Book Reviews 145
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 well-
documented 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 the production elements. Being myself
in the process of preparing a production as I write this review, I found the chapter
both instructive and a bit troubling; Barnett implies that Brechtian directing is effec-
tively incompatible with an overtly conceptual approach, an opinion that would sur-
prise many Continental directors who feel their practice is aligned with Brecht’s ideas.
Two later chapters investigate the use of documentation (the “Model Books”)
and copying as theatrical strategies and offer illustrative readings of the application
of Brecht’s principles to both Brechtian and non-Brechtian drama. (I’m somewhat
ambivalent, however, as to whether a Brecht-inspired take on Marber’s Closer can
really unlock the dramatic solipsism of that work.) In summary, Barnett does not
advance the knowledge of Brecht’s practice so much as reframe it in what Brecht
himself would probably acknowledge is a thoroughly ‘useful’ way, and like his sub-
ject, Barnett writes with clarity, verve, and an evident pleasure in exploration and
explication. The book is a signal achievement and a vital corrective to the misappre-
hension of Brecht’s theatre.
University of Florida —Ralf Remshardt
Beyond Alterity: German Encounters with Modern East Asia.
Edited by Qinna Shen and Martin Rosenstock. New York: Berghahn, 2014. ix + 306
pages + 32 b/w illustrations. $95.00.
This volume contributes to the ﬁeld of Asian-German Studies by compiling essays
that focus on East Asia (China and Japan) and German-speaking countries as cultural
and political spaces that the editors call “ﬂuid and beholden to exchange” (1). Divided
into four thematic sections, each ordered chronologically, the essays analyze—pri-
marily through ﬁlm and literature—transnational connections that span what the ed-
itors call the “long twentieth century,” the late nineteenth century to the present.
The ﬁrst section, “Japan and Germany in the Shadow of National Socialism,”
treats representational strategies of state-sponsored media that helped change the
meaning of Japan such that its role as an ally and friend of the Third Reich was
legitimated. Ricky Law discusses the inﬂuence of newsreels in the formation of per-