By John J. White
As a vital part of his paintings as a political playwright and dramaturge, Bertolt Brecht involved himself commonly with the idea of drama. He was once confident that the Aristotelian excellent of viewers catharsis via id with a hero and the ensuing event of terror and pity labored opposed to his aim of improving society. He didn't want his audiences to think, yet to imagine, and his major theoretical thrusts -- "Verfremdungseffekte" (de-familiarization units) and epic theater, between others -- have been conceived in pursuit of this aim. this is often the 1st special examine in English of Brecht's writings at the theater to take account of works first made on hand within the contemporary German variation of his gathered works. It bargains in-depth analyses of Brecht's canonical essays at the theater from 1930 to the overdue Nineteen Forties and early GDR years. shut readings of the person essays are supplemented by means of surveys of the altering connotations inside of Brecht's dramaturgical oeuvre of key theoretical phrases, together with epic and anti-Aristotelian theater, de-familiarization, historicization, and dialectical theater. Brecht's special contribution to the theorizing of appearing and viewers reaction is tested intimately, and every theoretical essay and idea is positioned within the context of the classy debates of the time, subjected to a serious evaluate, and thought of in gentle of next scholarly considering. in lots of instances, the playwright's theoretical discourse is proven to hire equipment of "epic" presentation and strategies of de-familiarization which are corollaries of the dramatic strategies for which his performs are justly well-known. John J. White is Emeritus Professor of German and Comparative Literature at King's university London.
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Additional resources for Bertolt Brecht's Dramatic Theory (Studies in German Literature and Culture)
Soziologische Betrachtungsweise” reads like a blueprint for the first section of the Mahagonny notes. ” 20 Fritz Sternberg (1895–1963) “Diese Differenz zwischen dem Wissenschaftler Sternberg und dem Künstler Brecht ist, weil sie die erste einer Reihe Begegnungen von Wissenschaft und Kunst war, von großer Bedeutung. Daß Brecht den Standpunkt der Produktion notfalls auch gegen den der wissenschaftlichen Analyse aufrechterhielt, war eine Grundentscheidung, der er Zeit seines Lebens treu blieb” (Voigts 1977, 96).
It also enables us to subject his theoretical ideas to critical scrutiny in the light of later thinking, rather than continuing the longstanding practice of simply saying what Brecht was trying to say. INTRODUCTION ♦ 25 Some preliminary caveats and statements of intention are called for at the outset. As has just been indicated, my main concern in this study is with Brecht’s canonical theoretical writings. In the process of exploring these works, I shall inevitably have recourse to a large number of related essays, journal entries, letters, interviews and notes.
The subsequent Versuche 2 version was prefaced by the announcement that it offered “eine Untersuchung über die Möglichkeit von Neuerungen in der Oper” (44). e. Brecht-Weill’s Mahagonny, the libretto of which precedes the notes in Versuche 2. In other words, “Über die Oper” is not a further alternative title, but simply an abbreviated reference. The full Versuche title, “Anmerkungen zur Oper Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny,” eventually found itself demoted to mere subtitle: Unseld’s Schriften zum Theater anthology (1957) and the seven-volume collection of the same title (1963–64), as well as Willett’s Brecht on Theatre, all have as their main title “Das moderne Theater ist das epische Theater,” a claim taken from the third section of the notes.