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By Bertolt Brecht

This quantity bargains an enormous number of Bertolt Brecht's groundbreaking serious writing. the following, prepared in chronological order, are essays from 1918 to 1956, during which Brecht explores his definition of the Epic Theatre and his conception of alienation-effects in directing, appearing, and writing, and discusses, between different works, The Threepenny Opera, Mahagonny, mom braveness, Puntila, and Galileo. additionally integrated is "A brief Organum for the Theatre," Brecht's such a lot whole exposition of his innovative philosophy of drama.

Translated and edited via John Willett, Brecht on Theater is key to an figuring out of 1 of the 20th century's such a lot influential dramatists.

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Verfremdung is probably the most notorious of Brecht’s theoretical notions. Willett translated it as alienation and Verfremdungseffekt or V-Effekt as alienation effect or A-effect. This became the standard terminology, giving rise to two fundamental misunderstandings. The first was that Brechtian theatre was cold and impersonal because he wanted his productions to alienate the audience rather than to entertain them. The second misunderstanding is more plausible. By the 1930s, Brecht was a committed Marxist, and Entfremdung is the term Marx uses for alienation.

By the 1930s, Brecht was a committed Marxist, and Entfremdung is the term Marx uses for alienation. Before Brecht coined the term Verfremdung in the mid-1930s, however, he used Entfremdung. Marx’s term refers to the socio-economic position of the worker in the labour process under capitalism, but Brecht’s Entfremdung and Verfremdung both refer to an aesthetic process that renews our powers of cognition. In the course of the 1970s and 1980s, two further translations were in circulation: distanciation and defamiliarization.

His greatest work was his own personality. [‘Frank Wedekind’, BFA 21/35-6] First published in Augsburger Neueste Nachrichten, 12 March 1918. Wedekind had died on the afternoon of 9 March 1918. Then aged just 20, Brecht was studying medicine and philosophy at Munich University, where he attended the theatre seminar conducted by Professor Artur Kutscher (1878–1960), Wedekind’s friend and biographer. The songs referred to in the opening paragraph are presumably ‘Franziska’s Evening Song’, ‘The Blind Boy’, ‘Young Blood’ (published in Wedekind’s Four Seasons poetry collection) and ‘Bajazzo’.

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