Review of Brockmann, S. (ed.) (2021). Brecht in context. Cambridge University Press.

Frimberger, Katja (2022) Review of Brockmann, S. (ed.) (2021). Brecht in context. Cambridge University Press. [Review] (In Press)

[thumbnail of Frimberger-Scenario-2022-Review-of-Brockmann-S-ed-2021-Brecht-in-context]
Text. Filename: Frimberger_Scenario_2022_Review_of_Brockmann_S_ed_2021_Brecht_in_context.pdf
Accepted Author Manuscript
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 logo

Download (827kB)| Preview


President of the International Brecht Society Stephen Brockmann’s edited volume Bertolt Brecht in Context gathers world-leading Brecht scholars from around the globe (many of the German essays are translated by Brockmann himself) - to curate an exciting collection of scholarly essays on German playwright, poet and intellectual Bertolt Brecht. The sheer diversity and breadth of the individual essays (and the various specialisms of its contributors) make it difficult to distil the book’s scholarly focus in terms of a set of academic questions, which the book then sets out to answer. This is however not a weakness but rather a strength of the current collection. There are of course other edited works on Brecht’s life, oeuvre and impact, which have (successfully) taken a different editorial path. These have circumscribed their topic and drawn intellectual boundaries more tightly, to give an in-depth and cohesive overview of specific spheres of Brecht’s activity (Wirkungsfelder). Just to name an eclectic few of these edited volumes for comparison - all of which are also quoted in the reviewed volume. Bradley and Leeder’s (2011) edited volume looks at Brecht’s life and influence in/on the German Democratic Republic (GDR) - its theatre, politics and public life; Kuhn’s and Leeders (2002) collection of essays explore Brecht’s poetry; and Tatlow and Wong (1982) edited a book on Brecht’s intellectual and artistic relationship with East Asia.