The Theatre as an Arena for Discussion
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The crisis in the political ‘total’ theatre was a fact that could not be avoided by even the most elaborate devices for controlling audience reactions. The notions of the homogeneous audience and the uniform impact of the performance had been shown to be untenable. The external causes of this were obviously the rapidly growing social and cultural conflicts of NEP reality, but we have seen that the intrinsic development of the Russian theatre had also questioned those notions on the level of aesthetic theory.
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- 17.Much has been written in recent years on the Brecht-Tretyakov connection and on Brecht’s other Soviet contacts. Detailed as they may be, these studies often suffer from a certain comparativist mania for constructing causal connections and correspondences from insufficiently interpreted facts. To take one small example that should merit at least a moment of second thought on the part of the comparativist, there is the fact that Brecht wrote the often-quoted poem ‘Is the People Infallible?’ after learning of Tretyakov’s death in prison in 1939. But why did Brecht, who calls his dead friend ‘mein lehrer’, actually cross out the name ‘tretjakow’ following the word ‘lehrer’(in the manuscript in the Brecht Archive, BBA 99/42-43)? What, after all, did Tretyakov teach? And what did Brecht learn? With no further ranking, the following are some noteworthy titles: Fritz Mierau, Erfindung und Korrektur, Marjorie Hoover, ‘Brecht’s Soviet Connection Tretiakov’, Brecht-Jahrbuch, 3 (Frankfurt-am-Main, 1973), pp. 39–56Google Scholar