of 26 /26
Cambridge University Press 978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in Context Edited by Stephen Brockmann Frontmatter More Information www.cambridge.org © in this web service Cambridge University Press BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT Bertolt Brecht in Context examines Brechts signicance and contribu- tions as a writer and the most inuential playwright of the twentieth century. It explores the specic context from which Brecht emerged in imperial Germany during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as his response to the turbulent German history of the twentieth century: World Wars I and II, the Weimar Republic, the Nazi dictatorship, the experience of exile, and ultimately the division of Germany into two competing political blocs divided by the postwar Iron Curtain. Throughout this turbulence, and in spite of it, Brecht managed to remain extraordinarily productive, revolution- izing the theater of the twentieth century and developing a new approach to language and performance. Because of his unparalleled radicalism and inuence, Brecht remains controversial to this day. This book with a Preface by Mark Ravenhill lays out in clear and accessible language the shape of Brechts contribution and the reasons for his ongoing inuence. stephen brockmann is Professor of German at Carnegie Mellon University and has served as president of the International Brecht Society since 2014. From 2002 to 2007 he was the managing editor of The Brecht Yearbook, and in 20112012 he was the president of the German Studies Association.

BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

  • Upload
    others

  • View
    17

  • Download
    0

Embed Size (px)

Citation preview

Page 1: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Bertolt Brecht in Context examines Brecht’s significance and contribu-tions as a writer and the most influential playwright of the twentiethcentury. It explores the specific context from which Brecht emergedin imperial Germany during the late nineteenth and early twentiethcenturies, as well as his response to the turbulent German history ofthe twentieth century: World Wars I and II, the Weimar Republic,the Nazi dictatorship, the experience of exile, and ultimately thedivision of Germany into two competing political blocs divided bythe postwar Iron Curtain. Throughout this turbulence, and in spite ofit, Brecht managed to remain extraordinarily productive, revolution-izing the theater of the twentieth century and developing a newapproach to language and performance. Because of his unparalleledradicalism and influence, Brecht remains controversial to this day.This book – with a Preface by Mark Ravenhill – lays out in clear andaccessible language the shape of Brecht’s contribution and the reasonsfor his ongoing influence.

stephen brockmann is Professor of German at Carnegie MellonUniversity and has served as president of the International BrechtSociety since 2014. From 2002 to 2007 he was the managing editor ofThe Brecht Yearbook, and in 2011–2012 he was the president of theGerman Studies Association.

Page 2: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

BERTOLT BRECHT

IN CONTEXT

edited by

STEPHEN BROCKMANNCarnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania

Page 3: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

University Printing House, Cambridge cb2 8bs, United Kingdom

One Liberty Plaza, 20th Floor, New York, ny 10006, USA

477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, vic 3207, Australia

314–321, 3rd Floor, Plot 3, Splendor Forum, Jasola District Centre,New Delhi – 110025, India

79 Anson Road, #06–04/06, Singapore 079906

Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge.

It furthers the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit ofeducation, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence.

www.cambridge.orgInformation on this title: www.cambridge.org/9781108426466

doi: 10.1017/9781108608800

© Cambridge University Press 2021

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exceptionand to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,no reproduction of any part may take place without the written

permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2021

A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Datanames: Brockmann, Stephen, editor.

title: Bertolt Brecht in context / edited by Stephen Brockmann.description: Cambridge, United Kingdom New York, NY : Cambridge University Press,

2021. | Series: Literature in context | Includes bibliographical references and index.identifiers: lccn 2021004947 (print) | lccn 2021004948 (ebook) | isbn 9781108426466

(hardback) | isbn 9781108608800 (ebook)subjects: lcsh : Brecht, Bertolt, 1898–1956 – Criticism and interpretation.

classification: lcc pt2603.r397 z5644 2021 (print) | lcc pt2603.r397 (ebook) |ddc 832/.912–dc23

LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2021004947LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2021004948

isbn 978-1-108-42646-6 Hardback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy ofURLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publicationand does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain,

accurate or appropriate.

Page 4: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

Contents

List of Figures page ixNotes on Contributors xChronology xviiiList of Abbreviations xxiiPreface – Mark Ravenhill xxvA Note on Brecht in English xxvii

