Auden and Brecht
In 1957, when I was writing my book The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht, I wrote to W. H. Auden to know if he was at all influenced by Brecht’s work. I had heard about their collaboration on a version of The Duchess of Malfi in the United States, and I had been impressed by a translation by Auden and James Stern of Act V of The Caucasian Chalk Circle that had appeared in the Kenyon Review in the spring of 1946, about a year and a half before Brecht left America. I wasn’t quite sure who Stern was, though I seemed to recall that in the late 1930s a story by him had appeared in John Lehmann’s New Writing, which had also printed a poem and a short scene by Brecht. But I had seen various parallels between Auden and Brecht — for instance, in the former’s balladesque poem ‘Victor’, which recalled Brecht’s ‘Apfelboeck’ — and wanted, as an admirer of both poets, to find out more.
KeywordsEurope Harness Verse ChaLk Folk
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