Understanding Brecht (New Edition)
Verso, 2003 - 124 pages
The relationship between philosopher-critic Walter Benjamin and playwright-poet Bertolt Brecht was both a lasting friendship and a powerful intellectual partnership. Having met in the late 1920s in Germany, Benjamin and Brecht both independently minded Marxists with a deep understanding of and passionate commitment to the emancipatory potential of cultural practices continued to discuss, argue and correspond on topics as varied as Fascism and the work of Franz Kafka. Faced by the onset of the .midnight of the century., with the Nazi subversion of the Weimar Republic in Germany and the Stalinist degeneration of the revolution in Russia, both men, in their own way, strove to keep alive the tradition of dialectical critique of the existing order and radical intervention in the world to transform it. In Understanding Brecht we find collected together Benjamin.s most sensitive and probing writing on the dramatic and poetic work of his friend and tutor. Stimulated by Brecht.s oeuvre and theorising his particular dramatic techniques.such as the famous .estrangement effect..Benjamin developed his own ideas about the role of art and the artist in crisis-ridden society. This volume contains Benjamin.s introductions to Brecht.s theory or epic theatre and close textual analyses of twelve poems by Brecht (printed in translation here) which exemplify Benjamin.s insistence that literary form and content are indivisible. Elsewhere Benjamin discusses the plays The Mother, Terror and Misery of the Third Reich, and The Threepenny Opera, digressing for some general remarks on Marx and satire. Here we also find Benjamin.s masterful essay .The Author as Producer. as well as an extract from his diaries that records the intense conversations held in the late 1930s in Denmark (Brecht.s place of exile) between the two most important cultural theorists of this century. In these discussions, the two men talked of subjects as diverse as the work of Franz Kafka, the unfolding Soviet Trials, and the problems of literary work on the edge of international war.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
What is Epic Theatre? First version I
What is Epic Theatre Second version
Studies for a Theory of Epic Theatre
A Family Drama in the Epic Theatre
Commentaries on Poems by Brecht
action actor apparatus artistic attitude audience Author as Producer baroque become Benjamin Bertolt Brecht bourgeoisie Brechtian Carola Neher cheap saloon cities class struggle conversation Cover your tracks critical cycle dialectical didactic play Döblin Dostoyevsky drama epic theatre existence fascism friendliness function Galy Gay German Gestapo gestures hand hard thing gives hell Herr Keuner Household Messenger human intellectual interrupting John Willett Kafka Lao Tzu literary living longer Lukács Macheath man's Marx Marxism mass materialist means montage mother nature never novel Peachum petty bourgeois phalanstery Plato plum tree poet poetry political praxis precisely production proletariat question reader recognize relationship revolutionary Russian sage sense social society songs speak stage stands Svendborg Tao Te Ching task technique tendency theory thought Threepenny Threepenny Opera tion tragedy translated Translator's note Tretyakov turn words worker writers