Introduction 1

Stephen Brockmann

part i brecht’s world

1 Brecht’s Augsburg Years 17

Jürgen Hillesheim

2 Models for Epic Theater from the Munich Years: Wedekindand Valentin 26

Meg Mumford

3 Brecht in the Weimar Republic 34

Ronald Speirs

4 Brecht’s Emergence as a Young Poet 41

Dorothee Ostmeier

5 Brecht and Music: The Fly in the Amber 49

Joachim Lucchesi

6 Brecht and Political Theater 57

Laura Bradley

7 Brecht and Germany 65

Stephen Brockmann

v

Page 5: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

8 “[She] made suggestions. We took them”: Bertolt Brecht’sWomen Collaborators 73

Paula Hanssen

9 Brecht’s Interviews 81

Noah Willumsen

10 Brecht and Exile 89

Johannes F. Evelein

11 Brecht and the German Democratic Republic 97

Mark Clark

12 The Berliner Ensemble 105

David Barnett

part ii brecht’s work

13 The Work of the Theater 115

Marc Silberman

14 Brecht and Marxism 123

Anthony Squiers

15 Brecht and Photography 131

Tom Kuhn

16 Brecht and Film: Medium and Masses 140

Theodore F. Rippey

17 Brecht and Fiction 149

Ernest Schonfield

18 Gestus in Context 158

Sabine Hake

19 Brecht’s Ethics 166

Markus Wessendorf

20 Brecht and Dialectics 174

Joseph Dial

21 Brecht and East Asia 182

Antony Tatlow

vi Contents

Page 6: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

22 Brecht’s Work with Musical Composers 191

Vera Stegmann

part iii the world’s brecht

23 Brecht and Feminism 201

Helen Fehervary

24 Brecht in Southern Africa 208

Loren Kruger

25 Brecht in the Creation, Production, and Analysisof Opera Today 217

Joy H. Calico

26 Brecht and His Biographers 226

Jost Hermand

27 Brecht Editions 233

Erdmut Wizisla

28 Brecht and German Studies 242

Hunter Bivens

29 Beginning Where Brecht Left Off: Heiner Müllerand Brecht’s Legacy 249

Janine Ludwig

30 Bertolt Brecht in Brazil 257

Jürgen Pelzer

31 World Spirit versus Spirit of the Age: Brecht’s Impactand Influence on East German Literature and Culture 266

Kerstin Hensel

32 Brecht in Fiction 274

Robert Cohen

33 Brecht and Contemporary Experimental Theater 282

Nikolaus Müller-Schöll

34 Brecht and US Actor Training 291

Wendy Arons

35 Brecht and Transcultural Theater 300

Günther Heeg

Contents vii

Page 7: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

36 Thinking Brecht in(to) the University 309

Norman Roessler

37 “Shrunk in Translation” or: The (Ir)resistible Riseof the Old Traduttore/Traditore Tradition . . . 316

Michael Morley

Concise Bibliography 326

Index 341

viii Contents

Page 8: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

Figure

21.1 Brecht’s Bible in Martin Luther’s translation and witha sitting Buddha pasted in on the left side.

page 188

ix

Page 9: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

Notes on Contributors

wendy arons is Professor of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University. Sheis the author, among others, of Performance and Femininity inEighteenth-Century German Woman’s Writing: The Impossible Act(2006), and coeditor, with Theresa J. May, of Readings inPerformance and Ecology (2012). She is also co-translator, with SaraFigal, of a new edition of G. E. Lessing’s Hamburg Dramaturgy, editedby Natalya Baldyga (2018; also available online at mcpress.media-commons.org/hamburg/).

david barnett is Professor of Theatre at the University of York. He isthe author of Brecht in Practice: Theatre, Theory and Performance (2015)and A History of the Berliner Ensemble (Cambridge University Press,2015). He is also the principal investigator of the “Brecht in Practice”project, which applied Brechtian staging methods to plays not writtenin the Brechtian tradition (see brechtinpractice.org).

hunter bivens is Associate Professor of Literature and German Studiesat the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has published on thework of Anna Seghers, Bertolt Brecht, Brigitte Reimann, Volker Braun,and on East German cinema. He is the author of Epic and Exile: Novelsof the German Popular Front (2015).

laura bradley is Chair of German and Theatre at the University ofEdinburgh. She is the author of Cooperation and Conflict: GDR TheatreCensorship, 1961–1989 (2010) and Brecht and Political Theatre: ‘TheMother’ on Stage (2006). She is a member of the editorial board ofThe Brecht Yearbook, among others, and is currently writinga monograph on Brecht and the Art of Spectatorship.

stephen brockmann is Professor of German at Carnegie MellonUniversity and past president (2011–2012) of the German StudiesAssociation. In 2002–2007, he served as managing editor of The

x

Page 10: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

Brecht Yearbook. Since 2014 he has served as president of theInternational Brecht Society. He is the author, among others, of TheWriters’ State: Constructing East German Literature, 1945–1959 (2015) andA Critical History of German Film (2010; second edition 2020).

joy h. calico is Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Musicology andProfessor of German Studies at Vanderbilt University, and past editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Musicological Society. She is theauthor of Brecht at the Opera (2008) and Arnold Schoenberg’s A Survivorfrom Warsaw in Postwar Europe (2014).

mark clark is the Kenneth Asbury Professor of History at the Universityof Virginia’s College at Wise where he teaches modern Europeanpolitical and cultural history. His scholarship, including a book oncultural reconstruction in Germany after World War II, focuses on thebroader societal role that European artists and intellectuals playedduring the long twentieth century.

robert cohen is a retired adjunct professor in the German Departmentat New York University. He is the author, most recently, of DerVorgang Benario (2016); and Abwendbarer Abstieg der VereinigtenStaaten unter Donald Trump (2019). A paperback edition of his novelExil der frechen Frauen (2009) was published in 2020. He is on theadvisory board of the Berlin Institute of Critical Theory (InkriT).

joseph dial studied at the University of Tübingen and HarvardUniversity, where he was a Whiting Dissertation Fellow. His teacherswere Karl S. Guthke, Klaus-Detlef Müller, and Klaus Ziegler. Afterreceiving his Ph.D., he taught German at the State University ofNew York at Binghamton. With the generous support of the SUNYFaculty Research Foundation, he has done extensive research in theBertolt-Brecht-Archiv in Berlin and at Houghton Library. He haspublished in Akten des VI. Internationalen Germanisten-Kongresses,The Brecht Yearbook, CLIO, and Weimarer Beiträge.

johannes f. evelein is Professor of Language and Culture Studies atTrinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. His research centers in par-ticular on: exile and exemplarity, the experience of flight, bordercrossing, and the interface of exile and migration. Recent publicationsfocus on Bertolt Brecht, Ernst Bloch, and Eva Hoffman. He is theauthor of Literary Exiles from Nazi Germany: Exemplarity and the Searchfor Meaning (2014).

