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Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic Paperback – January 1, 1964

ISBN-13: 978-0809005420 ISBN-10: 0809005425 Edition: 13th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; 13th edition (January 1, 1964)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809005425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809005420
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Bertolt Bertolt (1898-1956) was the most influential German dramatist and theoretician of the theater in the 20th century. Also a poet of formidable gifts and considerable output, Brecht first attracted attention in the Berlin of the 1920s as the author of provocative plays that challenged the tenets of traditional theater. Forced to flee Germany in 1933 because of his leftist political beliefs and opposition to the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler, Brecht and his family spent 14 years in exile in Scandinavia and the United States. Although he tried hard to become established in the United States, Brecht failed to make a breakthrough either as a scriptwriter in Hollywood, California, or as a playwright on Broadway. Two years later he moved to East Berlin and remained there until his death. In the 1950s he became an internationally acclaimed playwright and director through productions of his plays by the Berliner Ensemble, a company based in East Berlin and headed by his wife, actor Helene Weigel.

John Willett (1917-2002) was a noted scholar, author and translator. From the outset he was the prime editor and translator (with Ralph Manheim and others) behind Brecht in English. He was involved in the planning and translation of the programme book for the Berliner Ensemble's celebrated first visit to London in 1956 (the year of Brecht's own death); in 1959 he published the first general study in any language, The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht; he translated, edited and introduced the enormously influential Brecht on Theatre (1964); and he was a founding member of the International Brecht Society and sometime editor of its Yearbook.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr DM Hall on June 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
There is only one way to describe this book: Paperback gold. I am currently studying A-Level theatre studies and I couldn't ask for a better resource on Brecht than this. However, I don't think it is necessary to be a drama student to read this book. Obviously some background knowledge of Brecht is helpful when tackling some of the essays that he has written but if you have any kind of interest in the theatre then have a go with this, it's very well edited and above all it's really quite an easy read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Stanfa on March 11, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First of all, it should be mentioned that there is no theatre untouched by Bertolt Brecht's theories and practices on theatre. In the 21st century, the way we look at theatre has its roots in Brecht's Aesthetic.

Now, this book is like the Brecht Bible essentially. Packed with all his views and opinions on the theatre, society and culture around theatre, acting, etc. Its big, dense and the type set is small enough to make you cry sometimes because he just never seems to stop.

I had a hard time following and understanding it, but that is no fault of this edition, but more so the long winded thoughts of Brecht. The core of his ideas and points are there, they just need to be searched for. Sometimes he makes it very clear what point he is trying to make, but sometimes you have to wade through his thoughts until he nails it for you. I think for having never read it before, I wasn't sure what was the most important part of some of the arguments he was making, but overall I know this is a valuable book to own. I think it requires guidance from someone who has studied Brecht a lot, which I fortunately had. There is a Brecht for Beginners I think out there that is a GOOD COMPANION to this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sofia L. Thanopoulou on October 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
An invaluable primary source for the study of Brecht and Political Theater. Brecht explains the fundamentals of his aesthetics, influences, theories, as well as the development of a rehearsal system. Essential for students of theater.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a huge selection of essays written over many years. This not necessarily something you may want to just sit down and read straight through. If you do, you will find many contradictions over the years. At any rate, it is a very formative collection of Brecht's work, and certainly a must have for anyone who studies theatre or the arts in general.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an insightful text explaining Brecht's views on theater through essays and notes. I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about Epic Theatre.
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