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The Lulu Plays
Translated by Stephen Spender
Two of Wedekind’s most seminal plays, Earth-Spirit and Pandora’s Box both focus on the actions of the young heroine Lulu, who embodies both animal sensuality and waif-like innocence, as she escapes a life on the streets, receives a society education, marries, takes on various lovers, becomes a dancer in a revue, is imprisoned for murder and encounters Jack the Ripper.
When Earth-Spirit was premiered in Leipzig in 1898, Wedekind was vilified and persecuted for advocating unfeigned sexual pleasure and making his heroine a heartless whore. Death and Devil and Castle Wetterstein, the other plays that make up this volume, are essentially extensions of and complementary to the Lulu tragedies.
Part of Calder Publications imprint
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Frank Wedekind (1864–1918) was a playwright, poet, journalist, actor and cabaret singer, whose works revolutionized European literature, and also once caused him to be imprisoned for nine months for lèse-majesté.