Death Fragments – Büchner, 23 years old


Edwin van der Heide

Tetsuo Furudate


Performance / actor:

Lenz/Buechner/Woyzeck : Markus Fisher

Pastor Oberlin : Hanno Dinger

Girl (Corpse body) : Miho Iwata

Caroline : Charlotte Ullrich

Dr. Schoenlein/Captain : Stefan Imholz

Marie : Sigrid Maria Schnückel

Narrator: Leif Elggren


Part1: As the 1st Movement
(Silent Night and Whispered Conversation)

Lenz and Pastor Oberlin sit facing each other.
Conversation as most of Lenz, his monologue continues.


Oberlin, I wanted to hear your voice. I have so many things to ask you. And please, let me speak to you.

Lenz, what do you want me to do? I do not understand. I am a pastor. While listen to the voice of God, I believe that I still can not hear anything yet, do you think it is possible that I hear your voice?

I've seen so many things than you might expect.
And I am realizing that those images and phenomenons are definitely immanent in my heart.
For example, sometime I can see a huge hole up in the midair. And it opens suddenly! Can you imagine the dark blackish in the midair?
And at the same time I can hear the voice echoing from the basement! The underground world, there are someone who has a great power, and they are always wriggled vigorously. And I...
But this is my privilege that I can sense these phenomenons. And speaking to you about my privilege, I don't think you can understand this. But I still want to get your understanding. And I understand this desire has exceeded your category.
But am I exist? What can I do to make you understand? I am frightened. I am afraid. This dread, horror and madness seized my hands and feet. And I am sure that this fear leads to the death.

You are speaking very calmly right now, I know you have a lot of good sense and if you behave rationally like that, I think you won't be seized by a fear.

Pastor Oberlin, that is wrong, it is your misunderstanding. I am always on the other side, no side, no place. No ground, no sky, no where, I am in the midair.
But I can feel! Wriggling underground, incompetent sky!
Oberlin! Do you think it is possible to give me a helping hand or do you think even people who are in the midair can have also? Or do you say have a hope to us?

God will save you. I mean you need to talk a little more honestly. I thought you were theologian.
Yes, I learned theology at Kaliningrad. And I thought I can understand him. "Understanding God"! But I realize now, it was a reckless thing to do. And I met this one guy. His name is Immanuel Kant. He believes that the human perception creates the world. He did not raise his voice because he knows the force of gravity, but he was trying to remove the power of God from this world.

We are saved by believing in God.

But he did not say like that. I was able to understand what he says about the gravity, I was able to feel the power filled into the spaces, but he just told me to read Rousseau. Literature... Do you know about Goethe? Amorous, ambitions and hypocrisy, repeat the stupidity like a monkey or bear or something...

You should not slander others.

Please forgive me.
 He taunts me... I mean..



How boring life is: day after day we put on our shirts and pull up our trousers, crawl into bed in the evening and out again in the morning, place one foot relentlessly in front of the other, with nothing to suggest things will ever be different. It’s terribly sad. And that millions before us have done just the same and millions in the future will do so again; on top of all that, we consist of two halves that ape one another, so everything happens twice over. It’s terribly sad.

So, what do you want?


Peace is in God.

In nothing ness.
What a greater peace can there be to lose yourself in? If God's peace is greatest, then God is nothingness, isn't it?
But I am an atheist, I have to believe nothing that exists can cease to exist, something cannot become nothing. And I am something, move's the pity, creation has spread itself so wide, there is nowhere left empty.
Everything swarms and seethes. The void murdered itself.
Creation is its wound.
I am just a drop of its blood.
The world is grave in which it rots.
That sounds mad but there is a truth there.
The world is the wandering Jew. Death is nothingness but nothingness is impossible.
We are buried alive like pharaohs, in three or four-layered coffins. Under the sky, our houses, our shirts and our jackets, we scratch for fifty years on the lid of the coffin.
Oh yes, he who could believe in annihilation?
He would indeed be saved.
Life is just a more complex, a more ordered putrefaction than the simple rotting of death.
But that is the only difference, complexity, otherwise life and death are one and the same. Still, I have got to use to decay in life.
I do not want to cope with the other sort.
Death seems to twist off each part of the body slowly by a cruel, physical power. My limbs are being ground off, systematically.
I am being killed by a cold, mechanical power.

Stop, and let's become calm a little. I did not know that you were an atheist. You forget your Maker! You hear and see nothing of the glow, the hum, the radiance of creation regenerating itself in and around them each second of the day.

And I lie there alone, stiff, cold, in the clammy swamp of putrefaction. Perhaps death takes away the life from our fibers slowly, rots and disappears, but we are fully awake!
I'd like to have died differently if I can. Effortlessly, the way a star falls, a note of music ends, pressing my lip against my body, to be suffocated...
A ray of light is lost in clear water, I want to die without feeling any pain.
Pastor! Take my hand!.

You are shivering and sweating! What is wrong with you?

