This article juxtaposes two aspects of the career of Karl-Emil Franzos (1848–1904): his editorship of Georg Büchner’s dramatic fragment Woyzeck, which Franzos misread as Wozzeck, thereby bestowing the “incorrect” name on Alban Berg’s 1925 opera; and his work as a leading German-language chronicler of Jewish life in late nineteenth-century Galicia and Bukovina. It is apparent in Franzos’s fiction that his sense of melodrama informed his editorial decisions in shaping Büchner’s manuscript. His misreading of Woyzeck as Wozzeck, by the same token, suggests both the linguistic and the perceptual limitations of describing eastern European ethnic groups from the perspective of the imperial (German) language. Franzos’s approach to the fragmentation, alternately, of Büchner’s manuscript and of the disintegrating Habsburg Empire anticipates the theoretical insights of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno around the concept of the Trauerspiel (play of mourning) with which this discussion opens.


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pp. 128-154
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