further notes that this type of unity has not been s u f f i c i e n t l y appreciated i n the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e (143). With regard to Der Hofmeister. he makes the observation that, as the plot develops, language moves against reason and that, consequently, the double happy ending of the f i n a l scene i s discredited by i t s l i n g u i s t i c plot (66). Claus Lappe's s i g n i f i c a n t discovery that, given the time structure of Per Hofmeister, Lauffer cannot be considered the natural father of Gustchen's child, points not only to the r e l a t i v i t y of time i n the drama, but seems to indicate that the space continuum not only disrupts the time continuum but that i t takes precedence over i t . He writes: Nicht also ordnet das einheitliche Z e i t p r i n z i p die Pisparatheit der Raume zu iiberschaubaren Parallelentwicklungen,sondern das aesthetische Prinzip der raumlichen Kontrastierung z e r s p l i t t e r t das z e i t l i c h e Kontinuum i n gegeneinander verschobene Phasen:der Raum dominiert die Zeit, nicht umgekehrt. ("Wer hat Gustchens Kind gezeugt ," 31) C r i t i c i s m which proceeds from a philosophical perspective associates Lenz with several of the more important philosophical minds of the eighteenth century. Thus, Kindermann ventures that Lenz's essay, "Entwurf eines Briefes an einen Freund, der auf der Akademie Theologie studiert," illuminates the differences between the philosophical thought of Bayle and Leibniz (338) . Norman R. Diffey examines the relationship between Lenz and Rousseau and comes to the conclusion that, although Lenz shares aspects of Rousseau's s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l c r i t i c i s m , t h i s does not prevent him from mocking Rousseau's "sentimentality" and "naive ideal" i n Der Hofmeister (203). The v a l i d i t y of Blunden's thesis--that Lenz applies the Leibnizian monadology to the s o c i a l sphere--depends on whether or not one agrees with his interpretation that Lenz's use of the term Standpunkt i n the "Anmerkungen" corresponds to the Leibnizian "point de vue" ("J. M. R. Lenz and Leibniz: A Point of View," 3-18) . 8 Since the f i f t i e s , c r i t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e has acknowledged the modernity of Lenz's drama. Lenz's plays have been compared to the drama of Wedekind and Brecht, among others, and Horst Glaser describes the dramatist as "einen unzeitgemassen I r r l a u f e r der Moderne"(149). Both Walter Hollerer (147) and Volker Klotz (238) see Lenz's a n t i - A r i s t o t e l i a n drama at the 8 See chapter IV of this study for a reevaluation of Lenz's understanding of Standpunkt. beginning of a chain of development that leads to the t h e a t r e of Brecht and Durrenmatt. T h e i r view i s shared by Madland who w r i t e s : The e x i s t e n t i a l , p s y c h o l o g i c a l , s o c i a l , and l i n g u i s t i c problems he broaches, together w i t h the novel e p i s o d i c s t r u c t u r e of h i s dramas, a n t i c i p a t e the t h e a t r e of Bilchner, Wedekind, Brecht and more contemporary dra m a t i s t s , Heinar Kipphardt, f o r example. (Diss. 322) Hans Mayer's important essay, "Lenz oder d i e A l t e r n a t i v e , " considers Lenz's oeuvre as a p o s s i b l e a l t e r n a t i v e to Weimar,classicism and notes that c a s t r a t i o n , murder p l o t s , and s u i c i d e c o e x i s t w i t h p h i l o s o p h i c a l r e f l e c t i o n s as common features i n the p l a y s of Lenz and Durrenmatt (807). He a l s o claims that the seeds of d i s c o n t e n t , which s u r f a c e i n Lenz's p l a y s , a n t i c i p a t e Brecht's s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m (826) . At the c o n c l u s i o n of h i s 1970 d i s s e r t a t i o n , " D a r k Comedy i n E i ghteenth Century Germany: L e s s i n g and Lenz," Bruce Duncan de t e c t s i n both Der Hofmeister and Die Soldaten. "an a t t i t u d e analogous to that which we today a s s o c i a t e w i t h such w r i t e r s as Beckett and Ionesco" (217). Modernity i n l i t e r a t u r e i s perhaps best c h a r a c t e r i z e d as the movement towards the d e s t r u c t i o n of t r a d i t i o n a l l i t e r a r y forms. With regard to the drama, the t r a d i t i o n a l drama as prescribed i n A r i s t o t l e ' s Poetics had to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Furthermore, the structure of the plot had to be r a t i o n a l , with each part developing l o g i c a l l y from the preceding part. But most importantly, the drama had to observe the three u n i t i e s : the unity of time, place, and action. Modern drama represents the voice of a world i n which Chr i s t i a n r e l i g i o n and morality are i n the process of di s s o l u t i o n . Thus the breakdown of the c l a s s i c a l A r i s t o t e l i a n form of the drama coincides with the loss of f a i t h i n those aspects of human existence that extend beyond the physical world. On stage, the anxiety that the loss of the metaphysical realm creates i n the individual i s portrayed by protagonists who no longer have a fixed abode and are alienated from the world and themselves. The term "modern consciousness" i s often used as an indicator to gauge the modernity of a work of art or l i t e r a t u r e . It i s a term that i s d i f f i c u l t to define, however. Perhaps Lionel T r i l l i n g comes close when he terms i t "disintegrated consciousness" (Sincerity and Authenticity. 26) . He claims that the dissociated nature of modern consciousness i n l i t e r a t u r e can be traced back to the eighteenth century, to the dialogue between Lui and Moi i n 23 Diderot's Le neveu de Rameau.^ T r i l l i n g claims that on one l e v e l the dialogue between the composer Rameau (moi) and his rascal of a nephew (lui) describes the inauthentic mode of l i f e of an individual (lui) who, forced into role-playing by society, becomes alienated from his s e l f (30 f f ) . But he grants that on another l e v e l , by introducing the reader to a s e l f that i s confronted by the dichotomies of i t s very existence--which embrace good and e v i l , ethics and aesthetics, authenticity and inauthenticity--Diderot presents us with a consciousness that challenges the se l f to embrace seemingly i r r e c o n c i l a b l e positions (32-33). Diderot's dialogue, published i n Germany at the beginning of the nineteenth century, points to the gradual dispersion of the s e l f . In the twentieth century, Sigmund Freud's new therapy of psycho-analysis with i t s emphasis on the important role that the subconscious plays i n the l i f e of the individual, and Carl Jung's discovery of the c o l l e c t i v e unconscious, have resulted i n the r e a l i z a t i o n that there are, indeed, multiple layers to the human psyche. y Le Neveu de Rameau. written between 1761 and 1774, was not published during Diderot's l i f e t i m e and reached Germany i n 1805 only with Goethe's translation ( T r i l l i n g , 27). 24 A review of c r i t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e shows that modern i s the term most often used to describe the plays of thi s eighteenth-century dramatist. The Non-Aristotelian form alone i s , of course, i n d i c a t i v e of the modernity of Lenz's drama. However, the renewed c r i t i c a l interest i n Lenz over the past three decades can be attributed to the fact that this eighteenth-century writer's awareness of the f r a g i l i t y of human existence i s analogous to concerns that modern and post-modern writers and playwrights have voiced. Thus this study puts forward the thesis that Lenz's quest for "Zuwachs unsrer Existenz," a guest for authentic being, anticipates the dissociation i n modern consciousness which surfaces i n the art and l i t e r a t u r e of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Although Lenz's years at KCnigsberg have earned Kant the occasional footnote i n most biographical notes on Lenz, the influence of Kant's philosophy on Lenz has received only cursory attention i n the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e to date. Hans Mayer represents one of the few exceptions to thi s rule. Commenting on Lenz's understanding of the interdependence of beauty and truth i n "Versuch iiber das erste Principium der Moral, " he remarks that Lenz appears to him "ein zu frilh gekommener Kantianer " ( 7 9 5 - 9 6 ) . Since Rudolf views Lenz as an eighteenth-century moralist, his primary motive i s to examine his position on 25 ethics. To this effect, he considers the influence that Shaftesbury, Rousseau, and Kant had on Lenz (52-66). In probing common philosophical ideas that Kant and Lenz share, Rudolf perceives i n Lenz 1s attitude a r e f l e c t i o n of the former's thoughts on altruism (174); he also senses something akin to Kant's "categorical imperative" i n Lenz's essay, "Versuch uber das erste Principium der Moral" (203, 233 fn.). Not surprisingly, he sees Wenceslaus's "asketisches Pflichtmenschentum" i n a positive l i g h t (168) . Preuss, whose recent study Selbstkastration oder Zeuauna neuer Kreatur considers the problem of moral freedom i n Lenz's l i f e and work, concedes that Kant may have served as a model for both, 'der Geheime Rat' and Wenzeslaus i n Der Hofmeister, but maintains that Lenz intends an im p l i c i t c r i t i c i s m of Kantian ethics here (113, Anm. XX). The contradictions inherent i n Lenz's theoretical and dramatic writings were the point of departure for my research. In addition, Lenz's early years i n Konigsberg and the i n t e l l e c t u a l stimulus he received from being exposed to Kant's, thought at a formative stage of his development l e d me to probe the underlying philosophical paradigm of his work. With regard to the impact of Kant's p r e - c r i t i c a l thought on Lenz, examining the relationship between Kant and Lenz i s not only a prerequisite for coming to terms with Lenz's 26 p o s i t i o n within the l i t e r a r y and philosophical spectrum of eighteenth-century Germany, but central to an appreciation of his writings. In fact, Kant must be considered the impetus that led to Lenz's awareness of the p o t e n t i a l l y tragic consequences that an absolute separation between the two aspects of human existence, the i n t e l l i g i b l e and the sensible, has for the individual. Most importantly, the antinomies which surface i n Lenz's oeuvre point to the fact that he was indeed searching for an alternative to the idealism which characterized the drama of the Enlightenment. It i s my intention to examine whether Lenz's demand for "Zuwachs unsrer Existenz" ultimately leads him to adopt a m a t e r i a l i s t i c point of view, as suggested by the majority of his c r i t i c s , or whether he i s , i n fact, moving towards the so-called "third" position, a position that seeks to reconcile mind with body, consciousness with r e a l i t y . ^ !0 i n his essay "Existentialism," Lukacs objects to the philosophical position of existentialism, which he terms the "third" position as not plausible, "since one either believes that being i s independent of consciousness or that i t i s not. In the former case, one subscribes to materialism, i n the l a t t e r , to idealism. Or to put i t another way, the fundamental p r i n c i p l e of materialism i s the independence of being from consciousness; of idealism, the dependence of being on consciousness" (Marxism and Human Liberation, 245). 27 CHAPTER II THE PHILOSOPHICAL BACKGROUND a. Kant's Two Worlds The s p l i t t i n g of human experience into one's awareness and the world one i s aware of, leads to two separate realms of existence: thinking and feeling, the i n t e l l i g i b l e and the sensible world. This view of human consciousness had i t s o r i g i n i n Rene' Descartes (1596-1650) ; his "cogito, ergo sum" not only pointed to thought as the ultimate proof of the individual's existence but confirmed that thinking takes precedence over being. Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716) claimed that one could have objective knowledge of the world, independent of the observer (Letter to de Voider, June 30, 1704, Philosoohische Schriften Vol. II, 270). However, his claim was refuted by David Hume (1711-1776) who pronounced that--since " a l l our ideas are derived from sense impressions"--we can have objective knowledge of nothing (A Treatise of Human  Nature. Book I, Part 4). Thus rationalism holds that a l l knowledge i s derived from the exercise of reason and that a description of the world i s possible independent of the view of the observer. Empiricism 28 Thus rationalism holds that a l l knowledge i s derived from the exercise of reason and that a description of the world i s possible independent of the view of the observer. Empiricism claims, however, that--since ideas stem from sense impressions--it i s not possible to separate knowledge from the subjective condition of the observer. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) taught the r a t i o n a l philosophy of Leibniz which--built into a system by Chr i s t i a n Wolff (1679-1754)--had become the orthodox metaphysics of the German Enlightenment.H However, sometime after 1770--the year Kant delivered his inaugural lecture e n t i t l e d "de mundi s e n s i b i l i s atque i n t e l l i g i b i l i s forma et p r i n c i p i i s " 1 ^ at the Konigsberg Academy--his b e l i e f i n the a b i l i t y of reason "€o move within the metaphysical realm" was shaken somewhat through his 11 The term "Enlightenment" has received much c r i t i c a l attention. Kant's often quoted reply "sich aus der beinahe zur Natur gewordenen Unmundigkeit herauszuarbeiten" to the question: What i s Enlightenment? points to the individual's confidence i n his r a t i o n a l f a c u l t i e s (Kant's Gesammelte Schriften, AA, Vol. VIII, 36). Kant's interpretation i s echoed by Adorno who writes, "Seit je hat die Aufklarung im umfassenden Sinn fortschreitenden Denkens das Z i e l verfolgt, von den Menschen die Furcht zu nehmen und s i e als Herren einzusetzen." Adorno further states that the goal of the German Enlightenment was "die Entzauberung der Welt" (Dialektik der Aufklarung. 19). L Z A l l subsequent references to Kant's inaugural di s s e r t a t i o n w i l l be to i t s abbreviated t i t l e : "de mundi s e n s i b i l i s atque et i n t e l l i g i b i l i s . " acquaintance with Hume's scepticism. In fact, he acknowledged that i t was Hume's sceptical thought which f i r s t interrupted his dogmatic slumber and gave his philosophy a new di r e c t i o n (AA, Vol. XX, 36). In his inaugural lecture, Kant takes the pos i t i o n that neither i n t e l l e c t nor s e n s i b i l i t y alone can provide knowledge. The f i r s t provides form without content, the second content without form. Consequently, he distinguishes between two realms: an empirical realm which concerns i t s e l f with phenomena and an ideal, non-empirical realm which deals with noumena. He writes: S i n n l i c h k e i t i s t die Empfanglichkeit eines Subjekts, durch die es mdglich i s t , daS sein Vorstellungszustand von der Gegenwart irgendeines Objekts auf bestimmte Weise a f f i z i e r t wird. V e r s t a n d e s a u s s t a t t u n g (Vernunftausstattung)13 j_ st das Vermogen eines Subjekts, durch das es vorzustellen vermag, was, aufgrund seiner Beschaffenheit, nicht i n seine Sinne eindringen kann. Der Gegenstand der 13 Here, Kant has not, as yet, made the d i s t i n c t i o n between Vernunft and Verstand, a d i s t i n c t i o n he i s to make i n his f i r s t c r itique, K r i t i k der reinen Vernunft (1781) . 30 Sinnlichkeit i s t sensibel; was aber nichts enthait, als was man durch die Verstandesausstattung erkennen kann, i s t i n t e l l i g i b e l . Das erstere hieS i n den Schulen der Alten P h a e n o m e n o n , das letztere N o u m e n o n . Die Erkenntnis, sofern sie den Gesetzen der Sinnlichkeit unterworfen i s t , i s t s i n n l i c h sofern der Verstandesausstattung, i n t e l l e k t u e l l oder r a t i o n a l . ("de mundi s e n s i b i l i s atque i n t e l l i g i b i l i s , " II, 3 Schriften zur Metaphysik  und Loaik. 29) With this epistemological background, Kant approaches the two realms. According to Kant, desire f a l l s into the domain of the empirical realm and i s the result of external causes. However, since moral action involves a certain independence of external causes, moral concepts cannot be known by experience but only by the i n t e l l e c t . Thus morality f a l l s within the noumenal realm. Furthermore, since the two realms are ca r e f u l l y separated, i t follows that moral concepts are only recognizable by the pure use of the i n t e l l e c t . In section II, paragraph 7, Kant adds that, although i t may be easier to acknowledge geometry as belonging to the sensible realm than to recognize metaphysics as belonging to the i n t e l l i g i b l e realm, there are, nevertheless, recognizable signs that point to their respective o r i g i n . He writes: Nichtsdestoweniger bewahrt jedoch eine jede dieser Erkenntnisse das Zeichen ihrer Herkunft, so, daS die ersteren, wie deutlich sie auch sein mogen, ihres Ursprungs wegen s i n n l i c h heiSen, die letzteren, mogen s i e auch noch so verworren sein, i n t e l l e k t u e l l bleiben: dergleichen sind z. B. die m o r a l i s c h e n Begriffe, die nicht auf dem Wege der Erfahrung, sondern durch den reinen Verstand selber erkannt werden. (Schriften zuf Metaphvsik und Loaik. 37) Since Kant considers ethics as belonging to the noumenal sphere, his conception of moral freedom stands i n absolute opposition to causality which he regards as a purely mechanical reaction to an external sensible stimulus. It follows that the self as phenomenon i s determined i n a l l i t s actions, while as noumenon i t i s free. What Kant creates i s a divided i n d i v i d u a l : one side i s turned toward the phenomenal world of causation, and the other faces the noumenal side and the realm of reason. Consequently, the individual's empirical s e l f i s involved i n the phenomenal world, while the i n t e l l i g i b l e s e l f i s l i v i n g i n the noumenal world of ideas, unaffected by the laws of the former. It follows that human nature i s both determined and free, determined by the necessity of the phenomenal aspects of existence, and free i n i t s noumenal capacity. Kant further argues that since there are two worlds, there are also two principles of form and order: the order of o the i n t e l l i g i b l e world i s God and that of the sensible i s space and time ("de mundi sensiblis atque i n t e l l i g i b l e , " III, 9. Schriften zur Metaohvsik und Loaik, 39). However, he grants that there exists an unsolved "dissensus" between the two f a c u l t i e s , since the sensible faculty i s subject to certai n conditions to which the i n t e l l i g i b l e faculty i s not. Therefore, the concept of the individual presented i n the inaugural dissertation i s that of a being based on a double o r i g i n who l i v e s i n two separate worlds. By submitting the phenomenal realm to the laws of causality and exempting the noumenal realm from these laws, Kant places morality outside the world of human experience, and thus outside of nature. In addition, while the f i r s t c r i t i q u e , K r i t i k der reinen Vernunft (1781), centers on Kant's b e l i e f that the pure use of the i n t e l l e c t as a source of metaphysical knowledge must be ruled out, i n the inaugural d i s s e r t a t i o n he s t i l l held that reason could provide metaphysical knowledge ("de mundi s e n s i b i l i s atque i n t e l l i g i b i l i s , " II, 8 Schriften zur Metaohvsik und Loaik, 37) . Kant was not s a t i s f i e d with certain sections of the inaugural dissertation, and i n an often quoted l e t t e r to Marcus Herz of 21 February 1772, he disclosed that he was writing a new work which would provide the key to the whole secret of metaphysics. The short work was to be e n t i t l e d "Die Grentzen der Sinnlichkeit und der Vernunft" and would be ready for publication i n about three months (Briefwechsel. Vol. I. Gesammelte Schriften. AA X, 129). Nine years l a t e r the f i r s t of the three volumes on the l i m i t s of s e n s i b i l i t y and reason would be published as K r i t i k der reinen Vernunft (1781). b. Lenz and Kant In August 1768, Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz (1751-1792) and his younger brother Christian l e f t t heir native Dorpat for the Konigsberg Academy. Following the wishes of thei r father, Jakob registers for theology while Christian becomes a law. student. It appears that Christian i s reading l o g i c and metaphysics with Immanuel Kant (postscript of l e t t e r , dated 14 October 1769) . In the same l e t t e r , Jakob voices h i s 34 disappointment with some of the theological classes offered at the Academy. He writes: Ich werde dieses halbe Jahr, ausser den Philosophischen und andern C o l l e g i i s von theologicis das Theticum bey D. L i l i e n t h a l und ein Exegeticum iiber Ep. Pauli an die Romer bei D. Reccard horen. Die anderen theologischen Collegia bedeuten i n diesem halben Jahr n.icht v i e l . Uberhaupt wenn man nebst einigen wenigen Professoren die Magister von Konigsberg nahme, wilrde die Akademie wenig oder gar nichts werth seyn. (Briefe. I, 7, 13) One can only speculate that i t may have been the~lack of enthusiasm for the classes of his theology professors that prompted Lenz to attend Kant's lectures almost exclusively during the years 17 69 and 1770. His academic pursuits at Konigsberg are described by Johann F r i e d r i c h Reichardt, a contemporary of Lenz and a fellow student at Konigsberg: In den Jahren 1769 und 70 studierte i c h zugleich mit ihm, i n meiner Vaterstadt K6nigsberg. Nur selten kam er i n die Vorlesungen einiger Professoren; bald fast nur ausschlieSlich dann und wann i n die Vorlesungen unsers verehrungswiirdigen 35 Lehrers Kant. ("Etwas uber den deutschen Dichter Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz," 113) It i s customary to divide Kant's philosophy into a pre-c r i t i c a l and a c r i t i c a l period. The inaugural lecture of 1770 i s commonly considered to be Kant's l a s t p r e - c r i t i c a l work, and his l e t t e r to Marcus Herz of 21 February 1772 i s recognized as the beginning of his c r i t i c a l period. Thus Lenz was a student of Kant's when the l a t t e r was formulating ideas that would change the focus of his philosopy and would fi n d t h e i r f u l l expression i n his three critiques, the f i r s t of which would be published i n 1781 as K r i t i k der reinen  Vernunft. That Kant's philosophy exerted a strong influence on Lenz emerges from the fact that the former's p r e - c r i t i c a l theories on aesthetics and metaphysics are reflected i n Lenz's writing. For example, i n "Versuch uber das erste Principium der Moral" Lenz echoes Kant's thoughts on the interdependence of aesthetics and ethics, f i r s t l a i d out i n Kant's "Beobachtungen uber das Schdne und Erhabene" (1764). He writes: "Sehen Sie nun, dass die Linien des wahren Sch6nen und des wahren Guten, im strengsten Verstande i n einem Punkte zusammenlaufen" (I, 489). In "Traume eines Geistersehers, erlautert durch Traume der Metaphysik" (1766), Kant i s c r i t i c a l of what he terms "die S p i t z f i n d i g k e i t des Vernunfteln" and declares, "Wo i c h empfinde, da bin ich."14 Lenz follows i n Kant's footsteps when he confesses: "meine Empfindung fiihrt mich. . . r i c h t i g e r als meine Schliisse" (Briefe I, 2.4, 59). 15 As noted e a r l i e r , i t i s documented that Lenz presented Kant with a laudatory poem on the occasion of the l a t t e r ' s inaugural address at the K6nigsberg Academy on 21 August 1770 (Rosanow, 54). In addition, there are indications that Kant may have t r i e d to secure a post for Lenz i n Danzig. A l e t t e r of the elder Lenz to his sons states, "Nachricht, so i c h gehoret, dass Prof. Cant ihn nach Rehbinder i n Danzig recommendiret" (Briefe, I, 8, 14). In the l e t t e r , he advises his son (Jakob?) not to accept the position. The l e t t e r i s dated Easter 1771, and shortly after that date Lenz abruptly l e f t Konigsberg. Lenz was only eighteen when he f i r s t attended Kant's lectures, yet thoughts that surface i n his prose and drama suggest that the dissensus between the individual's sensible and i n t e l l i g i b l e faculties provided the impetus which led to 14 Kant follows Rousseau's parole: "La sentiment est plus que l a raison." By Kant's own admission, Rousseaus's influence on him during this time was not ne g l i g i b l e : "Rousseau hat mich zurecht gebracht" (AA XX, 44) . 15 According to Rosanow, Lenz was introduced to Rousseau by Kant (53). 37 Lenz's quest for authentic and meaningful existence that permeates his work. Thus the pot e n t i a l l y tragic consequences of Kant's absolute separation between the individual's i n t e l l i g i b l e and sensible nature are r e f l e c t e d i n the suffering of the individual s e l f i n Lenz's work. In the theoretical essays, Lenz's approach to the problem i s d i a l e c t i c a l , as he alternates between subjugating one faculty to the other. While his dramatic characters seem to capitulate i n the battle between their sensible and i n t e l l i g i b l e f a c u l t i e s , Lenz struggles with Kant's pre-c r i t i c a l concept of the two diametrically opposed realms of phenomena and noumena in his theoretical essays. Recognizing the f r a g i l e and f i n i t e nature of human existence, Lenz advocates the quest for authentic existence as the foremost task of the individual and as a means of coming to terms with the opposing claims of nature and consciousness. Within the Sturm und Drana. e x i s t e n t i a l thinking, thinking which seeks to address the individual as a being that i s comprised equally of rat i o n a l and i r r a t i o n a l - ^ f a c u l t i e s , represents a challenge to the philosophy of the Enlightenment, lb " i r r a t i o n a l " i s not used i n a pejorative sense here; i t simply refers to the non-rational side of man's psyche, i . e . the emotions. 