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Brecht and France


Chetana Nagavajara

The present study Brecht and France, (as distinct from «Brecht in France») addresses an area in Brecht Studies which has been rather unjustly neglected. The author attempts to assess Brecht's relationship with France, its impact on his creativity and the image of France as reflected in his works. A thorough examination of Brecht's own writings (including minor and lesser-known works), his private library, published as well as unpublished biographical, autobiographical and contemporary records reveals that France was an intellectual treasure-house from which he could derive great benefit in terms of source-materials, socio-political ideas, dramaturgical principles and, above all, artistic inspirations. Particularly those works based on what the author calls the «Matière de France» and dealing with France in crisis are vested with artistic conviction, emotional poignancy and universal message that well merit the pronouncement made by Jean-Paul Sartre that «Brecht est nôtre».