I loved the Michael Hofmann review of Stephen Parker’s Bertolt Brecht: A Literary Life in the 15 August 2014 Times Literary Supplement. Every paragraph of that review is a gem and Hofmann calls the book perhaps the greatest literary biography he has read. I’ve ordered my copy.
Here is one part of that review, toward the end, which caught my eye:
I’m not really sure what the case against Brecht is. That he treated women and co-workers badly? That he played fast and loose with the intellectual property of others, but was litigiously possessive of his own? That he wrote no more hit shows after The Threepenny Opera? That he failed to crack America? That he wouldn’t denounce the Soviet Union? That he was drab and a killjoy? That he had it cushy after settling back in East Germany in 1949? That he was consumed with his own importance?
Perhaps the Parker book will change my mind, but for now file under “All of the Above.”
Addendum: Here is another superb Michael Hofmann review.