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Schlienger, Alfred

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Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | 25/07/2007

On the death of George Tabori

Writer and theatre director George Tabori died in Berlin on July 23, aged 93. Alfred Schlienger pays hommage to Tabori, whose favourite theme was German-Jewish relations, which he described as "the dialectics of victim and perpetrator" using the artifices of farce. "Laughter as a trial in pain. This applies to the entire works of this master of fitful laughter. All his biographical veins flow into one: Hungarian nonchalance, Anglo-Saxon humour, American agility, Jewish chutzpah and central European pensiveness. When Tabori turned to the works of others, these were Shakespeare, Kafka, Beckett, and Dostoyevsky... He loved the luxury of the unfinished; he wanted to touch people, even if it was painful. To this end he combined Brecht with Freud, protest with passion, and played the most serious jokes with the dreadful. He was a rare combination of playwright, director, manager and, occasionally, actor - a true descendant of Molière."

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