38 which advocated the primacy of rational thought. Scholars are divided over whether the Sturm und Drana. as a l i t e r a r y epoch, represents a continuation of the Enlightenment or whether the l i t e r a r y production of the Sturmer und Dranaer breaks with the r a t i o n a l philosophy of the Enlightenment. On the side of those who subscribe to the l a t t e r theory i s Andreas Huyssen who writes: Was die Sturmer und Dranger erfaSten, war die Abstraktheit und E i n s e i t i g k e i t eines fur i n d i v i d u e l l menschliche Praxis blinden Rationalismus, der die aufklarerische Theorie i n Deutschland bestimmte. (Sturm und Drang, 57) Luk'acs, writing from a marxist. perspective, was the f i r s t c r i t i c to claim that the Sturm and Drana firmly belonged to the age of the Enlightenment (Huyssen, 28). More recently, Werner Krauss insisted, "Sturm und Drang i s t , wenn man so w i l l , die Vollendung der Aufklarung, i n keinem F a l l e aber eine gegenaufklarerische Bewegung gewesen" (Krauss, 81). E x i s t e n t i a l thinking surfaces during the Sturm und Drana i n Hamann and to a lesser degree i n the writings of his pupil Herder. And although their l i t e r a r y and l i n g u i s t i c theories d i f f e r , t h e i r essays on aesthetics and language became the credo of the young writers of the Sturm und Drana.1 7 It must be acknowledged that K&nigsberg and Kant represented a focal point i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l development of Hamann, Herder, and Lenz.18 Both Herder and Lenz attended Kant's lectures on metaphysics, logic, and moral philosophy. Hamann was never a student of Kant's but the two men knew each other well and corresponded with each other on a regular basis (Hamann, Briefwechsel 4, 498). It i s worth noting that i t was Hamann who voiced the f i r s t strong dissent against Kant's K r i t i k der reinen Vernunft.19 If one takes into consideration 17 i n particular, Hamann's Sokratische  Denkwurdiakeiten (1759) and his "Aesthetica i n nuce" i n Kreuzzuae des Philoloaen (1762); Herder's "Uber die neuere deutsche Literatur" (1766-67), "Abhandlung uber den Ursprung der Sprache" (1770), and his "Shakespeare" essay (1773) . The l a t t e r was published i n the l e a f l e t , Von deutscher Art und Kunst (1773) and included Goethe's "Von deutscher Baukunst," which had been published independently a year e a r l i e r . 18 Hamann attended the Konigsberg Academy from 1746-52; he f i r s t read theology, then law, but l e f t i n November 1752 without a degree. Herder enrolled as a student of theology i n 1762; he attended Kant's lectures and became Hamann's friend. Lenz arrived i n Konigsberg i n August 1768, but although he registered for theology, he attended Kant's lectures almost exclusively i n the years 1769 and 1770. 1^ Hamann wrote a review of Kant's f i r s t c r i t i q u e i n J u l i 1781. 4 0 Hamann's important contributions to the l i n g u i s t i c and l i t e r a r y tenets of the Sturm und Drana, one may well argue that i t was Hamann who was the catalyst that prompted an e x i s t e n t i a l mode of thinking to surface during the second half of the eighteenth century. The influence of Hamann's e x i s t e n t i a l thought extends far beyond the eighteenth century; he i s acknowledged as the greatest influence on Kierkegaard, for example (Thomas, 54-56). However, the e x i s t e n t i a l questions Lenz raises have yet to be f u l l y explored. c. E x i s t e n t i a l thought Since the focus of this thesis i s the e x i s t e n t i a l quest that Lenz embarks on, a short exposition of what constitutes e x i s t e n t i a l thinking seems appropriate. Existentialism has many faces and there are representatives of a l l major religions as well as agnostics and atheists who profess to be i t s proponents. However, notwithstanding the differences between them, there are central concerns which unite e x i s t e n t i a l i s t s . They are: (a) a keen awareness of the human condition, i . e . , the indiyidual's f r a g i l e and f i n i t e p o sition i n the universe; (b) the struggle for authentic being; and 41 (c) a b e l i e f i n the freedom of the i n d i v i d u a l to choose h i s or her own d e s t i n y r e g a r d l e s s of s o c i a l conventions and r e s t r i c t i o n s . In the nineteen f i f t i e s and s i x t i e s , the term " e x i s t e n t i a l " s u f f e r e d from overexposure; f o r example, i t was q u i t e f a s h i o n a b l e to l a b e l contemporary drama " e x i s t e n t i a l " as a matter of course, without e l a b o r a t i n g on the e x i s t e n t i a l aspects o f the work. E x i s t e n t i a l i s m i s commonly a s s o c i a t e d with Heidegger's ph i l o s o p h y and S a r t r e ' s w r i t i n g s . I t would be misleading, however, to suggest that e x i s t e n t i a l thought i s the e x c l u s i v e p r o p e r t y of twentieth-century w r i t e r s and p h i l o s o p h e r s such as Jaspers, Heidegger, S a r t r e , and Camus, to name only the most i n f l u e n t i a l among them. An e x i s t e n t i a l approach to l i f e s u r f a c e s as e a r l y as Socrates and i s r e f l e c t e d i n subsequent c e n t u r i e s i n the w r i t i n g s of St. Augustine, P a s c a l , Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Dostojewski, T o l s t o y , Unamuno, and Ortega y Gasset, among others. In Kant's p r e - c r i t i c a l thought, the d i s t i n c t i o n between the i n t e l l i g i b l e and the s e n s i b l e world, which was to become the focus of h i s l a t e r " c r i t i c a l " philosophy, i s a l r e a d y made. In a d d i t i o n , the r e a l i z a t i o n that mortal man e x i s t s alone i n a v a s t u n i v e r s e and the a l i e n a t i o n and anxiety t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n t r i g g e r s i n the i n d i v i d u a l - - o n e of the c e n t r a l concerns of e x i s t e n t i a l thought--is eloquently expressed by Kant i n his "Trostbrief an Frau Funk." He writes: So aber mengt sich der groSte Haufen der Menschen sehr begierig i n das Gedrange derjenigen, die auf der Briicke, die die Vorsehung liber einen T h e i l des Abgrundes der Ewigkeit geschlagen hat, und die wir L e b e n heiSen, gewissen Wasserblasen nachlaufen und sich keine Muhe nehmen auf die F a l l b r e t t e r Acht zu haben, die einen nach dem andern neben ihnen i n die Tiefe herabsinken lassen, deren MaS Unendlichkeit i s t , und wovon sie selbst endlich mitten i n ihrem ungestiimen Lauf verschlungen werden. (Gesammelte Schriften. AA, II, 39) Kant, i t i s true-, was not the f i r s t , philosopher to be aware of the e x i s t e n t i a l abyss that awaits man. A century and a half e a r l i e r , Blaise Pascal had expressed the anxiety he experienced upon contemplating the f i n i t e nature of h i s existence on earth: Quand je considere l a petite dur£e de ma vie, absorbee dans 1 16ternit£ pr£c6dant et suivant, l e p e t i t espace que je remplis et m§me que je vois, abim£ dans l ' i n f i n i e immensity des espaces que j 1 ignore et qui m'ignorent, je m'effraie...Qui m'y a mis? (Pens£es de Pascal. 64) / Yet although the individual s e l f seems dwarfed by the vastness of the universe, Pascal holds firm i n his b e l i e f that each ind i v i d u a l i s created i n the image of God. And i t i s t h i s b e l i e f i n the divine nature of man, coupled with his finitude, that prompts Pascal to ask, "Que deviendra done l'homme? Sera-t - i l £gal a Dieu ou aux betes? Quelle effroyable distance! Que serons nous done?" (Pens£es de Pascal, 153). In the eighteenth century the nature of human existence was pondered by Goethe's Werther who asks the r h e t o r i c a l question, "Was i s t der Mensch, der gepriesene Halbgott?" Kierkegaard puts i t more poignantly when he writes at the beginning of the nineteenth century: I s t i c k my fingers into existence - i t smells of nothing. Where am I? What i s t h i s thing c a l l e d the world? What does this word mean? Who i s i t that has lured me into the thing, and now leaves me there? Who am I? (Repetition, 114) It i s the cosmic alienation man feels as a creature that i s thrust into being, which gives r i s e to the anxiety and dread diagnosed by Kierkegaard 2 0 and aptly described by Heidegger a 20 For an ex i s t e n t i a l interpretation of the modalities of human anxiety, see Kierkegaard's The Concept of Dread. 44 century l a t e r . T h i s anxiety i s echoed i n Rilke's lament: "Wie i s t es moglich zu leben, wenn doch die Elemente dieses Lebens uns v o l l i g unfasslich sind" (letter to Lotte Hepner dated 8 November 1915, Briefe. 510). The philosophical problem of free w i l l versus determinism i s a subject that has divided philosophers from the early Greeks to the present.22 A firm b e l i e f i n the freedom of the w i l l l i e s at the heart of e x i s t e n t i a l philosophy. For e x i s t e n t i a l i s t s , freedom i s not merely an abstract concept. On the contrary, e x i s t e n t i a l thinkers consider human freedom as the quality which sets the individual human being apart from other beings i n the universe. However, while freedom i s a potential for a l l , i t i s a r e a l i t y only for those who have the courage to l i v e their freedom, i n this sense, freedom does not refer to. changing the world around us, but to transforming ourselves. E x i s t e n t i a l freedom allows the individual to make choices about his or her existence. And although the p o s s i b i l i t y of authentic being i s always open to the individual, he or she i s not always aware of this potential 21 Heidegger uses the term "Geworfenheit" to describe the process by which the individual s e l f i s being 'thrown' into existence. (Sein und Zeit. 1927) 22 see chapter four of this study for a b r i e f chronology of the philosophical problem of free w i l l versus determinism. 45 freedom. Not unlike the man who spent his l i f e waiting i n vain to gain entrance to "the law" i n Kafka's parable, "Vor dem Gesetz" only to be t o l d before his death that the entrance had been kept open for him and no one else (Kafka, Der Prozess. 226), the individual who waits at the threshold that leads to authentic being i s ignorant of the fact that the key i s his alone. The danger of conforming to the dictates of the impersonal "one," of s a c r i f i c i n g one's s e l f to others, constitutes a constant threat to the individual's quest for authentic being and i s a central concern i n Heidegger's Sein  und Zeit (1927). The p e r i l of relinquishing one's s e l f i s also understood by Kierkegaard, who cautions that the i n d i v i d u a l who abdicates his independence and opts for inauthentic being, allows the impersonal "one" to charter the course of his l i f e . Thus the quest for self-knowledge, described as "die Hollenfahrt der Selbsterkanntnis" as early as the eighteenth century, constitutes a mandatory f i r s t step towards authentic being (Hamann, Samtliche Werke II, 164). The quest for the s e l f i s , of course, i m p l i c i t i n the Socratic know thyself!23 m the early seventeen-seventies i t 23 i n the Phaedrus, Socrates i s asked his opinion on a current interpretation of a Greek myth. He responds that he does not have the time to think about such things as he must f i r s t follow the Delphic oracle's dictum,"know thyself!" (229b-230a 2). was Socrates who became the philosopher par excellence of the c i r c l e that gathered around the actuary Salzmann i n Strassburg--among them, Lenz and Goethe. The l a t t e r expresses his enthusiasm for the Greek philosopher i n a l e t t e r to Herder i n the spring of 1772 (Goethes Briefe 1,57, 130), 2 4 Lenz's admiration for Socrates i s reflected not only i n the d i a l e c t i c s of his prose, but i n the many references to the philosopher i n his.correspondence and w r i t i n g s . 2 ^ At the same time, Socrates was the patron saint of the German Enlightenment and was hailed for his r a t i o n a l philosophy. In fact, Frederick the Great claimed that Socrates, i n search of the truth, would not accept any propositions which were not s t r i c t l y r a t i o n a l . In his crusade against the Prussian king and Enlightenment philosophy, Hamann presented the Greek philosopher as the sage who showed his 2 4 Goethe writes that he i s now studying the l i f e and death of another hero, "den Sokrates, den Philosophischen Heldengeist," who opposes "die Eroberungswuth a l l e r Lugen und Laster besonders derer die keine scheinen wollen; oder vielmehr den gottli c h e Beruf zum Lehrer der Menschen...." And he adds, "War i c h einen Tag und eine Nacht Alzibiades, und dann wollt i c h sterben." • 2 ^ Lenz addresses the actuary Salzmann as "Sokrates" and signs himself "Alcibiades" i n several of his l e t t e r s during 1772 (Letters I, 15, 29; 16, 29-30; 25, 60; and 26, 63). Also compare the homage Lenz pays to the philosopher i n his essay, "Verteidigung des Herm W. gegen die Wolken" (I, 437-38). 47 S o c r a t i c dictum "know t h y s e l f , " a c e n t r a l tenet i n Hamann's ph i l o s o p h y , 2 7 becomes a f o c a l point i n Lenz's thought. The emergence of e x i s t e n t i a l t h i n k i n g during the Sturm  und Drang manifests i t s e l f i n the r e j e c t i o n of abstract thought i n the l i t e r a t u r e of the day. 2 8 While A r i s t o t l e had in t e r p r e t e d the r a t i o n a l s e l f as the r e a l s e l f (Nic. E t h i c s , X. 7, 305), e x i s t e n t i a l philosophy no longer accepts the primacy of abstract thought over the emotions, but considers the i n d i v i d u a l as a being that c o n s i s t s equally of r a t i o n a l and i r r a t i o n a l elements--hence, the e x i s t e n t i a l i s t s ' concern f o r the integrated human being, what Hamann c a l l e d "den ganzen Menschen." I t follows that the canons of Enlightenment 27 In a l e c t u r e e n t i t l e d "Paganism and C h r i s t i a n i t y i n Soren Kierkegaard," Drachmann, one of Kierkegaard's e d i t o r s , put forward the t h e s i s that i t was the l a t t e r ' s r e l a t i o n to Socrates and the " s o c r a t i c " that c o n s t i t u t e d the d e c i s i v e i nfluence on Kierkegaard ( S u b j e c t i v i t y and Paradox, 106) 28 Rousseau's philosophy with i t s emphasis on the i r r a t i o n a l , i . e . the emotional nature of man, i s instrumental i n the r e j e c t i o n of abstract thought i n the l i t e r a t u r e of the Sturm und Drang. wisdom by acknowledging his ignorance (Sokratische  Denkwurdiakeiten)26.it i s not surprising, then, that the Socratic dictum "know thyself," a central tenet i n Hamann's philosophy,27 becomes a focal point i n Lenz's thought. The emergence of e x i s t e n t i a l thinking during the Sturm  und Drana manifests i t s e l f i n the rejecti o n of abstract thought i n the l i t e r a t u r e of the day.28 while A r i s t o t l e had interpreted the rational s e l f as the real s e l f (Nic. Ethics, X. 7, 305), e x i s t e n t i a l philosophy no longer accepts the primacy of abstract thought over the emotions, but considers r the individual as a being that consists equally of ra t i o n a l and i r r a t i o n a l elements--hence, the e x i s t e n t i a l i s t s ' concern for the integrated human being, what Hamann terms "den ganzen 26 According to James Flaherty, Hamann's i n t e r e s t , i n Socrates was prompted by the Jesuit scholar Rene de Rapin's respectful treatment of the philosopher i n a history of philosophy which Hamann translated during the time that he was employed as a private tutor i n the B a l t i c (Hamann's Socratic Memorabilia. 58). 27 i n a lecture e n t i t l e d "Paganism and C h r i s t i a n i t y i n Soren Kierkegaard," Drachmann, one of Kierkegaard's editors, put forward the thesis that i t was the l a t t e r ' s r e l a t i o n to Socrates and the "socratic" that constituted the decisive influence on Kierkegaard (Subjectivity and Paradox. 106). 28 Rousseau's philosophy with i t s emphasis on the i r r a t i o n a l , i . e . the emotional nature of man, i s instrumental i n the rejection of abstract thought i n the l i t e r a t u r e of the Sturm und Drana. s philosophy, which g l o r i f y man's rational and cognitive powers while subjugating his non-rational f a c u l t i e s , are no longer considered tenable by the generation of young writers who burst upon the l i t e r a r y scene i n the early seventeen seventies.29 E x i s t e n t i a l thought with i t s emphasis on the "whole man" 30 surfaces during the Sturm und Drang, and challenges the central place which reason held i n the philosophy of the Enlightenment. Existentialism does not constitute a formal system of philosophy which claims to have rational answers to the mystery of human existence, but instead acknowledges the f r a g i l i t y and finiteness of the human condition and presents the individual with the option of choosing an authentic mode of being. E x i s t e n t i a l thought represents an attempt to come to terms with what authentic human existence demands of the ^ y Huyssen interprets the Sturm und Drang as a c r i t i q u e of the Enlightenment, a cri t i q u e that i s not directed against reason i t s e l f but against a concept of man which i s based on reason alone. He writes, "... so ri c h t e t s i c h die K r i t i k der Sturmer und Dranger nicht gegen Vernunft per se, sondern nur gegen ein einseitiges auf Ratio a l l e i n gegrundetes Menschenbild. . . .11 (Drama des Sturm Wifl Dran,g, 48) . 30 William Barrett defines e x i s t e n t i a l philosophy as an attempt "to grasp the image of the whole man, even where th i s involves bringing to consciousness a l l that i s dark and questionable i n his existence" (Irrational  Man. 22). 49 i n d i v i d u a l and as such i t i s always contemporary, as the f o l l o w i n g excerpt of a l e t t e r Hamann wrote to J a c o b i demonstrates. The l e t t e r was w r i t t e n i n 1784: To be, or not to be? That i s the q u e s t i o n - Seyn i s t f r e y l i c h das E i n und A l l e s jedes Dings. Aber das To Ov der a l t e n Metaphysik hat s i c h l e i d e r ! i n e i n Ideal der r e i n e n Vernunft verwandelt, deSen Seyn und Nichtseyn von i h r n i c h t ausgemacht werden kann. (Briefwechsel. 5, 271) Above a l l , i t i s the e x i s t e n t i a l v o i c e of Hamann, a v o i c e that f i n d s i t s f u l l resonance i n the w r i t i n g s of J.M.R. Lenz, which r e p r e s e n t s a powerful challenge to the r a t i o n a l thought propagated by the German Enlightenment. CHAPTER III THE DIVIDED SELF a. The Theoretical Essays A c r i t i c a l look at J.M.R. Lenz's theoretical essays written between 1770 and,1776 reveals that the dissensus between the individual's sensible and i n t e l l i g i b l e f a c u l t i e s i s a concern that Lenz addresses again and again. In his essay, "Versuch ilber das erste Principium der Moral" (1772/73), written for and presented to the Strassburg Sozietat.31 Lenz considers the ind i v i d u a l as a being that i s both s p i r i t and matter. He begins by acknowledging that human beings are, indeed, "zusammengesetzte Wesen," beings composed of a strangely mixed substance: Wir sind einmal zusammengesetzte Wesen und eine unendliche Reihe von Begriffen aus einem ersten, einzigen Begriff herzuleiten, wird uns v i e l l e i c h t erst dann m6glich sein, wenn unsre Some of the so c a l l e d Sturmer und Dranaer were members of the "Societe de philosophie et de b e l l e s -l e t t r e s , " a weekly Tischaesellschaft. that centered around the actuary Johann Daniel Salzmann i n Strassburg; Herder, Goethe, Jung-Stilling, Lerse, Wagner, and Lenz were a l l members of this group at one time or another. ihrer Natur nach einfache Seele von dieser wunderlich zusammengesetzten Masse Materie getrennt i s t (1,484) He further claims that there are those who conceive of man as a being that i s either pure s p i r i t or pure matter: "Ich weiss wohl, dass gewisse Psychologen uns gern iiberreden mochten, wir waren entweder ganz Geist, oder ganz Materie" (I, 486). As a case i n point he cites Newton's attempt at a purely r a t i o n a l and mechanical interpretation of the world, an attempt that ultimately f a i l e d (I, 468). He claims, furthermore, that reason i s severely handicapped i n i t s assessment of human nature (I, 485) and expresses a growing scepticism about the a b i l i t y of reason to move within the realm of metaphysics i n a l e t t e r to the actuary Salzmann (Briefe I, 25, 62). While he acknowledges that God's direct intervention i n the liv e s of the apostles and saints f a l l s within the sphere of metaphysics, he claims that reason (Vernunft) i s unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for this intervention and adds that, i n any case, reason would regard with suspicion any phenomenon, "welches nicht die dazu erforderlichen Kennzeichen bei sich hat" (Briefe I, 25, 62) . The l e t t e r i s dated October 1772, and i t i s worth noting that Lenz dismisses as questionable the a b i l i t y of reason to provide metaphysical knowledge at a time when Kant seemed to 52 h o l d f i r m i n h i s b e l i e f that reason had the a b i l i t y to move w i t h i n the metaphysical realm.32 j n the same l e t t e r , Lenz employs the Icarus myth to make the p o i n t that mind (Geist) i s unable to e s t a b l i s h i t s p r i o r i t y over nature w i t h i n the domain of the l a t t e r : Zusammen mogen s i c h d i e F i t t i g e des G e i s t e s h a l t e n , und im Thai ruhen, ehe s i e , wenn s i e der Sonne zu nahe kommen, i n zerlassenem Wachs h e r u n t e r t r C p f e i n und den armen G e i s t , welcher auf dem Lande so s i c h e r und l u s t i g h a t t e einher gehen konnen, aus der L u f t i n das Meer herab w i r f t ! ( B r i e f e 1 ,25 , 62) In the c o n c l u s i o n of "Versuch uber das e r s t e P r i n c i p i u m der Moral" Lenz r e i t e r a t e s h i s p o s i t i o n that a l l aspects of human l i f e are based on a double o r i g i n : "Kurz meine Herren wir s i n d Hermaphroditen, gedoppelte T i e r e sowohl i n unserm Wesen, a l s i n unsern Kenntnissen und den P r i n z i p i e n derselben" (I, 486) . He then proceeds to i d e n t i f y the quest f o r happiness and the quest f o r p e r f e c t i o n as b a s i c human p u r s u i t s , which 32 As p r e v i o u s l y s t a t e d , i n "de mundi s e n s i b i l i s atque i n t e l l i g i b i l i s " (1770), Kant s t i l l holds that reason can transcend the v e i l of appearances and pr o v i d e metaphysical knowledge of r e a l i t y . can only be realized, however, through the f u l l integration of man's f a c u l t i e s (I, 493-94) . In "Versuch uber das erste Principium der Moral," Lenz addresses the dangers that invariably result from an individual's devotion to a p a r t i a l self.33 AS an example, he ci t e s the p l i g h t of a seducer who, completely absorbed i n his sensual pursuits, remains ignorant of his non-sensible nature and consequently experiences nothing but his sensuality (I, 493) . Lenz demands that any attempt to operate from a p a r t i a l i d e n t i t y i s to be abandoned. In addition, he attributes the preoccupation with a p a r t i a l and diminished s e l f to ignorance of the s e l f (I, 493) . He concedes, however, that nothing i s more d i f f i c u l t to gain than self-knowledge (I, 489) . In contrast to the d i a l e c t i c a l approach he takes i n "Versuch uber das erste Principium der Moral," Lenz opts for a somewhat di f f e r e n t strategy i n his essay "Vom Baum der Erkenntnis Guten und Bosen" (1771/72).34 He begins by 33 This one-sidedness applies to the tutor i n Der Hofmeister. to the soldiers i n Die Soldaten. and to Zerbin i n "Zerbin oder die neuere Philosophie." 34 F i r s t published i n 1780 as "Philosophische Vorlesungen fur empfindsame Seelen" (Rosanow, 475-76). In Rosanow as "Meine Lebensregeln," 548-55; T i t e l I, 501-09 {Supplements only); B l e i IV, 31-78. 54 examining the value of human s e x u a l i t y and comes to the c o n c l u s i o n that sexual g r a t i f i c a t i o n i s a g i f t t h a t enhances the m a r i t a l s t a t e ( B l e i IV, 56) . But he caut i o n s that concupiscence ( e r o t i c d e s i r e ) i s only acceptable w i t h i n the bonds of marriage ( B l e i IV, 62-63) . In a d d i t i o n , Lenz provides i t e m i z e d r u l e s to a l e r t readers to the f i r s t symptoms of e r o t i c d e s i r e to enable them to avoid "die V e r i r r u n g e n der Lieb e und der Z a r t l i c h k e i t " ( B l e i IV, 62-63) . Lenz assumes the tone of a m o r a l i s t , here, and seems to uphold the s c h o l a s t i c approach to the mind/body dichotomy by endorsing the m o r t i f i c a t i o n of the f l e s h , "Uberhaupt i s t ' s gut das F l e i s c h zu k a s t e i e n und zu kreuzigen, damit der G e i s t wachsen und s i c h b i l d e n k6nne...." ( B l e i IV, 63) . Lenz a l s o a n t i c i p a t e s Wenceslaus's sermon i n Der Hofmeister. as c i t e d by L a u f f e r : "So miisse unser G e i s t auch durch a l l e r l e i Kreuz und Leiden und Ertdtung der S i n n l i c h k e i t f u r den Himmel z u b e r e i t e t werden" ( I I , V . i x , 90). The above seems.to decide the argument i n favour of the i n d i v i d u a l ' s i n t e l l i g i b l e f a c u l t i e s , but the supplements to t h i s essay c a r r y a somewhat d i f f e r e n t message. Here, he acknowledges concupiscence as God's most p e r f e c t g i f t and as the b a s i s f o r the i n d i v i d u a l ' s happiness (I, 501.) and argues that Adam and Eve's sexual awakening, although c o n t r a r y to God's commandments, provided the impetus the individual needed i n order to evolve as a moral being (I, 502-503).35 In "Stimmen des Laien," Lenz claims that only pr o h i b i t i o n causes s i n , since i t i s impossible to si n without a desire for prohibited pleasures. To support his thesis he relates the story of the Christian virgins who died during the sack of Rome. He objects to St. Augustine's view that those v i r g i n s who escaped by drowning themselves i n the Tiber should be held i n lesser esteem than their s i s t e r s who suffered rape at the hands of thei r captors. Lenz holds that, on the contrary, the vir g i n s who chose death by drowning should be singled out for praise, since they did not trust themselves not to be tempted by t h e i r captors. Lenz's position here i s based on the gospel of St. Matthew (I, 559).36 In h is attempt to come to terms with the concept of human sexuality, Lenz assumes a moralistic tone, but at the same time he does acknowledge the limitations of reason, i . e . i t s 35 see also B l e i IV, 88-90, "Meynungen eines Laien, den Geistlichen zugeeignet." 36 Matthew 18: 8-9: And i f your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut i t off and throw i t away; i t i s better for you to enter l i f e maimed or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal f i r e . And i f your eye causes you to sin, pluck i t out and throw i t away; i t i s better to enter l i f e with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the h e l l of f i r e . i n a b i l i t y to have absolute mastery over the individual's sensible nature. Thus he considers human beings i n t h e i r t o t a l i t y , as beings which are rooted i n both worlds: the sensible and the i n t e l l i g i b l e . b. The Prose The mind/body dissonance i s also a recurring theme i n Lenz's prose. In "Zerbin oder die neuere Philosophie" (1776), the reader i s introduced to young Zerbin, a Maaister of philosophy, well versed i n the ethics of the so c a l l e d "neuere Philosophie." Although passionately i n love with Marie, a young servant g i r l , he contemplates a marriage of convenience with his landlord's daughter. Consequently, he divides his l i f e into two spheres: a sensual and a ra t i o n a l . This careful d i v i s i o n extends to his academic pursuits, since i t i s noted that "ein Kollegium uber die Moral" and "eins uber das Jus naturae" are equally favoured by him (Blei, V, 97) .37 N0f; surprisingly, i t takes a l l his ingenuity to maintain a precarious balance between his passionate love for Marie and J ' See Kant's "Untersuchungen uber die Deutlichkeit der Grundsatze der naturlichen Theologie und der Moral" (1764) . 