Brecht gives arguments for changing opera and theatre, but by still maintaining the quality that made it popular in the first place. The historic quality, Brecht says, is what makes opera popular, for example. He would rather there be a discussion of the purpose of art and if its apparatus is suitable for the art. Brecht discusses throughout much of the text about the dialogue that should exist in regards to art, but is avoided through fear of change.
Brecht writes "Art is merchandise, only to be manufactured by the means of production (apparati)" (35). Art is stuck in it's own historic niche if we never question it--if we can't mix high and low culture, for example, why? Brecht understands that some art serves a social purpose and that should be maintained. People derive pleasure from opera, but that just keeps them chained to the drug-like (pharmacia) quality of this type of art. Does that make it good, though? Theater, on the other hand, changes works of art in order to fit the apparatus. Epic theater shows things as they are rather than what they could be.
2 years ago