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Bertolt Brecht 101

Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956), or Eugen Bertolt Friedrich Brecht, occupies a crucial space in the world of literature. He wrote plays, produced them and he was as well an acclaimed poet. Brecht blended music and drama and employed the techniques of theatrical alienation (or verfremdungseffekt); the latter which he had polished with the revolutionary concept of epic theatre. Influenced by Marxism and the Chinese theatre, he endorsed that alienation is necessary before the desire for change can arise. Pragmatically, ‘a play should not cause the spectator to identify emotionally with the characters or action before them, but should instead provoke rational self-reflection and a critical view of the action on the stage’ (Source: Bertolt Brecht - Theory and Practice of Theatre). This modernist German playwright has been appealing to me for his straightforward views on the relationship between the personal and the political.

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