Between East and West: Experimental spaces in Brecht’s theatre

Beatrice Furini


In his theatre plays, Brecht depicts “real” settings, whether imaginary or literary, and they are always remote in space and time. Referring to Deleuze's analysis of the characteristics of the new realistic cinema in contrast with the old, this essay focuses on Brecht's theatrical spaces as empty or disconnected settings, i.e. as experimental rather than real spaces.

The East and the West are indistinguishable in this artificial geography, which manifests the disrupting elements of a theatre that remains based on action, while simultaneously questioning both the idea of a unity between man and the world and the concept of art as a photographic reproduction of reality.

In these artificial spaces, Brecht also experiments with his characters in an attempt to represent the different relationships between the individual and the collective: Badiou's idea of a universal subjectivity is useful in order to identify a possible evolution in Brecht's theatre, a moment of awareness in some of his characters, for example Frau Carrar and Die Mutter.


Brecht; Orient; Estrangement; Experiment; Mahagonny; Artificiality

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