Understanding Brecht by Walter Benjamin

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By Walter Benjamin

Having met within the past due Twenties in Germany, Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht--both independently minded Marxists with a deep knowing of and passionate dedication to the emancipatory power of cultural practices--discussed, argued, and corresponded on subject matters as assorted as Fascism and the paintings of Franz Kafka. In figuring out Brecht, Benjamin's so much delicate and probing writing at the dramatic and poetic paintings of his buddy and train is accrued. along his interesting analyses of Brecht's "epic theatre" and commentaries on his verse, we discover Benjamin's masterful essay "The writer as manufacturer, " in addition to an extract from his diaries that recounts the serious conversations on aesthetics and politics held among the 2.

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Example text

And so it happens that the wise proletarian Galy Gay, the man who keeps himself to himself, agrees to join the berserk ranks of the British colonial army, thereby consenting to the denial of his own wisdom. A moment ago he went out of his front door, sent by his wife on an errand to buy some fish. Now he meets three soldiers of the Anglo-Indian army who have lost a fourth while looting a pago­ da. The three of them have their own reasons for finding a replace­ ment for the missing man as soon as possible.

Have to imagine here is an eccentric Stop planing it now who is never satisfied with his Leave off painting it 'work', who cannot make up his Speak neither weii nor iii of it: mind to let it out of his hands. If We'll take it as it is. writers are taking temporary leave oeuvre (see above), then We need it. of their Hand it over. statesmen, too, are expected to show the same attitude. ' You have finished, statesman. The State is not finished. Allow us to change it To suit the conditions of life.

One is often What is Epic Theatre? [First version] 13 obliged to weaken one's own position in order to fight an opponent, and to rob one's cause of its breadth and validity for the sake of im­ mediate advantage. Thus reduced purely to fighting form, the cause may win, but it cannot replace what it has defeated. Yet the act of recognizing of which we speak is itself a pleasurable act. The simple fact that man can be recognized in a certain way creates a sense of triumph, and the fact, too, that he can never be recognized complete­ ly, never once and for all, that he is not so easily exhaustible, that he holds and conceals so many possibilities within himself (hence his capacity for development), is a pleasurable recognition.

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