Notes on Contributors xi

Page 11: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

helen fehervary is Professor Emerita/Academy Professor of GermanStudies, Ohio State University. She has published extensively on twenti-eth-century German literature, theater, intellectual history, and the worksof Bertolt Brecht, Anna Seghers, Heiner Müller, and Christa Wolf. Hermost recent publication is the coedited volume Anna Seghers: TheChallenge of History (2019). She is general editor of the Anna SeghersWerkausgabe, of which twelve volumes have appeared thus far.

sabine hake is the Texas Chair of German Literature and Culture in theDepartment of Germanic Studies at the University of Texas at Austinand the editor of the German Studies Review. A cultural historianworking on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Germany, she is theauthor of seven monographs, including The Proletarian Dream:Socialism, Culture, and Emotion in Germany 1863–1933 (2017). Hercurrent project is entitled The Workers’ State: Vestiges of theProletarian Dream in Third Reich Culture.

paula hanssen teaches German at Webster University in St. Louis andis the author of Elisabeth Hauptmann: Brecht’s Silent Collaborator(1995), as well as many articles about Brecht’s women colleagues, suchas Margarete Steffin and Elisabeth Hauptmann.

gunther heeg is Emeritus Professor of Theatre at the University ofLeipzig and director of the Centre of Competence for Theatre at theUniversity of Leipzig. For many years he was the director of Leipzig’sInstitute for Theater Studies, where he led a research project on the“Theater of Repetition.” He edited Recycling Brecht: Materialwert,Nachleben, Überleben in 2018 and is a co-editor of Reenacting History:Theater und Geschichte (2014). Heeg’s 2017 book Das transkulturelleTheater (English translation forthcoming) seeks to explore the emer-ging theory and praxis of transcultural theater.

kerstin hensel, born in Karl-Marx-Stadt, East Germany in 1961, is oneof the most important eastern German writers of her generation.Trained as a nurse, she subsequently studied at the JohannesR. Becher Institute in Leipzig, East Germany’s preeminent traininginstitute for young writers. She has published both prose and poetry.Among her key works are Tanz am Kanal (1994) and Falscher Hase(2005). English-language translations of her work include Dance by theCanal, translated by Jen Calleja (2017) and six poems from her collec-tion Schleuderfigur (2016) translated by Robert Gillett, available at “NoMan’s Land: New German Literature in English Translation”: www.no

xii Notes on Contributors

Page 12: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

-mans-land.org/article/meenie-moanie-meep-sappho-turns-her-back-after-the-big-race-curtains-for-me-vulture-circles-eternal-making-scenes/.

jost hermand is William F. Vilas Emeritus Research Professor ofGerman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was one of theorganizers of the first Brecht Congress in Milwaukee in 1970, an eventthat ultimately led to the founding of the International Brecht Societya year later. He has authored three books on Brecht, most recently Dieaufhaltsame Wirkungslosigkeit eines Klassikers: Brecht-Studien (2018). Heis also the author of numerous books and articles on German culturaland literary history, including Deutsche Kulturgeschichte des 20.Jahrhunderts (2006). In 1993 he published his memoir Als Pimpf inPolen (English translation: A Hitler Youth in Poland, 1997), a movingaccount of his experiences as a boy during the Nazi dictatorship.A revised and expanded edition of this book in German appeared in2015.

jurgen hillesheim manages the Brecht Research Center (Brecht-Forschungsstätte) in Augsburg and is Professor at the University ofAugsburg. He also holds the position of Professor h.c. at theZhytomyr Ivan Franko State University in Ukraine. He has authoredor edited more than thirty books and more than one hundred articleson modern German literature, with a particular focus on Brecht.

loren kruger is the author of five books, including Post-ImperialBrecht: Politics and Performance, East and South (CambridgeUniversity Press, 2004), winner of the Scaglione Prize forComparative Literary Study and, most recently, A Century of SouthAfrican Theatre (2019). Both books discuss Brecht’s impact on SouthAfrican theater in detail. Her articles on Brecht and related topics haveappeared in many journals, including The Brecht Yearbook,Comparative Drama, Critical Arts, Critical Stages, TDR, ModernDrama, Theater der Zeit, Theatre Journal, and Theatre ResearchInternational. She has also translated Theatre at the Crossroads ofCulture by Patrice Pavis (from French) and The Institutions of Art byPeter and Christa Bürger (from German), and has edited special issuesof Theatre Journal and Theatre Research International. She teaches at theUniversity of Chicago.

tom kuhn teaches German at Oxford University, where he is Professor ofTwentieth-Century German Literature and a Fellow of St Hugh’s

