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Stories of Mr. Keuner Paperback – July 1, 2001
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From Library Journal
In this collection of 86 prose fragments, Mr. Keuner (hereafter Mr. K.), the "thinking man," reflects on various issues that epitomized the volatile nature of German society between the two world wars, particularly its intellectual branch. Included are thoughts on poverty, religion, power, the profitable nature of folly, the benefits of uncertainty, small-minded nationalism, the suicidal nature of self-love, and more. Brecht compares Mr. K.'s wisdom to that of the prototypical philosophy professor who walks "clumsily" and creates "no light with [his] talking." Mr. K., on the other hand, is simply an ordinary man with an extraordinary acumen who sees so far ahead that he is able to prepare his next mistake. Autonomous and suspiciously accessible, these pieces are perhaps easier to comprehend than to classify: they are not strictly philosophical because of their visibly imaginative nature yet not strictly poetic as they teem with crudely translated language (at times so literal that they contain undertones of the commanding German idioms). Still, to label them as fiction is an easy way out: Sure, they are rooted in dialog between purposefully vague characters, and they also entertain, but their true value is most often hidden in the last sentence that not only bears the weight of each story's message but also the author's own ideology. These debatable and still timely stories belong in all academic libraries. Mirela Roncevic, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) was the author of The Threepenny Opera, Mahagonny, Mother Courage, Galileo as well as many theoretical works on the theater. As a poet, Brecht ranks with Rilke, Celan, Heiner Mueller. On Hitler's rise to power, Brecht was forced into exile. At war's end, Brecht became the director of the renowned Berliner Ensemble in East Germany.
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