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Bertolt Brecht: the path from the hedonistic to the humanist satirist

Parker, S. 2017. Bertolt Brecht: the path from the hedonistic to the humanist satirist. Oxford German Studies 46 (1) , pp. 5-24. 10.1080/00787191.2017.1282654

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Abstract

Proceeding from the observation that Brecht's sensibility, attuned to intellectual distance conveyed through irony and parody, was made for satire, this article explores four hypotheses concerning satire as they apply to Brecht, in particular the notion that the satirist's implied yardstick is the properly human, irrespective of its moral value or its attainability. The paper argues for the full recognition of Brecht as a satirist both in the classic tradition and as a great innovator manipulating the major genres. The article analyses Brecht's development from a hedonistic to a humanist satirist, who imbued his characters with an excess of vitality in a mix of affirmation and satire, and who in anti-Nazi exile conducted a struggle with his own established artistic practice, in the process testing the limits of satire itself.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Publisher: Maney Publishing
ISSN: 0078-7191
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 17:30
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/118759

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