Category Archives: Brecht (Bertolt)

Brecht Quatrains for Challenging Times

During World War II Bertolt Brecht wrote quatrains that speak powerfully to our own political times.

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Brecht Explains Castile Shooting

To understand why cops continue to shoot innocent people of color and why juries acquit them, Brecht has the definitive explanation in his play “The Exception and the Rule.”

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The World’s One Hope: Compassion

Bertolt Brecht’s “”The World One Hope” addresses the problem of growing callousness but then points to how we can break through to compassion.

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Brecht’s Working Class Revenge Fantasy

Many working class and lower middle class Americans have felt abandoned by the GOP and Democratic establishments. Bertolt Brecht’s “Pirate Jenny” articulates a revenge fantasy that captures some of their anger.

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Why It’s Good To Offend Students

An entering Duke student has refused to read Alison Bechdel’s “Fun House.” A professor comes partially to his defense.

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Pledge Your Intellect to Freedom

Brecht’s poem to students of workers and peasants reminds them that they are being educated thanks to the bloody struggles of those who came before.

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History from the Workers’ Perspective

Bertolt Brecht captures the spirit of May Day in “A Worker Reads History.”

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Brecht Applied to Obamacare

Applying Brecht’s “Good Person of Szechwan” to Obamacare reveals America’s conflict between business and benevolence.

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Can Art Change Big Brother?

The Oscar-winning German film “The Lives of Others” speaks to the ability of art to change people’s lives.

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The Burning of the Books

In Ben Click’s post yesterday on the banning history of Huckleberry Finn, he tells the story of a man who remembers hearing the book read to him when he was a child in a concentration camp. Horst Kruse never forgot that reading experience and would go on to become a Twain scholar. Ben talks about […]

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Is There a Price for Doing Evil?

In a dinner conversation with academic colleagues and novelist Rachel Kranz, we grappled with the question of whether those who commit atrocities pay a price for doing so. I came to the conclusion that it is a question that novelists and poets are sometimes better at answering than academics.

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