Other Literary Forms
Botho Strauss is a major German writer whose contributions to drama and fiction are equally important. Indeed, Strauss seems to alternate between writing both genres. His prose texts have a reflective quality; and some of them, especially Der junge Mann (1984; The Young Man, 1989), belong to the core of German postmodern writing.
Strauss has also written essays, ranging from his early theater reviews to political statements. Even the latter show Strauss’s aesthetic and elitist approach to dealing with issues. Most controversial was “Anschwellender Bocksgesang,” published in the German news magazine Der Spiegel (February 8, 1993), in which he analyzed contemporary democracy as self-satisfied and unable to make the changes necessary for its survival. To many people, this seemed close in word and spirit to the dangerous German conservatism of the 1920’s. However, in the post-Cold War 1990’s, the dichotomies of political left and right were somewhat elusive, and Strauss’s analysis still could be understood in keeping with his earlier, more progressive views.