Notes on Contributors xiii

Page 13: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

College. He has been the principal editor of the English-languageedition of Brecht since 2002. Numerous publications on Brecht andon twentieth-century drama and exile literature include, most recently(and with various collaborators), Brecht on Theatre and Brecht on Artand Politics (both 2015), The Collected Poems of Bertolt Brecht (2018) andBrecht and the Writer’s Workshop: Fatzer and Other Dramatic Projects(2019).

joachim lucchesi is Honorary Professor of German at LudwigsburgUniversity of Education. He is the author of numerous articles andbooks on Bertolt Brecht and music, including the standard work on thesubject, Musik bei Brecht (1988; together with Ronald K. Shull). Heedited the documentation on Brecht’s struggle with the East Germanregime on his opera project The Trial of Lucullus: Das Verhör in derOper –Die Debatte um Brecht/Dessaus “Lukullus” (1993). In addition, heis responsible for two volumes containing the text, with commentary, ofoperas by Brecht and Kurt Weill: Die Dreigroschenoper: Der Erstdruck1928 (2004) and Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny: Oper in dreiAkten – Der Erstdruck 1929 (2013).

janine ludwig is a literary scholar, Academic Director of the DurdenDickinson Bremen Program, Vice Head of the Institut für kulturwis-senschaftliche Deutschlandstudien (IfkuD) at the University ofBremen and President of the International Heiner Müller Society.She is the author, among others, of Heiner Müller: Ikone West (2009),Macht und Ohnmacht des Schreibens: Späte Texte Heiner Müllers (2009)and, together with Mirjam Meuser, two edited volumes on post-GDRliterature: Literatur ohne Land? (2009, 2014/15).

michael morley is Emeritus Professor of Drama at Flinders Universityand a past president of the International Brecht Society. He hastranslated Brecht poems for the Methuen and Norton editions, aswell as the poetry of Alfred Brendel and his volume A Pianist’s A to Z.He also performs regularly with the singer Robyn Archer and hasreleased with her the CD Robyn Archer: Classic Cabaret Rarities.

nikolaus muller-scholl is Professor of Theater at the University ofFrankfurt and the author of many works on Bertolt Brecht, HeinerMüller, Walter Benjamin, and script-based theater, among othertopics. His books include Das Theater des “konstruktiven Defaitismus”:Lektüren zur Theorie eines Theaters der A-Identität bei Walter Benjamin,

xiv Notes on Contributors

Page 14: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

Bertolt Brecht und Heiner Müller (2002) and the coedited volume DasDenken der Bühne: Szenen zwischen Theater und Philosophie (2019).

meg mumford is Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies atthe University of New South Wales, Sydney. She is the author of BertoltBrecht in the Routledge Performance Practitioners series (2009; secondedition 2018). Her publications include: Theatre of Real People: DiverseEncounters at Berlin’s Hebbel am Ufer and Beyond, co-authored withUlrike Garde (2016), and the coedited volume Rimini Protokoll Close-Up: Lektüren (2014).

dorothee ostmeier is Professor ofGerman, Folklore andPublicCulture,Head of Theater Arts at the University of Oregon, and a participatingfaculty member of Comparative Literature and Women and GenderStudies. Her works include Sprache des Dramas – Drama der Sprache:Nelly Sachs’ Poetik (1997); Poetische Dialoge zu Liebe, Gender und Sex imfrühen zwanzigsten Jahrhundert (2014), and coedited Brecht, Marxism,Ethics (2017), and Poetic Materialities: Semiotics of Johann WolfgangGoethe’s “Wanderer’s Nachtlied” and “EinGleiches” (2017). Current researchfocuses on the agency of fantasy in diverse texts and media.

jurgen pelzer is Professor Emeritus at Occidental College, LosAngeles. Publications include Stereotyp und Vorurteil in der Literatur(1978), Kritik durch Spott (1985), and Literatur in der BundesrepublikDeutschland: Phasen und Aspekte (1989). He has published numerousworks of literary and cultural history and critical theory, includingcontributions in German newspapers and magazines.

mark ravenhill is one of the most important living British playwrights.His works include Shopping and Fucking (1996), Mother Clap’s MollyHouse (2001), Pool No Water (2005), The Cane (2018), and the musicalThe Boy in the Dress (2019). His play Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat wasproduced by the Berliner Ensemble in 2014. His work includes anEnglish version of Life of Galileo for the Royal Shakespeare Companyin 2012 and of The Mother for BBC radio in 2019. He is a passionateadvocate for and defender of Bertolt Brecht and his work.

theodore f. rippey is Associate Professor of German and AssociateDean of Arts and Sciences at Bowling Green State University in Ohio,USA. He has published on Brecht, film, Weimar culture, and soundand media in the interwar era. He is a former editor of The BrechtYearbook.

