By Peter Brooker
First released in 1988, this books argues with bought debts to reclaim Brecht’s emphasis on his self-described ‘dialectical theatre’, re-examining to begin with the techniques of Gestus and Verfremdung and their realisation in Brecht’s poetry by way of his try and consciously follow the tools of dialectical materialism to paintings and cultural perform. the writer additionally takes factor with the known view of Brecht’s occupation and politics which sees him as compromising both with Communist occasion dogma or bourgeois aesthetics, to discover constructing parallels among Brecht’s political and inventive even though and the serious dialectics of Marx, Lenin and Mao. This improvement is tested in later chapters on the subject of the early and overdue performs, The Measures Taken and Days of the Commune in addition to on the subject of Brecht’s replaced conditions within the years of war-time exile and in post-war East Germany.
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Extra info for Bertolt Brecht: Dialectics, Poetry, Politics
In the example ‘A nother case of applied dialectics’ itself, theory does not organise practice in an a priori sense; rather the process of discus sion — and it is im portant that it is presented as a process — confirms the merits of a dialectical procedure afresh. In the dialogue on Coriolanus also, where theory, in the shape of M ao’s On Contradic tion, appears to be introduced from the outside, to explain the class relations and movements in the play, this represents an addition 21 Dialectics in the Theatre to Brecht’s canon of M arxist classics, and is in itself evidence of the extension and revision his theory was undergoing.
1 Some of the argum ents of this essay are also very close to those developed in surrounding essays, such as ‘The epic theatre and its difficulties’ (1927), ‘O n form and subject m atter’ (1929) and the notes to The Rise and Fall of the Town Mahagonny (1930) and The Threepenny Opera (1931). In ‘The dialectical d ram a’ Brecht describes how a new form has developed dialectically out of the naturalistic novel to produce a dram a which is appropriate to contem porary subject m atter, and which prom otes an objective or ‘scientific’ attitude on the part of its audience.
BT, p. 37) But if this was indeed the case, social change on the scale Brecht was envisaging it could not proceed unchecked, unaided, or undeterm ined, from a beginning in artistic and intellec tual work. Brecht’s ‘The dialectical dram a’ does address social change from within a discussion of artistic change, but it also takes this argum ent to its possible limits — that an audience will be en joined to adopt ‘a quite definite political attitude’ — while simultaneously exposing its limitations as a means to social transfor m ation.
Bertolt Brecht: Dialectics, Poetry, Politics by Peter Brooker