German literature

German authors
  • Angelus Silesius
  • Heinrich Böll
  • Bertolt Brecht
  • Karl Georg Büchner
  • Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Günter Grass
  • Brothers Grimm
  • Hans von Grimmelshausen
  • Peter Handke
  • Gerhart Hauptmann
  • Heinrich Heine
  • Heinrich der Glïchezäre
  • Johann Gottfried von Herder
  • Hermann Hesse
  • Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann
  • Friedrich Hölderlin
  • Uwe Johnson
  • Siegfried Lenz
  • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
  • Thomas Mann
  • Robert Musil
  • Novalis
  • Jean Paul Richter
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling
  • Friedrich von Schiller
  • Arthur Schnitzler
  • Georg Trakl
  • Frank Wedekind
  • Christa Wolf

Bertolt Brecht, 1898 - 1956

A German playwright, poet and theatrical director born in Augusta on February 10, 1898, Brecht carried out his academic studies at the Universities of Munich and Berlin. In 1924 he was theatrical consultant at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, under the direction of Max Reinhardt; his first writings show the influence Expressionism, the main dramatic movement of the time, exerted on him.

In 1928 he wrote a musical drama, The Threepenny Opera, together with German composer Kurt Weill. This musical, based on the The Beggar's Opera (1728) by Englishman John Gay, cast a satirical look at capitalism and became Brecht's most important theatrical success.

In 1924 Brecht began studying Marxism, and from 1928 through to Hitler's rise to power, he wrote and opened various didactic musical dramas. The opera The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahoganny (1927-1929), also with Weill's music, once again criticized capitalism severely. His concern for justice was a fundamental theme in his work.

Due to his opposition to Hitler's government he was forced to flee Germany in 1933. First he lived in Scandinavia and finally ended up settling in California in 1941. During these years of exile he produced some of his best writings: Life of Galileo (1938-1939), Mother Courage and Her Children (1941), and The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1944-1945).

In 1948 he returned to Germany, settling in East Berlin and founded his own theatrical company, the Berliner Ensemble. He was a controversial figure in Eastern Europe, as his moral pessimism clashed with the soviet ideal of socialist realism.

Throughout his life he also wrote several collections of poems, which together with his plays, place him among one of the greatest German authors.