Download e-book for kindle: Understanding Brecht by Walter Benjamin

By Walter Benjamin

ISBN-10: 1859848141

ISBN-13: 9781859848142

Having met within the past due Twenties in Germany, Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht--both independently minded Marxists with a deep figuring out of and passionate dedication to the emancipatory strength of cultural practices--discussed, argued, and corresponded on subject matters as various as Fascism and the paintings of Franz Kafka. In realizing Brecht, Benjamin's such a lot delicate and probing writing at the dramatic and poetic paintings of his pal and educate is accumulated. along his attention-grabbing analyses of Brecht's "epic theatre" and commentaries on his verse, we discover Benjamin's masterful essay "The writer as manufacturer, " in addition to an extract from his diaries that recounts the serious conversations on aesthetics and politics held among the 2.

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Example text

But in the secular drama of the West, too, the search for the untragic hero has never ceased. Often in conflict with its theoreticians, such drama has deviated time and again, always in new ways, from the authentic form of rragedy - that is, from Greek tragedy. This important but badly marked road (which may serve here as the image of a rradi­ tion) ran, in the Middle Ages, via Hroswitha and the Mysteries; in the age of the baroque, via Gryphius and Calderon. Later we find it z8 in Lenz and Grabbe, and finally in Strindberg.

She sings: Learn, woman of sixty. She sings: In Praise of the Third Cause. And she sings these songs as a mother. For they are lullabies. Lullabies for Communism, which is small and weak but irresistibly goowing. This Communism she has taken unto her­ self as a mother. It becomes clear too that she is loved by Com­ munism as only a mother is loved: she is loved not for the sake ofher beauty or her fame or her excellence, but as the inexhaustible source ofhelp; she represents help at its source, where it is still pure-flowing, where it is still practical and not false, from where it can still be channelled without reservation to that which, without reservation, needs help: namely, Communism.

Is brought about by processes being interrupted. Take the crudest example: a family row. Suddenly a stranger comes into the room. The wife is just about to pick up a bronze statuette and throw it at the daughter, the father is opening the window to call a policeman. What is Epic Theatre? (Second version1 19 At this moment the stranger appears at the door. 'Tableau', as they used to say around 1900. That is to say, the stranger is confronted with a certain set of conditions: troubled faces, open window, a devastated interior.

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Understanding Brecht by Walter Benjamin


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