It's you. Me. My hand, I know where I am. I was half awake, half dreaming. Then the roof disappeared, the moon sank down, right to my face and I grab it! The roof of heaven had fallen! I hammered at it, I scratched at the stars, I was a drowning man, under a roof of ice! Pastor!

The lamp throws a round reflection on the ceiling, that's what you saw. Why don't you go bed? Maybe you are tired.

I tell you, I see it takes nothing to lose the little reason we have. I won't sleep anymore, I don't want to go mad.

Go sleep, I will turn lights off. Everyone is waiting for you and they need your help. God bless us all. Good night.

Pastor. Do you feel it? The essence of the life stays in all the existence forms. As for the mineral and the metal, water and the plant, the soul stays all of them. And harmony, the tone, and bliss stay all of them. And they attack for the resonance, to the people who has higher dimension sense like me.

This place is cursed! You see that light strip on the grass there? Where the strawberries are so thick.
A head rolls down it every evening. There was a man picked it up once, he thought it was a hedgehog. Three days and nights after, he way lying in his coffin.
It was the Freemasons! I am sure of it, the Freemasons!
He stamps on the ground
There! Nothingness!
Cave down there! And it is shaking! Can you here it? Something moving down there!
Look! Over there! And there! And there!

It's scary, so strange...and it's hot and stuffy!
It makes you hold your breath.
Fire! A fire raging in the sky! A sea of flames! How bright!

The sound: from the ceiling
Silence, nothing but silence, as if the world was dead



May I have an old sack?

For what?

(Whisper) The atonement.

(Clearly) I see.
Oberlin gave him what he asked for. He tied the sack round him.


Narration (English)
The laser light and sound only
Clouds raced across the moon, now blanketing everything in darkness, now revealing the melting, shadowy outline of the landscape in the moonlight. He rushed to and fro. His breasts were bursting with the exultation of hell. The rushing of the wind was like a chorus of Titans, he felt as if he could thrust a gigantic fist into heaven and seize God by the scruff of the neck and drag Him bodily through the clouds, as if he could crunch the world to bits with his teeth and spit the pieces in their Creator’s face; he cursed, he blasphemed. Thus he came to the crest of the mountains, and the uncertain light spread down into the depths below where lay the huge white masses of stone, and the heavens were an eye of idiot blue, and the moon just stood there, moronic and ridiculous. Lenz laughed out loud, he couldn’t help it, and as he laughed the hand of atheism clutched at him and held him fast in a grip of completely secure and steady and firm. He no longer knew what had moved him so deeply earlier that day, he was frozen, he decided that sleep was he wanted and he strode cold and unshakeable through the ghostly darkness.

He entered the house where the child lay. The people within were going about their business in total indifference; someone pointed to a room, the child lay on a wooden table clothed in a shirt and bedded on straw.

Lenz was shown a room, where the dead girl lying. He stands beside the dead body, and he touches her hand and foot.

He looked at her half-open glassy eyes. Lenz, he threw himself on top of the corpse.

(Spoke loud) Oh God please, arise and live!
Wake up and walk! Walk!
God, please give the life to this girl again. I want to hear her voice again.
Lenz shouts and barks many times. (Lenz stood there for long) (Little while, he fell to his knees, and he runs away.) (Leaving) Sound fff Laser light beam its maximum climax.

The movement of the laser light beam stops. The sound becomes quiet.
Narrattion (English)
The next morning a deep horror overcame him at the state he had been the previous day; he stood now on the brink of an abyss, driven by an insane desire to keep on peering into it, reliving the same agony again and again. Then his fear grew more intense, his sin against the Holy Ghost stood starkly before him.
Lenz (Enter)
Do you mind if I sit here?
(To Oberlin, and sits on a chair.)
She is dead. Is she still alive? My angel, she loved me. And I loved her too.
She was worthy of loving. Oh you angel, damnable jealousy, I sacrificed her. She loved another, she was worthy of loving. Oh dear mother, you loved me too. I killed everyone.
Perhaps all these people were still alive, possibly in good spirits.
But whatever case, if you returned to God, then God would answer his prayers and tears with so much good for these people that the profit that they would then have from His intercession would perhaps more than compensate for the harm that he might have done them.
Lenz gives Oberlin a bundle of switches.



Oberlin takes the switches out of his hands and presses a few kisses on his lips.


These are the blows I intend for you. Remain calm, and work things out with God on your own. No amount of counts can eradicate a single of your sins, Jesus had seen to that.

Lenz is lying in the bed.
Oberlin sits on a chair next to his bed.

You see Pastor, it would be a great help if only I didn't have to hear that anymore.

Hear what?

Don't you hear anything? Don't you hear the terrible voice that cries across the horizon? The voice that people usually call silence? Since I have been living in this silent valley I hear it always, it does not let me sleep. Yes Pastor, if only I could sleep again...
Lenz leafs through a bible at a frantic pace. Then he begins to tear out single pages of the book. He tries to eat them and swallow them down, like he wants to choke himself. Oberlin disrupts him, pull the pages out of his mouth and guides him back to the bed.


