Monday, May 19, 2008
Amusing little article in this Sunday’s Guardian by Nick Cohen about Brecht and how most people (theatre artists and audiences alike) overlook or ignore that he was a communist playwright. Cohen suggests that people either a) “deodorise him by pretending he was really a liberal humanist” b) “have an adult argument” or c) “shrug and walk away”. I’m guessing it’s mostly the third, with a little of the first, and almost never, if ever, the second. Does it matter that he was a communist and, if many of his themes actively embrace that philosophy, are his plays even relevant anymore? We can certainly credit him with giving us ‘alienation’, but has he cursed that fate upon himself?