Georg BÃ¼chner, playwright, propagandist, fish scientist; born 17 October 1813, died 19 February 1837.
This entry was posted on Monday, February 19th, 2007 @ 11:25 am on the category dsw.
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Is there a group of people anywhere which regards BÃ¼chner as a fish scientist first and a playwright incidentally?
(Depends on whether he was any good in the fish science department, I suppose…)
Oh, when he died he was quite unknown as a playwright, but reasonably well-known in Rhineland Fish Science circles. So he was mourned principally in terms of lost potential to Marine Biology, I think.
It was only later that someone noticed that there was a bloody good play called Woyzeck in one of his notebooks, and his handwriting was so bad that for a long time it was called Wozzeck (hence the name of the excellent opera by Berg).
I don’t know what Modern Fish Science makes of his contribution, nor whether his dissertation on the anatomy of the barbel fish is easily available to modern researchers.
What inspired the question was my recent discovery that there are some circles in which Alexander Borodin is STILL regarded primarily as a distinguished chemist, his not insignificant contribution to the art of music being either sidelined or ignored altogether.
Talking of which, you would love Borodin’s ‘Prince Igor’ if you haven’t heard it already – though you probably have heard at least some of it as it’s right up there with ‘Carmen’ in the memorable tunes department.