You were a completely stranger to me, I knew absolutely nothing of you. I took you in with love and tended you with such great patience and you pay me back with so much harm, driving me from one fright to another.
What is going on with you, my dear?

Oberlin try to cover him over...
Can you please take this away? Everything is so heavy, I can't even stand up. I feel the colossal weight of air.



Part 3 As 3rd movement. From a silence to the abyss


From Buechner's death to the homicide.
Bright white room. (The spotlight reflects to the reflector.)
Buechner, lies in the bed. Breathe hard and cough violently. A natural sound (birds, etc) and the breath sound of which it falls into disorder continue. The rustle by turning over in bed, etc. (Sound : comes from front only. )
Gradually hears of the sound of cooking. and can hear the footstep, and can hear the door is opened.
Caroline enters the room, with soup and tea on her tray.

Mr. Buechner, Mr. Buechner, wake up, good morning. Beautiful weather outside, I brought you a soup and tea.



Mr. Buechner, I have some good news for you. Madame Schmitt brought this letter a minute ago and it says that Minna will return from Strasbourg today.
What a beautiful day! I think she can enjoy the landscape from the train window.



Buechner doesn't move. Breath gradually gets rough.


But she did not worry about it, and she puts down the tray, sits in a chair next to the mirror.


She noticed his change at last and she run up to him.)

(She noticed his change at last and she run up to him.)
What's the matter with you?
Oh my! You can't breath!? Oh my, I am really sorry! I didn't notice!


Buechner, start breathin



Mr. Buechner, do you want some soup?

Buechner didn't say anything; lie down in a bed again.
She returned to her chair. And tears come to her eyes,、

I'm sorry, I was thinking about my father.
But she will be here soon. Be patient. I think you can hear the sound she knocks on the door.
Buechner is trembling and raving, speaking French.



Somebody knocks on the door, strongly.

Here she comes!

She went down the stairs like running away.
The footstep goes up the stairs. Dr. Schoenlein, his lowered voice and Caroline, her tearful voice.
Sound: The door opens. ^


Dr. Schoenlein
How stink he is!


But he had been talked very energetically yesterday! About his family and about the thing that he has done....

Dr. Schoenlein
Let me see that pot, so I can check his excrement.
Caroline brings excrement-pot and shows it to the doctor.

What is this!? Bloods and all the other things, this is pest! And this is very serious. You can't stay here anymore!
Bring me a medicine that Dr. Zehnder prescribed.

Dr. Schoenlein
Well, this is correct.

What is his name.

His name is Mr. Georg Büchner.

Dr. Schoenlein

How old are him?


I heard he is 23 years old.



Pulse, Woyzeck, pulse! Short, skipping, violent, irregular.

The earth hotter th'n hell, but I'm cold!
Hell must be cold, I'm sure!
It's not possible! Slut! Slut!
Not possible.

Facial muscles taut, rigid, occasional twitches. Manner tense, hyper excited.
Caroline: Everything else is allowed to go on living, this tiny insect here, that bird. Why not him? The stream of life should stop aghast if even a single drop is split. Everything’s astir: clocks tick, bells ring, folk pass, water flows, everything continues just as before, for ever and for ever. Minna will be here in a couple of minutes, so please, survive till then…

If we endured a throes, we will be close to the God. And it is just a few throes.
We are the deaths, dust, and ashes. How are you appealed?
Caroline: My lament dissipates to woefulness, but I am very sad, I will it be for a very long time.



It makes me worried about the world, the thought of eternity. It's some business, Woyzeck, some business! Eternity... is eternity... is eternity, you can see that. But it's also not eternity, it's a single moment, Woyzeck, yes, a single moment. It's frightening, how the world turns round in a day. What a waste of time. What does it amount to? Woyzeck, I can't stand to look at millwheels anymore, they're so totally depressing. Are the heavens with their winking eyes of gold a bowl of golden carp that stands on the table of the blessed gods and the blessed god laugh for ever and the fish die for ever and the gods delight for ever in the dancing colours of their dying agony?



Marie! Marie!

Franz! Franz! Please wait for me! Don't go so far!

I am here Marie.

The town is that way. But It's so dark.

Stay a bit. Here, sit down.

I've got to get back.

You won't get sore feet from walking. I'll save you that.

What are you talking about?

Do you know how long it's been, Marie?

Two years this Whitsun.

Do you know how long it's going to be?

I've got to go, there is supper to get.



Are you cold, Marie? But your hands warm. And you've hot lips! Hot, hot whores breathe. I had give heaven to kiss them again, though. Are you cold? When we are really cold, then we don't feel the weather anymore. You won't feel the damp in the morning. (Marie sits again)

What's that you say?


The moon is up, 'All red!

Like blood on iron.

What do you mean? Franz, you are so pale!

No Franz! Stop it! Merciful God! Help! Help!

There! There! There! Why don't you die! Die, die! Still moving? Even now, even now? Now are you dead? Now? Dead, dead, dead.