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No other country and no other period has produced a tradition of major aesthetic debate to compare with that which unfolded in German culture from the 1930s to the 1950s. In Aesthetics and Politics the key texts of the great Marxist controversies over literature and art during these years are assembled in a single volume. They do not form a disparate collection but a continuous, interlinked debate between thinkers who have become giants of twentieth-century intellectual history.
Even in Germany, the true scope and force of Bertolt Brecht s poetry did not become apparent until long after his death in 1956, and even today, so many of his more than 2,000 poems have never appeared in English. Love Poems, the first volume in a monumental undertaking by David Constantine and Tom Kuhn to translate his poetic legacy into English, positions Brecht, the author of Mother Courage and The Threepenny Opera, not merely as one of the most famous playwrights of the twentieth century but also as a fiercely creative twentieth-century poet, one of the best in the whole of German literature. With a personal foreword by his own daughter, Barbara Brecht-Schall, Love Poems features 78 astonishing and deeply personal love poems many addressed to particular women that reveal Brecht as lover and love poet whose bitter struggle to keep faith, hope, and love alive during desperate times represents the essence of human relationships."
The play is a parable inspired by the Chinese play Chalk Circle. Written at the close of World War II, the story is set in the Caucasus mountains of Georgia, and retells the tale of King Solomon and a child claimed by two mothers. A chalk circle is metaphorically drawn around a society misdirected in its priorities. Brecht's statements about class are cloaked in the innocence of a fable that whispers insistently to the audience.
Even in Germany, the scope and force of Bertolt Brecht's poetry did not become apparent until long after his death and today, many of his more than 2,000 poems have never appeared in English. Love Poems, the first volume in a monumental undertaking by David Constantine and Tom Kuhn to translate his poetic legacy into English, positions Brecht not only as one of the most famous playwrights of the twentieth century but also as a fiercely creative twentieth-century poet, one of the best in German literature. With a foreword by his daughter; Love Poems features 78 astonishing and deeply personal love poems that reveal Brecht as lover and love poet whose struggle to keep faith, hope and love alive during desperate times represents the essence of human relationships.
Widely celebrated as the greatest German playwright of the twentieth century, Bertolt Brecht was also, as George Steiner observed, "that very rare phenomenon, a great poet". Hugely prolific, Brecht wrote some 2,000 poems and songs-though fewer than half were published in his lifetime and early editions were extremely selective. Now, award-winning translators Tom Kuhn and David Constantine give us the most comprehensive English collection of Brecht's poetry to date. Written between 1913 and 1956, these poems celebrate Brecht's unquenchable "love of life, the desire for better and more of it" and reflect the technical virtuosity of an artist driven by bitter and violent politics, as well as by the untrammelled forces of love and erotic desire. The Collected Poems of Bertolt Brecht is a monumental achievement and a reclamation.
From the 1920s through the 1950s, Bertolt Brecht wrote a number of short, fictionalized comments on contemporary life, politics, and thought. Through the dramatic events of the first half of the twentieth century, Brecht's Mr. Keuner offered up aphorisms, stray thoughts, and fragments of anecdote that punctured contemporary self-regard about religion, politics, business, and more. Deceptively light in tone, and bite-size in presentation, Mr. Keuner's comments bring Brecht's lacerating wit to bear on a wide range of the half-truths and public lies of his era. This graphic novel adaptation sets a number of Brecht's Mr. Keuner pieces, newly translated, alongside cartoons by German artist Ulf K., whose spare, abstract style lends force to the underlying meanings of Keuner's pronouncements.
This Student Edition of Brecht's classic dramatisation of the
conflict over possession of a child features an extensive
introduction and commentary that includes a plot summary,
discussion of the context, themes, characters, style and language
as well as questions for further study and notes on words and
phrases in the text. It is the perfect edition for students of
theatre and literature.
