Beyond Alterity: German Encounters with Modern East Asia ed. by Qinna Shen and Martin Rosenstock (review)

Beyond Alterity: German Encounters with Modern East Asia ed. by Qinna Shen and Martin Rosenstock... Book Reviews audience rather than a bag of tricks. Of note in this chapter is Barnett's fastidious comparison of Haltung and Gestus and his argument for situating Brecht within a kind of analytical (or `cognitive') realism. At the heart of the book is a chapter on "Brecht and the Actor," which elegantly dispatches the fallacy of a Brechtian `style' and which should be required reading in any acting class. A Brechtian performance emerges from a combination of observation with a dramaturgical and dialectical engagement with the material; Barnett calls Brecht's approach "actor sensitization" (110) rather than training and demonstrates its equal applicability to a play such as Arthur Miller's The Crucible. One small quibble might be that, although he has treated the question of empathy in a previous chapter, Barnett's discussion of actor emotions (a great concern for acting students steeped in Stanislavsky) is a little too peremptory. The following chapter, dedicated to Brecht's `inductive' method of directing, leans heavily on Brecht's own welldocumented practice with the Berliner Ensemble in the 1940s and 50s and shows his ability to draw out and reveal the social dimension of a play through meticulous and attentive rehearsal and detailed arrangement of Monatshefte University of Wisconsin Press

Beyond Alterity: German Encounters with Modern East Asia ed. by Qinna Shen and Martin Rosenstock (review)

Monatshefte , Volume 108 (1) – Mar 15, 2016
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