By Alfred D. White
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For this an open, or a tectonic, dramatic structure is needed. 32 Brecht repeats the development undergone some years before by Eisenstein, whose major films develope montage to deal with plots whose ramifications defy treatment within a conventional dramatic structure. In each case the need to treat new, complex and extensive materials led to new techniques. 38). Function, not form, is primary; art is practical, not a refuge from real life. The world of the play is not an autonomous one which comes to an end with the resolution of its tension in a catastrophe into whose preparation all the characters are drawn.
The beliefs are seen as socially progressive too: there is a synthesis of Marxism and Eastern gentleness. The major failure of Brecht's dialectics is a tendency to see ideologies and modes of social organisation other than Communism as mere variations on a theme. 48). 41), Nazism the continuation of bourgeois domination only by more nakedly violent means. This view does not allow Brecht to cope with the problem of anti-Semitism in the Third Reich. Just as Brecht's theoretical Marxism is the result of independent thought, so his view of the practice of Soviet Communism is unblinkered.
Theatre is a section of reality engaged in a play, a game representing some other section of reality. This game makes socialhistorical complexes, the class and individual forces at work in a historical epoch, visible. It does not claim completeness, it does not provide an expose of Marxism for those too lazy to read Marx for themselves, and it has little to do with socialist realism, which demands mimetic reproduction of an action having a progressive typicality interpreted in limited ideological terms.
Bertolt Brecht’s Great Plays by Alfred D. White