Writing Brecht is a major international research and translation project devoted to extending and developing the corpus of Bertolt Brecht’s works in English. It incorporates a major AHRC-funded project, ‘Brecht into English’, which runs from 2013-2018 and is based at Oxford University.
Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) was one of the foremost playwrights, poets and theorists of the twentieth century, with his works amongst the most performed across the world today. This project aims to examine the transmission of Brecht’s writings and ideas and to conduct a historical assessment of the reception of Brecht in the English-speaking world. The aspiration is to advance our understanding of the ways in which not just Brecht, but foreign literatures in general and across the full range of genres, negotiate cultural difference.
There will be a series of major new publications of Brecht’s own works, with the aim of ‘completing’ the English-language edition of Brecht’s plays, theoretical writings and poems. Significant additions to the corpus of Brecht’s writings in English will include: two volumes of theatre theoretical writings, a volume of the adaptations for the Berliner Ensemble, a volume of dramatic fragments, the unfinished historical novel The Business Affairs of Mr Julius Caesar, the Me-Ti stories and aphorisms, and a major new edition of the Collected Poems. There will also be two collections of critical essays on Brecht and issues of cultural transmission.
In addition to these major research publications, the project will run a cultural programme of workshops, performances and recitals, and will engage in outreach with school pupils and undergraduates. It will participate in theatre and literary festivals and will attract the triennial conference of the International Brecht Society to Oxford in 2016, the first time the IBS will have visited the UK.
The project has its own website: http://brecht.mml.ox.ac.uk
Dr Tom Kuhn