Peter Weiss

Peter Weiss (1916–1982) was a German playwright, dramatist, visual artist, filmmaker, and novelist. His works include The Aesthetics of Resistance and The Shadow of the Coachman’s Body. He is best known in the US for his play Marat/Sade: Peter Brook’s production received the Tony Award for Best Play in 1966. His documentary drama The Investigation, which recreates the trial of Auschwitz concentration camp guards, was produced on American television in the 1960s. He was awarded the Georg Büchner Prize after his death in 1982.

The Shadow of the Coachman's Body

Fiction by Peter Weiss

Translated by Rosmarie Waldrop

Peter Weiss’s first prose work, The Shadow of the Coachman’s Body, was unanimously praised as an original and perfect work of art by critics when it appeared in 1960. Here, in poet Rosmarie Waldrop’s stunning translation, Weiss arranges a dark, vividly alive comedy of inert objects in a dismal boarding house—stones, buttons, hooks, needles, chairs, newspapers in an outhouse, clinking tin cups, celestial orbs, sewing machines, an overwound windup music box—which have oblique characters’ shadows as their supporting cast.…
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The Conversation of the Three Wayfarers

Fiction by Peter Weiss

Translated by E.B. Garside

With a contribution by John Keene

The Conversation of the Three Wayfarers is a tale overheard, rather than told directly. Abel, Babel, and Cabel, the wayfarers, carry on a three-sided monologue, each reporting curious incidents—the effect is of three capers rolled into one: a steeplechase performed on a floating pontoon. But are they really three distinct individuals? Why do their lives blend in such a fantastic manner? Weiss’s strikingly original prose has an impossibly contained quality, with each sentence doing a perfect double-double backflip before neatly landing.…
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