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Marat/Sade, The Investigation, The Shadow of the Body of the Coachman: Peter Weiss (German Library) Paperback – July 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0826409638 ISBN-10: 0826409636

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Product Details

  • Series: German Library (Book 92)
  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum (July 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826409636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826409638
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #349,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gina DeGiovanni on February 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
When the character of Marquis de Sade shouts out at Marat, "Can't you see this patriotism is lunacy/Long ago I left heroics to the heroes/I turn my back on this nation/I turn my back on all the nations. . ." the reader can truly sense what the play of Marat/Sade is all about. As the reader gets lost in the production of a play within a play, the idea of surrealism presents itself almost at once. The reenactment of the killing of Jean-Paul Marat by Charlotte Corday seems to be a secondary plot alongside of the chanting and screaming of idealism concerning the revolution and liberty. A division of strategies regarding revolution develops between Marat and Sade. Marat advocates fast action, while Sade preaches that it is hopeless or fruitless to even bother to act. Of course, the cries of the asylum patients tend to distract, but it all adds to the surreal, bizarre nature of the play. I felt that one of the aspects the play touches on is how the revolution affects those living within it. The ideas of liberty, freedom, and revolution all make for interesting debate, but I felt one of the themes that struck me was the reality of revolution as it affects those who live around it day in and day out. One of the more striking scenes of the play, for me, came when Charlotte is in the middle of a monologue, describing children playing with toy-like guillotines. The very idea of children treating such a deathly object as a toy is disturbing, but also brings to life the desensitization that revolution brings about. The play reminds the reader that the death of masses makes the value of life and the impact of an individual death meaningless. That alone is a very somber and surreal thought.Read more ›
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11 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
The world in which we live operates on systems of inequalities which are overtly justified by the minor inequalities of people's intellegence, motivation, appearance, etc. However, the relative personal inequalities among people are in no way commensurate with the unequal material conditions in which we live, to a degree which is often tragic and criminal in the truest sense of that word.
In Peter Weis's play "Marat/Sade", the character Marquis de Sade states that it was in trying to understand our criminal society, and personally disadvantaged by self-hatred, he became a criminal himself, and this outsider position forced him to focus on personal escape through brilliant, inventive, one-time sensual or artistic acts. The character Jean Paul Marat, more of an idealist, believed escape could only be successful if everyone escaped together, through the restructuring of all of society, by sudden powerful intervention. These two approaches are opposite. Everyone agrees that sure, the world could be better, but the question of "how" leads to conflict. This is the central conflict of "Marat Sade", one of the world's greatest conflicts, and I think it is fascinating.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Faraday on February 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
Marat/Sade, by Peter Weiss, is a play centering on the murder of Jean Paul Marat. Weiss sets the play in the Asylum of Charenton, where both Marat and the Marquis de Sade are inmates. Before reading this play, I did not have much knowledge of Marquis de Sade or Jean Paul Marat. The French Revolution was a topic that I had studied, however not these members specifically. For the reading of this work, not much understanding of these ideas is needed. Some knowledge of Modernism would be helpful for insight into the motivation and reasoning of the play, however that is not needed either. The plot of the play is very thin and does not do much for the reader. There does not seem to be much action involved in the play. The characters mainly discuss and wax philosophical about the French Revolution and whether or not it was successful. It is the characters themselves and the dialogue that are most intriguing. Characters that are patients in the asylum are the driving force of the work. Many off the wall topics and rants are shouted by any number of patients. Clever use of the director of the asylum gives the reader a better sense of how a play produced in an asylum might work out. The format of the work is what seems to be an extended poem. The rhyme scheme, which is at points non-existent, can be carried from one character to the next. This is at times confusing, however it does give the work a somewhat psychotic feel. The work is a relatively easy read, however it does at times get to be a bit confusing. Because the plot is so thin, the reader is bombarded with confusing dialogue, rather than constant flowing action. The work leaves something to desired, as the reader waits for some twist of fate or action that may create some interest.Read more ›
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful By tony damico on February 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Marat Sade is truly misery made beautiful, where else can the hero be made to suffer as much as Marat does. Through the course of the reading one can not help but desire to emulate the characteristics of Marat, this and the conflict between Marat and Sade are the elements of the story that keeps interests and stimulates thoughts. Weiss argues both the points of view of Marat and Sade well and ultimately delivers an interesting message.
The Marat Sade does have a captivating message, but much of the beauty in the delivery of the message may have been lost in the translation. Translations are difficult to accomplish, especially when many words do not translate from one language to another, and when verse or meter is concerned, especially verse or meter that rhyme it is nearly improbable. However, the story did have its moments of intrigue especially some of the monologues. To be truly understood The Marat Sade needs to be seen. This realization is probably what inspired someone to make the play into a film.
The film about was not stimulating aside from a few moments of irony in the simplest form made out to be humorous. The story is meant to be seen on the stage. The time period that the film was made in was not equipped well enough with special effects ,not that there was need for this in the Marat Sade but it could have made some kind of impact. The Low budget appearance of the film added to the melancholy of the film that appeared worse than the disorder of the mental patient playing Charlotte Corday and defiantly makes the viewer experience moments of sudden and involuntary sleep. If done today and well budgeted as well as directed the play could be portrayed through cameras in a most pleasing manner.
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