Büchner On Drama

Karl George Büchner (1813 – 1837)

“The dramatic poet is, in my eyes, nothing but a writer of history, but is superior to the latter in that he creates history for the second time. He transplants us directly into the mist of the life of an era, giving us, instead of a dry account of it, characters rather than characteristics, and figures rather than descriptions. His foremost task is to get as close as possible to history as it really happened.

The poet is not a teacher of morals; he invents and creates characters, he brings the past epochs back to life, and people may learn from these as they learn from the study of history and their observation of what happen around them in human life…

If someone were to tell me that the poet should not represent the world as it is, but rather as it should be, I would answer that I don’t wish to make it better than the good lord who surely created the world as it ought to be…”