What's weirdly absurd

On the problem of the grotesque and absurd

The "socially comical" pp 38-49 | Cite as


The grotesque and absurd is said to be "closely related" to the form of the one-act act, and Brecht's early texts were therefore classified almost unseen as the "grotesque forms of the theater". [81] But not only this: Petty bourgeois wedding, In the thicket of the cities, man is man are all grotesque or absurd pieces - the terms are, if not simply used identically, at least not separated from one another - and become Brecht's farce The elephant calf (to the seldom performed interlude Man is man) "the author's subconscious provided the dramatic material." [82] A truly astonishing résumé reads:

Brecht was one of the first masters of the absurd, and his case makes it clear that a thesis stands and falls not with its political content, but with its poetic truth, which lies beyond the political because it arises from much deeper layers of the author's personality . Brecht's essence contained a strong element of anarchism and despair, which is why, even during his political commitment, he used essentially negative and absurd images to portray the capitalist world: in "The Good Man of Sezuan" the world becomes of insane gods rules, the world of "Puntila" is reminiscent of a Chaplinade and in "The Caucasian Chalk Circle" the victory of justice is only brought about by the most improbable of all coincidences. [83]

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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 1974

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