Introduction: Life and Works

  • Ronald Speirs
Part of the Macmillan Modern Dramatists book series (MD)


To begin at the end: Brecht died on 14 August 1956 in East Berlin. One of his best-known poems anticipates his death:

I need no gravestone, but If you need one for me I would like it to bear these words: He made suggestions. We Carried them out. Such an inscription would Honour us all.

(P. 218)


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  1. 3.
    For two contrasting accounts of Brecht’s juvenilia see Reinhold Grimm, ‘Brecht’s Beginnings’, The Drama Review, vol. 12, no. 1 (1967), pp. 22–35Google Scholar
  2. R. C. Speirs, ‘Brecht from the beginning’, German Life and Letters, XXXV, no. 1 (1981), pp. 37–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 5.
    Brecht’s development has been much discussed. Two interesting essays on this topic are: P. Heller, ‘Nihilist into Activist. Two phases in the Development of Bertolt Brecht’, Germanic Review, vol. 28 (1953), pp. 144–55Google Scholar
  4. W. Steer, ‘Baal: a Key to Brecht’s Communism’, German Life and Letters, vol. 19 (1965–6), pp. 40–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Ronald Speirs 1987

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  • Ronald Speirs

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