Summer 1945 • Vol. VII No. 3 Nonfiction |

Bertolt Brecht, Dramatist

Even those who have never seen or read a play by Bertolt Brecht know his name and associate it with Epic Theatre. Though it does not exist in any country nowadays as an established style Epic Theatre has made its presence felt. The concept is a paradox. Two diametrically opposed species—Epic and Dramatic—are united. Of course everyone vaguely remembers that the Greek dramatists and Shakespeare took their material from Homer and Holinshed but without taking over the Epic form. The Epic matter is condensed and crystallized in dramatic form. The dramatist brought his Epic material up to date, often interrupted the flow of historical reporting, purging it of most narrative residues. Such was the European drama in its classic perfection, and until recently every psychological thriller on Broadway adhered to the formula. Even today a marketable play follows the old rule of concentration, achieving classic unity of time and place. The old rules still have some possibilities; and, more

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