Notes on Contributors xv

Page 15: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

norman roessler teaches in the General Education Program atTemple University in Philadelphia. He served as the editor ofCommunications from the International Brecht Society (2006–2011)and, with Anthony Squiers, co-edited Philosophizing Brecht (2019).

ernest schonfield is Lecturer in German at the University ofGlasgow. He is the author of Art and its Uses in Thomas Mann’s FelixKrull (2008) and Business Rhetoric in German Novels: FromBuddenbrooks to the Global Corporation (2018). He also editsa website: www.germanlit.org.

marc silberman is Emeritus Professor of German at the University ofWisconsin-Madison. He edited Communications from the InternationalBrecht Society (1982–1986) and The Brecht Yearbook (1989–1995) andcurates the online Brecht Yearbook and the Bibliography of Brecht’sWorks in English Translation. He has published extensively on Brecht,Heiner Müller, and the tradition of political theater in Germany, aswell as on the history of the German cinema.

ronald speirs is Professor Emeritus in German at the University ofBirmingham, UK. He has published Brecht’s Early Plays (1982), BertoltBrecht (1987), Brecht’s Poetry of Political Exile (ed.) (2000), anda number of essays on Brecht in journals and collected volumes. Hehas also published work on a range of topics, including Franz Kafka,Thomas Mann, Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Weber, Germany’s twounifications, H. G. Adler and Hermann Broch. He is on the editorialboard ofGerman Life and Letters, Studia austriaca, and Studia theodisca.

anthony squiers, ph.d., habil. is a Privatdozent in AmericanStudies at the Universität Passau. He is the author of An Introductionto the Social and Political Philosophy of Bertolt Brecht: Revolution andAesthetics (2014) and coeditor of Philosophizing Brecht: Critical Readingson Art, Consciousness, Social Theory and Performance (2019, togetherwith Norman Roessler).

vera stegmann is Associate Professor of German at Lehigh University.Her publications include the book Das epische Musiktheater beiStrawinsky und Brecht (1991) as well as articles on Pina Bausch,Thomas Bernhard, Ferruccio Busoni, Hanns Eisler, Pablo Neruda,and Anna Seghers. She is a coeditor of the forthcoming volumes 45and 46 of The Brecht Yearbook.

xvi Notes on Contributors

Page 16: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

antony tatlow is Honorary Professor in the Drama Department of theUniversity of Dublin, where he was Professor of ComparativeLiterature in 1996–2005 and also coordinator of the Graduate Centrefor Arts Research. He was Professor of Comparative Literature at theUniversity of Hong Kong in 1987–1996, and from 1982 to 1990 heserved as President of the International Brecht Society. Since 1999 hehas been a member of the Academia Europaea. He is the author ofmany books and articles on Brecht and East Asia, in particular TheMask of Evil: Brecht’s Response to the Poetry, Theatre and Thought ofChina and Japan (1977). In 2016 he published his translation of BertoltBrecht’s Me-ti: Book of Interventions in the Flow of Things.

markus wessendorf is a professor in the Department of Theatre andDance at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. He has been the man-aging editor of the Brecht Jahrbuch/The Brecht Yearbook since volume 43(2018). His areas of specialization are in performance studies and theatertheory, devised theater and dramaturgy, avant-garde and interculturaltheater. He also works as a director.

noah willumsen is a doctoral candidate and associate of the DFGResearch Group Literary and Epistemic History of Small Forms atBerlin’s Humboldt University. His dissertation explores HeinerMüller’s interviews in the context of East German media history andEuropean politics. He is the editor of Brecht’s collected interviews,published (in German) by Suhrkamp in 2021.

erdmut wizisla has been the head of the Bertolt Brecht Archive at theAcademy of the Arts in Berlin since 1993. He is also the head of theWalterBenjamin Archive and an honorary professor at theHumboldt-Universitätin Berlin. He is the author, among others, of Benjamin and Brechts: TheStory of a Friendship (2009; paperback 2016) and has edited several bookson Brecht, including Die Bibliothek Bertolt Brechts: Ein kommentiertesVerzeichnis (2007, with Helgrid Streidt and Heidrun Loeper as coeditors)and Begegnungen mit Bertolt Brecht (2009; paperback 2014).

Notes on Contributors xvii

Page 17: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

Chronology

1898 Brecht is born in Augsburg1914 World War I begins. Brecht gets his start as a writer.1917 Brecht enrolls as a medical student at the University of Munich.1918 Brecht serves as a medical orderly in Augsburg.WorldWar I ends

with a German surrender. Brecht witnesses the revolution inBavaria first-hand.

1919 Brecht writes Baal and becomes active in Munich cultural life.Paula Banholzer bears, out of wedlock, Brecht’s first son, Frank.

1920 Brecht’s mother dies.1922 Drums in the Night opens in Munich. Brecht receives the presti-

gious Kleist Prize and marries the opera singer Marianne Zoff.1923 Germany’s hyperinflation. In the Jungle of the Cities opens in

Munich; Baal opens in Leipzig. Brecht’s daughter Hanne isborn to Marianne Zoff.

1924 Brecht moves to Berlin and becomes an integral part of culturallife. He meets Helene Weigel, who gives birth to his son Stefan.He also begins work with Elisabeth Hauptmann.

1926 Man Equals Man opens in Darmstadt. Brecht begins studyingMarxism.

1927 Brecht’s first poetry collection, Domestic Breviary, is published.Brecht starts his collaboration with Kurt Weill and also workswith revolutionary theater practitioner Erwin Piscator. In thesame year, he meets the composer Hanns Eisler at the Baden-Baden Music Festival; this marks the beginning of a lifelongcollaboration between the two men. Brecht divorces MarianneZoff.

