Ivo Svetina    

The Tower Dramatic poem

Year of writing: 2010
“You have been endowed with such a great gift that you could fall victim to it.”
Total cast size: 17 (5 f, 12 m)
arts, creativity, poetic lunacy, historical topic

“You have been endowed with such a great gift that you could fall victim to it,” the music teacher warns his talented student Hölderlin at the beginning of the play. The Tower is a poignant play, perfected in its motifs and language, a comprehensive work about the intertwined worlds of art and reality. This is a dynamic and tense representation of the life of famous German poet Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin, remaining true to the biographical facts. This is also a play about a Poet who pours his life into poetry which in turn oozes into his existence. The boundary between these two worlds gradually blurs, the worlds are an inspiration to one another until their mutual invasions become uncontrollable. The Tower asks questions about sources and consequences of creativity (madness as the basis or the obstacle to creativity, imagination and sensitivity driven to the point of pain as a form of madness and/or art, experience of suffering as the grounding of inspiration etc.). The play also dives deep into general themes of being human: Hölderlin is a typical child of Romanticism, constantly torn between the ideal and the reality, the sense of duty and his own wishes and emotions, be it in his relationship to his mother, lover or friend. In the background of this intimate, internalised world, turbulent events of the French Revolution are taking place. And Hölderlin, distraught and confused, flooded with contrasting emotions, wishes and urges, shuts himself off, turns inwards, immures himself in his shell, in his tower. A poet writes about a poet.

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