From Library Journal
Published in 1986, the year of his death, this is the last play from Weiss, best known for the 1960s plays Marat/Sade and The Investigation. It is also the playwright's second attempt to adapt Franz Kafka's The Trial to the stage. His first attempt, in 1975, failed because it adhered too closely to the novel. This version integrates a lifelong dialog with Kafka's work into a new play that uses only the names, some settings, and an occasional mood from Kafka. It develops Weiss's themes of capitalist oppression, violence, and self-destruction in a contemporary claustrophobic world that Kafka would recognize. While not a masterpiece, this is a major modern work of political and social drama that experiments in surrealism and expressionism. This text also contains a substantial preface, a chronology, some notes on the use of Kafka in the play, Weiss's notes on the play and its characters, and an interview with the playwright. The New Trial was performed as part of a conference on Weiss at Duke University, and the text ends with an essay by its director. Recommended for academic and theater collections. Thomas E. Luddy, Salem State Coll., MA
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""The New Trial "depicts the loss of art's value with sardonic humor. . . . The volume includes an informative introduction by James Rolleston and Kai Evers, who have come up with a smooth translation of the play. An interview with Weiss and his wife, Gunilla Palmstierna-Weiss, is helpful, as is an intriguing essay by the director of the script's American premiere at Duke University in 1998. . . . Thankfully, "The New Trial" proffers a clear and compelling statement of Weiss's last thoughts on the powerless power of art in an age of global conglomerates." --Bill Marx, "WBUR Theater Reviews"