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Bertolt Brecht and Critical Theory

Marxism, Modernity and the "Threepenny</I> Lawsuit

Steve Giles

This study of Brechtian theory is the first to concentrate on the crucial text Der Dreigroschenprozeß ( The Threepenny Lawsuit). The author gives a comprehensive account of the legal case that provoked Brecht into writing Der Dreigroschenprozeß, in which he examines the implications of film production for authorial and moral rights in copyright law. Brecht's views on epistemology and social theory are analysed with reference to his reception of Logical Empiricism and the Marxism of Karl Korsch. The author demonstrates how Brecht's approach to the impact of modern media and technology on traditional aesthetics anticipates Walter Benjamin's Kunstwerk essay. Finally, the contemporary resonance of Der Dreigroschenprozeß is highlighted in relation to postmodern and poststructuralist theory.
Contents: Brecht's Beule Suit; Critical Thoughts on Copyright Theory; Brecht, Logical Empiricism and Social Behaviourism; Brecht's Marxism and Der Dreigroschenprozeß; Brecht, Adorno and Benjamin's Revisions to the Kunstwerk Essay; Aesthetic Modernity in Der Dreigroschenprozeß and the Kunstwerk Essay; The Contemporary Resonance of Der Dreigroschenprozeß.