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Frank Wedekind - for further reading

lulu Frank Wedekind (1864 - 1918) was a key figure in the emergence of expressionist literature. Early on, he worked as a journalist, and served on the staff of Simplicissimus. In his plays, Wedekind employed grotesque fantasy and unconventional characters in order to attack the bourgeois ideals and hypocrisy of society. He was particularly concerned with sexual themes, and stressed the primacy of man’s instincts. His play Spring Awakening (1891), scandalized German society with its explicit and sardonic portrayal of a sexual coming of age. Wedekind later attacked bourgeois morality in his two tragedies, Earth Spirit (1895) and Pandora's Box (1904), both of which feature the femme fatale character named Lulu.

This page presents links, and a checklist of relevant books and articles, on the life and work of Frank Wedekind . The intent of this page is to place Wedekind's life and work in a larger context. However, emphasis is given to citations which include material on the Lulu plays.

--- there are numerous webpages which mention or discuss Frank Wedekind; offered here are some of the more informative links; a search will also turn-up pages on various theatrical stagings of the author's plays

Frank Wedekind
--- from Project Gutenberg, links to various Wedekind texts in their original German, including Die Büchse der Pandora and Erdgeist

Leben und Werk
--- an illustrated, German-language chronology

Wedekind and Lulu
--- a page on the playwrite and his work

Frank Wedekind: Lulu
--- extensive German-language page devoted to the Lulu plays

--- books and articles about Wedekind and the larger Lulu-phenomenon

Chick, Edson M. Dances of Death. Columbia, South Carolina: Camden House, 1984.
--- subtitled "Wedekind, Brecht, Durrenmatt, and the Satiric Tradition;" a third of the book is devoted to Wedekind and his Lulu plays

Gittleman, Sol. Frank Wedekind. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1969.
--- early English-language critical study, contains a chapter on the Lulu plays as well as biographical information

Lewis, Ward B. The Ironic Dissident. Columbia, South Carolina: Camden House, 1997.
--- subtitled "Frank Wedekind in the View of His Critics;" chapter three focusses on critical and societal reaction to the Lulu plays at the time of their publication

Thuleen, Nancy. "Lulu: Sexuality and Cynicism on the Stage and Screen." webpage: Essays, Papers and Writing, 1995.
--- an interesting essay, with references to Louise Brooks

Richard, Lionnel. "Lulu." Obliques, Spring, 1979.
--- French magazine; special, 32-page issue devoted to Lulu, with texts by and about Frank Wedekind, G. W. Pabst, Alban Berg, Pierre Boulez, Pierre-Jean Jouve and others

Wedekind, Frank. Diary of an Erotic Life. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Basil Blackwell, 1990.
--- Wedekind's diary from the years 1887 - 1918; edited by Gerhard Hay and translated by W. E. Yuill

Wedekind, Tilly. Lulu Die Rolle meines Lebens. Munich: Rutten + Loening Verlag, 1969.
--- a German-language book by Wedekind's widow; contains mention of the Pabst film and Berg opera

--- the Lulu plays, namely Erdgeist (Earth Spirit) and Die Buchse der Pandora (Pandora's Box), have been issued numerous times (in various translations and in different languages) since they were first published in Germany. Here is a checklist of some editions of the plays, with emphasis given to English language books.

Wedekind, Frank. Erdgeist, tragödie in vier aufzügen. München: A. Langen, 1903.
--- first German edition

Wedekind, Frank. Die büchse der Pandora, tragödie in drei aufzügen. Berlin: B. Cassirer, 1904.
--- first German edition

Wedekind, Frank. Pandora's Box; a tragedy in three acts. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1918.
-- first American edition, translated by Samuel A. Eliot, Jr.

Wedekind, Frank. Five Tragedies of Sex. London: Vision, 1952.
-- translated by Frances Fawcett and Stephen Spender

Wedekind, Frank. The Lulu Plays.Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, 1967.
-- translated and with an introduction by Carl Richard Mueller

Wedekind, Frank. Lulu: a Sex Tragedy.London: Heinemann Educational, 1971.
-- adapted by Peter Barnes from Wedekind's Earth Spirit and Pandora's Box; translated by Charlotte Beck, with an introduction by Martin Esslin

Wedekind, Frank. The Lulu Plays & other Sex Tragedies.London: Calder and Boyars, 1972.
-- translated by the noted English poet Stephen Spender

Wedekind, Frank. Wedekind Plays 1. London: Methuen Publishing, 1993.
-- Spring Awakening and Lulu: A Monster Tragedy translated by Edward Bond & Elizabeth Bond Pablé

Wedekind, Frank. The First Lulu. New York: Applause Theatre Books, 1993.
-- English version by Eric Bentley

Translation via
line break on the Louise Brooks Studies website


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