57 h i s d u t i f u l c o u r t s h i p of Hortensie. However, he t r i e s to r a t i o n a l i z e h i s behaviour as f o l l o w s : Der T r i e b i s t a l i e n Menschen gemein; er i s t e i n Naturgesetz. Die G e s e l l s c h a f t kann mich von den P f l i c h t e n des Naturgesetzes n i c h t lossagen, a l s wenn diese den g e s e l l s c h a f t l i c h e n P f l i c h t e n entgegenstehen.... Liebe hat i h r e eigene Sphare, i h r e eigenen Zwecke, i h r e eigenen P f l i c h t e n , d i e von denen der Ehe himmelweit u n t e r s c h i e d e n s i n d . ( B l e i V , 9 6 - 9 7 ) Z e r b i n manages to c a r r y on with both r e l a t i o n s h i p s u n t i l Marie bears a s t i l l b o r n c h i l d , i s subsequently charged w i t h manslaughter and put to death. Only then does he r e a l i z e that d i v i d i n g one's l i f e i n t o a r a t i o n a l and a sensual realm i s not o n l y untenable but u n e t h i c a l . In the end, s u i c i d e seems the o n l y o p t i o n l e f t to him. The irony of d i v i d i n g Z e r b i n i n t o a noumenon and a phenomenon i s not l o s t on the a t t e n t i v e reader. In "Das Tagebuch" ( 1 7 7 4 ) ,38 an a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l account of Lenz's p a s s i o n f o r Cleophe F i b i c h , the poet i s t o r n between p l a t o n i c l o v e and e r o t i c d e s i r e and accuses f a t e of j u g g l i n g w i t h h i s mind and senses, "Grausames S c h i c k s a l s p i e l s t du 38 O r i g i n a l l y w r i t t e n i n e i t h e r E n g l i s h or I t a l i a n , i t was not intended f o r p u b l i c a t i o n (I, 629-32) . immer B a l l mit unserm armen Kopf und Sinnen" (I, 242) . Kindermann describes the diary as "die Geschichte einer pathologischen Leidenschaft" (194) and considers the struggle between love and erotic desire as i t s most important theme. He comments: Der Kampf des Prinzips der Liebe mit dem der Begierde ...wird...hier uberhaupt zum dominierenden Faktor a l l e s Geschehens.... Dabei wird Liebe und Begierde mit P f l i c h t und Neigung i d e n t i f i z i e r t . (195) Although the f i r s t part of Kindermann's analysis i s to the point, his interpretation of Lenz's understanding of duty within the framework of the Kantian "categorical imperative" should be approached with some caution. For although the "sollen" and "wollen" aspects of Kant's ethics are established by 1774, the "categorical imperative" as such i s stated for the f i r s t time i n Metaohvsik der Sitt.en ( 1 7 9 7 ) . 3 9 "Moralische Bekehrung eines Poeten" (1775), a sequel to "Das Tagebuch," examines the poet's relationship with two 39 It i s , of course, referred to i n the f i r s t c r i t i q u e , K r i t i k der reinen Vernunft (1781), and i n Grundleauna zur Metaohvsik der Sitten (1785) women.4U The f i r s t i s "C," a f l i r t and seductress, who becomes the focus of his erotic phantasies, while the second, Cornelia, symbolizes true friendship and platonic love.41 In the f i r s t monologue, there i s an ongoing struggle between the poet's devotion to Cornelia and his obsession with "C," as love and desire are s t i l l diametrically opposed. In the second monologue, the scales seem to be tipped i n favour of the former as Cornelia, addressed as "himmlische Freundin" (I, 265) and "Werkzeug der Gottheit" (I, 266), i s asked to deliver the poet from his erotic phantasies. As the struggle continues, he concedes that only the thought of Cornelia's love can bring peace to his "dissociated" f a c u l t i e s : Du Du - ach der grosse Gedanke, sie l i e b t mich, schenkt a l i e n meinen dissonierenden Kraften Ordnung und Ruhe wieder.... (I, 266) However, i n the fourth monologue he grants that reason i s defenceless i n the face of a f u l l onslaught of the emotions, "denn ich kann fur meine Vernunft nicht stehen, wenn mein Herz das Ubergewicht bekommt" (I, 269). F i n a l l y , a synthesis seems 40 Written between the end of A p r i l and the end of July 1775, i t was published for the f i r s t time by Weinhold, Goethe Jahrbuch X (1889), 46-70 (I, 635). 4 1 T i t e l notes that the cipher "C" stands for Cleophe Fibich, while Cornelia i s Goethe's married s i s t e r , Cornelia Schlosser (I, 635). 60 to have been achieved as the poet exclaims: "0 Du erste die mich vernunftig lieben lehrt, Du erste-" (I, 270). However, at thi s point a t h i r d woman appears on the scene who, i n turn, becomes the object of his erotic phantasies. 4 2 In the end, he contemplates s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n as the only means of,coming to terms with his fate: "Cornelia ich fuhle der einzige Rat sein Los i n der Welt zu tragen i s t daS man sich ganz aus s i c h heraussetzt, s i c h fur einen fremden und andern Menschen als s i c h ansieht" (I, 280). It appears that Lenz has come f u l l c i r c l e here. While i n the essay "Versuch iiber das erste Principium der Moral" (1772/73) he seems confident that s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n leads to a synthesis between the individual's i n t e l l i g i b l e and sensible nature, i n "Moralische Bekehrung eines Poeten" (1775) s e l f -a l i e n a t i o n appears to be the only means of escaping the rele n t l e s s struggle.between one's dissociated f a c u l t i e s . 4 ^ The relationship with a t h i r d woman may represent Lenz's hapless passion for Henriette von Waldner which he refers to i n Der Waldbruder (I, 640) . c. The Drama Der Hofmeister As i n the the theoretical essays, the c o n f l i c t between the individual's i n t e l l i g i b l e and sensible nature emerges as a major theme i n Lenz's two best known plays: Der Hofmeister (1774) and Die Soldaten (1776). The characters who inhabit Lenz's dramatic world suffer the consequences of not being able to come to terms with their double inheritance, and their s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n not only bears witness to Lenz's consistent treatment of the mind/body dichotomy, but emphasizes the thematic unity of his work. In Der Hofmeister. the problem i s introduced i n the opening monologue with Lauffer's assertion, that he i s i l l - s u i t e d to become a parson because he i s physically too well endowed ( I I , I . i , 11). Forced by the conditions of his employment to forego the company of the opposite sex, he has no choice but to suppress h i s erotic desires. The subjugation of Lauffer's sensuality hastens his s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n which i s described as follows: " I l est 1'incarnation de l'individu ali£n£ qui n'a meme pas-conscience de son alienation" (Girard, Genese. 233). In contrast to Girard, I would l i k e to suggest that, since Lauffer refers to his s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n on several occasions, he must be conscious of i t . For example, he pleads with Wenzeslaus, "Lassen Sie mich erst zu mir selber kommen" ( I I , I I I . i i , 51). Unfortunately 62 f o r L a u f f e r , Wenzeslaus ignores h i s p l e a and giv e s n o t i c e , i n s t e a d , that he intends to do h i s best to f u r t h e r the t u t o r ' s s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n : "Ich w i l l Euch nach meiner Hand ziehen, daS Ihr euch s e l b e r n i c h t mehr wieder kennen s o l l t " ( I I , I I l . i v , 6 1 ) . Wenzeslaus's comment i n d i c a t e s that L a u f f e r ' s e a r l i e r a s i d e , "Euer Gnaden setzen mich auSer mich," i s not simple r h e t o r i c but suggests that the t u t o r ' s s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n i s p r o g r e s s i n g . ( I I , I . i i i , 1 4 ) . Furthermore, Wenzeslaus's t h r e a t serves to remind the reader that the t u t o r ' s chances f o r s e l f -r e a l i z a t i o n have not improved under the schoolmaster's t u t e l a g e . The t u t o r ' s p r o g r e s s i v e s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n i s commented on throughout the p l a y ( I I , I . i i i , 14; I I . i i , 51 ; I l l . i v , 6 1 ) , but perhaps the most t e l l i n g comment i s made by Wenzeslaus immediately a f t e r L a u f f e r ' s c a s t r a t i o n has taken p l a c e . On t h i s o c c a s i o n , the t u t o r ' s general countenance prompts Wenzeslaus to remark:"Als ob er jemand t o t geschlagen h a t t e " ( I I , V . i i i , 80). Not long a f t e r t h i s i n c i d e n t , L a u f f e r announces h i s s e l f - c a s t r a t i o n as a f a i t accompli and v o i c e s the hope of being r e i n c a r n a t e d as h i s mentor Wenzeslaus, " V i e l l e i c h t konnt i c h i t z t wieder anfangen zu leben und zum Wenzeslaus wiedergeboren werden" ( I I , V . i i i , 82). While these words i n d i c a t e to Mattenklott that L a u f f e r shares Wenzeslaus's hope f o r a s p i r i t u a l r e i n c a r n a t i o n ( 1 5 6 ) , one may conclude that Lauffer's comment suggests, i n fact, that he has s a c r i f i c e d his identity as an independent s e l f . The tutor's > words also anticipate Wenceslaus's sermon, which he summarizes as follows: "so musse unser Geist auch durch a l l e r l e i Kreuz und Leiden und ErtStung der Sinnlichkeit fur den Himmel zubereitet werden" (II,V.iv, 90). In Der Hofmeister. Lenz puts forward the thesis that the subjugation of one's sensual nature leads to s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n . Lauffer's path takes him from s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n to an attempt at s e l f - a n n i h i l a t i o n . In the opening scene, the audience i s presented with a man who does not hesitate to don a mask of s e r v i l i t y i n order to further his interests, and as the drama progresses i t becomes evident that role-playing, pretending to be someone he i s not, has become second nature to him. For example, he plays the lackey to the Major's wife, Romeo to Gustchen's J u l i e t , a d i s c i p l e to Wenzeslaus, and a lover to L i s e . In fact, Lauffer i s presented as constantly o s c i l l a t i n g between hi s s e l f and the roles he assumes. In addition, the name Lauffer (German: runner, messenger) attests to the • s e r v i l e p o s i t i o n he occupies i n the von Berg household ( I I , I . i , 11). What emerges from Lauffer's opening monologue i s , f i r s t l y , the tutor's u n r e a l i s t i c perception of himself and secondly, his constant posturing, i.e., his willingness to assume another identity on the spur of the moment. In fact, 63 t h a t L a u f f e r ' s comment suggests, i n f a c t , that he has s a c r i f i c e d h i s i d e n t i t y as an independent s e l f . The t u t o r ' s words a l s o a n t i c i p a t e Wenceslaus's sermon, which he summarizes as f o l l o w s : "so musse unser G e i s t auch durch a l l e r l e i Kreuz und L e i d e n und Ertotung der S i n n l i c h k e i t f u r den Himmel z u b e r e i t e t werden" ( I I , V . i v , 90). In Der Hofmeister. Lenz puts forward the t h e s i s t h a t the s u b j u g a t i o n of one's sensual nature leads to s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n . L a u f f e r ' s path takes him from s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n to an attempt at s e l f - a n n i h i l a t i o n . In the opening scene, the audience i s presented with a man who does not h e s i t a t e to don a mask of s e r v i l i t y i n order to f u r t h e r h i s i n t e r e s t s , and as the drama progresses i t becomes evident that r o l e - p l a y i n g , p r e t e n d i n g to be someone he i s not, has become second nature to him. For example, he p l a y s the lackey to the Major's wife, Romeo to Gustchen's J u l i e t , a d i s c i p l e to Wenzeslaus, and a l o v e r to L i s e . In f a c t , L a u f f e r i s presented as c o n s t a n t l y o s c i l l a t i n g between h i s s e l f and the r o l e s he assumes. In a d d i t i o n , the name L a u f f e r (German: runner, messenger) a t t e s t s to the s e r v i l e p o s i t i o n he occupies i n the von Berg household ( I I , I . i , 11). What emerges from L a u f f e r ' s opening monologue i s , f i r s t l y , the t u t o r ' s u n r e a l i s t i c p e r c e p t i o n of h i m s e l f and secondly, h i s constant p o s t u r i n g , i . e . , h i s w i l l i n g n e s s to assume another i d e n t i t y on the spur of the moment. In f a c t , Lenz's stage directions at the end of- Lauffer's soliloquy, "Geht dem Geheimen Rat und dem Major mit v i e l freundlichen Scharrfilssen vorbei, " reveal the "false s e l f " the tutor presents to the world. Here "false s e l f " must be interpreted i n the sense that Pascal understands i t : Nous ne nous contentons pas de l a vie que nous avons en nous et en notre propre etre: nous .voulons vivre dans 1'id£e des autres d'une v i e imaginaire, et nous nous efforgons pour cela de paraitre. Nous tra v a i l l o n s incessamment a embellir et conserver notre etre imaginaire, et n£gligeons l e v e r i t a b l e . (Pens^es de Pascal. 88-89) As the plot develops, there i s every indica t i o n that Lauffer's s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n i s progressing. In the t h i r d scene of the f i r s t act, he i s presented i n his role as fop to the Majorin, a role he abandons temporarily, when he t r i e s to take part i n a conversation between the Majorin and Count Wermuth. Unfortunately, this "aus der Rolle f a l l e n " i s not appreciated by his employer, and he i s told i n no uncertain terms that his servant status does not e n t i t l e him to converse with people higher up on the s o c i a l register ( I I , I . i i i , 15). Thus scolded and humiliated, Lauffer retreats once more into his lackey role. Again, i t i s role-playing that introduces the intimate encounter between the tutor and his charge. As th e i r language reveals and i n contrast' to their role models, Romeo and J u l i e t , Lauffer and Gustchen are uncertain of the i r feelings for each other. The description of Lauffer's absentminded and inappropriate reaction to Gustchen's laconic "Ich dachte, du l i e b t e s t mich" c l e a r l y indicates that there i s no strong emotional bond between the two. In addition, Lauffer's body language speaks for i t s e l f : Lauffer: stiitzt sich mit der andern Hand auf ihrem Bett, indem sie fortfahrt seine eine Hand von Zeit zu Zeit an die Lippen zu bringen: LaS mich denken... Bleibt nachsinnend sitzen. ( I l , l l . v , 41) The discrepancy between thought and feeling, reason and sentiment, i s revealed by their short verbal exchange. Lauffer's "LaS mich denken..," followed by the stage directions (Bleibt nachsinnend sitzen), not only implies that he has abandoned his role "in der beschriebenen Pantomine" ( l l , I I . v , 41) but suggests that he i s an absent-minded in d i v i d u a l who prefers abstract thought to action. Lauffer's anxious remark, "Es konnte mir gehen wie Abelard," i n response to Gustchen's "gottlicher Romeo" points to the impending sexual intimacy of the two and foreshadows the tutor's 66 eventual f a t e . 4 3 F i n a l l y , the short a l l i t e r a t i v e phrase, "LSuffer l a u f f t fort" announces his imminent f l i g h t from the von Berg household (II,II.v, 41). Upon his a r r i v a l at the v i l l a g e schoolmaster's house, the tutor introduces himself as Mandel. It i s noteworthy that he adopts the name Mandel at the precise moment that he i s about to start a new l i f e . The question i s : what does the name Mandel signify? To Mattenklott, who sees the almond tree as a symbol for the imitation of Christ, his death and resurrection, the tutor's choice of the name Mandel suggests that he shares Wenceslaus's hope for a s p i r i t u a l r e b i r t h . He writes: Einmal als ;Sinnbild des Opfers C h r i s t i , das Tod und Auferstehung i n einem bedeutet, i s t der Mandelbaum zum andern Symbol von C h r i s t i Nachfolge. Seine B i t t e r k e i t i s t die Verheissung seiner SiiSe und b e f a i l t Lauffer nach seiner Tat auch Todesfurcht, so hat er doch wie der Schulmeister Hoffnung auf seine geistige Wiedergeburt. (155-56) 4 3 Abelard, a medieval scholastic and private tutor, f e l l i n love with his charge Heloise and secretly married her; he was subsequently castrated by members of her family. Rousseau's novel, La nouvelle Heloise also describes a tutor/student relationship. 6 7 Mattenklott's interpretation f a i l s to take into consideration, however, that the tutor, whom the schoolmaster acknowledges as his " s p i r i t u a l " son, wants to be reincarnated not as himself but as Wenzeslaus! One can only conclude, therefore, that the s a c r i f i c e of his s e l f i s the price the tutor pays for this " s p i r i t u a l " reincarnation ( I I , V . i i i , 82). In addition, the choice of the name Mandel i s hardly accidental. In view of the fact that the almond blooms twice a year and bears both sweet and b i t t e r f r u i t , the tutor's new name may be read as a symbol for the dichotomy that exists between the individual's i n t e l l i g i b l e and sensible f a c u l t i e s . A point i n favour of this interpretation i s Wenzeslaus's assertion that the name Mandelblute would be even better suited to the tutor. He comments "Sie heiSen unrecht Mandel; Sie s o l l t e n Mandelblute heiSen; denn Sie sind ja weiS und rot wie Mandelblute" ( I I , I I I . i i , 52). While the white and red colour symbolism suggests to Mattenklott "das blutige Lamm Gottes und die Dornenkrone C h r i s t i " (154), I would l i k e to propose that i n the schoolmaster's vocabulary the term "Herren weiss und rot"--with which he addresses the tutor on several occasions--refers to the involuntary blushing of the young i n the presence of the opposite sex. For example, white and red are the colours of Lise's complexion during her amorous tete- a-tete with the tutor (II,V.x, 93). In addition, there i s Wenceslaus's assertion that he would not dare look upon a woman i n the same manner as "ihr Herren weiS und rot" ( l l , l l l . i i , 54) . Since white and red are the colours associated with youthful blushing and sexual arousal i n Lenz's other plays, we may interpret them here as a symbol for the tutor's youth and v i r i l i t y . 4 4 As noted e a r l i e r , the time for the name change from Lauffer to Mandel i s important, for the tutor changes his name to Mandel a f t e r his f l i g h t from the von Bergs. This seems to suggest that the tutor, no longer forced to suppress his sensible nature, can now take a f i r s t step towards s e l f -r e a l i z a t i o n . Furthermore, Wenzeslaus's suggestion that Mandelbliite would be better suited than Mandel as name for the tutor seems to indicate that there i s s t i l l hope for his s e l f -r e a l i z a t i o n . 45 However, considering the asexual propagation of some species of almond (Encyclopedia Britannica. I, 659), 4 4 For example, i n Die Freunde machen den  Philosoohen (1776) : "Strephon (uber und uber r o t ) " (II,I.v, 292); i n Der Enalander (1776): "Robert: Ich war jung, i c h war schon! o schon! schon! ich war zum Fressen, sagten sie - Sie wurden rot, wenn sie mit mir sprachen, s i e stotterten, s ie stammelten, sie z i t t e r t e n . . . ." (H,V.v, 351). 45 "The almond i s the f i r s t tree to awake to l i f e i n winter" and "the almond flowering i s a symbol of hope" (Dictionary of Mythology Folklore and Symbols. 71) . 69 the name Mandel as a symbol f o r both f e r t i l i t y and s t e r i l i t y seems to p o i n t to the f a c t that the t u t o r ' s f u t u r e i s at best d o u b t f u l . Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , the t u t o r ' s attempt to e s t a b l i s h h i m s e l f as an independent s e l f i s thwarted by Wenzeslaus who c o n s i d e r s him h i s d i s c i p l e and threatens to f o s t e r h i s s e l f -a l i e n a t i o n ( I I , I I . i i i , 61). The t u t o r ' s d i s c i p l e s h i p comes to an abrupt end, however, with Wenzeslaus*s r e a c t i o n to h i s s e l f - c a s t r a t i o n . In order to a r r i v e at a motive f o r Wenzeslaus's absurd r e a c t i o n to the t u t o r ' s c a s t r a t i o n , a second look at Wenzeslaus's p s y c h o l o g i c a l make-up seems warranted. The reader i s i n t r o d u c e d to the schoolmaster as he i s s i t s at h i s desk drawing s t r a i g h t l i n e s on a p i e c e of paper ( I I , I I I . i i , 51), a f i r s t i n d i c a t i o n that he subscribes to an o r d e r l y approach to l i f e . I t f u r t h e r t r a n s p i r e s from Wenzeslaus's longwinded f i r s t speech t h a t h i s l i f e i s d i s c i p l i n e d and w e l l r e g u l a t e d ( I I , I I I . i i , 58). Rudolf i n t e r p r e t s the schoolmaster's spartan l i f e i n a p o s i t i v e l i g h t . He comments, "Dieser Schulmeister, der neben s e i n e r S c h u l a r b e i t auch das Amt des D o r f p r e d i g e r s innehat, l e b t das einfache Leben, kennt d i e Kardinaltugend MaSigkeit" (172). To him, Wenzeslaus's a s c e t i c l i f e s t y l e seems not only laudable, but r e v e a l s "die K l u f t zwischen einem 70 'asketischen Pflichtmenschentum' von Kant beeinfluSt und dem 'verbildeten' Menschen wie Lauffer" (168) . As noted i n the review of the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e , Preuss i s another scholar who compares Wenzeslaus's pedantic and ascetic l i f e s t yle to Kant's well documented d a i l y routine (44). However, Preuss does not believe that i t i s Lenz's intent to portray either Kant or Wenzeslaus i n a p o s i t i v e l i g h t . He writes: Wie der Philosoph i s t Wenzeslaus ein Pedant, der selbstgenugsam lebt: "Aufstehn, Kaffeetrinken, Schreiben, Kollegienlesen, Essen, Spazierengehn, a l l e s hat seine bestimmte Zeit" so beschreibt Heinrich Heine den Tagesplan des Philosophen. (44) To Rosanow, Wenzeslaus seems a goodnatured and likeable fellow. In addition, he considers him something of an armchair philosopher (202). However, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to see the schoolmaster's constant philosophizing and moralizing i n a pos i t i v e l i g h t , since his lengthy verbal outpourings, freely sprinkled with Latin, prompt Lauffer's fear that he w i l l be lectured to death. (II,III.iv, 61). In addition, Lenz i s f a i r l y consistent i n his negative portrayal of philosophers, professional or otherwise; among the most prominent are: P i r z e l i n Die Soldaten; Zierau i n Der neue Menoza; and Zerbin i n Zerbin oder die neuere Philosophie. 71 Furthermore, Wenzeslaus's addiction to tobacco ( I I , I I I . i v , 58-59) can only be interpreted as a serious character flaw since smoking i s , according to Lenz, contrary to the concept of Christian freedom, since i t enslaves man to his senses and renders him incapable of great and noble deeds (Rosanow, 553). As Preuss notes, the j u s t i f i c a t i o n Wenzeslaus offers for his pipe smoking would certainly have been of interest to Freud (45). For although the schoolmaster believes that his constant smoking wards off "bose Begierden," his comments reveal that his pipe smoking i s , i n fact, a substitute for sexual g r a t i f i c a t i o n : Ich habe geraucht, als ich kaum von meiner Mutter Brust entwohnt war; die Warze mit dem Pfeifenmundstuck verwechselt. He he he! Das i s t gut wider die bose Luft und wider die bosen Begierden ebenfalls. (I I , I I I . i v , 58) A further indication that there i s something amiss i n Wenzeslaus's character i s given i n the shooting incident i n I V . i i i . Lauffer has just been shot and i s i n urgent need of medical attention, but the schoolmaster, more concerned with his c i v i l rights than with Lauffer's wound, has to be asked repeatedly to fetch the surgeon ( I I , I V . i i i , 66). The schoolmaster's absurd and inappropriate reaction to Lauffer's s e l f - c a s t r a t i o n also deserves further attention. Following Lauffer's ordeal, Wenzeslaus offers his congratulations. But while he acknowledges Lauffer as his s p i r i t u a l son, he ignores his physical and mental suffering. It i s clear from the schoolmaster's reaction that his concern i s not with the victim but with the ideological aspects of the castration. One can only assume that his purely r a t i o n a l response to the tragedy prevents him from responding with the appropriate compassion to the tutor's suffering. Since caritas i s the noblest of a l l Christian virtues i n Lenz's eyes, one may conclude that the description of the schoolmaster's lack of compassion for his d i s c i p l e constitutes Lenz's most serious c r i t i c i s m of Wenzeslaus.46 The tutor's description of a painting that allegedly distracted him from Wenzeslaus's Sunday sermon i s another ind i c a t i o n that his discipleship i s nearing i t s end. The painting, which depicts St. Mark and St. Matthew, i s described as follows: 46 see Lenz's comments on St. Paul's l e t t e r s to the Corinthians (Cor: 13:14): "Wenn ihr mit Menschen- und Engelzungen redt, und konnt weissagen, und lasset euren Leib brennen - und habt d e r L i e b e nicht, so seid i h r tonendes Erz und klingende Schellen, a l l e s i s t euch unnutz, denn ihr werdet gerichtet werden und seid schon j e t z t gerichtet vor Gott, nicht nach dem, was i h r getraumt habt, sondern was i h r gehandelt habt bei Leibes Leben, es sei gut oder bose" (I, 509). Ich muss bekennen, es hing ein Gemalde dort, das mich ganz zerstreut hat. Der Evangelist Markus mit einem Gesicht, das um kein Haar menschlicher aussah als der Lowe, der bei ihm saS, und der Engel' beim Evangelisten Matthaus eher einer geflugelten Schlange ahnlich sah. (II,V.ix, 90) How i s one to interpret this unusual description of the evangelists? Madland sees aspects of the grotesque i n Lauffer's description of the painting. She writes: The faces Lauffer describes are Lenzen's "Fratzengesichter," which here are not limited to the temporal world but have been extended to include aspects of the divine. The distorted faces of the saint and the angel become c h i l l i n g l y threatening: not even the divine, a t r a d i t i o n a l anchor and source of security, can be depended on any longer. (Diss. 228) Whether one disagrees with Madland's interpretation or not, one ^has to admit that the description of the painting i s extraordinary: the face of St. Mark i s described as no more human than that of the l i o n . Since this i s an unusual portrayal of the saint, one can only assume that Lenz uses a symbolic representation here. Together, the winged l i o n as a symbol for Saint Mark (Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 226). and 74 the animal-like features of the saint may suggest a union of the seemingly diametrically opposed forces of s p i r i t and nature and, as such, they could point to a possible resolution of the dissensus that exists between the individual's i n t e l l i g i b l e and sensible nature. Furthermore, i f one i s w i l l i n g to accept the serpent i n the Garden of Eden as a symbol for e v i l , one could venture that a winged serpent points not only to the nature/spirit dichotomy, but to the coincidentia of good and e v i l . Therefore, one may conclude that Lauffer's description of the painting points to the coincidentia oppositorum. 