Collection: Oskar Panizza
Oskar Panizza (1853–1921) was a German psychiatrist turned avant-garde author. In 1894 he published his notorious play The Love Council: “A Heavenly Tragedy in Five Acts” that depicted the spread of syphilis among humanity in 1492 through a senile god, an idiot Christ, a promiscuous Mary, and a depraved Pope Alexander VI. The play brought Panizza instantaneous literary fame that resulted in a twelve-month prison sentence. Moving to Zurich, he published a journal, Zurich Discussions, the majority of which he wrote himself under a series of pen names. After being expelled from Switzerland, he relocated to Paris until his 1899 publication of anti-Germanic verse led to his finances being seized. He spent the last sixteen years of his life in a Bavarian mental institution.