Bertolt Brecht

(10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956 / Augsburg)

Bertolt Brecht Quotes

  • ''To live means to finesse the processes to which one is subjugated.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German playwright, poet. On Politics and Society, "Notes on Philosophy," (1941). Brecht's view of individual survival under fascism and capitalism.
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  • ''Art and science coincide insofar as both aim to improve the lives of men and women. The latter normally concerns itself with profit, the former with pleasure. In the coming age, art will fashion our entertainment out of new means of productivity in ways that will simultaneously enhance our profit and maximize our pleasure.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German playwright, poet. On Theater, "Little Organon for the Theater," (1949). Brecht's positive vision of theater in the coming age of technology.
  • ''The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don't understand it, or are prevented by naked misery from obeying it.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. Peachum, in The Threepenny Opera, act 3, sc. 7.
  • ''A man who sees another man on the street corner with only a stump for an arm will be so shocked the first time he'll give him sixpence. But the second time it'll only be a threepenny bit. And if he sees him a third time, he'll have him cold-bloodedly handed over to the police.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. Peachum, in The Threepenny Opera, act 1, sc. 1.
  • ''You don't need to pray to God any more when there are storms in the sky, but you do have to be insured.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. Pelagea Vlasova, in The Mother, sc. 10.
  • ''Don't be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. Pelagea Vlasova, in The Mother, sc. 10.
  • ''War is like love, it always finds a way.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. The Chaplain, in Mother Courage and Her Children, sc. 6 (1939), trans. by Eric Bentley (1941).
  • ''Literary works cannot be taken over like factories, or literary forms of expression like industrial methods. Realist writing, of which history offers many widely varying examples, is likewise conditioned by the question of how, when and for what class it is made use of.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. repr. In Brecht on Theatre, ed. and trans. by John Willett (1964). "The Popular and the Realistic," (written 1938, publ. 1958).

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Best Poem of Bertolt Brecht

From A German War Primer

AMONGST THE HIGHLY PLACED
It is considered low to talk about food.
The fact is: they have
Already eaten.

The lowly must leave this earth
Without having tasted
Any good meat.

For wondering where they come from and
Where they are going
The fine evenings find them
Too exhausted.

They have not yet seen
The mountains and the great sea
When their time is already up.

If the lowly do not
Think about what's low
They will never rise.

THE BREAD OF THE HUNGRY HAS
ALL BEEN EATEN
Meat has become unknown. Useless
The pouring ...

Read the full of From A German War Primer

To Posterity

1.

Indeed I live in the dark ages!
A guileless word is an absurdity. A smooth forehead betokens
A hard heart. He who laughs
Has not yet heard
The terrible tidings.

Ah, what an age it is

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