1928 The Threepenny Opera opens in Berlin and becomes a massivesuccess, making Brecht rich and famous.

1929 Onset of the Great Depression. Brecht’s theater work becomesincreasingly radical politically and aesthetically, as he moves

xviii

Page 18: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

toward the Lehrstück (learning play). He marries Helene Weigel;writes St. Joan of the Stockyards.

1930 The opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny opens in Leipzigand is picketed by Nazis, creating one of the Weimar Republic’smajor theater scandals. Brecht writes the learning play TheDecision, with music by Eisler. Brecht’s daughter Barbara isborn to Helene Weigel.

1931 Brecht directs Man Equals Man (starring Peter Lorre) in Berlin.He sues Nero Film for breach of contract in creating the filmThreepenny Opera by G. W. Pabst.

1932 Brecht and the filmmaker Slatan Dudow create the film KuhleWampe, a radical aesthetic and political experiment; the music forthe film is composed by Hanns Eisler.

1933 Adolf Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany and the Nazidictatorship begins. Brecht flees Germany with his family, ultim-ately settling in Svendborg, Denmark. The Seven Deadly Sinsopens in Paris and travels to London.

1934 Brecht works on Threepenny Novel.1935 On a trip to Moscow Brecht meets the radical artists Sergei

Tretyakov and Sergei Eisenstein. He witnesses a performanceby the Chinese actor Mei Lanfang. Brecht also travels for thefirst time to the United States. He begins writing Fear and Miseryof the Third Reich.

1937 Brecht travels to Paris for the second Congress of Writers for theDefense of Culture, a major gathering of anti-Nazi intellectualsand writers. Brecht’s anti-Franco one-act play Señora Carrar’sRifles is performed in Paris, directed by Slatan Dudow andstarring Helene Weigel.

1938 Germany annexes Austria. Eight scenes from Fear and Misery ofthe Third Reich are performed in Paris. Brecht completes the firstversion of Life of Galileo; he also completes most of the work forhis collection Svendborg Poems.

1939 World War II begins with Germany’s attack on Poland. TheSvendborg Poems are published. Brecht and his family are forcedto leave Denmark. They go to Sweden. Brecht’s father dies.Brecht completes Mother Courage and Her Children.

1940 Forced to flee even farther from the Nazis, Brecht and his familymove to Finland. Brecht writes The Good Person of Szechwan,Mr. Puntila and His Man Matti, and Refugee Conversations.

Chronology xix

Page 19: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

1941 In an epic journey to escape the Nazis, Brecht and his familytravel through the Soviet Union to Vladivostok, where theyboard a ship headed for California. Shortly after Brecht leavesthe USSR, Germany invades the USSR. Brecht meets Fritz Langin Hollywood and begins work on The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.He also begins to write the Hollywood Elegies, and Hanns Eislerstarts composing music for them.

1942 Brecht works on the screenplay for Fritz Lang’s anti-Nazi filmHangmen Also Die!

1943 Brecht writes Schweyk in the Second World War; he also travels toNew York, where he meets key intellectuals such as Ernst Bloch,W. H. Auden, and George Grosz.

1944 Brecht completes The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Together withW. H. Auden, he works on an adaptation of John Webster’sThe Duchess of Malfi.

1945 World War II in Europe ends with the defeat of Germany andHitler’s suicide. The atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasakiput an end to the war in Japan as well.

1947 Life of Galileo opens in Los Angeles, starring Charles Laughton.Brecht is interrogated in Washington, DC by the House Un-American Activities Committee. The following day, he leaves theUnited States for Switzerland.

1948 Brecht’s adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone, starring HeleneWeigel and directed by Brecht and his friend Caspar Neher, isstaged in Switzerland. Brecht travels to Berlin to work ona production ofMother Courage and Her Children. Brecht writesthe “Short Organon for the Theatre.”

1949 Mother Courage and Her Children, starring HeleneWeigel, opensat the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, launching Brecht’s postwartheater career. The music for the play is written by Paul Dessau.Brecht and Weigel create the Berliner Ensemble. Brecht com-pletes The Days of the Commune and publishes Tales from theCalendar. The Federal Republic of Germany and the GermanDemocratic Republic, the two postwar German states, arefounded. Mr. Puntila and His Man Matti opens at theDeutsches Theater to tremendous acclaim toward the end ofthe year. The Academy of the Arts is created in East Berlin, andits journal Sinn und Form devotes an entire issue to Brecht. Thisissue includes the first publication of Brecht’s theoretical treatise“Short Organon for the Theatre.”

xx Chronology

Page 20: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

1950 Brecht prepares and directs an adaptation of J. M. R. Lenz’seighteenth-century play The Tutor, a stinging criticism ofGerman intellectual traditions.

1951 A major controversy erupts in East Berlin around Brecht’s collab-oration with the composer Paul Dessau on The Trial of Lucullus,a modernist antiwar opera. Brecht and Dessau are accused offormalism. Brecht makes changes, and the title becomes TheCondemnation of Lucullus.

1953 Workers’ uprising in East Berlin, the first major uprising in theEastern bloc. Behind the scenes Brecht works to liberalize culturallife in the GDR. Brecht writes the Buckow Elegies andTurandot orthe Whitewashers’ Congress. The latter is another critique of intel-lectual slavishness.