4 7 In addition, since angel and serpent represent the opposing forces of good and e v i l , a . creature that seems to be serpent and angel, at once, c a l l s to mind the F a l l : God's prohibition to eat from the tree of knowledge. Eve being tempted by the serpent to eat of the forbidden f r u i t , and Adam and Eve's subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden by the Cherub with the flaming sword. As a dir e c t r e s u l t of the F a l l , both s p i r i t u a l and physical death were transmitted to the entire human race through Adam (Rom 5, 12-14). 4 7 This term i s f i r s t used by John de Cusa to describe the coincidence of a l l opposites i n God. See also Hamann's interpretation of this concept (Samtliche  Werke II, 189-193). 75 Lenz's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the F a l l i s d i f f e r e n t . F i r s t l y , he s t a t e s that he does not b e l i e v e i n o r i g i n a l s i n , i . e . , that the s i n of Adam and Eve was imparted to the whole human race (I, 550), and secondly, he claims that i t was not concupiscence i t s e l f but only i t s hasty consummation that p r e c i p i t a t e d Adam and Eve's expulsion from p a r a d i s e (I, 501). In a d d i t i o n , Lenz takes i s s u e with the b e l i e f t h a t i t was C h r i s t ' s m i s s i o n to r e c t i f y the F a l l . In h i s view, the F a l l must be c o n s i d e r e d as God's p l a n to awaken the f e e l i n g of s e n s u a l i t y i n humans. S e n s u a l i t y , i n i t s turn, serves to make human beings conscious of t h e i r e xistence and p r o p e l s them towards e t h i c a l and autonomous a c t i o n . Lenz's r a t h e r unusual i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the F a l l warrants f u l l q u o t a t i o n : Das h e i S t er muSte essen und s i c h gatten. Daher s e t z t e Gott einen Garten um den Baum...so s e t z t ' er Baume mit reizendem Obst h i n , mit dem B e f e h l : e s s e t . S i e versuchten's, der s i n n l i c h e GenuS s e t z t e s i e i n e i n gewisses Vergniigen, 48. # #da man s e i n e Existenz ganz f i i h l t und i t z t g e m etwas haben mochte seine K r a f t e anzuwenden und t a t i g zu s e i n . S i e dazu zu bringen, muSten s i e notwendig 48 In h i s account of the F a l l , Hamann claims that the sexual awakening of Adam and Eve was prompted by the sensual beauty of the garden; he a l s o comments on t h e i r need f o r food (Samtliche Werke I, 16). aus dem Paradies heraus i n eine Wiiste, wo der Erdboden v e r s c h l o s s e n war und e r s t durch i h r e Bemuhungen wieder muSte g e o f f n e t werden. Dieses i n eine S t r a f e i h r e r L u s t e r n h e i t und der draus entstehenden Wollust, d i e durch e i n Verbot geweckt wurde, zu verwandeln war eine besondere Weisheit Gottes.... ( B l e i IV, 55-56) Since Lenz regards concupiscence as the c o n d i t i o n s i n e qua non f o r a r r i v i n g at autonomous and e t h i c a l s e l f h o o d , L a u f f e r ' s p r o s p e c t s f o r s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n must be regarded as extremely d o u b t f u l a f t e r h i s s e l f - c a s t r a t i o n . L a u f f e r recovers from h i s s e l f - i n f l i c t e d o r d e a l and not long afterwards he d i s c o v e r s h i s sudden p a s s i o n f o r L i s e , a young country g i r l . Wenzeslaus, who suspects h i s d i s c i p l e ' s i n t e r e s t i n L i s e , admonishes him not to r e t u r n to the " f l e s h p o t s of Egypt" but to save h i s immortal s o u l . However, L a u f f e r r a n d L i s e are determined to become husband and w i f e . C o n s i d e r i n g the f a c t that they are e n t e r i n g i n t o a s t e r i l e union, one may w e l l ask: why would a d e s i r a b l e young g i r l opt f o r a marriage with a c a s t r a t e ? The answer i s simple: L i s e does not r e a l i z e the f u l l i m p l i c a t i o n s of marrying an impotent man because of her extreme youth. That she i s s t i l l a c h i l d , i s r e v e a l e d by the f a c t that she attends Sunday s c h o o l 77 (Kinderlehre) on a regular basis (II,V.x, 93). She i s also described as innocence personified (II,V.x, 93). Yet although Lise i s only a s l i p of a g i r l , there i s an ero t i c aura about her. For example, her seductive and careless way of arranging her hair i s commented on by Wenzeslaus (II,V.ix, 92) and Lauffer (II,V.x, 93). In addition, there i s every i n d i c a t i o n that she i s very much aware of the opposite sex. She blushes easily (II,V.x, 93) and when asked about her experiences with men, she freely admits to having had several beaus. By her own admission she has a preference for c l e r i c s and academics, but this does not stop her from being fond of the soldiers i n their colourful coats. I r r e s i s t i b l e , according to Lise, would be a combination of the two: c l e r i c s dressed i n the colourful coats of the soldiers. She enthuses: "ganz gewiS, wenn die geistlichen Herren i n so bunten Rocken gingen wie die Soldaten, das ware zum Sterben" (II,V.x, 94). It would not be without irony i f Lenz intended the casual remark of a naive young g i r l to point to the dichotomy between the i n t e l l i g i b l e (the c l e r i c s ) and the sensible' (the soldiers) and the f i n i t e nature of human existence. In spite of the tutor's handicap, Lise i s determined to marry him, and not even the prospect of a ch i l d l e s s marriage perturbs her. On the contrary, children represent only an additional r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to her. She exclaims: 78 Damit war mir auch wohl grofi gedient, wenn ich noch Kinder dazu bekame. Mein Vater hat Enten und Hiihner genug, die ich a l l e Tage futtern muS; wenn i c h noch kinder obenein futtern mtiSte. (II,V.x, 97) Not surprisingly, Lise i s described as " e i n f a l t i g " (II,V.x., 93); her advocacy of a c h i l d l e s s marriage i s naive indeed. And even though she i s susceptible to the sensual promise of the soldiers' colourful uniforms, Lise i s much too young to understand the f u l l implications of her decision to s a c r i f i c e her sensuality on the a l t a r of a s t e r i l e marriage. In establishing the aesthetic, the e t h i c a l , and the r e l i g i o u s as stages i n human development, Kierkegaard makes the following d i s t i n c t i o n between the aesthetic and the e t h i c a l consciousness: "The aesthetical i n a man i s that by which he i s immediately what he i s ; the e t h i c a l i s that whereby he becomes what he becomes" (Either/Or II, 150).If one were to apply Kierkegaard's d i s t i n c t i o n between the aesthetic and the e t h i c a l , one could argue that young Lise i s s t i l l at the aesthetic stage of her l i f e . Child that she i s , she l i v e s for the pleasurable moments of l i f e . But what of the tutor, a grown man who i n the past seemed tormented by the demands of the flesh? His r h e t o r i c a l question, "Und i s t ' s denn notig zum Gluck der Ehe, daS man t i e r i s c h e Triebe s t i l l t " (ll,V.x, 96), seems to indicate that his p r i o r i t i e s have changed. He assures Lise, furthermore, that his love for her i s independent on any physical d i s a b i l i t y he may have (II,V.ix, 9 5 ) . Considering Lauffer's emasculated state, Wenzeslaus's reluctant blessing, "So kriecht denn zusammen meinetwegen; weil doch Heiraten besser i s t a l s Brunst leiden, " i s not only superfluous but highly i r o n i c (II,V.x, 97). The b i b l i c a l text the schoolmaster refers to reads: "But i f they cannot exercise s e l f control, they should marry. For i t i s better to marry than to be aflame with passion "(I Cor: 8 - 9 ) . Surely, a castrate aflame with passion i s a contradiction i n terms! Der Hofmeister concludes with a family reunion. However, the comment that the play i s concerned with "the disruption and ultimate re-establishment of the f a m i l i a l unit" (Harris, 87) i s inappropriate, since i t does not account for the tutor's absence from the f i n a l scene. It i s also d i f f i c u l t to agree with Mann's interpretation that "the tutor's prospects brighten" at the end of the play (254) , since Lauffer i s not only absent but there i s no reference to either his castration or his impending marriage to Lise. While the end of the play i s described as " s p i r i t u a l l y confident and optimistic" by Pope (245) , the negative aspects of the ending are noted by Mayer (823) , Girard (280) , Madland (Diss.,2 5 6 ) , and Preuss (54 ) , among others. However, i f one 80 reads Rudolf's comments, one i s l e f t with the impression that the tutor has, indeed, ceased to exist, since he does not even note Lauffer's absence from the f i n a l scene. Rudolf writes: Jede handelnde Person der letzten Szene i s t durch eine moralische 'Reinigung' gegangen, hat eine 'Wiedergeburt1 erfahren; die v o l l i g negativen Charaktere, die Majorin und Pastor Lauffer treten am SchluS nicht mehr auf. (174) It i s tempting to speculate on the significance of Lauffer's absence from the f i n a l scene, and a step by step review of Lauffer's progress may shed some li g h t on the matter: Step 1: The tutor i s forced by society to lead a celibate l i f e . Step 2 The suppression of his concupiscence begins the process of s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n . Step 3 The tutor's s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n i s manifested through his roleplaying. For example, i t i s as Lauffer/Romeo that he seduces Gustchen/Juliet. Step 4 His subsequent escape from the von Berg household i s a f l i g h t from an untenable position. Step 5 The tutor's attempt at s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n and moral autonomy, indicated by his adoption of the name Mandel. i s thwarted by Wenzeslaus, the v i l l a g e schoolmaster. Step 6 Prompted by g u i l t and despair, the tutor actively moves against the se l f ; consequently, his s e l f - c a s t r a t i o n must be interpreted as an attempt at self - a n n i h i l a t i o n . Step 7 Through the active s a c r i f i c e of his . sexuality, the tutor has f o r f e i t e d his existence as an authentic s e l f . Thus his subsequent union with Lise i s s t e r i l e i n the physical and the moral sense. Step 8 The tutor's absence from the f i n a l scene i s another indication that he i s no longer simply alienated from his s e l f but has ceased to exist as an independent s e l f . In the tutor's opening soliloquy, we are presented with a man who--forced by society to suppress his authentic s e l f - -adopts a fals e s e l f . This f l i g h t from the s e l f renders him fragmented and alienated. However, when he makes his f i n a l appearance (V.ix), his alienation i s no longer induced by society but s e l f - i n f l i c t e d . In the end, the tutor's castration 8 2 amounts to nothing less than an annihilation of the s e l f , and his absence from the last scene suggests that he has ceased, to function as an independent s e l f . There are, however, indications that for a while the tutor was aspiring towards a synthesis of his dissociated f a c u l t i e s . For example, upon his a r r i v a l at Wenzeslaus's school he not only has changed his name to Mandel. but he voices a desperate plea for s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n ( I I , I I I . i i , 51). Unfortunately Wenzeslaus, who subscribes to the interpretation of the sensual as e v i l and of the s p i r i t u a l as good (Girard, Genese.. 273), ignores the tutor's plea and threatens to recreate him i n his own image. Wenzeslaus's position, that sensuality i s the enemy which has to be subjugated, not only r e f l e c t s the orthodox teaching of the Christian churches, but stands diametrically opposed to Lenz's b e l i e f that i s o l a t i o n or exclusion of any of our facul t i e s leads to onesidedness and ultimately to sin, a state which i s born out of the ignorance of the s e l f . As one of many examples, he ci t e s the case of a seducer who experiences nothing but his sensuality and consequently remains ignorant of his other f a c u l t i e s (Blei IV, 13). Again, Lenz's portrayal of the seducer anticipates the description of the seducer i n Kierkegaard's Either/Or. With regard to the motive for the tutor's s e l f -castration, the time of the actual act i s of c r u c i a l importance. The castration, which i s prompted by remorse and despair, follows almost immediately upon his encounter with the old woman who i s holding Gustchen's c h i l d . In V . i i i , Lauffer's next scene, the castration i s a f a i t accompli. It i s worth noting that Wenzeslaus establishes a connection between the two incidents with his comment that the tutor has been repeatedly i l l since the day the old woman came to see him: Dafi Gott! was gibt's schon wieder, daS Ihr mich von der Arbeit abrufen lasst? Seid Ihr schon wieder schwach? Ich glaube, das al t e Weib war eine Hexe- Seit der Zeit habt Ihr keine gesunde Stunde mehr. ( I I , V . i i i , 80) In his essay, "Wer hat Gustchens Kind gezeugt," Claus Lappe maintains that the chronological data given i n the play--L£uffer's claim that he has not seen Gustchen since he l e f t the castle a year e a r l i e r , and the fact that Gustchen has l i v e d with the old woman for a f u l l year--support his thesis that Lauffer cannot be considered as the b i o l o g i c a l father of Gustchen's c h i l d . In addition, Lappe regards Lauffer's reaction to the c h i l d as a further indication that.his paternity i s questionable. However, the tutor's immediate reaction to the c h i l d seems to suggest otherwise. Gebt es mir auf den Arm - 0 mein Herz!-DaS ich's an mein Herz drucken kann - Du gehst mir auf, furchtbares Ratsel! (Nimmt das Kind auf den Arm und t r i t t damit vor den Spiegel) Wie? dies waren nicht meine Zuge? (Fa l l t i n Ohnmacht; das Kind fangt an zu schreien). ( I l , V . i , 77) We do not know what causes Lauffer to faints Does he recognize the newborn as his and faint, or does he, as Lappe suggests, faint because the features of the c h i l d are not his? As Lauffer's monologue reveals, he does recognize the c h i l d as his i n i t i a l l y . It seems reasonable to assume that Lauffer would only acknowledge his child, i f he recognized i t as such. If we presume, however, i n agreement with Lappe, that the tutor realizes his mistake the moment he looks into the mirror, there are questions that need to be answered. For example, why does he faint at the precise moment he looks at the r e f l e c t i o n i n the mirror, and more importantly, why does he castrate himself shortly afterwards, c i t i n g remorse and despair as the motives for his castration? It i s irrelevant whether i t i s , i n fact, Lauffer's c h i l d , since his subsequent self-castration indicates beyond any doubt that he believed the c h i l d to be his and acted accordingly. Consequently, there i s only a motive for his castration as long as he does recognize the c h i l d .as h i s . For why, indeed, would Lauffer castrate himself for the sake of a s t r a n g e r ' s c h i l d ? While Lappe demonstrates beyond any doubt the d i s u n i t y of time i n Der Hofmeister. h i s c o n c l u s i o n that L a u f f e r ' s p a t e r n i t y i s a myth, although p e r f e c t l y l o g i c a l , takes away the motive f o r the t u t o r ' s s e l f - c a s t r a t i o n and i s , t h e r e f o r e , d i f f i c u l t to support. Yet i f we do accept the t u t o r ' s p a t e r n i t y , we are faced w i t h the dilemma of having to account f o r a 'mythical" c h i l d t h a t i s d e s c r i b e d as both female ( I I , V . i , 77) and male ( I I , V . x i i , 101). Furthermore, s i n c e the g e s t a t i o n p e r i o d f o r t h i s asexual crea t u r e was a f u l l twelve months, i t cannot belong to the genus homo sapiens. I t seems p o s s i b l e , however, th a t Lenz employs t h i s "neue Kreatur" (Preuss, 52), as deus/dea ex machina. to suggest that o n l y beings born o u t s i d e of the human race are exempt from s u f f e r i n g . One may i n t e r p r e t , t h e r e f o r e , i n Der Hofmeister Lenz employs the r e l a t i v i t y of time as a dramatic t o o l to i n d i c a t e that only a being which has a g e s t a t i o n p e r i o d of twelve months, i . e . , a being that cannot p o s s i b l y be human, would be exempt from the s u f f e r i n g that the s t r u g g l e between the opposing f o r c e s of mind and body i n f l i c t upon the i n d i v i d u a l human being. In other words, authentic human existence i s i n s e p a r a b l e from, and dependent on, r e c o n c i l i n g one's " d i s s o c i a t e d " f a c u l t i e s . Therefore, being human means having to come to terms w i t h one's double i n h e r i t a n c e . 86 The tutor i n Der Hofmeister i s i n i t i a l l y coerced by society into suppressing his sexuality, but with his s e l f -immolation he actively undertakes the s a c r i f i c e himself. With his castration, he has committed an act of s e l f - a n n i h i l a t i o n and s a c r i f i c e d his potential as a moral s e l f . Furthermore, i f one considers concupiscence as a source of morality, an individual who does not embrace his or her sexuality must be considered impotent i n the eth i c a l as well as the physical sense. Since the tutor c i t e s remorse and despair as motivating forces for his act ( I I , V . i i i , 81), the s a c r i f i c e of his sexuality suggests that he recognizes the need to be punished for his past erotic deeds. The tutor's s a c r i f i c e best serves to resolve his c o n f l i c t and i s also a f i t t i n g r e t r i b u t i o n for the o r i g i n a l crime of impregnating Gustchen, since his castration ensures that i t cannot happen again. In the Concept of Dread. Kierkegaard writes that there i s a moment of choice, a moment when the s e l f chooses being or non-being. Lauffer's position at the instant he recognizes his c h i l d could be described as such a moment. At that moment i n time, he does have the option of acknowledging his c h i l d before the world and, thus, of regaining his moral autonomy, but he faints instead. And immediately after regaining consciousness, he castrates himself. As a result of hi s s e l f -87 castration he becomes both physically and morally impotent. It i s worth noting that Kierkegaard's description of the in d i v i d u a l who l e t s the c r u c i a l moment of choice pass seems to be applicable to Lauffer's situation. Kierkegaard writes: 1 He whose eye chances to look down into the yawning abyss becomes dizzy.... Thus, dread i s the dizzyness of freedom which occurs when the s p i r i t would posit the synthesis: and freedom, then gazes down into i t s own p o s s i b i l i t y , grasping at finiteness to sustain i t s e l f . In this dizzyness, freedom succumbs.... That very instant everything i s changed, and when freedom r i s e s again, i t sees that i t i s g u i l t y . Between these two instances l i e s the leap...freedom swoons...the f a l l into s i n always occurs i n impotence. (Concept of Dread. 55) Contrary to Lauffer, Prince Tandi i n Der neue Menoza chooses being when faced with the decision between being and non-being. He relates an incident where, through no f a u l t of his own, he was put i n an untenable position from which he escaped by taking a leap into the unknown: Stellen Sie sich eine Tiefe vor, die feucht und nebligt a l l e Kreaturen aus meinem Gesichte entzog. Ich sah i n dieser furchterlich-blaueri Feme nichts 88 als mich selbst, und die Bewegung die ich machte, zu springen. ich sprang- (II, I . i , 109) Here, Lenz--like Kierkegaard after him--uses the "abyss" as a metaphor for coming face to face with the s e l f . It i s tempting to interpret the tutor's s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n , his f l i g h t from the self, and his subsequent castration i n the l i g h t of the theories of a twentieth-century psychologist, Ronald D. Laing. For Laing, an individual who flees from the s e l f i s mad. He grants, however, that t h i s type of madness i s a common phenomenon, since we are a l l s p l i t off from our authentic selves. Forced into role-playing by others or tourselves, we are put into an untenable position (Laing, Self  and Others, 107). According to Laing, when the s e l f constructs a "false self"--which he defines as "one way of not being oneself" and as a way of " l i v i n g inauthentically" (The Divided  Self. 100)--it puts i t s e l f into a false e x i s t e n t i a l p o s i t ion. He further maintains that i t i s only common sense that an ind i v i d u a l , who i s put into a false e x i s t e n t i a l position, would attempt to annihilate himself. While for Kierkegaard the estrangement from the self and from God constitutes the depths of despair (Concept of Dread), for Laing, being i n that p o s i t i o n i s madness. 4 y He writes: It has always been recognized that i f you s p l i t Being down the middle, i f you i n s i s t on grabbing t h i s without that, i f you c l i n g to the good without the bad, denying the one for the other, what happens i s that the dissociated e v i l impulse, now e v i l i n a double sense, returns to permeate and possess the good and turn i t into i t s e l f . ( P o l i t i c s of Experience. 63) Laing's position here seems to echo Lenz's thoughts. For Lenz refers more than once to the need to incorporate one's e v i l i n order to become an authentic s e l f , but he does so most emphatically i n the following excerpt of a short prose fragment. Eine Seele ohne starken Trieb zum Laster i s t nicht wert, fromm und gut zu sein. Ihre Gute i s t Federlosigkeit [sic] ihre Bescheidenheit Niedertrachtigkeit, ihre Frommigkeit Furcht vor den Folgen boser Handlungen auf sich, nicht auf andere. Ein Bosewicht i s t a l l e z e i t von einer gewissen 49 For a comparison between Kierkegaard's concept of s i n and Laing's interpretation of madness, consult Sugarman1s Sin and Madness. Konsistenz und GroSe, ein Guter i s t nichts, wenn ers nicht aus einem Bosewicht geworden i s t . Dagegen i s t die GroSe eines solchen Guten auch zur GroSe des Bosen, wie tausend zu zehn. Der ohnmachtige Gute i s t zero. (Blei IV, 284) The necessity to incorporate one's e v i l i s also acknowledged by Hamann who writes: Ohne die Freiheit b 6 s e zu seyn findt kein V e r d i e n s t ,und ohne die Freyheit g u t zu seyn keine Zurechnung einiger S c h u 1 d, j a selbst keine E r k e n n t n i S d e s G u t e n u n d B d s e n s t a t t . (Samtliche Werke III-, 3 8 ) 5 0 In Der Hofmeister. Lenz's concern i s for the individual who, forced by the conditions of his employment to suppress his sexuality, becomes alienated from his authentic s e l f and chooses to castrate himself. Lauffer's fate suggests, furthermore, that adhering to a p a r t i a l s e l f ultimately leads to the annihilation of the s e l f . 50 The necessity to incorporate one's dark side i s a recurring theme i n German l i t e r a t u r e : i t i s a cemtral concern i n Goethe's Faust, the focus of Nietzsche's Also  sorach Zarathrusta. and a major theme i n Hermann Hesse's novels. 91 Die Soldaten In Der Hofmeister the quest for the s e l f i s the task sine  qua non that the protagonist i s asked to f u l f i l l . A measure of the importance of this thesis for Lenz i s that he adopts i t , with only minor changes, for the plot of his next play. As i n Der Hofmeister. the interdependence of concupiscence and e t h i c a l autonomy i s the philosophical paradigm that i s superimposed on Die Soldaten. Again, i t i s the subjugation of sexuality, brought about by a pr o h i b i t i o n to marry while i n the m i l i t a r y service, which has a devastating effect on the li v e s of the soldiers and the c i v i l i a n population of a small French garrison town. In I . i i i , Mariane, a l o c a l merchant's daughter, i s invited to the theatre by Desportes, a young o f f i c e r and nobleman. I r o n i c a l l y , the two plays he has selected, La chercheuse  d'esprit and Le d^serteur, prove to be prophetic. 51 Although i n love with Stolzius, a cloth merchant from Armentieres, Mariane i s f l a t t e r e d by the attentions of the young nobleman (I I , I . v i , 197). But as their relationship b i The t i t l e of the f i r s t play foreshadows Mariane's unsuccessful quest for happiness, while the second points to Desportes's imminent desertion. 92 develops, Mariane affects strange a i r s and graces that do not go unnoticed. In fact, her strange behaviour prompts a friend to remark, "Ich weiss nicht, wie du b i s t , Marianel" ( I I , I I . i i i , 208). This statement i s , i n fact, the f i r s t i n d i c a t i o n that Mariane has embarked on a course of s e l f -a l i e n a t i o n . Lenz's portrayal of Desportes i s not f l a t t e r i n g . On leave from the army under false pretences ( I I , I . i i i , 185), he disguises himself i n c i v i l i a n clothes ( I I , I . i i i , 187). Described as "false" ( I I , I . i i i , 185) and d e c e i t f u l ( I I , I I I . v i i , 221), he honours neither his debt to Mariane's father, nor the promesse de mariaae he has given to her ( I I , I I I . i i i , 16). And i n an ef f o r t to r i d himself of Mariane, he encourages one of his servants to dishonour her ( I l , V . i i i , 240). Not unlike the seducer i n "Versuch uber das erste Principium der Moral," Desportes i s single-minded i n his pursuit of erotic conquests and has no concern for the consequences of his immoral conduct. Although Mariane's father shows concern for his daughter, he cannot help being flattered by the attention the young o f f i c e r pays to her. It i s both ironic and tragic that old Wesener interprets the f i r s t l i n e of a poem which Desportes has sent to his daughter as an indication of the young nobleman's honest intentions towards her. The poem reads: Du hochster Gegenstand von meinen reinen Trieben52 Ich bet dich an, ich w i l l dich ewig lieben. Weil die Versicherung von meiner Lieb und Treu Du allerschonstes Licht mit jedem Mprgen neu. , ( I I , I . v i , 196) What the poem does reveal i s that Desportes, a member of the n o b i l i t y , manipulates language to cajole Mariane into believing that his affections for her are genuine. Mariane, i n her turn, i s duly impressed by what she perceives as Deportes's f a c i l i t y with words and t r i e s rather unsuccessfully to mimic his language.53 Among Desportes' fellow o f f i c e r s , Hauptmann P i r z e l i s perhaps the most humane character of a poor l o t . However, l i k e the schoolmaster i n Der Hofmeister. P i r z e l i s an armchair philosopher whose lengthy pseudo-philosophical discourses are not appreciated by his fellow soldiers. The chaplain's aside, "Der philosophiert mich zu Tode" (II,III.iv, 217) not only sums up his opinion of P i r z e l , but c a l l s to mind Lauffer's 52 This l i n e seems to suggest that Desportes looks upon Mariane as a sex object. 53 g e e Mariane's l e t t e r to Stolzius ( I I , I I I . i i i , 214-15). 