Brecht Collected Plays: 1: Baal; Drums in the Night; In the Jungle of Cities; Life of Edward II of England; & 5 One Act Plays: "Baal", "Drums in the Night", "In the Jungle of Ci (World Classics)

BOOK: Brecht Collected Plays: 1: Baal; Drums in the Night; In the Jungle of Cities; Life of Edward II of England; & 5 One Act Plays: "Baal", "Drums in the Night", "In the Jungle of Ci (World Classics)
9.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Bertolt Brecht
Collected Plays: One

Baal, Drums in the Night, In the Jungle of Cities,
The Life of Edward II of England, A Respectable Wedding,
The Beggar or The Dead Dog, Driving Out a Devil,
Lux in Tenebris, The Catch

Volume One in the Collected Plays series contains Brecht’s first performed stage works, whose appearance in the hectic and difficult years following the First World War immediately signalled a radical new departure not only for German drama but for the theatre as a whole.

Baal
uses a heady mixture of Expressionism, symbolism and lyricism to portray the unheroic progress of an ugly, dissolute poet and his fatal attractiveness to women.
Drums in the Night
, set against the Spartacist uprising, is an anti-romantic ‘love story’ in which a soldier returns to find his fiancée engaged to an obnoxious war profiteer. While
In the Jungle of Cities
looks forward to Brecht’s preoccupations of the twenties and thirties and shows a struggle to the death between Shlink, a Chicago timber dealer, and Garga whose beliefs he wishes to destroy.
The Life of Edward II of England
is Brecht’s adaptation of Marlowe’s play, in which he aimed to break with the ‘lumpy monumental style’ of the German Shakespearean tradition.

The volume also contains Brecht’s five early one-act plays which remained unpublished and, except for A
Respectable Wedding
, unperformed until after Brecht’s death.

Edited by John Willett and Ralph Manheim, the volume includes Brecht’s own notes and relevant texts as well as an extensive introduction and commentary.

Bertolt Brecht
was born in Augsburg on 10 February 1898 and died in Berlin on 14 August 1956. He grew to maturity as a playwright in the frenetic years of the twenties and early thirties, with such plays as
Man equals Man
,
The Threepenny Opera
and
The Mother
. He left Germany when Hitler came to power in 1933, eventually reaching the United States in 1941, where he remained until 1947. It was during this period of exile that such masterpieces as
Life of Galileo, Mother Courage
and
The Caucasian Chalk Circle
were written. Shortly after his return to Europe in 1947 he founded the Berliner Ensemble, and from then until his death was mainly occupied in producing his own plays.

Other Bertolt Brecht publications by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama

Brecht Collected Plays: One

(Baal, Drums in the Night, In the Jungle of Cities, The Life of Edward II of

England, A Respectable Wedding, The Beggar or the Dead Dog,

Driving Out a Devil, Lux in Tenebris, The Catch)

Brecht Collected Plays: Two

(Man Equals Man, The Elephant Calf, The Threepenny Opera,

The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, The Seven Deadly Sins)

Brecht Collected Plays: Three

(Lindbergh’s Flight, The Baden-Baden Lesson on Consent, He Said

Yes/He Said No, The Decision, The Mother, The Exception and

the Rule, The Horations and the Curiatians, St Joan of the Stockyards)

Brecht Collected Plays: Four

(Round Heads and Pointed Heads, Fear and Misery of the Third Reich,

Señora Carrar’s Rifl es, Dansen, How Much Is Your Iron?,

The Trial of Lucullus)

Brecht Collected Plays: Five

(Life of Galileo, Mother Courage and Her Children)

Brecht Collected Plays: Six

(The Good Person of Szechwan, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,

Mr Puntila and His Man Matti)

Brecht Collected Plays: Seven

(The Visions of Simone Machard, Schweyk in the Second World War,

The Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Duchess of Malfi )

Brecht Collected Plays: Eight

(The Days of the Commune, The Antigone of Sophocles,

Turandot or the Whitewashers’ Congress)

Berliner Ensemble Adaptations
– publishing 2014

(The Tutor, Coriolanus, The Trial of Joan of Arc at Rouen 1431,

Don Juan, Trumpets and Drums)

Brecht on Art and Politics (edited by Tom Kuhn and Steve Giles)

Brecht on Film and Radio (edited by Marc Silberman)

Brecht on Performance: Messingkauf and Modelbooks – publishing 2014 (edited by

Tom Kuhn, Steve Giles and Marc Silberman)

Brecht on Theatre – publishing 2014 (edited by Marc Silberman, Steve Giles and Tom Kuhn)

Brecht in Practice – publishing 2014 (David Barnett)

The Craft of Theatre: Seminars and Discussions in Brechtian Theatre (Ekkehard Schall)

Brecht, Music and Culture – publishing 2014 (Hans Bunge, translated by Sabine Berendse and Paul Clements)

Brecht in Context (John Willett)

The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht (John Willett)

Brecht: A Choice of Evils (Martin Esslin)

Bertolt Brecht: A Literary Life – publishing 2014 (Stephen Parker)

A Guide to the Plays of Bertolt Brecht (Stephen Unwin)

Bertolt Brecht

Collected Plays: One

Baal

translated by Peter Tegel

Original work entitled:

Baal

Drums in the Night

translated by John Willet

Original work entitled:

Trommeln in der Nacht

In the Jungle of Cities

translated by Gerhard Nellhaus

Original work entitled:

Im Dickicht der Städte

The Life of Edward II of England

translated by Jean Benedetti

Original work entitled:

Leben Eduards des Zweiten von England

A Respectable Wedding

translated by Jean Benedetti

Original work entitled:

Die Kleinbürgerhochzeit

The Beggar or The Dead Dog

translated by Michael Hamburger

Original work entitled:

