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Bertolt Brecht: His Life, His Art and His…
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Bertolt Brecht: His Life, His Art and His Times (1967)

by Frederic Ewen

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511349,438 (3.5)None
Highly acclaimed when it was first published in 1967, Frederic Ewen's monumental biographical study of Bertolt Brecht has long been out of print. In response to national demand, Citadel Press is proud to reissue this complete and unabridged text. Of "Bertolt Brecht: His Life, His Art, His Times, the critics wrote: "The finest critical study of Brecht to date. This book is at least a worthy appreciation of a towering, poetic and dramatic genius." -Los Angeles Times "What is particularly striking about Frederic Ewen's biography is that it conveys the excitement, the turmoil and triumph of Brecht's career." -The New York Times "The great thing about Frederic Ewen's luminous biography is that it gently frees Brecht from the bear hugs of the bigots and restores him to us as a whole man, his youth contained in his age." -The Nation… (more)

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Rounded up, this Life is more of an analysis of Brecht's work and the milieu within which he operated than any sort of chronicle of his life. His upbringing is vague as is his conscription, his transformation from vaudevillian to humanist, much less a politicized is likewise left opaque.

This is a messy biography but one littered with quotes, it particularly leans on the collected poetry-- which I finished earlier this year. I did enjoy the anecdote of Brecht being investigated by the HCUAC during his exile in the US, with an apparent taciturn Richard Nixon being involved in hermeneutic thumb twiddling.

Apparently just before his death Brecht was annotating his copy of Waiting For Godot. How cool would that have been? ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
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