94 f e a r f u l "der wird mich noch zu Tode meistern" i n response to Wenzeslaus's constant philosophizing (II,III.iv, 61). Unlike h i s comrades, however, P i r z e l i s not attracted to the opposite sex. On the contrary, he considers women to be at the l e v e l of sheep and as such unworthy of his attentions ( I I , I I I . i v , 217). He makes only two appearances and both times he advocates "thinking" as a cure-all for human i l l s ( I I , I I . i i , 200 and I l l . i v , 217). When Eisenhardt, the army chaplain, expresses his concern that too much "thinking" may i n t e r f e r e with Pirzel ' s competence as a soldier, P i r z e l counters: "Ganz und gar nicht, das geht so mechanisch" ( I I , I l l . i v , 217). There i s something d i s t i n c t l y comical about the figure of P i r z e l . This i s equally true of the other abstract thinkers i n Lenz's plays; for example, Wenzeslaus i n Der Hofmeister and both Zierau and Magister Beza i n Die Soldaten. If one considers the behaviour of a l l four characters,^ 4 Kierkegaard's description of abstract thinkers seems appropriate. He writes: Such an abstract thinker, one who neglects to take into account the relationship between his abstract thought and his own existence as an individual, not 54 Lauffer's absent-minded behaviour i s stressed i n the second act (11,11.v, 40-41). careful to c l a r i f y this relationship to himself, ° makes a comical impression upon the mind even i f he i s ever so distinguished, because he i s i n process of ceasing to be a human being...Such an abstract thinker i s a duplex being: a fantastic creature who moves i n the pure being of abstract thought, and on the other hand, a sometimes p i t i f u l p r o f e s s o r i a l figure which the former deposits, about as when [sic] one sets down a walking s t i c k . (Postscript, 268) Since P i r z e l ' s preoccupation with abstract thinking renders him incapable of authentic human existence and moral action, he has become an automaton. With regard to his fellow soldiers, P r i z e l informs the reader that they, too, perform their duties automatically, since their attention i s focussed on the young women of the town. (11,111.iv, 217). Thus a one-sided mode of l i f e , whether i t be the absent-mindedness of an abstract thinker l i k e P i r z e l or the soldier's unabashed sexual ouvertures to the young women i n town, supports Lenz's thesis that i t i s impossible to evolve into an e t h i c a l s e l f unless one l i v e s and acts i n accordance with one's f u l l y integrated f a c u l t i e s . The soldiers favourite entertainment--besides t h e i r v i s i t s to the comedy and a preoccupation with the opposite sex--is the taunting and r i d i c u l e of humble people. For example, there i s something s i n i s t e r i n the manner that Haudy and his fellow o f f i c e r s humiliate Stolzius i n scenes I I . i and I I . i i . The incident where the o f f i c e r s t e r r i f y an elderly Jew i s another occasion where they display a complete lack of moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ( I I . i ) . F i n a l l y , there i s the scene where Rammler, i n a drunken stupor, r i d i c u l e s an old woman ( I l , I V . i i , 230). In a l l three incidents, the o f f i c e r s ' conduct i s gratuitously cruel by any moral standard. But while the o f f i c e r s i n f l i c t suffering upon others, they themselves are victims of a society which demands celibacy as a condition of service. Consequently, they are put into an untenable position. They look for female companionship'to the daughters of the l o c a l burghers, but these l i a i s o n s often prove to be disastrous for the young women, since the o f f i c e r s have no intention of marrying their unsuspecting paramours and often leave them to an uncertain future. For instance, Mariane 1s fate i s sealed after Desportes abandons her. Identified only as "das ungluckliche Schlachtopfer" (II,V.v, 244) and "die Weibsperson" (H,V.iv, 243), she i s mistaken for a common prostitu t e by her own father. Given the fact that Desportes and his fellow o f f i c e r s are responsible for Mariane's tragic fate, i t i s surprising, indeed, that Pope divides the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the unhappy 9 7 ending of the play equally between society on the one hand, and Mariane and her father on the other; however, he does not attach any blame to Desportes or his fellow o f f i c e r s . He writes: In Die Soldaten. the painful and saddening consequences of erring action are barely overcome. But though blame for the disaster i s l a i d at society's door, i t i s again the individual that i s morally responsible. Since i t i s Marie's and Wesener's actions that are at fault, there i s the p o s s i b i l i t y of their learning from the consequences and experiencing some degree of metanoia. (iv) Mann's impression that "Mariane's future appears genuinely hopeful after her bittersweet reunion with her father" (254) must also be rejected, since the stage directions at the end of the scene destroy any i l l u s i o n the reader may have that a "happy ending" i s s t i l l a p o s s i b i l i t y : "Beide w&lzen [my i t a l i c s ] sich halb tot auf der Erde. Eine Menge Leute versammlen sich um sie und tragen sie f o r t " (II,V.iv, 2 4 3 ) . Not only are Mariane and her father r o l l i n g around on the ground, but they are carried away by an anonymous crowd. In addition, the verb "walzen" does not suggest the dignity of upright human posture but i s more often 98 associated with the movement of animals; the fact that i t i s used here may well suggest that Mariane i s no longer functioning as an independent s e l f . It i s important to note the s i m i l a r i t y i n the structure of the p l o t i n the two plays under discussion. In Der Hofmeister. the tutor's s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n i s i n i t i a l l y induced by society; however, i n the end he must assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for his constant posturing and his s e l f -castration. Although Mariane, the s a c r i f i c a l lamb of Die  Soldaten, seems to be the innocent victim of a government po l i c y which attempts to regulate human sexuality, she, too, i s accountable for her fate. Young and p l a y f u l , she i s attracted to the g l i t t e r and the s o c i a l p r i v i l e g e s of the n o b i l i t y . Desportes seduces her with frivolous jewellery, flowery rhetoric, and v i s i t s to the l o c a l theatre. The theatre plays an important part i n Desportes' seduction of Mariane. Not surprisingly, the army chaplain claims that the seductions that take place on the l o c a l stage serve as a blueprint for the o f f i c e r ' s unethical conduct (II,I.iv, 193). The point i s also made that Mariane i s the younger daughter of a Galanteriewarenhandler. a man who deals i n f r i v o l i t i e s and v a n i t i e s . Thus there i s every indication that aesthetics and ethics stand diametrically opposed i n Die Soldaten. 99 In fact, to the very last Mariane i s attracted to an aesthetic mode of l i f e , to the diversions and the glamour the l i f e s t y l e of the privileged few has to offer. Homeless and reduced to begging i n the streets, Mariane s t i l l yearns for the extravagances of the l i f e she has become accustomed to: 0 hatt ich nur einen Tropfen von dem Wein, den ich so oft aus dem Fenster geworfen - womit i c h mir i n der Hitze die HSnde wusch - (Kontortionen.) 0 das qualt--nun ein Bettelmensch--(Sieht das Stuck Brod an) Ich kann's nicht essen Gott weiS es. Besser verhungern. (Wirft das Stuck Brod hin und r a f f t sich auf) Ich w i l l kriechen, so weit ich komme, und f a l l ich urn, desto besser. ( I I , V . i i , 239). Thus Mariane i s portrayed as an aesthete, as someone who l i v e s to the very end for the pleasurable moments of l i f e (II,V.iv, 242). It follows that Mariane--not unlike the tutor i n Der Hofmeister who enters foolhardily into a s t e r i l e union with a naive country girl--has l i t t l e hope of gaining insight into her suffering. Thus she, too, f o r f e i t s her potential as an autonomous and ethical s e l f . In the "Anmerkungen ilbers Theater" Lenz advances the concept of an autonomous and ethical individual who comes to terms with his double inheritance and acts out of his f u l l y 100 integrated f a c u i t i e s . H o w e v e r , i n the plays, the quest for authentic and eth i c a l selfhood i s countered not only by adverse s o c i a l conditions, but by the f r a g i l i t y of human nature. Thus the quest for authentic being, a quest i m p l i c i t i n Lenz's question, "Aber heiSt das gelebt? heiSt das seine Existenz gefuhlt, seine selbststandige Existenz, den Funken von Gott?" (I, 378), seems a l l but impossible to f u l f i l l . Lenz portrays the human face of existence by presenting his protagonists and their struggle for authenticity and s e l f -r e a l i z a t i o n . While the struggle i s presented i n a d i a l e c t i c a l fashion i n the theoretical writings and prose, the protagonists of Der Hofmeister and Die Soldaten ultimately f a i l i n t h e i r quest for the self and, thus, the concept of the authentic and ethical s e l f i s presented ex neaativo i n the drama. 55 Huyssen notes that the Sturm und Drana advances a p a r t i c u l a r human face of existence, "die Indi v i d u a l i t a t des einzelnen Menschen, seine Sinnlichkeit, die T o t a l i t a t von Herz und Kopf, von Vernunft, Phantasie und Gefiihl" (Drama des Sturm und  Drana. 56). CHAPTER IV THE QUEST FOR FREEDOM a. Free W i l l versus Determinism as a Philosophical Problem The quest for the s e l f , i m p l i c i t i n Lenz's demand for "Zuwachs an Existenz," i s closely linked to the potential freedom of the individual, since authentic and ethical existence i s only a p o s s i b i l i t y , i f the individual i s free to choose such an existence. Lenz spent much energy trying to come to terms with the problem of free w i l l versus determinism, and Preuss goes so far as to suggest that Lenz's search for a synthesis between the concept of human freedom and God's constant inte r a c t i o n i s a central concern i n the theoretical essays. He writes: Denn diesen Widerspruch zwischen der fur die Theodicee notwendigen Monadenhaftigkeit oder Freiheit des Menschen und der fortwahrenden Wirksamkeit Gottes zu vermitteln, b i l d e t das zentrale Anliegen der gesamten theoretischen Anstrengung von Lenz. (Preuss, 14) One may not f u l l y agree with.the above interpretation, but there i s l i t t l e doubt that the question of the 102 i n d i v i d u a l ' s freedom features prominently i n Lenz's thought and i s c e n t r a l to h i s concept of e t h i c s . N a t u r a l l y , when one co n s i d e r s the p o s s i b i l i t y of human beings having a f r e e w i l l , the q u e s t i o n that a r i s e s i s p r e c i s e l y the q u e s t i o n that Lenz addresses; namely, how can the i n d i v i d u a l have a f r e e w i l l i f a l l h i s or her a c t i o n s are foreseen by an omnipotent and omniscient God? Before examining Lenz's thoughts on the sub j e c t , i t seems appropr i a t e to consider b r i e f l y the -h i s t o r i c a l development of the problem of f r e e w i l l versus determinism i n the West.56 For the e a r l y Greeks, the b e l i e f i n an u n a l t e r a b l e f a t e stood opposed to the concept of f r e e w i l l . Consequently, the concept of freedom only a p p l i e d to the p o l i t i c a l sphere. The p r e - S o c r a t i c school of Pythagoras advocated both freedom and determinism s i n c e t h e i r theory of "metempsychosis" i m p l i e d that an i n d i v i d u a l ' s former l i f e i n f l u e n c e s h i s or her present l i f e . I t i s worth noting, here, that Lenz expresses a b e l i e f i n the t r a n s m i g r a t i o n of souls i n "Vom Baum der Erkenntnis Guten und B6sen" ( B l e i IV, 48). 3° I am indebted to the New C a t h o l i c E n c y c l o p e d i a f o r the f o l l o w i n g account of the problem'of f r e e w i l l versus determinism; i n t h i s s e c t i o n , a l l subsequent r e f e r e n c e s , which c o n s i s t of page numbers only, are to t h i s work (VI, 89-106). 103 With the onset of the c l a s s i c a l Greek period, however, the concept of freedom was no longer used within the p o l i t i c a l context only. Socrates was one of the f i r s t philosophers to state the need for individual and subjective freedom. For Socrates, "know thyself!" was the f i r s t human r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and, consequently, the autonomy of the se l f was more important than external authority (Plato, Phaedrus, 229b 1 - 230a 2). The great homage paid to Socrates during the Sturm und Drana and the many references to the Greek philosopher i n the writings of both Hamann and Lenz are acknowledged here, and w i l l be addressed later i n the study.57 Divine providence and human freedom were equally upheld within the Jewish r e l i g i o n . Deuteronomy states that human beings have "the a b i l i t y to choose between good and e v i l , " while Josephus claims that the Sadducees, i n order to protect the individual's freedom, denied God's involvement i n the i r actions (94) . With the a r r i v a l of Ch r i s t i a n i t y and i t s b e l i e f i n the metaphysical aspects of human existence, the influence of predestination on human action was reexamined. The Gnostics rejected human respo n s i b i l i t y , while the Manichaeens renounced 57 see chapters V and VI. the p o s s i b i l i t y of human freedom. The d i f f i c u l t y of coming to terms with the concept of free w i l l i s expressed by St. Augustine, who describes the two diametrically opposed positions of his contemporaries as follows: "some so defend the grace of God that they deny man's free w i l l , and others so defend man's free w i l l that they deny the grace of God" (94). He maintains, furthermore, that the "divine precepts of the Old and New Testaments would be worthless without freedom" (94) . The d i s t i n c t i o n that man i s free "with respect to f i n i t e goods" but "determined to the i n f i n i t e good" was made by St. Thomas Aquinas. He argued that an individual would not be free to act i f he encountered an i n f i n i t e good, but could "accept or refuse a f i n i t e good" (90). Another important consideration for St. Thomas Aquinas was that, since God i s outside of time, the past, the present, and the future are always present to him. Human beings, on the other hand, exist only i n time. Consequently, human choice and God's foreknowledge can be reconciled (90). With regard to God's foreknowledge, Lenz takes a similar p osition as Saint Thomas Aquinas when he writes: Ob er aber vorherwissend sein kann, i s t eine ganz uberfliisssige Frage, da i n Gott keine Zeit stattfinden s o i l , da bei ihm a l l e s Gegenwartigkeit 105 i s t , und der Begriff von Zeit nur von Menschen erfunden i s t , urn i n unsern Verstand Licht und Ordnung zu bringen. (Blei IV, 24) Following the Reformation, Catholics and Protestants disagreed sharply over the doctrine of free w i l l . The Council of Trent confirmed that man lost his o r i g i n a l innocence with the F a l l , but i t pronounced that "the w i l l , although weakened, remained free" and that, under the influence of grace, " i t could consent or dissent" (95). Among Protestant theologians, both Martin Luther and John Calvin rejected the doctrine of freedom of the w i l l . But while Luther held that human beings are predestined not to control t h e i r own fate, Calvin declared that the individual cannot perform a good act unless he i s prompted by God to do so. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries voices for a deterministic interpretation of the universe included Thomas Hobbes who claimed that to conceive of a human being as a free subject was "as absurd as to imagine a round quadrangle" (90). Spinoza saw human beings as being s t r i c t l y determined i n a l l t h e i r actions, while the writings of Descartes and Hume "contain elements of both determinism and freedom" (91). Leibniz believed i n free w i l l , and for him freedom was not only a question of the individual's being free of external forces, but i t implied the integration of the external world 1 0 6 into the i n t e r i o r i t y of the monad. Therefore, i n the Leibnizian monadology freedom does not exclude moral determination but embraces i t . It seems as i f Lenz comes close to the Leibnizian concept of freedom when he notes that God's omniscience and the individual's moral freedom are not necessarily contradictory concepts (Blei IV, 23-24). While Blaise Pascal claimed that freedom could not be known by the individual unless he had "a subjective r e l i g i o u s experience," Malbranche pronounced that " r e l i g i o n and morality were only meaningful as long as the individual was free" (91) . As shown i n chapter II, i n Kant's philosophical thought the two separate realms of human existence, the noumenal and the phenomenal, make i t possible for the individual to act freely as a noumenon but not as a phenomenon. In Hegel's philosophical system reason and freedom develop i n a l o g i c a l fashion. Since a l l r e a l i t y i s of the s p i r i t (Geistiaes), the world constitutes the w i l l of the s p i r i t (Geist) which, i n its' turn, manifests i t s e l f as absolute freedom. Hegel claimed: "Hiermit i s t der Geist als absolute Freiheit vorhanden;...und a l l e Realitat i s t nur Geistiges; die Welt i s t ihm schlechthin sein Willen, und dieser i s t allgemeiner Willen" (Phanomenoloaie des Geistes II, 450). Hegel further held that each concept i s developed i n response to contradictions developed by the concept that 1 0 7 preceded i t ; thus, the moral individualism of the eighteenth century i s the result of a l o g i c a l progression from the pursuit of pleasure to the concept of the Romantic id e a l of "die schone Seele," to the concept of duty i m p l i c i t i n Kant's "categorical imperative" (Phanomenoloaie des Geistes II, 484 f ) . Arthur Schopenhauer granted the existence of free w i l l i n retrospect only and claimed that a human being cannot foresee future acts. Thus, human beings only think they are free (Die  Welt als Wille und Vorstelluna, 650) . The concept of free w i l l i s a central tenet of e x i s t e n t i a l i s t thought. For Kierkegaard--who c r i t i c i z e d Hegel's abstract and universal concepts because they could not stand for individual existence—free w i l l i s at the centre of human existence, and his doctrine of the primacy of the w i l l suggests, furthermore, that human beings choose for themselves one mode of existence rather than another (Either/Or). Karl Jaspers held that each individual i s a "unique being who goes beyond what he already i s and locates his new state o of being i n the process of exercising his freedom" (91). Martin Heidegger claimed that, given certain l i m i t s , "man can be responsible for his destiny by freely choosing his p o s s i b i l i t i e s " (91). For Jean-Paul Sartre, freedom i s a "d i s t i n c t i v e " human characteristic, and the essence of freedom 1 0 8 consists i n the act of choosing one's s e l f (91). But for Sartre as for Heidegger, there i s the constant danger of becoming someone other than we are. Therefore, e x i s t e n t i a l freedom--which i s an absolute choice--is often a question of saying "no" (91). Existentialism holds that i t i s more important to exercise one's free w i l l than to go along with the opinions of others and become false to one's s e l f . Thus the e x i s t e n t i a l i n dividual i s a free subject who r e s i s t s any attempt to transform him into anything objective. It follows, that freedom i s not limited by other people or things, but by the exercise of the individual's autonomous choice. Thus i t i s the individual's task to separate himself from these objective circumstances and become an autonomous s e l f . While e x i s t e n t i a l i s t s affirm the concept of free w i l l , m a terialists deny i f . In "Materialism and Revolution," Sartre wrote that materialism "eliminated subjectivity by reducing the world and man i n i t to a system of objects linked together by universal relationships" (Existentialism versus Marxism, 87). In defense of existentialism, i t has been argued that "the supreme merit of. existentialism" i s " i t s capacity to explain and safeguard man's freedom," since i t "does not subject men to determinism which robs them of free choice and 109 moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for their deeds" (Existentialism versus  Marxism, 329). b. The Theoretical Essays There i s l i t t l e doubt that the thesis that the individual's free w i l l i s a prerequisite for e t h i c a l autonomy i s an important consideration for Lenz, since he addresses i t i n several of his theoretical essays. In "Entwurf eines Briefes an einen Freund, der auf der Akademie Theologie studiert" (1772), he introduces the topic by distinguishing between "moral" and "metaphysical" freedom. He writes: Metaphysische Freiheit ware, wenn ein endliches oder geschaffenes Wesen auSer den ewigen und not-wendigen Gesetzen denken und handeln kdnnte, die der Schopfer denkenden und handelnden Wesen vor-geschrieben. (Blei IV, 22) Here, Lenz claims that metaphysical freedom cannot possibly be a human attribute, since f i n i t e human beings cannot act outside the laws of nature. In addition, Lenz's po s i t i o n seems to contradict Kant's b e l i e f that freedom belongs to the 110 metaphysical realm.^° Lenz proceeds to examine the concept of moral freedom which he def i n e s as: Die Starke, d i e wir anwenden konnen, den T r i e b e n der Natur nach den jedesmaligen E r f o r d e r n i s s e n unsrer bessern Erkenntnis und unserer S i t u a t i o n zu widerstehen. Wir konnen a l s o m o r a l i s c h immer f r e i e r , immer w i l l k u r l i c h e r werden. ( B l e i IV, 23) Lenz claims t h a t — s i n c e God e x i s t s o u t s i d e of time and space--there i s no c o n f l i c t between the concepts of an omniscient God and the moral freedom of the i n d i v i d u a l : Da Gott a l s o d i e K r a f t kennt, d i e er i n uns g e l e g t hat, da er a l l e d i e Gesetze durchschaut, nach denen d i e s e K r a f t s i c h vermehren oder vermindern kann, da er die Wirkungen und Folgen derselben z u g l e i c h mit diesen ewig notwendigen Gesetzen auf einmal u b e r s i e h t - so kann er .allwissend s e i n ohne unserer moralischen F r e i h e i t E i n t r a g zu tun. ( B l e i IV, 23-24) 58 Kant w r i t e s i n the K r i t i k der r e i n e n Vernunft (1781): "Es g i b t e i n U b e r s i n n l i c h e s ' i n uns' ( F r e i h e i t ) , 'uber uns' (Gott), 'nach uns' ( U n s t e r b l i c h k e i t ) ( I I I , 346). Kant f u r t h e r argues that, s i n c e man i s one of the "Erscheinungen der Sinneswelt," he must have an e m p i r i c a l c h a r a c t e r and that consequently w i t h regard t o h i s e m p i r i c a l character, there i s no freedom ( I I I , 372-73) but t h a t w i t h regard to h i s i n t e l l i g i b l e c h a r a c t e r , man's a c t i o n s are brought about by pure reason and as such he a c t s f r e e l y ( I I I , 374 f ) . * . 111 In Meinunaen eines Laien. human freedom i s again interpreted as being i n accordance with God's grace. Lenz writes: "Ja f f e i sind wir, aber f r e i vor Gott, wie Kinder unter den Augen ihres liebreichen Vaters f r e i scherzen und spi'elen durfen" (Blei IV, 131) . And i n "Uber die Natur unsers Geistes," he introduces the problem of free w i l l versus determinism as follows: Jemehr ich i n mir selbst forsche und uber mich nachdenke, destomehr finde ich Grunde zu zweifeln, ob ich auch wirklich ein selbststandiges, von niemand abhangendes [sic] Wesen s e i , wie i c h doch den brennenden Wunsch in mir fiihle. (I, 572) With an anxiety that i s best described as e x i s t e n t i a l , Lenz proceeds to ask the r h e t o r i c a l question, "Wie derm, ich nur ein B a l l der Umstande? ich -?" (I, 572) . However, he then acknowledges a drive i n the human psyche which propels the i n d i v i d u a l towards freedom: Dieser Stolz - was i s t er? wo wurzelt er? S o l l t e er nicht ein Wink von der Natur der menschlichen Seele sein, dass s i e eine Substanz, die nicht selbststandig geboren, aber ein Bestreben ein Trieb i n ihr s e i , sic h zur Selbststandigkeit hinaufzuarbeiten, sic h g l e i c h -sam von dieser groSen Masse der ineinander ( 112 hangenden [ s i c ] Schopfung abzusondern und e i n f u r s i c h bestehendes Wesen auszumachen. (I, 573) In i d e n t i f y i n g a st r o n g d e s i r e f o r independence and freedom i n human nature, Lenz f i r m l y renounces a d e t e r m i n i s t i c conception of the world and challenges those that s u b s c r i b e to a "mechanistic" model of the universe to deny t h i s s t r i v i n g : Konnen d i e H e l v e t i u s s e und a l l e Leute d i e so t i e f i n d i e E i n f l u s s e der uns umgebenden Natur gedrungen s i n d , s i c h s e l b s t dieses Gefiihl ableugnen das das aus ihnen gemacht hat was s i e geworden sind? (I, 573) Concupiscence occupies a ' c e n t r a l p l a c e i n Lenz's e t h i c s and i s , furthermore, c l o s e l y l i n k e d to the i n d i v i d u a l ' s f r e e w i l l . In f a c t , Lenz e s t a b l i s h e s concupiscence as the stimulus (die T r i e b f e d e r ) f o r a l l human a c t i o n (I, 501-502). He a l s o suggests that God awakened Adam and Eve's concupiscence i n order to motivate them to act with moral autonomy. How d i d God accomplish t h i s ? According to Lenz, i t was the c o n f l i c t between God's p r o h i b i t i o n and t h e i r concupiscence that p r o p e l l e d Adam and Eve to act f r e e l y : 113 Es war dies der erste StoS gleichsam, den Gott f r e i e n Wesen gab, die h a n d e 1 n so l l t e n : denn dem Tier kann i c h keine Handlung zuschreiben, eine Handlung aus Instinkt i s t immer noch ein Leiden. Es war dies Verbot die vis centrifuga die Gott dem menschlichen Wesen eindriickte, da die Konkupiszenz gleichsam seine vis centripeta war, und nur bei dem S t r e i t dieser beiden entgegen-wirkenden Krafte konnte s i c h s e i n e F r e i h e i t i m H a n d e l n, seine Selbstwirksamkeit, seine V e l l e i t a t auSern. (I, 502) In his essay "Meine wahre Psychologie," which holds the basic tenets of his thought, Lenz care f u l l y distinguishes between an involuntary physical sensory system and a voluntary Empfindunasvermocren. It i s important to note at thi s point that, according to Lenz, the l a t t e r resides i n the body and enables the individual to choose freely between good and e v i l (Blei IV, 29). Lenz further claims that the w i l l and concupiscence are ide n t i c a l as he refers the reader to an e a r l i e r essay of his which had examined the place of concupiscence i n human nature: 1 1 4 Die begehrenden Krafte zusammengenommen haben den Sitz im Unterleibe vorziiglich und i n dem Samen und heiSen der Wille....