One person, seemingly embittered but highly intelligent, articulates their independence from the course of events. Their exaggerated and highly strung awareness of the state of the world has led them to become inactive. Desperate, comic, painful and full of contradictions, we can see them as representative of our time. Nina Hoss immerses herself in the stream of thought of this psychological masterpiece and follows its whirling and sidestepping sentences down into the depths of human pessimism.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky described human misery and humanity’s vain search for itself like practically no other writer. We encounter this author twice at this year’s festival; in the novel on which Janáček based his opera Aus einem Totenhaus and in this early short story which heralded the principal phase of his creative output and which touches upon the full spectrum of philosophical problems addressed in his five great novels.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s modernity can be found in the essential questions he asks: about the possibility of human freedom, about knowledge, about life, death, the nature of beauty, the possibility of belief, faith in progress, which is connected to the hope that humans may act benevolently if they are enlightened as to their true interests. The latter is something the narrator severely doubts – they grapple for the truth, shed light on our unconscious and ultimately prove their own free will by choosing what is nonsensical, unreasonable and potentially destructive.
The audience at the Mischanlage in Essen is invited to make its way step by step »underground« in order to witness this bravura monologue over tea and vodka. A moral and literary experience of unparalleled intensity.
Produced by Ruhrtriennale.