1954 The Berliner Ensemble moves to the Theater amSchiffbauerdamm. The Berliner Ensemble takes MotherCourage and Her Children to Paris, where it creates an inter-national sensation.

1955 The Berliner Ensemble travels to Paris for the second time, thistime with The Caucasian Chalk Circle.

1956 Brecht demands the liberalization of East German cultural life atthe January writers’ congress in Berlin. In February NikitaKhrushchev denounces Stalin’s crimes and the cult of personalityin the USSR. Brecht dies in August shortly after working ontranslations of Polish anti-Stalinist poems. The year ends withthe crushing of the Hungarian Revolution by the Soviets anda cultural and political crackdown in East Germany. WalterUlbricht, the East German leader who had distrusted Brechtduring his lifetime, eulogizes Brecht in a public commemorationat the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, launching the East Germanestablishment’s decades-long and largely successful attempt toco-opt Brecht and his memory for their own purposes.

Chronology xxi

Page 21: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

Abbreviations

AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency SyndromeAPO Extra-Parliamentary Opposition (West Germany)BBA Bertolt Brecht ArchiveBBB Die Bibliothek Bertolt Brechts: Ein kommentiertes VerzeichnisBBC British Broadcasting CorporationBE Berliner EnsembleBFA Berliner und Frankfurter Ausgabe [standard German edition

of Brecht’s complete works]BFR Brecht on Film and RadioBoP Brecht on PerformanceBoT Brecht on TheatreBPT Bantu People’s TheatreCP Collected Plays [standard English edition of Brecht’s plays]CPBB The Collected Poems of Bertolt BrechtCPC Popular Culture CenterDDR German Democratic RepublicDEFA Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft (East German film company)FRG Federal Republic of GermanyGDR German Democratic RepublicJACT Junction Avenue Theatre CompanyHIV human immunodeficiency virusNT National Theatre (London)PACT Performing Arts Council of the TransvaalHUAC House Un-American Activities CommitteeNATO North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationSED Socialist Unity Party (of East Germany)TO Theatre of the Oppressed

xxii

Page 22: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

TRC Truth and Reconciliation CommissionUK United KingdomUS United StatesUSPD Independent Social Democratic PartyUSSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

List of Abbreviations xxiii

Page 23: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

Preface

In 1982, I entered a sixth-form college in Chichester in the south ofEngland. I was there to study for my A levels, national examsmost typicallytaken at the age of eighteen and that are the entry point to university in theUnited Kingdom. On my first day, I was told that the college was nowoffering a brand-new A level subject: Theatre Studies. To date, any study oftheater leading to an exam at eighteen had been restricted to plays read aspart of the English syllabus. With my enthusiasm for acting, it would bea good idea, it was suggested, if I signed up for Theatre Studies. With greatexcitement, I did.The new Theatre Studies course was a sometimes-confused meeting

point of different strands in late twentieth-century theater pedagogy.Several plays were to be studied and written about in a way that owedmuch to the study of English literature. But students were also expected todevise a group performance with only a light guiding hand from a teacher.It was as though F. R. Leavis and the Living Theatre each had a hand instructuring our course of study.A third element of the course was a written paper. This was called

Theoretical Practitioners and it was here that I had my first encounterwith Brecht. Heavily influenced, I think, by their citation in Peter Brook’s1968 The Empty Space, the exam board had chosen four theoretical practi-tioners for us to study: Stanislavsky, Brecht, Artaud, and Grotowski. Asthis was the first time these “great figures” were to be studied by anyone soyoung, there were no published guides or introductions. Students andteachers bought copies of translations of Towards A Poor Theatre, An ActorPrepares, and Brecht on Theatre, and we sat and read them with confusionthat quickly became boredom.With something like ten hours of teaching time devoted to Brecht, we

focused most of our energies on Willett’s translation of Brecht’s essayaboutMahagonny. This provided a handy checklist of differences betweenthe dramatic theater and the epic theater and was perfect exam material.

xxv

Page 24: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

Without having read or seen any play, film, or poem of Brecht’s,a generation of young Brits could now dutifully deliver a thousandwords on the “alienation effect.”The reading list I was sent before I turned up at Bristol University in

1984 duplicated much of the material we’d already studied at sixth form.We were required to read one Brecht play – a rather idiosyncratic choice:The Mother. In a department that prided itself on its utilization of Marxistaesthetics, this was the Brecht play that was considered the most politically“pure.” It had been cited by John McGrath in his A Good Night Out andwas seen as a model of the new politically committed theater that much ofthe teaching staff believed was needed in a year in which MargaretThatcher was at war with the union movement. I read the play withoutany great enthusiasm, although it was interesting to see finally how some ofthe theory we’d studied for A level might inform the writing of a play.In my second year of university, I heard that the drama society were

looking for a director of a production of The Threepenny Opera anddecided – without knowing the piece – that it should be me. Listeningfirst to a recording of the songs in German and then reading the Methuenedition of the play, I was amazed to discover a sardonic, sensuous voice thatswung thrillingly between irony and anger. The political line of the piecewas deliciously “impure” – there was the odd flash of Marxism but it wasoverwhelmed by a bracing nihilism. I was part of an emerging – but not yetidentified – Generation X sensibility. A view of the world that was later tobe realized in American Psycho and Reservoir Dogs. It was this sensibility thatI found voiced for the first time in The Threepenny Opera.From then on I wandered gleefully “off syllabus” to read any Brecht

