Life of Galileo

ISBN-10: 0143105388
ISBN-13: 9780143105381
Edition: 2008
List price: $14.00
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Description: Galileo Ranks alongside Mother Courage and Mr. Puntila as one of Brechts most intensely alive, human, and complex characters. In Life of Galileo, the great Renaissance scientist is in a brutal struggle for freedom from authoritarian dogma. Unable to  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 5/27/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

Galileo Ranks alongside Mother Courage and Mr. Puntila as one of Brechts most intensely alive, human, and complex characters. In Life of Galileo, the great Renaissance scientist is in a brutal struggle for freedom from authoritarian dogma. Unable to satisfy his appetite for scientific investigation, he comes into conflict with the Inquisition and must publicly renounce his theories, though in private he goes on working on his revolutionary ideas.

Critics have said that Eric Bentley has given a new direction to theatrical history and represents the German avant-garde in drama. Brecht's most ambitious venture in verse drama, Saint Joan of the Stockyards (1933), was written in Germany shortly before Hitler came to power. Brecht left his homeland in 1993. Before he came to the United States in 1941, he was one of the editors of a short-lived anti-Nazi magazine in Moscow (1936--39). In 1949 his play Mother Courage and Her Children, which was a Marxist indictment of the economic motives behind internal aggression, was produced in the United States. Brecht found a large audience as librettist for Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera, an adaptation of John Gay's Beggar's Opera. Brecht is considered a playwright who saw the stage as a platform for the presentation of a message. His aim was to transform the state from a place of entertainment to a place for instruction and public communication. He called himself an epic realist. In 1947, Brecht was summoned to Washington, D.C., by the on Un-American Activities Committee, before which he testified. He firmly denied that he had ever been a member of the Communist Party. How radical Brecht really was has been the subject of considerable controversy; but, for literary purposes, his politics need only be judged as they contributed to his artistry. In his final years Brecht experimented with his own theater and company-the Berliner Ensemble-which put on his plays under his direction and which continued after his death with the assistance of his wife. Brecht aspired to create political theater, and it is difficult to evaluate his work in purely aesthetic terms. It is likely that the demise of Marxist governments will influence his reputation over the next decade, though the changes are difficult to predict. Brecht died in 1956.

Carl Weberis a professor of directing and dramaturgy at Stanford University. He was a director for Brechts Berliner Ensemble and later directed numerous plays in Europe and the United States. Norm Roessleris editor of Communications, the performance journal of the International Brecht Society, and is a lecturer at Temple University in Philadelphia. John Willett(19172002) translated several works by Brecht into English. Ralph Manheim(19071992) translated works by Brecht, Hermann Hesse, G�nter Grass, and many others.

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