Collaboration and cultural practice: The 'Brecht' version of Die Mutter

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Abstract

Although Brecht never made a secret of his collaboration with other artists, uncertainty still persists about their contributions to individual texts. This article pieces together the surviving evidence about the genesis and reception of Die Mutter in order to shed light on the broader debate. The testimonies of Brecht's collaborators offer an insight into his collective working methods and demonstrate that previous speculative claims about this project are largely misleading. Even so, traditional prejudices against collective authorship were too deep-rooted for contemporary critics to have welcomed Brecht's collaborative practice, and since the premiere of Die Mutter theaters and reviewers have increasingly occluded the names of his co-workers. This suggests taht the common perception of Die Mutter as Brecht's play owes more to cultural and commercial factors than simply to his own shortcomings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-208
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Brecht Yearbook
Volume28
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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