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Bertolt Brecht: A Literary Life

Stephen Parker

DOI: 10.5040/9781350053458

ISBN: 9781474240000

This first English language biography of Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) in two decades paints a strikingly new picture of one of the 20th century's most controversial cultural icons. First published in 2014 and now available in paperback, it was critically lauded and declared the definitive life of this great artist and writer.

Drawing on letters, diaries and unpublished material, including Brecht's medical records, Parker offers a rich and enthralling account of Brecht's life and work, viewed through the prism of the artist. Tracing his extraordinary life, from his formative years in Augsburg, through the First World War, his politicisation during the Weimar Republic and his years of exile, up to the Berliner Ensemble's dazzling productions in Paris and London, Parker shows how Brecht achieved his transformative effect upon world theatre and poetry.

Bertolt Brecht: A Literary Life is a powerful portrait of a great, compulsively contradictory personality, whose artistry left its lasting imprint on modern culture.

'A magisterial biography of Brecht ... Parker's choice to present new material very much through the prism of the artist is compelling ... Fascinating reading.' The Independent

'We should be grateful to [Parker] for reminding us how important, love him or loathe him, Brecht was – and still is.' The Sunday Times