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  • Cited by 4
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
May 2021
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Book description

Bertolt Brecht in Context examines Brecht's significance and contributions as a writer and the most influential playwright of the twentieth century. It explores the specific context from which he emerged in imperial Germany during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as Brecht's response to the turbulent German history of the twentieth century: World Wars One and Two, the Weimar Republic, the Nazi dictatorship, the experience of exile, and ultimately the division of Germany into two competing political blocs divided by the postwar Iron Curtain. Throughout this turbulence, and in spite of it, Brecht managed to remain extraordinarily productive, revolutionizing the theater of the twentieth century and developing a new approach to language and performance. Because of his unparalleled radicalism and influence, Brecht remains controversial to this day. This book – with a Foreword by Mark Ravenhill – lays out in clear and accessible language the shape of Brecht's contribution and the reasons for his ongoing influence.


‘It should be mentioned that the generous editor Stephen Brockmann translated a number of German-language contributions himself. The book has been edited in an exemplary way, including a full bibliography, short biographies of the authors, and an index of people, works, key places, and even concepts. The index alone reveals that concepts such as Gestus and Lehrstuck (learning play) have been taken up and handled with remarkable diversity. And the Threepenny Opera is vital in many respects.’

Michael Friedrichs Source: Dreigroschenheft Review

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