In this new translation of Brecht's great 1939 anti-war play 'Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder' by the distinguished Scottish poet Tom Leonard, the Thirty Years War becomes the War on Terror and Mother Courage is a working-class woman from the West of Scotland speaking in the broad, bold Glaswegian dialect. It is a play about the language of politics and the politics of language.
Widely considered one of the great dramatic creations of the modem stage, Mother Courage and Her Children is Bertolt Brecht s most passionate and profound statement against war. Set in the seventeenth century, the play follows Anna Fierling ( Mother Courage ), an itinerant trader, as she pulls her wagon of wares and her children through the blood and carnage of Europe s religious wars. Battered by hardships, brutality, and the degradation and death of her children, she ultimately finds herself alone with the one thing in which she truly believes her ramshackle wagon with its tattered flag and freight of boots and brandy. Fitting herself in its harness, the old woman manages, with the last of her strength, to drag it onward to the next battle. In the enduring figure of Mother Courage, Bertolt Brecht has created one of the most extraordinary characters in literature."
Arguably Brecht's greatest play, A Life of Galileo charts the seventeenth century scientist's extraordinary fight with the church over his assertion that the earth orbits the sun. The figure of Galileo, whose 'heretical' discoveries about the solar system brought him to the attention of the Inquisition, is one of Brecht's more human and complex creations. Temporarily silenced by the Inquisition's threat of torture, and forced to abjure his theories publicly, Galileo continues to work in private, eventually smuggling his work out of the country. Brecht's beautiful depiction of the explosive struggle between scientific discovery and religious fundamentalism is captured masterfully in this new translation by RSC writer-in-residence, Mark Ravenhill.
The city burns in the heat of civil war and a servant girl sacrifices everything to protect an abandoned child. But when peace is finally restored, the boy's mother comes to claim him. Calling upon the ancient tradition of the Chalk Circle, a comical judge sets about resolving the dispute. But in a culture of corruption and deception, who wins? Written by the grand master of storytelling and peopled with vivid and amusing characters, this is one of the greatest plays of the last century. This Caucasian Chalk Circle is translated by award-winning writer Alistair Beaton, who also wrote the bitingly witty stage play Feelgood and the celebrated TV dramas The Trial of Tony Blair and A Very Social Secretary. The play was toured by Shared Experience in 2009.
Along with Mother Courage, the character of Galileo is one of Brecht's greatest creations, immensely live, human and complex. Unable to resist his appetite for scientific investigation, Galileo's heretical discoveries about the solar system bring him to the attention of the Inquisition. He is scared into publicly abjuring his theories but, despite his self-contempt, goes on working in private, eventually helping to smuggle his writings out of the country.As an examination of the problems that face not only the scientist but also the whole spirit of free inquiry when brought into conflict with the requirements of government or official ideology, Life of Galileo has few equals.Written in exile in 1937-9 and first performed in Zurich in 1943, Galileo was first staged in English in 1947 by Joseph Losey in a version jointly prepared by Brecht and Charles Laughton, who played the title role. Printed here is the complete translation by Brecht scholar John Willett. The much shorter Laughton version is also included in full as an appendix, along with Brecht's own copious notes on the play making this the most trusted scholarly edition of the text.
"Mother Courage and Her Children" is widely regarded as Brecht's
best work, a theatrical landmark and one of the most powerful
anti-war plays in history. This unique bilingual edition allows
students to compare the original German text with a translation by
one of the world's leading playwrights, Tony Kushner.
In 1952, Hannah Arendt hailed Bertolt Brecht as "beyond a doubt the greatest living German poet and possibly the greatest living European playwright." His plays, widely taught and studied, are searing critiques of civilizations run amok.
During the thirties, the subversive nature of his work sent Brecht from Germany to Scandinavia and later to the United States. The Good Woman of Setzuan, written during Brecht's exile and set in Communist China, is a parable of a young woman torn between obligation and reality, between love and practicality, and between her own needs and those of her friends and neighbors.
Adhering closely to the original German text, this is a performance-friendly translation of one of Brecht's most popular plays.
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