chapter  18
Mediation or Refraction? Marie Luise Kaschnitz’s Edition and Reception of Grillparzer’s Medea
ByAnthony Bushell
Pages 11

In 1965, the Bavarian Broadcasting Service, Bayerischer Rundfunk, followed a few months later by Radio Saarland, transmitted a performance of a radio play by one of West Germany's most distinguished post-war female writers and poets, Marie Luise Kaschnitz. The world of petty court snobberies was a society experienced by Kaschnitz at first hand, for she was herself very well acquainted, as her biographer tells us, with life at court. Today the German-language theatre rarely stages the initial one-act play, Der Gastfreund, in which Jason makes no appearance at all but in which the theme of betrayal and curse are laid. In Grillparzer's play the Nurse had chided Medea for entering Jason's world of the moment, a world of immediate action and one which forgets that which has gone before and that which will come afterwards. Kaschnitz restores this awareness in an exchange she creates between Medea and Jason when Medea asks.