Brecht on theatre; the development of an aesthetic by Bertolt Brecht

By Bertolt Brecht

This quantity bargains a huge choice of Bertolt Brecht's groundbreaking serious writing. the following, prepared in chronological order, are essays from 1918 to 1956, within which Brecht explores his definition of the Epic Theatre and his thought 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 vital to an knowing of 1 of the 20th century's such a lot influential dramatists.

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Extra info for Brecht on theatre; the development of an aesthetic

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We have chosen, however, to adapt Brecht’s Gestus without capitalization or italics: gestus. Willett introduced the obsolete English word ‘gest’ to render the slippery, pseudo-technical term, even though it resonates more with jest (as in joke) or gist for many readers rather than with Brecht’s global notion that connects theatre event, society and audience by making actions observable, pointing to the structurally defining causes behind them and enabling social critique. Etymologically Latin gestus, a masculine noun derived from the verb gerere (meaning to carry or to bear), refers to physical bearing or body movement, especially of the hand or the arm.

Verbally, they are linguistically self-conscious, undermine dialectically structured ‘dramatic’ dialogue and reject realist and naturalist conventions regarding the linguistic register of their characters. Visually, they adopt the conventions of abstract and non-representational modernist art, reject realist and naturalist depictions of time and space and are theatrically self-reflexive. This dual crisis of representation is at its most acute visually in Kandinsky’s The Yellow Sound and verbally in Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author.

Plate 19 Señora Carrar’s Rifles, Borups Højskole, Copenhagen, March 1938, with Helene Weigel in the title role. Photograph Ruth Berlau. Plate 20 Life of Galileo, Maxine Elliott’s Theatre, New York, 1947, with Charles Laughton as Galileo, Scene 7. Photograph Ruth Berlau. Plate 21 Brecht rehearsing with Ernst Busch (Galileo) and Regine Lutz (Virginia) at the Berliner Ensemble, 1956. Photograph Gerda Goedhart. Plate 22 Helene Weigel as Mother Courage, Berlin 1949. Photograph Gerda Goedhart. Plate 23 Helene Weigel as Mother Courage pulling her wagon, Berliner Ensemble, 1951 (1949 production).

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