I can see why leftists love Brecht. Even before he identified himself as a Marxist, he was writing a play set in the midst of the Rosa Luxemburg-led SI can see why leftists love Brecht. Even before he identified himself as a Marxist, he was writing a play set in the midst of the Rosa Luxemburg-led Spartacist uprising ("Drums in the Night"). There are plenty of unlikable characters. Baal? A murderous schmuck. How about a one-act play where a cat house regular gets refused by a prostitute one night due to lack of funds. He then seeks revenge by setting up a lecture tent in the same red-light district where he shows what std's like soft chancre, gonorrhea and syphilis do to bodies. Patrons pay to see the demonstrations, often getting sick to their stomachs and then avoiding the houses of prostitution. In the end, he uses the lecture funds to invest in his favorite cat house, ensuring that he will never again be refused by one of the ladies. Irreverent and disturbing, yes. But also very smart, well-crafted plays. Comparisons to Shakespeare and Marlowe aren't unjustified.
I've only tackled Brecht's earliest works in this first volume of his plays. I hear the plays only get better as Brecht's groundbreaking epic style of playwriting takes off and matures. Can't wait!...more