I could find in translation, to Wedekind, Büchner, Kaiser, Toller, to theoperas of Alban Berg, to Robyn Archer’s recordings of Eisler. I’d dis-covered a rich seam that inspired me, as I left university behind, to makemy own theater.As this fascinating collection of essays demonstrates, there are

a multitude of Brechts. Some of them speak to some of us, some of themspeak to others, perhaps some have had their day, perhaps some have notyet found their moment. Brecht can be a bully, a teacher, a seducer, a tellerof tall tales, an eternal shapeshifter. Any attempt to create a monolith willonly shatter the pieces all over again. Creative destruction. Which is,I would suggest, a good thing.

mark ravenhill

June 2020

xxvi Preface

Page 25: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

A Note on Brecht in English

There are more published versions of Brecht’s major plays in English thanthere are in German, and the editorial situation is somewhat opaque forordinary readers. In theUnited States, translations by Eric Bentley tend to bepopular, whereas in the United Kingdom the preferred translations tend tobe by JohnWillett and his associates, published almost entirely byMethuen,while many of Bentley’s are published byGrove Atlantic. There are historicalreasons for these divergences: Brecht worked directly with Bentley when hewas in the United States and gave him permission to translate his plays intoEnglish for the US market. That legal situation did not obtain for otherEnglish-speaking markets, however, especially for the United Kingdom.In addition to the translations by Bentley andWillett, there are many other

translations of Brecht’s plays. For instanceMark Blitzstein’s adaptation of TheThreepenny Opera became a huge success in the United States in the 1950s, andmore recently Tony Kushner’s and Wendy Arons’s translation of The GoodPerson of Szechwan has been performed successfully around the United States.Meanwhile, DavidHare’s translation ofMother Courage andHer Children andMark Ravenhill’s of Life of Galileo have pleased audiences in the UnitedKingdom. The International Brecht Society maintains a web archive ofBrecht translations into English with well over four thousand entries: brechtguide.library.wisc.edu/.Whereas the Brecht heirs in Germany tended to keep a tight rein on

Brecht performances and publications in the German-speaking world, theywere not as strict in their approach to the English-speaking world. For thisreason directors, producers, adapters, and dramaturges in the English-speaking world have generally enjoyed more freedom to change Brecht’stexts around, adapt them, and even make them say whatever they want –as, for instance, in the 2016 staging of The Threepenny Opera at London’sNational Theatre. One can bemoan such freedom or celebrate it, but itdoes constitute a distinct difference between the English- and the German-speaking worlds vis-à-vis Brecht productions. On the other hand, state-

xxvii

Page 26: BERTOLT BRECHT IN CONTEXT

Cambridge University Press978-1-108-42646-6 — Bertolt Brecht in ContextEdited by Stephen Brockmann FrontmatterMore Information

www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

subsidized theaters in Germany and Austria are frequently able to takegreater risks (including the risk of offending their audiences) than manytheaters in the United States or United Kingdom that may depend heavilyon corporate support and ticket sales.For the sake of consistency, wherever possible this book cites Brecht’s

plays from the most recent English edition of the Collected Plays initiatedby John Willett, finished by Tom Kuhn, and published by BloomsburyMethuen Drama. We also cite, where possible, from the BloomsburyMethuen editions of Brecht on Theatre and Brecht on Performance, as wellas from other recent Bloomsbury Methuen editions. Where no suchedition exists (as with, for instance, the Stories of Mr. Keuner or theThreepenny Novel), we cite from whatever edition is conveniently available.The German-speaking world in general has more time, patience, and

money for critical editions than the English-speaking world, and thissituation applies to Brecht as well. Whereas in German there existsa standard critical edition of Brecht’s works, the Berliner undFrankfurter Ausgabe (BFA), there is no such edition in English. The closestapproximation is the series of Brecht volumes published by BloomsburyMethuen and now supervised by Tom Kuhn at the University of Oxford.The most authoritative source for Brecht’s poetry in English is Tom

Kuhn’s and David Constantine’s The Collected Poems of Bertolt Brecht,published by Liveright in 2019. However, the previous English-languageedition of Brecht’s poetry, Collected Poems 1913–1956, edited by JohnWillett and Ralph Manheim and published in 1976, remains useful forthose who may be looking for alternative translations or for the occasionalpoem not included in the most recent collection.It is still the case that by no means all of Brecht’s works are available in

English-language translation. Works unpublished in English include someof Brecht’s earliest plays and also more than a few poems. Moreover, inGerman there are sometimes multiple versions and stages of particularplays written, revised, and produced by Brecht and his team. Englishversions and editions often tend to overlook or ignore the work-in-progress quality of almost every play Brecht wrote and to present hisworks as definitive and final. Brecht and the Writer’s Workshop: Fatzerand Other Dramatic Projects, edited by Tom Kuhn and Charlotte Rylandand published in 2019, is a praiseworthy exception that gives a sense of theintensely processual and also collaborative nature of Brecht’s approach towriting plays.

xxviii A Note on Brecht in English