Paul Zechs Rezeption von Jean-Arthur Rimbaud im Kontext der Krise des Lyrischen um 1900
Pages 383 - 398
This paper examines the literary crisis at the beginning of the twentieth century, evident not only in Germany, but in a number of other European countries; its antecedents can be traced back to French symbolism. The expressionist Paul Zech viewed this literary ‘revolution’ as a crisis of identity, symptomatic of some fundamental changes in European culture at the time and also present in art, music and philosophy. In Zech’s work it manifests itself in the transformation of his own identity and his attempt to adopt other identities, firstly that of François Villon and later that of Arthur Rimbaud. Zech’s own play, ‚Das trunkene Schiff‘, an adaptation of Rimbaud’s ‚Bateau ivre‘, as well as translations of Rimbaud’s poems form some kind of synthesis between French symbolism and German expressionism. An important feature in Zech’s play is the conflict between Rimbaud and Verlaine, illustrating different forms of a literary paralysis, elements of which can also be traced in Zech’s own work.