Brecht, Bertolt

(1898-1956)
   poet and dramatist; perhaps the twentieth century's most influential playwright. He was born in Augsburg, and his early writings appeared when he was sixteen in the Augsburger Neueste Nachrichten. Beginning medical studies in 1917 at Munich, he returned to Augsburg the next year as an orderly in a military hospital. The suffering he witnessed in this capacity turned him into a radical opponent of both the war and the nationalism that spawned it. Liberating himself from Expressionism* after the war (in June 1918 he remarked that "Expressionism is frightful"), he aimed at accessible plays and verse. Yet the play Trommeln in der Nacht (Drums in the night) was first staged in an Expressionist style in September 1922 at Munich's Kammer-spiele. Trommeln rapidly played at forty other theaters,* including Berlin s* Deutsches Theater. It earned Brecht the Kleist Prize in 1922.
   Although Brecht was a man of genius, his reputation as a sexual and intel-lectual predator lent ambiguity to his talents. In 1924 he became Max Rein-hardt s* assistant at the Deutsches Theater. Assisted by a talented circle that included Carl Zuckmayer,* the director Erich Engel,* friend and designer Cas-par Neher, and the composers Kurt Weill* and Hanns Eisler, he impacted Berlin as a new theatrical force. He entered a new phase in 1925 when he linked the realistic representation of Ernst Barlach,* the political theater of Erwin Pisca-tor,* and the dialectical materialism of Karl Marx. He was fascinated with combining music and drama, and the climax of his work came with the musical plays Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera*) and Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny), completed in 1928-1929 in collaboration with Weill and Elisabeth Hauptmann.
   Brecht's "epic theater" (not original with him) mirrored ideas taken up by Neue Sachlichkeit* and exerted a strong impact on modern drama. By using varied acting styles and visual techniques (e.g., actors reading their lines without expression), he aimed to minimize an audience's rapport with the story while enhancing its awareness of a play's message. The impact is labeled Entfrem-dungseffekt (alienation effect). Brecht's name appeared fifth on the NSDAP's blacklist. With Helene Weigel, a talented Austrian actress whom he had married in 1928, he fled to Switzerland when Hitler* seized power. Seeking asylum variously in Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, he eventually crossed the Soviet Union* and settled in 1941 in Hol-lywood. In 1948 he returned to East Berlin and founded the Berliner Ensemble.
   REFERENCES:Fuegi, Life and Lies; Hayman, Brecht;Völker, Brecht; Willett, Theatre of Bertolt Brecht.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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  • Brecht,Bertolt — Brecht (brĕkt, brĕKHt), Bertolt. 1898 1956. German poet and playwright who developed “epic drama,” a style that relies on the audience s reflective detachment rather than the production s atmosphere and action. His works include The Threepenny… …   Universalium

  • Brecht, Bertolt — orig. Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht born Feb. 10, 1898, Augsburg, Ger. died Aug. 14, 1956, East Berlin, E.Ger. German playwright and poet. He studied medicine at Munich (1917–21) before writing his first plays, including Baal (1922). Other… …   Universalium

  • Brecht, Bertolt — (Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht, 1898 1956)    Playwright, director, theorist. Brecht was among the most influential playwrights, and arguably the most accomplished, in 20th century German theater. After his death, his influence gained such… …   Historical dictionary of German Theatre

  • Brecht, Bertolt — ► (1898 1956) Poeta y dramaturgo alemán. Puso sus obras teatrales al servicio de un ideario político de carácter socialista. Inició su producción teatral con La boda de los pequeños burgueses (1921) y La redada (1921). En esta primera etapa… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Brecht, Bertolt — (1898–1956)    German playwright, poet and theorist of theater and literature, Brecht was a committed Marxist who sought to apply Marxist ideas to the theater. His most famous plays include Mother Courage, St. Joan of the Stockyards, The… …   Historical dictionary of Marxism

  • Brecht, Bertolt —    см. Брехт, Бертольт …   Энциклопедический словарь экспрессионизма

  • Brecht — Brecht, Bertolt …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Bertolt Brecht — (1954) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Brecht — Bertolt Brecht (1948) Das Brecht Denkmal von Fritz Cremer vor dem Berliner Ensemble Berto …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bertolt Brecht — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Bertolt Brecht Bertolt Brecht en 1948. Nombre Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brechter Han Culen …   Wikipedia Español

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