(siehe meine Abhandlung vom Baum der Erkenntnis des Guten und Bosen und der Konkupiszenz). (Blei IV, 30) In the following century, Schopenhauer would claim that the sexual urge i s the "focus of the w i l l " and that, consequently, the w i l l reveals i t s e l f as the " i n - i t s e l f " of our phenomenal being (See his essay, "Uber die Freiheit des Willens" i n Uber  die Grundleauna der Moral). Lenz's treatment of the w i l l as part of the sensible rather than the i n t e l l i g i b l e realm also c a l l s to mind Hamann's claim that reason was made to have an erotic component, "Da unsere Vernunft vom Saamen des gottlichen Worts geschwangert werden s o l l t e " (Samtliche Werke I, 52). And i n response to Kant's d i v i s i o n of man into an i n t e l l i g i b l e and a sensible realm, Hamann declared, "Und meine grobe Einbildungskraft i s t niemals im Stande gewesen, sich einen schopferischen Geist ohne g e n i t a l i a vorzustellen" (Briefwechsel 2, 415). Lenz, l i k e Hamann, employs sexual imagery to c l a r i f y his position. For example, i n Meinunaen eines Laien Lenz writes, "Wer aus Gott geboren i s t , der tut nicht Siinde, denn sein Same bleibet bei ihm" (Blei IV, 177).59 And i n his essay, "Vom Baum der Erkenntnis Guten und Bdsen" he maintains: ... da der Same der Menschen eig e n t l i c h das Vehikel ihrer Geister i s t und die Sammlung dieser Geister von der Vernunft, dem Funken, dem Hauch den die Gottheit i n uns gelegt, regiert, das Wesen unsers Genius oder innern Menschen ausmacht.... (Blei IV, 33) Lenz shares Hamann's admiration for Socrates and the socratic. The question i s , to what extent was he influenced by Hamann? During his years i n KSnigsberg, Lenz would have had access to Hamann's Sokratische Denkwurdiakeiten (1759) and Kreuzzucre  eines Philoloaen (1762). According to Rosanow, Lenz corresponded with Hamann p r i o r to his departure from Riga; Rosanow also suggests that the two men may have met i n Kdnigsberg (55 and 463/464, fn 11 and 12). There are also numerous references to Lenz i n Hamann's letters.60 i t i s worth noting that Hamann attributed Lenz' s "Anmerkungen iibers 59 see also 1 John, 1:9: No one born of God commits si n ; for God's nature abides i n him, and he cannot s i n because he i s born of God. 6 0 See Briefwechsel 4: 122, 123f, 126, 131, 132, 138, 141, 164, 167, 204, 250, 257, 324, 333, 424; Vol. 5: 140, 169, 171; Vol 7: 9. Hamann also notes that Lenz wrote to him (Briefwechsel 4, 131). 116 Theater" to Goethe and that he thought h i g h l y of Lenz. He wrote: Er [Goethe] hat einen L i e f l a n d e r , Lenz i n StraSburg j e t z o Hofmeister, zum Nebenbuler s e i n e r Laufbahn, den V e r f . des Hofmeisters u. neuen Menoza, welchen l e t z t e n i c h auch noch n i c h t kenne. Diinkt Ihnen n i c h t auch, daS d i e Stiicke d i e s e r A r t t i e f e r a l s der ganze B e r l i n , l i t e r a r . Geschm. r e i c h e n . (Briefwechsel 3, 122) In the past three decades, Lenz s c h o l a r s h i p has, f o r the most p a r t , i n t e r p r e t e d the poin t of view presented i n Lenz's prose and drama as thoroughly d e t e r m i n i s t i c . Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , then, the opening paragraph of h i s "Gotz von B e r l i c h i n g e n " i s o f t e n quoted i n support of t h i s t h e s i s : Wir werden geboren - unsere E l t e r n geben uns Brot und K l e i d - unsere Lehrer driicken i n unser H i r n Worte, Sprachen, Wissenschaften -i r g e n d e i n a r t i g e s Madchen drilckt i n unser Herz den Wunsch, es eigen zu b e s i t z e n , es i n unsere Arme a l s unser Eigentum zu s c h l i e S e n , wenn s i c h n i c h t gar e i n t i e r i s c h Bedilrfnis mit h i n e i n m i s c h t -es entsteht eine Liicke i n der Republik, wo wir hineinpassen - unsere Freunde, Verwandte, Gonner 117 setzen an und stoSen uns glucklich hinein - wir drehen uns eine Zeitlang i n diesem Platz herum, wie die andern Rader, und stossen und treiben -bis wir, wenn's noch so ordentlich geht, abgestumpft sind und zuletzt wieder einem neuem Rade Platz machen milssen - das i s t , meine Herren! ohne Ruhm zu melden unsere Biographie -und was bleibt nun der Mensch noch anders als eine vorziiglich kunstliche kleine Maschine, die i n die groSe Maschine, die wir Welt, Weltbegebenheiten, Weltlaufte [sic] nennen, besser oder schlimmer hineinpaSt. (I, 378) Granted th i s passage describes a determined universe; however, i n the next paragraph Lenz renounces such a mode of - l i f e as an existence unworthy of human beings and points to the individual's potential for authentic and autonomous being: Kein Wunder, das die Philosophen so philosophieren, wenn die Menschen so leben. Aber heiSt das gelebt? HeiSt das seine Existenz gefiihlt, seine selbststandige Existenz, den Funken von Gott? Ha, er muS i n was Besserm stekken, der Reiz des Lebens; denn ein B a l l anderer zu sein, i s t ein 118 trauriger niederdruckender Gedanke, eine ewige Sklaverei, eine nur kiinstlichere, eine vernunftige aber eben um dessentwillen desto elendere Tierschaft. . (I, 378) Heightened consciousness of existence and s e l f -r e a l i z a t i o n are what Lenz demands from l i t e r a t u r e . In the words of Roy Pascal,"Lenz fordert von der Poesie 'Zuwachs an Existenz'" (Wacker, Sturm und Drana. 64). Indeed, Lenz i s c r i t i c a l of contemporary French drama because i t leaves the audience with nothing more than the pleasant feeling a good bottle of champagne produces (I,'380). Instead, he praises the Promethean spark of Goethe's G6tz von Berlichinaen: Wo i s t der l e b e n d i g e Eindruck, der sich i n Gesinnungen, Taten und H a n d l u n g e n hernach einmischt, der prometheische Funken der s i c h so unvermerkt i n unsere innerste Seele hineingestohlen, daS er, wenn wir ihn nicht durch ganzliches S t i l l i e g e n i n s i c h selbst wieder verglimmen lassen, unser ganzes Leben beseligt.... (I, 380) Freedom and morality are closely linked i n Lenz's thoughts. In the opening paragraph of "Versuch uber das erste Principium der Moral," Lenz gives the following d e f i n i t i o n of morality. Morality, he assures the reader, i s the d i s c i p l i n e 119 that teaches the individual to use his free w i l l i n a manner o conducive to f u l f i l l i n g his human potential: Da die Moral die Lehre von der Bestimmung des Menschen und von dem rechten Gebrauch seines freien Willens um diese Bestimmung zu erreichen i s t , so sehen wir klar, dass sie die Zeichnung zu dem ganzen Gemalde unsers Lebens enthalt.... (I, 483) In the f i r s t supplement of "Vom Baum der Erkenntnis Guten und Bosen," he ascertains that God intended man to be a free agent, a l i t t l e creator who follows i n his footsteps, "...aber er s o l l t e auch f r e i , ein kleiner Schopfer, der Gottheit n a c h h a n d e l n " (Blei IV, 7 1 ) . 6 1 In Meinunaen eines Laien (1775), Lenz elaborates on what he conceives to be the princip l e of o r i g i n a l sin--namely, human nature (Blei IV, 92). He further claims that only when the aims of nature and those of a freely acting individual coincide, do they lead to perfect unity: "Die Natur hat ihre Zwecke, der wahrhaftig f r e i e Mensch die seinigen, und die 61 With this d e f i n i t i o n , Lenz comes close to the Leibnizian concept of the a r t i s t who follows i n the creator's footsteps. See Allan Blunden's important essay, "J.M.R. Lenz and Leibniz: A point of view." 120 Vereinigung dieser Zwecke gibt das vollkommenste Ganze" (Blei IV, 9 2 ) . According to Martini, the focus of Lenz's dramatic theory i n the "Anmerkungen" i s the dramatization of the modern "Selbstbewusstsein des zu seiner vollen i n d i v i d u e l l e n F r e i h e i t gelangten Ich." This s e l f i s further described as "ein Ich, das aus seiner eigenen Entscheidung und Verantwortung handeln und aus seinem eigenen krit i s c h e n Denken und Gewissen fragen und u r t e i l e n w i l l " ("Die Einheit der Konzeption i n J.M.R. Lenz' 'Anmerkungen ilbers Theater, ' " 262) . c. The Drama In marked contrast to the independent characters described i n the "Anmerkungen," the protagonists i n Lenz's plays appear to be impotent and despondent inhabitants of a determined universe. Individual freedom i s at best a topic for academic speculation, but has no place i n the day to day l i f e of Lenz's dramatic characters. The question that remains to be addressed i s : does the dissonance between Lenz's dramatic theories and his drama suggest nothing more than the dichotomy that exists between his v i s i o n of an ideal world and the s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s of eighteenth-century Germany? 121 I f one s t a r t s from the premise that the p a s s i v i t y and • dependence d i s p l a y e d by the characters i n Der Hofmeister and Die Soldaten are symptomatic of a m e n t a l i t y that renders them inc a p a b l e of a c t i n g as autonomous and e t h i c a l i n d i v i d u a l s , i t seems warranted to explore the nature of t h e i r malaise. In Der Hofmeister, freedom i s the banner under which der Geheime Rat and Wenzeslaus are u n i t e d . Both indulge i n p h i l o s o p h i z i n g about human freedom; however, the former i s not a b l e to venture much beyond h i s t h e o r i e s , and the l a t t e r ' s d a i l y r o u t i n e serves- to demonstrate that a b s t r a c t concepts have no concrete a p p l i c a t i o n i n h i s l i f e . I f one were to apply K a n t i a n c a t e g o r i e s , one could, perhaps, c o n s i d e r the c o u n c i l l o r as the noumenon. As such, he would be impotent, s i n c e h i s i n f l u e n c e does not extend beyond h i s immediate sphere, Wenzeslaus as the phenomenon, on the other hand, co u l d not but be determined i n a l l h i s a c t i o n s . One may w e l l ask, what degree of freedom, i f any, the p r o t a g o n i s t i n Per Hofmeister enjoys. As h i s name suggests, Lauffer' i s e s s e n t i a l l y a servant i n the von Berg household. Pue to f i n a n c i a l r e s t r a i n t s , he i s condemned to i n v o l u n t a r y c e l i b a c y f o r the d u r a t i o n of h i s employment. In f a c t , L a u f f e r i s f o r c e d to suppress h i s s e x u a l i t y i n exchange f o r h i s p o s i t i o n . Thus a l i e n a t e d , he enters i n t o a sexual r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h i s charge Gustchen. As a r e s u l t of t h i s l i a i s o n , he i s 122 f o r c e d to f l e e from the household and seek refuge w i t h Wenzeslaus, the v i l l a g e schoolmaster, who promptly t r i e s to r e c r u i t him as h i s d i s c i p l e . In the meantime, there i s c i r c u m s t a n t i a l evidence that Gustchen has drowned h e r s e l f a f t e r g i v i n g b i r t h to L a u f f e r ' s c h i l d . L a u f f e r promptly c a s t r a t e s h i m s e l f when he recognizes the c h i l d as h i s . S h o r t l y afterwards and d e s p i t e the prospect of a s t e r i l e union, L a u f f e r marries a young peasant g i r l . However, the happy ending of the p l a y , which has puzzled c r i t i c s , l a c k s c r e d i b i l i t y , and one i s l e f t with the uneasy f e e l i n g that with h i s s e l f - c a s t r a t i o n , L a u f f e r has ceased to e x i s t as an a u t h e n t i c and e t h i c a l s e l f . Perhaps the i r o n y of the t i t l e , Der Hofmeister oder V o r t e i l e der P r i v a t e r z i e h u n a . has not been s u f f i c i e n t l y explored. Since i n the f i n a l a n a l y s i s i t i s the t u t o r who l o s e s h i s i d e n t i t y as an independent s e l f , one may w e l l ask what advantages there are to p r i v a t e t u t o r i n g from the p o i n t of view of the t u t o r ? The prominent place that concupiscence p l a y s i n the i n d i v i d u a l ' s s t r u g g l e f o r freedom and moral autonomy i n Lenz's drama cannot be ignored. For Lenz, concupiscence i s more than a b i o l o g i c a l f u n c t i o n that guarantees the s u r v i v a l of homo sapiens: i t i s the p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n and moral a c t i o n . C o n s i d e r i n g the c e n t r a l place that concupiscence holds 123 i n Lenz's thoughts on e t h i c s , the important place which B l a i s e Pascal a t t r i b u t e s to concupiscence i s worth noting. He w r i t e s : Grandeur de 1'homme dans sa concupiscence meme, d'en a v o i r su t i r e un reglement admirable, et d'en av o i r f a i t un tableau de l a c h a r i t y . Les rai s o n s des e f f e t s marquent l a grandeur de 1'homme, d'avoir t i r ^ de l a concupiscence un s i b e l ordre. (Pens£es de Pascal, 138) In Lenz's plays, characters who suppress or abuse t h e i r s e x u a l i t y are unable to function as autonomous selves and seem condemned to a l i f e of p a s s i v i t y and moral l a s s i t u d e . This i s true of L a u f f e r i n Der Hofmeister, who with the s e l f - i n f l i c t e d d e s t r u c t i o n of h i s geni t a l i a - - w h i c h , according to Lenz are the seat of the human w i l l ( B l e i IV, 30)--has s a c r i f i c e d h i s p o t e n t i a l as an authentic and e t h i c a l s e l f . I t fo l l o w s that, i f one acknowledges concupiscence as being i d e n t i c a l w i t h the i n d i v i d u a l ' s free w i l l , concupiscence becomes the source of human e t h i c s . Thus the i n d i v i d u a l who s a c r i f i c e s or abuses h i s concupiscence i s no longer capable of e t h i c a l a c t i o n s . One could i n t e r p r e t , therefore, i n the f i n a l scene of Der  Hofmeister, L a u f f e r i s absent because he i s impotent i n the p h y s i c a l as w e l l as i n the moral sense and thus no longer capable of fu n c t i o n i n g as an autonomous s e l f . 124 The o f f i c e r s i n Die Soldaten share a similar fate. Coerced into giving up their right to marry, they f i n d themselves i n an untenable position. In order to escape the burden of enforced celibacy, they court the daughters of the l o c a l bourgeoisie without, however, taking r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the consequences of their actions. Furthermore, since they are incapable of moral actions, they are no longer autonomous individuals but reduced to mere automata.^2 d. The Aesthetic as a Mode of Existence Lenz makes the d i s t i n c t i o n between the aesthetic and the e t h i c a l as modes of human existence i n both prose and drama. Since Kierkegaard, the prototype of the individual who l i v e s exclusively for the pleasurable moments of l i f e i s the seducer whose compulsive erotic pursuits provide a case study of an aesthete's despair i n "The Diary of the Seducer" (Either/Or). It seems an extraordinary coincidence that Lenz, more than 2^ As pointed out i n chapters III and IV, there are many instances where the aesthetic i s contrasted with the e t h i c a l i n Lenz's plays. Again, the treatment of the aesthetic and the ethical as stages i n human l i f e - -described by Kierkegaard half a century later--seems to be anticipated by Lenz. 125 half a century before Kierkegaard, chooses the example of a Don Juan who feels nothing except his sensuality, to demonstrate the point that adhering to a p a r t i a l i d e n t i t y results i n ignorance of the self which, i n i t s turn, leads to an unethical mode of life.63 Lenz writes: Ich w i l l aber versuchen, Ihnen die ganze Schwiirigkeit mit zween Worten zu heben. Aus d e r u n r i c h t i g e n K e n n t n i s s e i n e r s e l b s t. Der W o l l i i s t l i n g f i i h l t bloS seine Sinnlichkeit. Er wiirde erschrocklich bose werden, wenn man ihm a n s c h a u e n d und l e b e n d i g zu erkennen gabe, daS er hohere Fahigkeiten habe, deren Gefuhl inn unendlich mehr belustigen wurde. (I, 493) Whether i t be the amorous pursuits of a Don Juan or the cerebral self-absorption of philosophers, a purely aesthetic, one-sided approach to l i f e , constitutes a f l i g h t from the s e l f . An indication of the importance of this r e a l i z a t i o n for Lenz i s the fact that the aesthetic as a theme surfaces i n a l l of his major plays. 63 i f one examines the extent of Hamann's influence on Kierkegaard (See fn 72) and considers the fact that the former's ideas are reflected i n Lenz's writings, one may venture that i t i s Hamann's ex i s t e n t i a l thought which surfaces i n the writing of both Lenz and Kierkegaard. In Der neue Menoza, Prince Tandi complains, "Das bloSe GenieSen scheint mir recht die Krankheit, an der die Europaer arbeiten" ( I I , I I . v i , 130), and Baccalaureus Zierau, whose very name i d e n t i f i e s him as an aesthete, unwittingly stresses the aesthetic aspects of his abstract way of l i f e when he exclaims, "Die echte Vernunft lehrt uns g l i i c k l i c h sein, unsern Pfad mit Blumen bestreuen" (I I , I I . v i , 131). In responding to Zierau, Prince Tandi chooses words which c l e a r l y indicate that the spectre of death i s part of the aesthetic garden, "Aber die Blumen welken und sterben" ( I I , I I . v i , 131). However, Zierau's off hand remark: "So pflilckt man neue," indicates that the significance of Prince Tandi's comment i s lost on him ( I I , I I . v i , 131). The aesthetic i s confronted with the spectre of death more than once i n Der neue Menoza. On one occasion, Wilhelmine i s i n an unhappy frame of mind because she has reason to believe that Prince Tandi, her fiance, i s her brother. Baccalaureus Zierau arrives on the scene to take her to a masked b a l l . His motivation i s - - i n hi's own words--to provide "ein k l e i n Divertissement" (II,IV.i, 166). Wilhelmine responds to his i n v i t a t i o n by pointing to her embroidery, which depicts Hymen extinguishing his torch, and exclaiming, "hier i s t mein Divertissement." Lenz makes an e x i s t e n t i a l statement here by c o n t r a s t i n g the image of death with the p u r s u i t of empty d i v e r s i o n s . A p u r e l y a e s t h e t i c approach to l i f e which dismisses the q u e s t i o n of e t h i c s i s advocated by Magister Beza, the second academic i n Der neue Menoza. He goes so f a r as to suggest to the P r i n c e that a marriage between s i b l i n g s would not be immoral s i n c e i t i s not contrary to n a t u r a l law and t h e r e f o r e a c c e p t a b l e to God ( I I , I I I . x i , 161-62). In Der Enalander (1777), Lenz c o n t r a s t s the a e s t h e t i c aspects of human existence with the r e a l i t y of death. Robert Hot, a young E n g l i s h nobleman, i s encouraged by h i s f a t h e r to surrender to the charms of a lady of the demi-monde. The f a t h e r hopes that the p u r s u i t of pleasure and empty d i v e r s i o n s w i l l cure Robert's passionate love f o r Armida, an I t a l i a n p r i n c e s s , and thus render him r e c e p t i v e to an arranged marriage with Lord Hamilton's daughter back i n England. He pleads w i t h Robert to come to h i s senses and assures him that he w i l l be happy only i f he i s "vernunftig" ( I I , V . i , 339), but Robert, r a t h e r than go along with h i s f a t h e r ' s wishes, commits s u i c i d e . As he l i e s dying, he makes i t q u i t e c l e a r that h i s c h o i c e of Armida was an e t h i c a l d e c i s i o n : ...so v i e l Augen haben nach mir g e f u n k e l t ! so v i e l Busen nach mir s i c h ausgedehnt! i c h h a t t e so v i e l 1 2 8 Vergnugen haben.kflnnen - nein, das i s t n i c h t dankbar...Sie wurden r o t , wenn s i e mit mir sprachen, s i e s t o t t e r t e n , s i e stammelten, s i e z i t t e r t e n - nur eine, sagte i c h , nur eine - und das war mein Lohn! (II, V . i , 351) With death imminent, a p r i e s t i s summoned to Robert's bedside. He admonishes Robert to repent and forego the memory of Armida and surrender himself to the w i l l of God. In response to the p r i e s t ' s l e c t u r e , Robert presses Armida's p o r t r a i t to h i s l i p s and i n dying exclaims: "Armida! Armida.. - Behalt e t euren Himmel f a r euch" (II, V . i , 3 5 3 ) . L i k e Robert i n Der Enalander. Meursault i n Camus' novel L'Etranaer faces a s i m i l a r d e c i s i o n s h o r t l y before h i s death. A p r i e s t v i s i t s him i n h i s c e l l and urges him to prepare f o r h i s a f t e r l i f e . The p r i e s t suggests to him that he should look f o r , and seek solace i n , the face of C h r i s t , which many have seen r e f l e c t e d on the stone w a l l s of the p r i s o n i n t h e i r l a s t hour. Meursault counters that the only face he wished f o r dur i n g h i s long imprisonment was the s u n - l i t face of Marie, h i s g i r l . Despite Meursault's l a c k of i n t e r e s t i n h i s we l l - r e h e a r s e d h o m i l i e s , the p r i e s t does not gi v e up. As Meursault becomes more and more i r r i t a t e d by the p r i e s t , h i s anger gets the b e t t e r of him and he shouts that a l l the p r i e s t ' s c e r t a i n t i e s "are not worth one s t r a n d of a woman's hair" (Camus, 151).In the end, alone and reconciled to his past and present, Meursault faces his death with a certain amount of exhilaration. Kierkegaard claims that only i n the face of death, does the individual become subjective and make an et h i c a l commitment to himself, the existing subject. In his Concluding Unscientific Postscript he writes: We wish to know how a man's. conception of death w i l l transform a man's entire life...The question must be raised of the p o s s i b i l i t y of finding an et h i c a l expression for the significance of death... And furthermore, i t i s evident that when the subject thinks his own death, this i s a deed. For a man i n general, for an absent-minded individual l i k e Soldin or a systematic philosopher, to think death i n general i s indeed no act or deed; i t i s only a something i n general, and what such a something i n general r e a l l y i s , i s at bottom a very d i f f i c u l t thing to say. But i f the task of l i f e i s to become subjective, then the thought of death i s not, for the individual subject, something i n general, but v e r i l y a deed. For the development of the subject consists precisely i n his active 1 3 0 interpenetration of himself by r e f l e c t i o n concerning his own existence.... (150-51) Strephon, the hapless philosopher of Die Freunde machen den  Philosophen has by his own admission become what other people see i n him (II,V.i, 323). In a su i c i d a l mood, Strephon laments the loss of his s e l f and attributes i t to his vanity: Der Mensch i s t so geneigt, sich selber zu betrugen; hat er Verstand genug, sich vor seiner Eigenliebe zu bewahren, so kommen tausend andere und vereinigen ihre Krafte, seine entschlafene Eigenliebe zu erwecken, um den Selbstbetrug unerhort zumachen. - Also ein Philosoph? - Und nichts weiter? ( I I , I V . i i i , 319) Strephon loads his p i s t o l to make an end to what he considers a wasted l i f e . A philosopher, he describes his chosen profession as "beobachtende Untatigkeit" and regrets that his vanity and self-importance have led him to l i v e an inauthentic existence: Ein Mensch, der al i e n Rechten der Menschheit entsagt, um sich bei andern i n ein torichtes Ansehen zu setzen. So einer war ich f r e i l i c h , Mezzotinto, wie jeder Mensch gem das wird, wofur andere ihn halten. Seraphine hat meine E i t e l k e i t zuerst iiberwunden und mich uberzeugt, daS ein bloSer Beobachter nur ein halber Mensch s e i . (II,V.i, 322-23) However, as Strephon prepares for what he perceives to be his f i n a l hour, he acknowledges that his death i s the f i r s t good deed of his l i f e : "Dieser Tod i s t des wahren Philosophen wurdig, dieser Tod i s t die erste gute Handlung meines Lebens" (II,V.i, 323). A r e f l e c t i v e aesthete, Strephon has spent his entire l i f e as "ein halber Mensch" (II,Vi, 323). Preoccupied with abstract thinking and distracted by the constant demands of his friends, he has become a stranger to his own s e l f . For Strephon i t i s the sudden encounter with death that leads him to examine his past l i f e and r e a l i z e i t s f u t i l i t y . In Die Soldaten. the aesthetes are divided into two groups: the aesthetes proper and the r e f l e c t i v e aesthetes. The former are i n the majority; they are the soldiers who seduce the l o c a l g i r l s , frequent the theatre, and daydream while on duty. The l a t t e r spend their time preoccupied with abstract thinking. Among the r e f l e c t i v e aesthetes i s Hauptmann P i r z e l , an armchair philosopher, whose demeanour epitomizes the speculative thinker's detachment from l i f e . He claims, furthermore, that the unethical conduct of the soldiers can be attributed to their reluctance to engage i n thinking, "Wie ich Ihnen die Ehre und das Vergnugen hatte zu sagen Herr Pfarrer! das macht Weil die Leute nicht denken" ( I I , I I . i i , 199-200). In Der Hofmeister. the aesthetic as a mode of existence i s somewhat less pronounced. However, Lauffer's and Gustchen's constant role-playing points to the aesthetic attitude they share. And although they adopt the roles of the immortal lovers Romeo and J u l i e t , t h e i r love remains a figment of their imagination. Furthermore, the constant posturing of Lauffer and Count Wermuth--the l a t t e r ' s name attests to the fact that he subscribes to a somewhat decadent life-style--may be interpreted as the multiple perspectives that characterize the aesthete's point of view. Thus, while i n the theoretical writing and prose the struggle between the aesthetic and the e t h i c a l i s presented d i a l e c t i c a l l y , Lenz's dramatic characters, i n i t i a l l y court and ultimately succumb to the aesthete's perspective on r e a l i t y . In the end, i t i s their singular passion that renders them incapable of eth i c a l commitment and ultimately results i n despair and resignation. e. The E t h i c a l "Point of View" of the Subjective Thinker D i a m e t r i c a l l y opposed to the ae s t h e t i c mode of l i f e stands the e t h i c a l . In "Versuch uber das erste P r i n c i p i u m der Moral," Lenz makes the point that e t h i c s determines our whole l i f e s i n c e i t leads us to make the r i g h t use of our free w i l l so that we may f u l f i l l our human p o t e n t i a l . He w r i t e s : Da die Moral die Lehre von der Bestimmung des Menschen und von dem rechten Gebrauch seines f r e i e n W i l l e n s um diese Bestimmung zu err e i c h e n i s t , so sehen w i r k l a r , daS s i e d i e Zeichnung zu dem ganzen Gemalde unsers Lebens ent h a l t , welcher w i r , jenachdem s i c h b e i reiferem A l t e r und fruchtbaren Umstanden unsere Fahigkeiten entwickeln, L i c h t Schatten und K o l o r i t geben. (1,483) But although Lenz acknowledges the importance of e t h i c s i n human existence, he questions whether an o b j e c t i v e and u n i v e r s a l e t h i c a l i d e a l or code i s p o s s i b l e f o r a l l times, f o r a l l people, and under a l l circumstances ( I , 538) and comes to the f o l l o w i n g conclusion: Jeder Mensch b r i n g t s e i n MaS von Begierden und Kraften, seine Harmonie und Ubereinstimmung von Begierden und Kraften, s e i n Moralsystem mit s i c h auf die Welt, und nach MaSgabe des Gebrauchs den 134 er von denselben macht, erhohet und verbessert s i c h dasselbe unaufhorlich. Wir werden a l l e gut geboren, und das Bessere und Schlimmere unserer Handlungen und unseres Zustandes hangt l e d i g l i c h von uns selber ab. (I, 550). There i s l i t t l e doubt that the above passage negates the claim that an objective system of ethics i s possible. Instead, i t considers ethics as the subjective concern of the i n d i v i d u a l . As T i t e l points out, Lenz's position i s quite h e r e t i c a l and contrary to the teachings of the C h r i s t i a n church on o r i g i n a l sin (I, 702). In his essay Stimmen des  Laien. Lenz describes o r i g i n a l s i n as ontological anxiety. He notes: ...daS es gewisse Situationen unseres Lebens gibt, wo a l l e s fur uns verloren zu sein scheint, wo wir uns so gar nichts mehr dilnken, wo wir unsere ganze U n b e s t i m m t h e i t , das traurige Los der Menschheit, ich mochte das ihre Erbsilnde nennen, aufs hochste fiihlen. (I, 569) . Thus Lenz i s not interested i n proposing a universal system of ethics.. On the contrary, he stresses again and again that he i s neither a philosopher nor a moralist and does not intend his writings to be didactic (I, 384, 385, 386). He cautions, furthermore, that any individual who has a 135 "moralischen Endzweck" would necessarily d i s q u a l i f y himself from being a poet (I, 386). The question i s , what does he ask of the poet? The answer i s given by Lenz himself: Wo b l e i b t aber da der Dichter?... GroSe Philosophen mogen diese Herren immer sein, groSe allgemeine Menschenkenntnis, Gesetze der menschlichen Seele Kenntnis, aber wo bleibt die v i n d i v i d u e l l e ? (I, 341) For Lenz, subjectivity and inwardness and not o b j e c t i v i t y are the primary characteristics of a poet. And he goes even further when he assures the reader that "der hOchste Vorzug eines Dichters fur die Ewigkeit i s t ein edles Herz" (387). In the "Anmerkungen ubers Theater" he advocates s u b j e c t i v i t y as the most desirable characteristic of a true poet when he writes: "Ich sage, der Dichter malt das ganze Stuck auf seinen eigenen Charakter" (I, 352). In addition, he urges poets to be more c r i t i c a l and ascribes the o b j e c t i v i t y of contemporary writers to nothing more than a lack of sub j e c t i v i t y and ind i v i d u a l i n i t i a t i v e : In der Tat i s t keine Fertigkeit i n unsern U r t e i l e n nirgends mehr anzutreffen und man beschdnigt das mit dem saubern Namen der Unparteilichkeit, da man es doch v i e l wahrer Unvermogen nennen s o l l t e . . . . Die Ubereilung im Urteilen i s t im Grunde nichts als die Faulheit im Urteilen, man uberlaSt das Geschafte andern und denn s t o t t e r t man nach. (I, 402). He also maintains that the individual crosses over from the aesthetic to the ethical stage, when no longer s i l e n t , he chooses himself, his role i n the world, to the best of his a b i l i t i e s . 