The first modern adaptation of the Gregorius-narrative is a song-cycle by Franz Theodor Kugler and Carl Loewe in the Romantic period, the source of which is unclear. In the twentieth century Thomas Mann tackled the story twice, first briefly in his novel Doktor Faustus, where the central figure writes a musical puppet play of Gregorius, then later in his fascinating but linguistically and interpretatively difficult Der Erwählte, The Holy Sinner, which is here analysed in detail in terms of the sensitive modern reception of a medieval text, retaining the themes of sin and grace. This novel has given rise to far more recent experimental theatre versions in Poland and New Zealand. The now virtually unknown Austrian dramatist Rudolf Henz used the story, too, as an allegory of recent history, especially the takeover of Austria by the Nazis, in an impressive drama.
Keywords: romantics; song-cycle; Kugler; Loewe; Thomas Mann; Rudolf Henz; experimental theatre
Chapter. 19977 words.
Subjects: History of Christianity
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