Trakl - Pictures from the Life of a Poet
scenes from a poet's life
2 women, 9 men
The play is freely inspired by the life and personality of the Expressionist poet Georg Trakl. Horoščák's Trakl takes place as though it were a single moment when Trakl, who was sent as a doctor to the front during World War I, shoots himself in the field hospital. During one dizzy moment the most important events of his life pass before his eyes. The story unfolds in freely linked scenes. Trakl meets his friend Karl, his sister Greta (with whom he connected by more than brotherly love) and his girl friend, the prostitute Sonia. His anxiety and depression he tries to solve through experiments with various drugs, and he comes into conflict with the police - he is suspected of the murder of a little girl. In the middle of the fury of war he is unable to bear any more of the cruelty of reality and shoots himself. As an embodiment of the spirit of a time which is over, the last Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Franz Josef passes through the play. The ever-present figure of the Emperor is the paternal, authoritative antithesis of Trakl. Horoščák sets their speeches in close conjunction and thus expresses the polarity of the life experience of the doomed poet and claims which the supreme authority of society thoughtlessly affirms. Excerpts from Trakl's poetry are used in the play, colourful visions arising from Expressionism are projected in poetic stage directions.
/The play/ could however have been written because the author instinctively recognised in Trakl's failure of will for life, in the absence of an elementary sense for self-preservation, the opportunity to say something about the feeling of the time, about the fatal inclination of the whole of society for which survival begins to be the most difficult thing in life. (Marie Reslová: Přežít je to nejtěžší v životě, Svět a divadlo, 1999/3)