64 i n "fjber Gotz von Berlichingen, " Lenz further considers the aesthetic and the ethical as stages i n the development of the individual s e l f : ...denn meine Herren Sie sind j e t z t Manner - und • ich hoff ich habe nicht mehr notig, Ihnen den Ausspruch des Apostels Pauli zuzurufen: Als ich ein Kind war tat ich wie ein Kind, als ich aber ein Mann ward, legt i ch das Kindische ab. Wenn jeder i n seine Rolle ganz eindringt und a l l e s draus macht was draus zu machen ist--denken Sie meine Herren! welch eine Idee! welch ein Gotterspiel! (I, 382) Again, he uses the stage as a metaphor and claims that human beings are only s i l e n t inhabitants of the world u n t i l they are ca l l e d upon to play their roles and f u l f i l l t h e i r human potential to the best of their a b i l i t y : °4 "Uberhaupt, m. H., muS man h a n d e l n um r e d e n zu konnen" (I, 456). Wir sind a l l e , meine Herren! i n gewissem Verstand noch stumme Personen auf dem groSen Theater der Welt bis es den Direkteurs gefallen wird uns eine Rolle zu geben. Welche sie aber auch s e i , so. mussen wir uns doch a l l e bereit halten i n derselben zu handeln, und jenachdem wir besser oder schlimmer, schwacher oder starker handeln, jenachdem haben wir hernach besser oder schlimmer gespielt,. jenachdem verbessern wir auch unser auSerliches und innerliches Gluck. (I, 381) For Lenz, subjectivity extends to a l l aspects of human existence, even to religious f a i t h . For, he argues, since f a i t h i s subjective, i t i s the task of the individual to l i v e his f a i t h : der Gerechte wird und muss seines Glaubens leben. Merken Sie wohl, seines [my i t a l i c s ] - - denn nach Massgabe seiner Individualitat hat jeder seinen individuellen Glauben. (I, 565) Lenz claims, furthermore, that the more subjective the in d i v i d u a l becomes, the more of a virtuoso he becomes i n his f a i t h and the more autonomous i n his actions: Das gibt denn hernach die Virtuosen, die es i n dieser, jener Individualitat weit gebracht haben, und ihrer Ernte so unbekummert genieSen konnen, 138 mag die Welt sie nun mit Dreck oder Blumen bewerfen, sie auf- und niederzerren, die Lange und die Breite, sie - i c h weiS nicht was? (I, 565) It i s evident not only from his endorsement of s u b j e c t i v i t y i n the "Anmerkungen iibers Theater" but from the subjective approach he advocates i n his other writings, that the concepts of ethics and subjectivity are interdependent i n Lenz's thought. Most importantly, subjectivity i s clo s e l y associated with Standpunkt and Gesichtspunkt. terms he uses frequently i n both his theoretical writing and his correspondence. How i s one to interpret Lenz's use of the term Standpunkt i n the following, often cited passage from the "Anmerkungen ubers Theater?": Der wahre Dichter verbindet nicht i n seiner Einbildungskraft, wie es ihm g e f a l l t , was die Herren die schone Natur zu nennen belieben, was aber mit ihrer Erlaubnis nichts als die verfehlte Natur i s t . Er nimmt Standpunkt--und dann muss er so verbinden. (1,33 6-37) F i r s t l y , what are the et h i c a l implications of his understanding of the terms Standpunkt and Gesichtspunkt? Since the term Standpunkt nehmen i s central to an appreciation of Lenz's concept of ethics, a short review of the c r i t i c a l 139 l i t e r a t u r e which concerns i t s e l f with the term Standpunkt i n Lenz seems appropriate. Leidher begins h i s essay, "The Dream of I d e n t i t y : Lenz and the problem of Standpunkt, " by suggesting "that Lenz's conception of the term Standpunkt nehmen r e l a t e s to the issue w i t h which the "Anmerkungen iibers Theater" begin--namely, "the weakness of n a t i o n a l i d e n t i t y i n l a t e eighteenth-century Germany" ( 388 ) . He grants, however, that "here and i n s e v e r a l other l o c a t i o n s Lenz gives the word an a d d i t i o n a l burden of meaning that he never e x p l i c i t l y defines" ( 3 8 7 ) . Leidner, then, uses the f o l l o w i n g Lenz quote: "So griindet s i c h a l l unsere S e l b s t s t a n d i g k e i t a l l unsere Existenz auf die Menge...." to substantiate h i s claim that: Lenz does not conceive of i n d i v i d u a l autonomy as v i a b l e against an i n f i n i t e l y open ground of freedom: as h o r r i b l e as i t i s to be a cog i n a machine, the opposite extreme "the autonomous being, dependent on no one" i s c l e a r l y an i m p o s s i b i l i t y . As he states above, "the foundation of our autonomy i s the c o l l e c t i v i t y . " (Leidner, 391) However, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to a t t r i b u t e the statement, "the foundation of our autonomy i s the c o l l e c t i v i t y , " to Lenz, since the complete sentence that Leidner r e f e r s to i n d i c a t e s . that Menae can hardly be t r a n s l a t e d as " c o l l e c t i v i t y " here. Lenz w r i t e s : So grilndet s i c h a l l unsere S e l b s t s t a n d i g k e i t a l l unsere Existenz auf die Menge den Umfang d i e Wahrheit unsrer Gefuhle und Erfahrungen, und auf di e Starke mit der w i r s i e ausgehalten, das heiSt ilber s i e gedacht haben oder welches e i n e r l e i i s t , uns i h r e r b e w u S t g e w o r d e n s i n d . ( I , 575) E d i t h Braemer was one of the f i r s t to comment on Lenz's use of t h i s term, arguing i n 1959 that the term Standpunkt i s emblematic of a s o c i a l development i n the eighteenth century that saw a " Standpunkt-Einnehmen gegeniiber den g e s e l l s c h a f t l i c h e n Fragen" of the bourgeois c l a s s i n a p o s i t i v e l i g h t ( 6 4 - 6 5 ). T i t e l considers the term Standpunkt  nehmen--in the sense that Lenz uses i t - - a s "den Standort des Malers, von dem aus s i c h ihm e i n Gegenstand i n bestimmter Weise d a r b i e t e t . . . , " and as such i t s i g n i f i e s "nicht mehr und n i c h t weniger a l s eine Garantie f u r objektgemaSe D a r s t e l l u n g " (Diss. 1 5 ). T i t e l emphasizes, moreover, that the term bears no r e l a t i o n s h i p to the L e i b n i z i a n point de vue. She w r i t e s , "mit dem 'point de vue' der Leibnizschen Monade ... .hat d i e V o r s t e l l u n g n i c h t s zu tun...." (footnote 337 , I, 6 5 3 ) . F r i t z M a r t i n i i n t e r p r e t s Lenz's use of the term Standpunkt nehmen as 1 4 1 e x e r c i s i n g s e l e c t i v e c r e a t i v i t y (1970). And i n h i s 1978 essay,• Blunden suggests that Standpunkt and Gesichtspunkt are "quasi-t e c h n i c a l terms i n which the world-view of the L e i b n i z i a n Monadologie i s i m p l i c i t " ("J. M. R. Lenz and L e i b n i z : A p o i n t of view," 3 - 1 8 ) . 6 5 In h i s 1980 d o c t o r a l d i s s e r t a t i o n , Pope claims t h a t Lenz's use of Standpunkt nehmen imp l i e s that, i n order "to adopt the r i g h t 'standpoint,' the poet must put h i m s e l f i n the p o s i t i o n of h i s o b j e c t and adopt i t s [my i t a l i c s ] own p o i n t of view" (174). The question i s : does Lenz suggest an objective p o i n t of view when he makes use of the term S t a n d p u n k t nehmen? L e n z 1 s t h e o r e t i c a l w r i t i n g and h i s p e r s o n a l correspondence seem to suggest that the terms Standpunkt and Gesichtspunkt are interchangeable and synonomous with t a k i n g a subjective p o s i t i o n . In a l e t t e r to Lavater of 8 A p r i l , 1775, Lenz expresses h i s a p p r e c i a t i o n of Lavater's Standpunkt i n the f o l l o w i n g words, "Dich, deinen Standpunkt, deinen Wirkungskreis nach Wurden erkenne und ausmesse" ( B r i e f e I, 42). b-> For the preceding review of the s c h o l a r l y c o n t r i b u t i o n s which examine Lenz's use of the terms Standpunkt and Gesichtspunkt. I am indebted to Alan Lei d n e r . In the "Anmerkungen iibers Theater" Lenz notes that, since the ancient Greeks looked upon the world as wholly determined and believed their fate to be controlled by the Gods, fear of the Gods and not admiration for the hero was the primary emotion to be aroused i n the spectator (I, 358). Consequently, s u b j e c t i v i t y or free w i l l was not an option for either actors or spectators of the Greek drama. However, the dramatic characters that Lenz envisions for the German stage of his day are not puppets that are moved mechanically by an external device or force, but human beings who "selbststandig und unveranderlich die ganze grosse Maschine selbst drehen, ohne die Gottheiten i n den Wolken anders notig zu haben, als wenn sie wollen zu Zuschauern" (I, 343) . Lenz grants that t h i s requires Gesichtspunkt. a point of view, which the ancient Greeks could not possibly have had. He writes, "Ha aber f r e i l i c h dazu gehort Gesichtspunkt, Blick der Gottheit i n die Welt, den die Alten nicht haben konnten, und wir zu unserer Schande nicht haben wollen" (I, 343). While Lenz excuses the ancient Greeks for not having a point of view, he accuses his contemporaries of not taking a position. Therefore, when Lenz states that the true poet "verbindet nicht i n seiner Einbildungskraft, wie es ihm g e f a l l t . Er nimmt Standpunkt--und dann m u B e r so verbinden" (1 ,337) , one may interpret this to mean that once the poet or 1 4 3 dramatist takes an autonomous position v i s a v i s a certain issue, he no longer proceeds a r b i t r a r i l y but commits himself to a s p e c i f i c course of action. Furthermore, i f one examines Lenz's use of the word Standpunkt i n "Uber die Natur unsers Geistes," one may conclude that the term Standpunkt nehmen . refers to taking a moral position. For "sich i n einen Standpunkt s t e l l e n " i s the term used to describe the position that Jesus Christ took i n choosing death on the cross. He writes: Seine Gefiihle milssen unaussprechlich gewesen sein, er hatte sich i n einen Standpunkt [my i t a l i c s ] g e s t e l l t das Elend einer ganzen Welt auf s i c h zu konzentrieren ....Er handelte--er veranderte seine Lage. (I, 57 6) It i s worth noting that Lenz describes Christ's determination to take upon himself the sins of the world i n the following manner: "Er handelte--er veranderte seine Lage." These words suggests strongly that Lenz sees the death of Christ as brought about by the Saviour's free choice and action. Furthermore, he venerates Christ for maintaining his Selbstandiakeit i n the face of death, for standing alone i n the face of adversity: Da seine Selbststandigkeit [sic] zu behalten, im Tode selbst der nun al l e s mit Schimpf beschliesst mit der heitersten Gegenwirkung zu rufen: Es i s t vollbracht--und so rette ich meinen Geist i n deine Hande. (I, 577) A passage from the same essay, quoted i n part e a r l i e r , attests to the fact that Lenz uses the term Selbstandiakeif to express the thought that an individual's autonomy i s dependent on the extent of his self-awareness, his s u b j e c t i v i t y : So griindet sich a l l unsere Selbststandigkeit [sic] a l l unsre Existenz auf die Menge den Umfang die Wahrheit unsrer Gefiihle und Erfahrungen, und auf die Starke mit der wir sie ausgehalten, das heiSt uber sie gedacht haben oder welches e i n e r l e i i s t , uns ihrer b e w u S t g e w o r d e n s i n d . (I, 575) He argues, furthermore, that there i s a close relationship between Selbstandiakeit and handeln. and that the former depends on the l a t t e r . Therefore, an individual can become t r u l y independent only by taking action and thereby changing his circumstances, his relationships, and his emotions, according to his own free w i l l . Lenz also maintains that, while thinking leaves things as they are, action leads the individual to change his circumstances. He notes: Unsere Unabhangigkeit zeigt sich aber noch mehr im H a n d e l n als im Denken, denn beim Denken 145 nehm i c h meine Lage mein V e r h a l t n i s und Gefiihle wie s i e s i n d , beim Handeln aber verandere i c h s i e w i e e s m i r g e f a l l t . ( I , 575) The important place that autonomous and moral a c t i o n occupies i n Lenz's thought i s c e n t r a l to h i s concept of e t h i c s . I n Versuch uber das erste Principium der Moral, Lenz emphasizes that only when we act do we experience our existence, our a b i l i t i e s , our s e l f to the f u l l e s t : Rousseau i s t f u r den Zustand der Ruhe, oder der kleinstmoglichen Bewegung. A l l e i n s o l l t e d i e s e r Zustand einem Wesen wohl der angemessenste s e i n , welches i n s i c h einen Grundtrieb zu einer immer hdheren Vervollkommung, zu einer immer weitern Entwickelung seiner Fahigkeiten spurt? Nein! Der hochste Zustand der Bewegung i s t unserm Ich der angemessenste, das heiSt derjenige Zustand, Wo unsere auSern Umstande unsere Relationen und Si t u a t i o n e n so zusammenlaufen, daS w i r das groSt-moglichste Feld vor uns haben, unsere Vollkommenheit zu erh6hen zu befordern und andern empfindbar zu machen, w e i l wir uns alsdenn das groStmogliche Vergniigen versprechen konnen, welches 146 e i g e n t l i c h b e i a l i e n Menschen i n der ganzen Welt i n dem groSten Gefilhl unserer E x i s tenz, unserer Fahigkeiten, unsers Selbst besteht. ( I , 492-93) Lenz emphasizes, furthermore, that i t i s man--as the f i r s t step i n the hierarchy of "freihandelnden, s e l b s t s t a n d i g e n Geschopfe[n]"--who bears witness to the existence of an e t e r n a l and autonomous Being and, at the same time, f e e l s w i t h i n himself a strong d r i v e to emulate the f r e e a c t i o n s of t h i s e t e r n a l Being: Wir s i n d , m. H., oder wollen wenigstens s e i n , d i e e r s t e Sprosse auf der freihandelnden selbststandigen Geschopfe, und da w i r eine Welt h i e da um uns sehen, die der Beweis eines unendlich, freihandelnden Wesens i s t , so i s t der e r s t e T r i e b , den w i r i n uns fuhlen, die Begierde 's ihm nachzutun; da aber die Welt keine Brukken hat, und w i r schon mit den Dingen, die da s i n d , begnugen mussen, fuhlen wir wenigstens Zuwachs unsrer E x i s t e n z . . . . ( I , 333) I t i s Lenz's c a l l f o r "Zuwachs an Existenz"--a demand f o r a heightened awareness of being--that leaps from the pages of h i s essays. This quest f o r authentic being becomes the i n d i v i d u a l ' s most important task, f o r being takes precedence over everything. According to Lenz, the r e v e l a t i o n of the d i v i n e w i l l , i d e n t i c a l with the n a t u r a l law, p r o v i d e s the i n d i v i d u a l with r u l e s that enable him to r e a l i z e h i s a u t h e n t i c s e l f and, thus, experience a heightened awareness of being ( B l e i IV, 171). Loss of a u t h e n t i c being, on the other hand, i s a f a t e too t e r r i b l e to contemplate f o r Lenz: Abweichung von diesen Regeln i s t Abweichung von unserer wahren E x i s t e n z , und das F i n a l e d e r s e l b e n d i e Aufhebung von unserer E x i s t e n z . Weh mir! das i s t eine harte Rede! wer mag d i e hdren. • ( B l e i IV, 171) L i k e h i s contemporary Hamann, Lenz i s c r i t i c a l of a b s t r a c t t h i n k e r s . On one occasion, he d e s c r i b e s a b s t r a c t p h i l o s o p h y as "beobachtende U n t a t i g k e i t " ( I I , I I . i i i , 302). In another i n s t a n c e , he argues that p h i l o s o p h e r s are b l i n d e d by an i n f l a t e d ego ( I I , I V . i i , 319). And as noted e a r l i e r , i n Lenz's three major plays, academics and a b s t r a c t t h i n k e r s are p o r t r a y e d as morally impotent. In Per Hofmeister. i t i s Wenzeslaus, a man whose sermons focus on the e v i l of e r o t i c d e s i r e and the v i r t u e s of c e l i b a c y , who l a c k s compassion .for the s u f f e r i n g of h i s d i s c i p l e . In Per neue Menoza. the two academics, Baccalaureus Z i e r a u and Magister Beza, are p o r t r a y e d as i n e f f e c t i v e and morally d e f i c i e n t . And i n P i e  Soldaten. Lenz presents us with Hauptmann P i r z e l , the r e f l e c t i v e aesthete, who p l a c e s a b s t r a c t thought above 148 e v e r y t h i n g and, thus d i s t r a c t e d , becomes an automaton. Hence, Lenz presents a b s t r a c t thinkers and philosophers as dependent i n d i v i d u a l s whose lack of moral autonomy condemns them to remain impotent spectators of l i f e . In summing up, Lenz renounces the primacy of the C a r t e s i a n c o a i t o by p o s i t i n g the f r e e w i l l w i t h i n the s e n s i b l e realm. But Lenz a l s o r e j e c t s materialism. Therefore, h i s o n t o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n must be recognized as one that gives precedence to existence while at the same time acknowledging the freedom of the w i l l . Most importantly, by p o s i t i n g the w i l l w i t h i n the s e n s i b l e sphere, Lenz not only challenges the r a t i o n a l philosophy of the Enlightenment and i t s b e l i e f i n the primacy of man's i n t e l l i g i b l e f a c u l t i e s , but r e j e c t s Kant's d i v i s i o n of man i n t o a f r e e noumenon and.a determined phenomenon. Thus, i n Lenz's thought the i n d i v i d u a l ' s f r e e w i l l and nature no longer represent separable aspects of human ex i s t e n c e . 149 CHAPTER V THE PARADOX OF EXISTENCE In h i s Concluding U n s c i e n t i f i c P o s t s c r i p t , Kierkegaard w r i t e s : The s u b j e c t i v e t h i n k e r has a form, a form f o r h i s communication wi t h other men, and t h i s form c o n s t i t u t e s h i s s t y l e . I t must be as manifold as the opposites he holds i n combination. The systematic eins, zwei, d r e i i s an abst r a c t form, and must therefore f a i l when a p p l i e d to the concrete. In the same degree that the su b j e c t i v e t h i n k e r himself i s concrete, h i s form w i l l become concretely d i a l e c t i c a l His form must f i r s t and l a s t r e l a t e i t s e l f to existence. (319) Kierkegaard himself chose a d i a l e c t i c a l s t y l e to convey h i s e x i s t e n t i a l t r u t h s and he more often than not employs paradox to commmunicate h i s r e l i g i o u s i n s i g h t s . The s t y l e of Lenz's t h e o r e t i c a l essays could c e r t a i n l y be c a l l e d "concretely" d i a l e c t i c a l . This i s e s p e c i a l l y true of h i s important essay, "Anmerkungen ilbers Theater, " which he 150 describes as "rhapsodienweis" (I, 329). b b Arguments are not presented i n a l o g i c a l order but i n an episodic fashion as Lenz proceeds by e l u c i d a t i n g a c e r t a i n point and then q u i c k l y moving on to consider another, often unrelated, t o p i c . Lenz's prose stands i n marked contrast to the formal discourses favoured by Enlightenment w r i t e r s , but language f u l f i l l s i t s f u n c t i o n of communicating h i s non-linear mode of t h i n k i n g i n a l u c i d manner. With regard to the drama, Lenz contrasts h i s own dramatic p r a c t i c e w i t h that of the c l a s s i c a l A r i s t o t e l i a n drama i n a s i n g l e paragraph e n t i t l e d "Theorie der Dramata." He w r i t e s : Es g i b t z w e i e r l e i Art Garten, eine d ie man beim ersten B l i c k ganz ubersieht, die andere da man nach und nach wie i n der Natur von einer Abwechselung zur andern fortgeht. So g i b t es auch zwei Dramata, meine Lieben, das eine s t e l l t a l l e s aufeinmal und aneinanderhangend vor und i s t darum l e i c h t e r zu 66 i t i s worth noting that Hamann describes his "Aesthetica i n nuce" as "Eine PJiapsodie i n Kabbalistischer Prose" (Samtliche Werke II, 195). In the endnotes of the work, Hamann j u s t i f i e s his description by c i t i n g Leibniz who wrote:"...man hat die Kabbala oder Zeichenkunst nicht nur i n den hebraischen Sprachgeheimnissen, sondern auch bey einer jeden Sprache, nicht zwar i n gewissen buchstablichen Deuteleyen, sondern im rechten Verstand und Gebrauch der Worte zu suchen" (Samtliche Werke II, 408) . 151 ubersehen, bei dem andern muS man auf- und abklettern wie i n der Natur. Wenn nun die Rauhigkeit der Muhe nicht lohnt, so i s t das Drama schlecht, sind aber die Sachen die man sieht und hort wohl der Muhe wert seine Phantasei ein wenig anzustrengen, dem Dichter im Gang seiner vorgestellten Begebenheiten nachzufolgen, so nennt man das Drama gut. (I, 466) Here, Lenz distinguishes between the t r a d i t i o n a l form of the drama, where each part i s a l o g i c a l progression from the part that precedes i t , and the open form of his own dramatic writing. While he grants that the former i s easy to follow .and therefore easier to interpret, i n the l a t t e r , i t becomes the spectator's task to use his c r e a t i v i t y to integrate scenes, characters, plot and subplots. One may interpret, i n order to follow i n the poet's footsteps, the reader must be conscious of his voice. It i s not unusual for scholars to comment on the presence of paradox and contradictions i n Lenz's writings.67 For example, Butler acknowledges that the presence of paradox i n Der Hofmeister i s "deeply rooted i n the characters' i d e n t i t i e s b / See the review of the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e i n chapter I. 152 and p e r s i s t e n t l y - r e f l e c t e d i n t h e i r words and a c t i o n s , that i s , i n the discrepancy between what they say and what they do" (96). The o r i g i n of the word "paradox" goes back to the Greek words para and doxos. While para t r a n s l a t e s i n t o "beyond,1 the etymology of doxos. i n i t s turn, can be traced to the Greek verb dokein (to think) (Webster's T h i r d New I n t e r n a t i o n a l ' D i c t i o n a r y ) ; thus, one could hypothesize that the word "paradox" suggests an a c t i v i t y or a s t a t e that i s , i n f a c t , unthinkable. i n l i g h t of the above d e f i n i t i o n , I would l i k e to reconsider the case of P i r z e l i n Die Soldaten. P i r z e l , a man who places thought above existence, a t t r i b u t e s a l l human f r a i l t i e s to the i n d i v i d u a l ' s reluctance to engage i n t h i n k i n g . I t seems paradoxical indeed that Lenz would choose P i r z e l - - a character whose language deserves to be dismissed as empty r h e t o r i c (Hollerer, 137)--to advocate what i s e s s e n t i a l l y an e x i s t e n t i a l p o s i t i o n . There i s ' l i t t l e doubt, however, that P i r z e l t r i e s to f i n d an answer to the r h e t o r i c a l question, "Was i s t der Mensch?" He engages i n a somewhat confused monologue which at f i r s t glance bears l i t t l e r e l a t i o n s h i p to the question under s c r u t i n y : Denken, denken, was der Mensch i s t , das i s t j a meine Rede. (Fasst ihn an die Hand) Sehen S i e , 1 5 3 das i s t Ihre Hand, aber was i s t das, Haut, Knochen, Erde, (klopft ihm auf den Puis) da, da steckt es, das i s t nur die Scheide, da steckt der Degen drein, im Blut, im Blut - (Sieht s i c h p l o t z l i c h herum, weil Larm wird). ( I I , I I . i i , 1 9 9 - 2 0 0 ) The fact that i t i s P i r z e l , who e a r l i e r had proclaimed the importance of "thinking" as the cure a l l for human i l l s , who endorses the primacy of existence i s i r o n i c . For P i r z e l ' s character embodies the absent-minded mode of l i f e that Lenz associates with academics and abstract thinkers (Blei IV, 1 8 5 ) ; so absent-minded i s he, i n fact, that he admits to doing everything mechanically ( I I , i i i . i v , 2 1 7 ) . He i s a man who considers existence only i n an objective manner and as such i t does not relate i n any meaningful way to himself, the existing subject. Therefore, i t i s i r o n i c a l , indeed, that Lenz would use the voice of an abstract thinker to make an e x i s t e n t i a l statement, a statement which i s paradoxical since i t t r i e s to communicate an ex i s t e n t i a l truth which cannot be expressed through language. If one considers the implications of Pi r z e l ' s speech, i t i s impossible to deny that his words do, in fact, acknowledge the primacy of existence. After a l l , what i s man, i f not a creature of flesh and blood whose bones w i l l be covered by dust one day? The presence of paradox i n the drama al s o a t t e s t s to the d i f f i c u l t y of communicating i n a meaningful manner w i t h i n the l i m i t a t i o n s of time and place, a d i f f i c u l t y that i s diagnosed by Hamann and acknowledged by Wittgenstein i n our century. Both Hamann and Wittgenstein express the thought that people have tr o u b l e communicating with each other and that "the speaker himself may have trouble i n understanding h i s own words due to the v a r i a b l e s of space and time" (German, 97) . For both w r i t e r s , the r e s u l t of t h i s discovery i s a choice of s t y l e that does not l i m i t i t s e l f to l o g i c a l and co n s i s t e n t arguments but expresses i t s e l f i n seemingly unconnected p a r a d o x i c a l r e f l e c t i o n s (German, 142). That the s i m i l a r i t y i n s t y l e between Wittgenstein and Hamann i s more than a coincidence i s revealed by German who claims that, "Wittgenstein's P h i l o s o p h i c a l I n v e s t i g a t i o n s i s h e a v i l y dependent upon Kierkegaard's Stages on L i f e ' s Way, which, i n i t s turn, defends a good deal of i t s methodology upon the w r i t i n g of Hamann" ( 9 7 ) .It has also been put forward that "Kierkegaard's use of the category of paradox i n the broader 155 sense as the category for a l l religious assertions can safely be said to derive from Hamann" (Thomas, 104).68 The dichotomy between speech and gesture i n Lenz 1s dramas i s noted by Madland who comments that "Lenz ...uses gesture to contradict dialogue, resulting i n a c o n f l i c t between the gestural and narrative systems of communication, which again questions the r e l i a b i l i t y of language" ("Language Scepticism i n Lenz," 556). One could venture that the ontological insecurity of the characters i s reflected i n the ambiguity of th e i r speech which points to the ambiguity of human existence, which, i n turn, i s multifaceted and not accessible through reason alone. It i s , therefore, no coincidence that the language of Lenz's rat i o n a l characters i s as ambiguous as the speech of their less r a t i o n a l colleagues. Blunden, who compares the language of Lenz's dramatic characters with those of the characters i n Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost, describes their speech as mere rhetoric to f i l l the void, as verbal games that people play: 68 Thomas cites the following references to Hamann i n Kierkegaard's writings as proof of Haitian's profound influence on Kierkegaard: Either/Or I; Fear and  Trembling, motto after t i t l e page; Repetition. 