Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic

Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic

by Bertolt Brecht



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780809031009
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 294

About the Author

Bertolt Bertolt (1898-1956) was the most influential German dramatist and theoretician of the theater in the 20th century. Also a poet of formidable gifts and considerable output, Brecht first attracted attention in the Berlin of the 1920s as the author of provocative plays that challenged the tenets of traditional theater. Forced to flee Germany in 1933 because of his leftist political beliefs and opposition to the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler, Brecht and his family spent 14 years in exile in Scandinavia and the United States. Although he tried hard to become established in the United States, Brecht failed to make a breakthrough either as a scriptwriter in Hollywood, California, or as a playwright on Broadway. Two years later he moved to East Berlin and remained there until his death. In the 1950s he became an internationally acclaimed playwright and director through productions of his plays by the Berliner Ensemble, a company based in East Berlin and headed by his wife, actor Helene Weigel.

John Willett (1917-2002) was a noted scholar, author and translator. From the outset he was the prime editor and translator (with Ralph Manheim and others) behind Brecht in English. He was involved in the planning and translation of the programme book for the Berliner Ensemble's celebrated first visit to London in 1956 (the year of Brecht's own death); in 1959 he published the first general study in any language, The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht; he translated, edited and introduced the enormously influential Brecht on Theatre (1964); and he was a founding member of the International Brecht Society and sometime editor of its Yearbook.

Table of Contents


PART ONE 1918-1982

Frank Wedekind A Reckoning Emphasis on Sport Three Cheers for Shaw Conversation with Bert Brecht A Radio Speech Shouldn't we Abolish Aesthetics?

The Epic Theatre and its Difficulties Last Stage: Oedipus A Dialogue about Acting On Form and Subject-Matter An Example of Paedagogics The Modem Theatre is the Epic Theatre The Literarization of the Theatre The Film, the Novel and Epic Theatre The Radio as an Apparatus of Communication The Question of Criteria for Judging Acting Indirect Impact of the Epic Theatre

PART TWO 1988-1947

Interview with an Exile Theatre for Pleasure or Theatre for Instruction The German Drama: pre-Hitler Criticism of the New York Production of Die Mutter

On the Use of Music in an Epic Theatre Alienation Effects in Chinese Acting Notes to Die Rundköpfe und die Spitzköpfe

On Gestic Music The Popular and the Realistic


On Rhymeless Verse with Irregular Rhythms The Street Scene On Experimental Theatre New Technique of Acting Two Essays on Unprofessional Acting Notes on the Folk Play Alienation Effects in the Narrative Pictures of the Elder Brueghel A Little Private Tuition for my Friend Max Gorelik Building up a Part: Laughton's Galileo

'Der Messingkauf': an editorial note

PART THREE 1947-1948

A Short Organum for the Theatre

PART FOUR 1948-1966

Masterful Treatment of a Model From the Mother Courage Model Does Use of the Model Restrict the Artist's Freedom?

Formal Problems Arising from the Theatre's New Content Stage Design for the Epic Theatre From a Letter to an Actor Some of the Things that can be Learnt from Stanislavsky

Theaterarbeit: an editorial note Notes on Erwin Strittmatter's Play Katzgraben

Study of the First Scene of Shakespeare's Coriolanus

Cultural Policy and Academy of Arts Conversation about being Forced into Empathy Classical Status as an Inhibiting Factor Can the Present-day World be Reproduced by Means of Theatre?

Appendices to the 'Short Organum'

'Dialectics in the Theatre': an editorial note Our London Season

Other English Translations Index

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews