While the main programme concentrates on international perspectives of Büchner, the additional events act as dissecting instruments: Büchner is regarded as a body which is autopsied and scrutinised – that is, it is dissected and examined in detail. And then reassembled, though possibly in a different way. THE ANATOMY OF BÜCHNER strives to locate the centre of inflammation which makes Büchner’s plays so feverishly modern that we are still dealing with it today. The diseases of the mind, body and world that he diagnosed continue to be a part of human nature – and still require healing.
My brother and I conducted autopsies on several children who died of such a disease. There was an interesting case among the ill of someone who had developed delirium tremens as a consequence of overindulgence in spirituous drinks and was subsequently cured by 20-40 gr. of tartarus stibiatus, only to die of chest and liver disease a few weeks later. During the autopsy, we observed that the lower part of the liver had rotted and become as soft as an old brain, the lungs and pleura were completely coalesced with the thorax, etc. Requiescat in pace.
(Letter from Eugène Boeckel to Büchner, 7 September 1832)