Der Bettler oder Der Tote Hund

Driving Out a Devil

translated by Richard Grunberger

Original work entitled:

Er treibt einen Teufel aus

Lux in Tenebris

translated by Eva Geisel and Ernest Borneman

Original work entitled:

Lux in Tenebris

The Catch

translated by John Willet

Original work entitled:

Der Fischzug

Edited and introduced by Tom Kuhn

and John Willett

Contents

Introduction

Chronology

THE PLAYS

BAAL

DRUMS IN THE NIGHT

IN THE JUNGLE OF CITIES

THE LIFE OF EDWARD II OF ENGLAND

A RESPECTABLE WEDDING

THE BEGGAR or THE DEAD DOG

DRIVING OUT A DEVIL

LUX IN TENEBRIS

THE CATCH

NOTES AND VARIANTS
Entries in roman type indicate texts
by Brecht

BAAL

Prologue to the 1918 version

Prologue to the 1926 version

The model for Baal

Bad Baal the anti-social man

On looking through my first plays (ii)

Editorial note on the text

The versions of 1918, 1919 and 1920-2

‘Life Story of the Man Baal’ (1926)

DRUMS IN THE NIGHT

Ballad of the Dead Soldier

Note for the stage

Note to the script of the Berlin production

Preface to ‘Drums in the Night’

Notes of conversations about ‘Drums in the Night’

On looking through my first plays (i)

Editorial note on the text

Variant material from the 1922 published text

The Deutsches Theater acting version

IN THE JUNGLE OF CITIES

Three early notes

Programme note to the 1922 text

Synopsis

A Statement

Prologue to ‘Jungle’

Programme note for the Heidelberg production

On looking through my first plays (iii)

Editorial note on the text

The play’s literary ancestry
, by Gerhard Nellhaus

THE LIFE OF EDWARD THE SECOND OF ENGLAND

On looking through my first plays (iv)

Editorial note on the text

THE FIVE ONE-ACT PLAYS
Editorial note

Introduction

BRECHT IN BAVARIA
, 1918-1924

1

This volume contains the plays which Brecht wrote in Bavaria before moving to Berlin in the autumn of 1924. In spring 1918, when he began work on the first of them, he was just twenty and a new student at Munich university. Six and a half years later he was a recognized, if controversial writer and the winner of a major literary prize. The best directors and actors of the day were performing his plays; he had also written many poems and short stories and directed one remarkable production. He had just been on the staff of the Munich Kammerspiele, one of the most enterprising small theatres in Germany, where his first and so far most successful play had been performed. Now he was about to go as a ‘dramaturg’, or literary adviser, to Max Reinhardt’s Deutsches Theater in Berlin, at that time one of the world’s three or four leading theatres.

Born on 10 February 1898, Brecht had been brought up in Augsburg, about forty miles west of Munich. His father, a native of the Black Forest, was sales director of the Haindl paper works there; his mother died in May 1920.
Baal
, whose first version was finished by July 1918, reflects much of the imaginary world of himself and his group of Augsburg friends, as well as the taverns and physical surroundings of the old city. For a few months just before and after the armistice of November 1918 he served as a medical orderly in a local army hospital, but had returned to Munich by February 1919, the early days of the Bavarian Soviet, during which he dashed off the first version of
Drums in the Night
. There he showed both plays to Lion Feuchtwanger, the author of
Jew Süss
, who was then living in Munich and had recently met him for the first time. His own drama professor Artur Kutscher was always bitterly critical of his work, but Feuchtwanger was encouraging, so that he began to make contact with publishers and, at the end of the summer vacation, to write theatre criticisms for the Augsburg Socialist paper. The one-act plays are also thought to have been mainly written that year, as well as a wealth of lost or unfinished works.

Baal
was accepted by Feuchtwanger’s own publisher Georg Müller, who had also published Wedekind’s collected plays, but was withdrawn when already in proof for fear of the censorship.
Drums in the Night
was shown by Feuchtwanger to the Kammerspiele ‘dramaturg’ Rudolf Frank, who at some point in the summer of 1920 accepted it for production. Neither publication nor production in fact materialized for another two years, but the encouragement to Brecht was obvious. He left the university in the summer of 1921 and in November set out to try his luck in Berlin, a much more important city from the theatrical point of view.

The expedition was less successful than he had hoped. Neither the Deutsches Theater nor the State Theatre under Leopold Jessner would make any promises, and although Brecht was asked to direct Arnolt Bronnen’s play
Vatermord
for the experimental Junge Bühne, it ended disastrously with a walk-out of the actors. He himself was taken to hospital suffering from undernourishment, due no doubt in part to the galloping currency inflation. But at least he made many connections or friendships which were to be important for his work: notably Bronnen (with whom he began collaborating on film treatments and various joint theatrical projects), Herbert Ihering the critic of the
Berliner Börsen-Courier
(a lifelong supporter, whose paper was later to serve as a launching-platform for many of his ideas), and Moritz Seeler the organizer of the Junge Bühne (who was to produce
Life Story of the Man Baal
in 1926). By the time of his return to Augsburg at Easter he had also completed the first version of
In the Jungle
.

BOOK: Brecht Collected Plays: 1: Baal; Drums in the Night; In the Jungle of Cities; Life of Edward II of England; & 5 One Act Plays: "Baal", "Drums in the Night", "In the Jungle of Ci (World Classics)
9.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Lucifer Before Sunrise by Henry Williamson
The Loving Cup by Winston Graham
The Book of Wonders by Richards, Jasmine
Trouble at the Zoo by Bindi Irwin
Stolen by Botefuhr, Bec
The Ever Knight by Fox, Georgia
Nightfall by Denise A. Agnew
Tracie Peterson by Bridal Blessings