Treasure Island

Bertolt Brecht

(10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956 / Augsburg)

Quotations

  • ''What they could do with round here is a good war. What else can you expect with peace running wild all over the place? You know what the trouble with peace is? No organization.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. The sergeant, in Mother Courage and Her Children, sc. 1 (1939), trans. by Eric Bentley (1941).
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  • ''Mixing one's wines may be a mistake, but old and new wisdom mix admirably.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. The Singer, in The Caucasian Chalk Circle, prologue (1944).
  • ''For once you must try not to shirk the facts:
    Mankind is kept alive by bestial acts.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. "What Keeps Mankind Alive?" Act 2, sc. 6, The Threepenny Opera.
  • ''Food first, then morality.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. "What Keeps Mankind Alive?" Act 2, sc. 6, The Threepenny Opera.
  • ''Science knows only one commandment—contribute to science.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. Andrea, in The Life of Galileo, sc. 14 (1939), trans. by Howard Brenton (1980).
  • ''Society cannot share a common communication system so long as it is split into warring factions.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. repr. In Brecht on Theatre, ed. and trans. by John Willett (1964). "A Short Organum for the Theatre," par. 55 (1949).
  • ''We need a type of theatre which not only releases the feelings, insights and impulses possible within the particular historical field of human relations in which the action takes place, but employs and encourages those thoughts and feelings which help transform the field itself.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. repr. In Brecht on Theatre, ed. and trans. by John Willett (1964). "A Short Organum for the Theatre," para. 35 (1949).
  • ''A man who strains himself on the stage is bound, if he is any good, to strain all the people sitting in the stalls.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. repr. in Brecht on Theatre, pt. 1, ed. and trans. by John Willett (1964). "Emphasis on Sport," Berliner Börsen-Courier (February 6, 1926).
  • ''No one can be good for long if goodness is not in demand.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. First god, in The Good Woman of Setzuan, sc. 1a.
  • ''Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. Galileo, in Life of Galileo, sc. 13. responding to Andrea's remark, "Unhappy the land that has no heroes."

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Not What Was Meant

When the Academy of Arts demanded freedom
Of artistic expression from narrow-minded bureaucrats
There was a howl and a clamour in its immediate vicinity
But roaring above everything
Came a deafening thunder of applause
From beyond the Sector boundary.
Freedom! it roared. Freedom for the artists!
Freedom all round! Freedom for all!
Freedom for the exploiters! Freedom for the warmongers!

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