Thursday, October 28, 2010

Karl Kraus | Superfluities Redux:

Kraus listed his themes at one point as: “Sex and untruth, stupidity, abuses, cadences and clichés, printer’s ink, technology, death, war and society, usury, politics, the insolence of office … art and nature, love and dreams,” castigating politics as “what a man does in order to conceal what he is and what he himself does not know.” Along with his literary career, Kraus was also a playwright; in 1929 Peter Lorre starred in Die Unüberwindlichen at Vienna’s Volksbühne, a satire of Vienna’s police chief whom Kraus held responsible for the deaths of ninety people during a street demonstration; the play was shut down after one performance. He also had a long career as a solo performer (he gave over seven hundred performances over 44 years), long before the likes of Spalding Gray and Mike Daisey, reciting from not only his own works but also those of Brecht, Goethe and Shakespeare to large enthusiastic audiences.