n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - „Mit Talent verstimmt man die Leute nur.“ : Der Schauplatz des Kabaretts und die Figur des „John“ in Bertolt Brechts Baal

Volume 46 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1273


“Talent just alienates people.” The Theatrical Stage of Cabaret and the Figure of John in Bertolt Brecht’s Baal

This article traces the genesis of one of the 20th century’s most reviewed and adapted dramas, Bertolt Brecht’s Baal. In the second version of the play, finished in 1919, Brecht presents cabaret as a theatrical stage providing new dramatic emphasis. The introduction of cabaret is linked with the presence of a “coloured” nightclub manager, John, and it is John’s relationship with the poet Baal – portrayed as a conflict between economy and art – that serves as the play’s focal point. It is argued that the appearance of John can be understood against the backdrop of the early Weimar Republic’s nascent black community. The paper concludes by discussing the development of Brecht’s early poetry based on the emergence of the song as a lyrical form in his work.

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