Biography

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PublisherReaktion Books2014
Playwright, poet and activist Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) was known for his theory of the Epic Theatre and his attempts to break down the division between high art and popular culture. The Threepenny Opera, his collaboration with composer Kurt Weill, was a milestone in musical theatre, and plays like Mother Courage and Galileo changed the course of modern drama and aesthetic theory. Framed by two world wars, the Weimar Republic and a global depression, Nazism and exile and East German socialism, Brecht’s own life became a project, illuminating and intervening in the ongoing crisis of modern experience, shaped by capitalism, nationalism and visions of social utopia. Brecht ...
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PublisherReaktion Books2010
Renowned for his contribution to the development of the motion picture, Eadweard Muybridge was a pioneering photographer. Alongside his remarkable photographic achievements, his personal life was riddled with melodrama, including a near-fatal stagecoach accident, a betrayal and a murder trial. Marta Braun’s new biography traces the sensational events of Muybridge’s life against his personal reinventions as artist, photographer, high-minded researcher and showman. Muybridge’s opportunity in photography came in the 1870s, when his skills were enlisted by a racehorse breeder to prove the ‘unsupported motion controversy’ – the theory that during a horse’s stride, there was a moment when all four of ...
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PublisherReaktion Books2017
Gilles Deleuze, the person and philosopher, was both singular and multifaceted. Frida Beckman traces Deleuze’s remarkable intellectual journey, mapping the encounters from which his life and work emerged. She considers how his life and philosophical developments resonate with historical, political and philosophical events, from the Second World War to the student uprisings in the 1960s, the opening of the experimental University of Paris VIII and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Although less of a public figure than many of his contemporaries, Deleuze’s life and philosophy are bound up with his numerous friendships, collaborations and disputes with several of the period’s most influential ...

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