Collected Short Stories of Bertolt Brecht
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Everyone knows that Bertolt Brecht was one of the great 20th-century innovators in theatre - the literary-theatrical equivalent of a Picasso or Stravinsky - and Germany's greatest poet of the last century, but the playwright was also a dazzling writer of stories. Storytelling permeated his art as a dramatist; fundamentally in his plays he was a storyteller. This volume collects the complete short stories written by Brecht, including the prize-winning 'The Monster', and the fragmentary memoir ghost-written by Brecht, 'Life Story of the boxer Samson-Körner'. Brecht scholar Marc Silberman provides an introduction and editorial notes.
Fans of Brecht will find in the 37 stories assembled here the same directness, lack of affectation, and wry humour that characterise his plays. Every lover of short stories will discover an unexpected trove of pleasure in this "mine for short-story addicts" (Observer).
morning, when the appearance of several ships showed that the coast was near, they began to stake their houses. On top of everything else Johnny won a piano. Then they took two hours off at noon before squaring up to play for the shirts on their backs. At five in the afternoon they saw no choice but to go on. The man who had waited till after the Bermudas to take a hand and who was still eating calmly when the others had forgotten what their forks were for, offered to play Johnny for his girl.
etc., I began to expound the merits of our planet to that raving ball of fat. I told him that in the circumstances I couldn’t go into detail, but that, in simple terms, everything was relative, although I couldn’t help observing that our speed was absolute. There was no way the speed at which we were racing towards our deaths could be termed ‘relatively’ fast. As I broached the theme of ‘the silver lining to every cloud’ we were careering down a wooded slope, and when we reached the bottom we
rang out all around him. Kochalov’s make-up was based on historical photographs, and the extraordinary resemblance that the old man behind the desk had been telling them about was obvious to everybody. Half an hour later the old man was sitting with the directors and cameramen like the twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple, discussing his contract with them. The negotiations were greatly facilitated by the fact that Kochalov had from the outset not been very keen to risk his popularity by playing
incoherently, especially when he noticed a distinct coolness as 172 Collected Short Stories of Bertolt Brecht his sister listened to him. He did however manage to make it clear that Jane was a servant, so she was given breakfast in the kitchen. This was not entirely what he would have wished, and, worse still, he then had to talk to Jane in the presence of the family. He put on a friendly face and asked her about her intentions, agreeing that it would be best for her to go into a certain home
Collected Short Stories of Bertolt Brecht had remained just as they had been before the ‘incident’. They still slapped him on the back when they met him anywhere. The only thing now was that all of them had that damned smile which Mitchell did not like, not one little bit. Then he sent an invitation to a reporter of his acquaintance, ordered an excellent supper from the Savoy with waiters to serve it on board the Almaida, and addressed himself on the Tuesday morning to point four. Point four was