In this radical and deliberately controversial re-reading of Brecht, first published in 1989, Elizabeth Wright takes a new view of the playwright, giving us a more ‘Brechtian’ reading than so far achieved and making his work historically relevant here and now. The author discusses in detail Brecht’s principle theories and concepts in the light of poststructuralist theory, and reassess the aesthetics and politics with regard to Marxist critics of his own day. Wright includes a re-reading of Brecht’s early works, which presents them in relation to a postmodern theatre, and gives critical analyses of the work of Pina Bausch, Robert Wilson, and Heiner Müller, who use the techniques of performance theatre, showing how they deconstruct Brecht’s distinction between illusion and reality and point to a postmodern understanding of their dialectical relation.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Misunderstanding Brecht: The Critical Scene 2. Brecht in Theory and Practice: Refunctioning the Theatre 3. Theory in Praxis: Comedy as Discourse 4. Placing the Theory: Brecht and Modernity 5. Brecht and Postmodernism: Theatricalizing the Unpresentable 6. The Brechtian Postmodern; Conclusion; References; Index