34f; Stages upon L i f e ' s Wav. 100, 111, 122, 138, 146, 187; Concept of Dread. 85, 145n; Fragments. 42 f; Concluding Unscientific Postscript. 223f, 258n, 495: Journals. 121, 141, 196, 404, 659 (Subjectivity and  Paradox. 56). 156 The use of rhetoric to f i l l the void l e f t by impoverished being; the. b e l i e f that verbal games provide a true index of f e e l i n g s . . . - - a l l these things are presented and c r i t i c i z e d i n Love's Labour's Lost, and a l l these things are repeatedly explored, i n a r e a l i s t i c s o c i a l context, i n Lenz's important dramas. Shakespeare's paradox--that language i s important for the very reason that many people take i t to be too important--is one that Lenz makes f u l l y his own. (273) Lenz uses the medium of language to unmask the comforting routines of d a i l y l i f e and i n t r i c a t e self-deceptions that are safeguards against the void that threatens the ind i v i d u a l . And in his essay, "Verteidigung des Herrn Wieland gegen die Wolken," Lenz aptly describes the threshold of the void that threatens the individual. He writes: Wer kann das namenlose, angstige Gefuhl, fur welches wir doch immer nur Zerstreuungen vergeblich aufsuchen, dunkel genug ausmalen, das a l l e unsere Fibern tfidlich durchschauert, wenn wir, bei Erschopfung unseres inneren Sinnes, das ganze Irdische und Sterbliche unserer Substanz inne werden.... (I, 446) 157 Only i n extreme situations, when the individual has no other option but to face the sel f , does rhetoric collapse and language r e a l i z e i t s task of standing i n truth v i s a v i s existence. Yet although neither Lauffer nor Mariane Wesener reach t h i s stage, and the i r quest for authentic being remains elusive to the end, i t i s nevertheless the e x i s t e n t i a l task the individual i s asked to f u l f i l l . When language no longer discloses aspects of the s e l f to others, the s e l f becomes hermetically sealed. From a psychological perspective, such a denial of the s e l f may have disastrous consequences for the individual s e l f . R. D. Laing claims that the individual who cannot reveal his s e l f to others through words, gestures, or acts, may turn i n despair to other modes of self-disclosure i n "trying to overcome that haunting i s o l a t i o n and loneliness of one who feels his 'real' or 'true' s e l f has never been disclosed or confirmed by others" (Self and Others. 112). Laing further maintains that only: when a man's words, gestures, acts, disclose his r e a l intentions, one says they are genuine and not counterfeit as coin i s genuine and not counterfeit. His frown of disapproval, his word of encouragement, his smile of pleasure, are the true and genuine currency of himself. 1 5 8 (Self and Others. 112) However, when language and gestures do not r e l a t e to one's existen c e , they no longer communicate aspects of one's s e l f to others. Nowhere i s t h i s demonstrated more e f f e c t i v e l y and more economically than i n I I , 3 of Die Soldaten i n the few words that express Jungfer Z i p f e r s a a t ' s confused r e a c t i o n to Mariane Wesener's strange comportment: "Ich weiss n i c h t wie du b i s t M arianel" ( I I , I I . i i i , 208). Mariane's r e l a t i o n s h i p to the w r i t t e n word i s problematic as w e l l , since the words she puts to paper seem devoid of meaning. In f a c t , one can gauge the extent of her s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n by her manner of speech. As she assumes the' r o l e of Desportes' " g o t t l i c h e demoiselle," she a f f e c t s a s t y l e that mimics the language of the n o b i l i t y . Consequently, her language has no r e l a t i o n s h i p to her, the e x i s t i n g ^ s u b j e c t . In l i g h t of Mariane's progressive s e l f -a l i e n a t i o n , Walter Hinderer's comment "im Sinne der Lenzschen Anthropologic bedeutet t o t a l e Anpassung t o t a l e n E x i s t e n z v e r l u s t , " i s to the point (Hinck, Die Deutsche  KomSdie. 76). As noted e a r l i e r , Lenz's dramatic characters do not have a sense of s e l f , a sense of i d e n t i t y ; i n short, they l a c k a Standpunkt .69 To compensate f o r t h e i r l a c k of i d e n t i t y , they 69 Consult chapter IV, f o r a reevaluation of Lenz's understanding of the term Standpunkt. 159 create new i d e n t i t i e s f o r themselves by engaging i n r o l e -p l a y i n g . Instead of embarking on a quest f o r s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n , they shun the s e l f and assume a f a l s e i d e n t i t y , which more of t e n than not corresponds to the image other people have of them. In Die Freunde machen den Philosophen. Strephon puts i t t h i s way: "wie jeder Mensch gem das wird, wofur andere i h n h a l t e n " ( I I , V . i , 322-23) . Strephon's opening speech i n the f i r s t act of Die Freunde machen den Philosophen, "Ich b i n a l i e n a l l e s geworden - und b i n am Ende n i c h t s , " sums up best the l a c k of Standpunkt that Lenz's characters d i s p l a y ( I I , I . i , 2 8 1 ) .It must be acknowledged, here, that the chameleon-like i d e n t i t y which Lenz reveals i n h i s l e t t e r s seems to correspond to the p o s t u r i n g of h i s dramatic characters. As Blunden comments, "Lenz f e e l s himself to be a d i f f e r e n t person i n each e p i s t o l a r y r e l a t i o n s h i p " ("A Case of E l u s i v e I d e n t i t y , " 112-13); "he changed, he adapted, he postured; and i n h i s p e r e n n i a l s e l f - i r o n y he took refuge from the need to e s t a b l i s h h i s i d e n t i t y " (125). While there i s no need to comment f u r t h e r on the s o c i a l f u n c t i o n of Lenz's dramatic language--it has been documented i n the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e 7 0 - - i t s p s y c h o l o g i c a l f u n c t i o n has 0 See chapter I . 160 received only, marginal attention. Blunden i s one of the c r i t i c s who point to Lenz's awareness of the psychological function of language. For example, he notes that Wenzeslaus i s portrayed as "a man imprisoned within the confines of his own r h e t o r i c a l world" ("Lenz, Language, and Love's Labour's Lost," 258). On the whole, one cannot but agree with Blunden's observation. However, there are times when, despite the c a r e f u l l y constructed rhetoric that i s his trade mark, Wenzeslaus unwittingly discloses aspects of his s e l f which d i f f e r markedly from the picture of the ascetic and celibate v i l l a g e schoolmaster he presents to the world. For example, when he surprises Lauffer kissing' Lise, he c i t e s part of a passage from Valerius Maximus which relates the story of a slave who received the death penalty because he had kissed his master's daughter. At the end of the cautionary tale the schoolmaster asks Lauffer: "Riecht Ihr das? Schmeckt Ihr das?" (II,V.x, 95 ) . Wenzeslaus's comment i s revealing. By choosing words which make s p e c i f i c reference to the senses, he discloses that behind the rhetoric hides a man made of flesh and blood who i s no stranger to the temptations of the f l e s h . That there i s another side to Wenzeslaus's character i s also suggested by the account he gives of his cure for suppressing er o t i c desire: "Ich habe geraucht, a.ls ich kaum von meiner Mutter Brust entwohnt; die Warze mit dem Pfeifenmundstuck 161 verwechselt. He he he!" ( I I , I l l . i v , 58). The schoolmaster's words r e v e a l that he has not come to terms with h i s concupiscence d e s p i t e concentrated e f f o r t s to l e a d a c e l i b a t e l i f e . Again, i t i s language which i n d i c a t e s h i s fragmentation. Using modern p s y c h o l o g i c a l terminology one could venture that, i n Wenzeslaus's case, the subconscious i s suppressed and the persona takes over but the shadow breaks through. There are many in s t a n c e s - - a s Bruce Duncan among others notes--when language becomes detached from c h a r a c t e r i n Lenz's drama (Diss. 185-86). However, the l i n g u i s t i c mask donned by a c h a r a c t e r can a l s o d i s c l o s e thoughts and f e e l i n g s that are unconscious and t h e r e f o r e hidden. Lenz's language not only serves to shroud but to l a y bare the psyche of a c h a r a c t e r . Thus i t i s l e f t to the i n g e n u i t y of the reader to u n r a v e l the thread t h a t Lenz so c a r e f u l l y spins through numerous changes of time and p l a c e . U l t i m a t e l y , i t i s t h i s a b i l i t y to i n v o l v e the reader i n e x p l o r i n g the psychology of the language games people*play and, thus, take an a c t i v e p a r t i n the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the drama that d i s t i n g u i s h e s Lenz as a modern dr a m a t i s t . One c o u l d venture that the presence of paradox i n Lenz's drama r e f l e c t s the enigma of human ex i s t e n c e i n time. I t i s h i g h l y probable, t h e r e f o r e , that Kierkegaard's i n s i g h t that, " E x i s t e n t i a l r e a l i t y i s incommunicable, and the s u b j e c t i v e 162 thinker finds his r e a l i t y i n his own et h i c a l existence" could have been pronounced by Lenz. Equally, Wittgenstein's f i n a l words i n the Tractatus: "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, daruber muS man schweigen" (Schriften. 83 ), which express his b e l i e f i n the unspeakable mystery of human existence, would have been f u l l y endorsed by Lenz. What both Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein acknowledge i s a mystery which i s not communicable through the logos. Yet, the fact that words ^cannot express the enigma of human existence does not imply that l i f e i s meaningless. On the contrary, the f a i l u r e of language to express this mystery acknowledges the fact that there are aspects of our existence that are hidden from us. More recently, this view has been endorsed by Sheriff. As part of his argument against the v a l i d i t y of deconstructionist l i t e r a r y theory, he presents the following point of view: My be l i e f that human values and choices and language and r e a l i t y are interdependent i s what makes me c r i t i c a l of a theory that can only treat form. Saussure inspired his followers to survey meticulously the i s l a n d of l i n g u i s t i c signs; whatever they looked at,, l i t e r a t u r e , c r i t i c i s m , or philosophy, they found only formal sign r e l a t i o n s . Others such as Heidegger, Gadamer, and Wittgenstein, chose rather to survey the boundary 163 of the ocean; they saw l i t e r a t u r e as a manifestation of that about human experience which cannot be put into words. (The Fate of Meaning. 141) It goes without saying that l i t e r a t u r e i s not devoid of "meaning," i . e . that l i t e r a t u r e goes beyond form and signs and deals with substances. However, i n some quarters to raise the question of "meaning" i s no longer fashionable. In Sheriff's words: "After Jonathan Culler and Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida, how can one raise the overwhelming question of the meaning of a text?" (xii) The presence of paradox which characterizes Lenz's dramatic writings r e f l e c t s the f r a g i l i t y and the mystery of human existence. It i s the function of paradox to confront the unspeakable mystery and to bear witness to the fact that e x i s t e n t i a l r e a l i t y cannot be communicated adequately through the logos within the limitations of time and space. Thus the conclusion John Sheriff draws from reading Heidegger, Gadamer, and Wittgenstein i s equally applicable to Lenz. Yet i t i s the d i s t i n c t i v e voice of Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz, the poet and dramatist, that speaks to us from the pages of his work. In other words, there i s a presence, there i s the voice of the poet who urges the reader to embark on his own quest for authentic being when he demands "Zuwachs an Existenz" from l i t e r a t u r e . And since neither poet nor reader operate i n a vacuum but bring themselves, the existing individuals, to the text, one may venture to add that i n reading, the reader reads his s e l f into the text. Therefore, T i t e l ' s observation that "die Moralitat einer Dichtung i s t nicht ein durch sie zu demonstrierendes Lehrsystem, sondern das persdnliche Sein des Dichters selbst" (I, 669), also describes the reader's contribution to the l i t e r a r y text. CHAPTER VI CONCLUSION Lenz s t r u g g l e s to f i n d an answer to the question that Kierkegaard asks himself h a l f a century l a t e r : "But what, then, i s t h i s s e l f of mine?" (Either/Or. I I , 180). For Kierkegaard, i t i s the i n d i v i d u a l ' s freedom, and freedom i s the w i l l According to Kierkegaard, i t i s the w i l l that i s at the center of the s e l f and not the i n t e l l e c t as A r i s t o t l e had hel d (Nic. E t h i c s . X.7, 3 0 5 ) . 7 1 Lenz i d e n t i f i e s the free w i l l as a human p o t e n t i a l which l i e s dormant u n t i l i t i s acknowledged by the i n d i v i d u a l . Only i f the i n d i v i d u a l becomes su b j e c t i v e , does he r e a l i z e h i s p o t e n t i a l f o r freedom and e t h i c a l autonomy. 7 2 However, i f he f a i l s to acknowledge h i s freedom, he remains enmeshed i n the 7 1 I t i s worth noting that Wittgenstein expresses a s i m i l a r thought when he wri t e s i n the Taaebucher. "Ware der W i l l e n i c h t , so gabe es auch n i c h t jenes Zentrum der Welt, das w i r das Ich nennen und das der Trager der E t h i k i s t " ( S c h r i f t e n . 172). 7 2 Again, autonomy i s not understood as r a t i o n a l autonomy, here, but as the autonomy of the e t h i c a l l y e x i s t i n g i n d i v i d u a l , i n the sense that Kierkegaard uses the term. routine of his daily l i f e and the pursuit of aimless di v e r s i o n s . 7 ^ As the "Anmerkungen ubers Theater" show, Lenz i s a "subjective" thinker i n the Kierkegaardian sense of the word. 7 4 For Lenz subjectivity does not mean being concerned exclusively with one's thoughts or feelings, but having one's own being as one's primary concern. And although Lenz admits that nothing i s as d i f f i c u l t as getting to know one's s e l f , "da aber nichts so schwer i s t , als sich selbst ganz kennen zu lernen" (I, 489), knowledge of the s e l f remains the key to authentic being. As the review of l i t e r a t u r e shows, Lenz's drama has been acknowledged as the alternative to the c l a s s i c a l drama of Goethe and S c h i l l e r , 7 5 as the prototype of the plays of Buchner and the Naturalists, and more recently, as the precursor of such modern playwrights as Brecht, Durrenmatt, 7 ^ See the account of the monotonous routine of d a i l y l i f e given i n the opening paragraph of Lenz's "Uber Gotz von Berlichingen": "Wir werden geboren--unsere.Eltern geben uns Brot und Kleid...." (I, 378). 7 4 i n Kierkegaard's ethics, to become subjective i s the individual's foremost task; i t i s the duty to "become himself." Thus the "real subject i s the e t h i c a l l y existing subject" (Concluding U n s c i e n t i f i c P o s t s c r i p t , 281). . 7 ^ See Hans Mayer's essay, "Lenz oder die Alternative" ( T i t e l II, 795). and Ionesco. However, while the modernity of Lenz's drama i s undisputed, a word of caution seems appropriate to those who read i n t o Lenz's drama an overture towards a m a t e r i a l i s t i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of l i f e . There i s no doubt that Lenz distances himself from the i d e a l i s m of the Englightenment by p o s i t i n g the w i l l w i t h i n the s e n s i b l e realm. However, i n c l a i m i n g freedom of the w i l l as a p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r authentic and e t h i c a l existence, Lenz also refutes one of the c e n t r a l canons of materialism. Hence, Lenz's p h i l o s o p h i c a l p o s i t i o n i s that he r e j e c t s both absolute i d e a l i s m and materialism. For the e x i s t e n t i a l i s t , to exert one's free w i l l and to commit oneself to one's s e l f f o r b e t t e r or worse i s the e t h i c a l imperative. I t i s the freedom to become p r o g r e s s i v e l y more s u b j e c t i v e , and as a free subject the i n d i v i d u a l must r e s i s t every attempt to transform him i n t o something obj e c t i v e . Notwithstanding h i s e r s t w h i l e e f f o r t s to e f f e c t a rapprochement between e x i s t e n t i a l i s m and marxism, Sartre presents extensive arguments against marxism i n h i s essay, "Materialism and Revolution." He w r i t e s : I t seems as though i t s f i r s t step i s to deny the existence of God and transcendent f i n a l i t y ; the second, to reduce the a c t i o n of mind to that of matter; the t h i r d , to eliminate s u b j e c t i v i t y by 168 reducing the world and man i n i t , to a system of objects l i n k e d together by u n i v e r s a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . ( E x i s t e n t i a l i s m versus Marxism. 87). While s u b j e c t i v i t y , which s t a r t s from the premise that the i n d i v i d u a l has a free w i l l , i s c e n t r a l to e x i s t e n t i a l thought, i t i s c l e a r l y renounced by the proponents of m a terialism. As noted e a r l i e r , Lenz himself c r i t i c i z e s the m a t e r i a l i s t p o s i t i o n and challenges m a t e r i a l i s t s to deny the s u b j e c t i v e s t r i v i n g f o r independent and e t h i c a l existence w i t h i n human nature: S o l l t e es n i c h t e i n Wink von der Natur der menschlichen Seele s e i n , daS s i e eine Substanz d i e n i c h t s e l b s t s t a n d i g geboren, aber e i n Bestreben e i n T r i e b i n i h r s e i s i c h zur S e l b s t s t a n d i g k e i t hinaufzuarbeiten, s i c h gleichsam von d i e s e r groSen Masse der i n einander hangenden Schopfung abzusondern, das s i c h mit derselben nur soweit v e r e i n i g t , a l s es mit i h r e r S e l b s t s t a n d i g k e i t s i c h vertragen kann....Konnen die Helvetiusse und a l l e Leute die so t i e f i n die E i n f l u s s e der uns umgebenden Natur gedrungen sind , s i c h s e l b s t dieses Gefiihl ableugnen das das aus ihnen gemacht hat was s i e geworden sind? ( I , 573) Lenz further claims that moral autonomy expresses i t s e l f i n independent actions which separate the individual s e l f from the masses of machine-like creatures: So sondert sie [die Seele] sich aus dem machinenhaftwirkenden Haufen der Geschopfe ab und wird selbst Schopfer, mischt sich i n die Welt nur i n so fern als sie es zu ihrer Absicht d i e n l i c h erachtet, je groSer ihre Starke, desto groSer ihre f r e i w i l l i g e Teilnehmung, ihre vernaltnismaSige Einmischung, i h r nachmaliger Schopfungs- und Wirkungskreis. (I, 575) Thus, when Lenz writes to Sophie von La Roche i n July 1775, "Wer nur eines jeden Menschen Gesichtspunkt finden kdnnte; seinen moralischen Thermometer; sein Eigenes; sein Nachgemachtes,7b" sein Herz, " one may interpret, morality i s not conceived of as an objective concept, but as the subjective point of view of the individual s e l f . It follows, 76 "Nachgemachtes" may be interpreted, here, as 'molded a f t e r something.' Lenz uses the term to express his view that the poet follows i n the footsteps of the creator and thus becomes a creator himself. Also see Blunden's a r t i c l e , "J.M.R. Lenz and Leibniz: A Point of View," for a discussion of Lenz's views on "the poet as the creator," a popular concept during the Sturm und  Drana. 1 7 0 that an individual's point of view i s e t h i c a l only i f i t i s subjective. For while the aesthetic has multiple perspectives, the e t h i c a l has only one, a subjective point of view. 7 7 We may interpret, therefore, Lenz's understanding of the terms Standpunkt and Gesichtspunkt translates into the po s i t i o n the e t h i c a l l y existing self takes. Blunden's assessment that the term "point of view" i s understood by Lenz as a r e s t r i c t i o n , as something that i s pre-determined by an individual's environment or s o c i a l conditions, i s therefore debatable, even though Lauffer i n Der Hofmeister and Mariane in Die Soldaten seem to subscribe to Blunden's point of view (Sorachkunst. 1-15). As noted e a r l i e r , Blunden r i g h t l y points out that thoughts expressed i n Lenz's theoretical writings are influenced by the r a t i o n a l philosophy of Leibniz; however, his argument that Lenz's terms Standpunkt and Gesichtspunkt correspond to the Leibnizian "point de vue" i s v a l i d only i f one accepts his reading of Lenz's concept of the self as analogous to that of the Leibnizian monad. '' Hamann believed that an individual's present point of_view i s always the most powerful influence upon his experience; he grants, furthermore, that i n previous works he had made claims that he no longer remembered from his present Standpunkt (Briefwechsel 6, 338). 171 In t h e i r quest f o r authentic being, Lenz and Kierkegaard f o l l o w i n Hamann's footsteps, of whom i t has been s a i d that h i s "importance l i e s i n the f i e l d of philosophy," and that "his greatest achievement i n t h i s area i s the manner i n which he surmounts the d i f f i c u l t y posed by the subject-object dualism" (O'Flaherty, S o c r a t i c Memorabilia, 45). While the s t r i k i n g s i m i l a r i t i e s between Hamann's thought and Kierkegaard's philosophy have been acknowledged by the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e , ideas common to the w r i t i n g s of Kierkegaard and Lenz have yet to be accounted f o r . 7 8 Hamann, Lenz, and Kierkegaard are s u b j e c t i v e t h i n k e r s who advocate the quest f o r the s e l f as the i n d i v i d u a l ' s task sine  qua non. In a d d i t i o n , they share a common admiration f o r Socrates and the s o c r a t i c . Therefore, i t i s hardly c o i n c i d e n t a l that the question of authentic being i s a c e n t r a l concern f o r a l l three w r i t e r s . More importantly,, a l l three t r i e d to f o l l o w i n the footsteps of t h e i r i d o l Socrates and l i v e s u b j e c t i v e l y . For instance, i t i s documented that both Hamann and Kierkegaard made personal s a c r i f i c e s to l i v e an / a Although a f u l l comparison between Lenz's e x i s t e n t i a l thinking--as i t surfaces i n h i s t h e o r e t i c a l and dramatic writings--and Kierkegaard's philosophy i s beyond the scope of t h i s study, there i s every i n d i c a t i o n to suggest that both w r i t e r s are g r e a t l y indebted to Hamann. 172 authentic and subjective existence. 7 9 i n Lenz's case, his prose and l e t t e r s bear witness to his great admiration for Socrates, 80 a n d his correspondence shows, furthermore, that he, too, was prepared to suffer the consequences of following i n the footsteps of the Greek philosopher. He wrote to Herder i n August 1775: Ach so lange ausgeschlosseh, unstet, einsam und unruhvoll! Den ausgestreckten Armen grauer Eltern, a l l ' meinen lieben Geschwistern entrissen, meinen edelsten Freunden ein Rathsel...Das hatte i c h um Sokrates verdient. (Briefe I, 64, 124) While for David Hume the s e l f consists of l i t t l e more than a passive bundle of sense impressions, Lenz--like Hamann before and Kierkegaard^! after him--tried to strengthen the e t h i c a l autonomy of the s e l f i n the face of the world. Lenz's c a l l for "Zuwachs unsrer Existenz" i s a demand for heightened 7 9 Hamann opted for a common-law marriage despite the moral code of his times, while Kierkegaard chose not to marry his fiancee, Regine Olsen, i n order to follow i n the footsteps of his i d o l Socrates and dedicate his l i f e to making things more ' d i f f i c u l t ' by questioning commonly held doctrines. 80 Lenz pays homage to Socrates i n his essay, "Verteidigung des Herm W. gegen die Wolken" (I, 437-38) . 8 1 In his Concluding Unscientific Postscript. Kierkegaard declares: "The ethical r e a l i t y of the individual i s the only r e a l i t y " (291). 173 consciousness of what i t means to exist as an autonomous and e t h i c a l s e l f . Hence, the quest for the s e l f , advocated by Socrates i n the Phaedrus (478) more than two thousand years ago, i m p l i c i t i n the "That, thou art" of the Uoanishads (101). the Sacred books of the ancient Vedic r e l i g i o n s , and echoed i n Polonius's advice to Laertes This above a l l - - t o thine own s e l f be true And i t must follow, as the night the day Thou can'st not then be false to any man. (Shakespeare, Hamlet I . i i i , 1013) becomes the e x i s t e n t i a l imperative for Lenz. One may conclude, therefore, that Lenz's ethics i s not an ethics of duty or consequences but an ethics of s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n , and as such, i t stands diametrically opposed to Kant's "categorical" e t h i c a l imperative. 174 Works Consulted Adamczewski, Zygmunt. 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