A Bertolt Brecht Reference Companion

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Siegfried Mews
Greenwood Press, Jan 1, 1997 - Drama - 430 pages
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Bertolt Brecht has been perceived as an ardent proponent of social change, an avid advocate of a just world that he defined in terms of socialism, and an adamant foe of capitalism for whose demise he hoped. He is justly regarded as one of the great innovators of theater theory and practice in the 20th century, and his influence has extended to Latin America and Asia. This reference book surveys Brecht's enormous contribution to world drama. Chapters by expert contributors assess his dramatic innovations, his poetry and prose, and topics of special interest to Brecht studies.

With the centennial of his birth approaching in 1998, Bertolt Brecht's controversial reception in general and in the United States in particular, is coming into clearer focus. One of the great dramatists of the 20th century, Brecht has been viewed as an ardent proponent of social change, an avid advocate of a just world that he defined in terms of socialism, and an adamant foe of capitalism for whose demise he hoped. With the opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the political and economic milieu of Europe has changed drastically, and socialist writers are now being studied from a fresh perspective.

This volume surveys and assesses Brecht's enormous contribution to the arts. Chapters by expert contributors explore his innovative dramatic theory and theatrical practice. Though best known for his contribution to the stage, Brecht also wrote poetry and prose fiction, and his poems and prose are examined in this work. Brecht's influence is also considered, and chapters examine topics of special interest, such as Brecht and film, the role of music in his works, feminist and Marxist approaches to his writings, the problem of translating Brecht into English, and the reception and appropriation of his plays and dramatic theory in various countries. While the chapters are historical in focus, the contributors also demonstrate the continuing relevance of Brecht in general and the Brechtian theater in particular in the 1990s.

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Contents

Introduction
1
New Agendas National Traditions
31
Brecht and the Problem of Influence
47
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

SIEGFRIED MEWS is Professor of German at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served as editor of the monograph series University of North Carolina Studies in the Germanic Languages and Literatures and the quarterly South Atlantic Review. He has published widely on 19th- and 20th-century German and comparative literature, and his edition of Collected Essays on Bertolt Brecht appeared in 1989.

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