Bertolt Brecht Quotes

Don't be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life.
Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. Pelagea Vlasova, in The Mother, sc. 10.
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Oh, the shark has pretty teeth, dear— And he shows them pearly white— Just a jackknife has Macheath, dear— And he keeps it out of sight.
Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist and poet. Prologue, "The Ballad of Mack the Knife," in The Threepenny Opera (1928, trans. 1933).
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For this world we live in None of us is sly enough. Never do we notice All is lie and bluff. Caesar beat the Gauls. Was there not even a cook in his army? Do not treat me in this fashion. Don't leave me out. Have I not Always spoken the truth in my books? And now You treat me like a liar! I order you: Burn me! Those who lead the country into the abyss Call ruling too difficult For ordinary men. Ah, what an age it is When to speak of trees is almost a crime For it is a kind of silence about injustice!
Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German playwright, poet. Selected Poems, "To Posterity," (1939; tr. 1947 by H. R. Hays). Written in response to the Nazi book burnings in 1933 a lament during World War II for not being able to write about the good and the beautiful.
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War is like love, it always finds a way.
Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. The Chaplain, in Mother Courage and Her Children, sc. 6 (1939), trans. by Eric Bentley (1941).
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Let nothing be called natural In an age of bloody confusion, Ordered disorder, planned caprice, And dehumanized humanity, lest all things Be held unalterable!
Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. The Exception and the Rule, Prologue (1937).
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The world of knowledge takes a crazy turn When teachers themselves are taught to learn.
Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. The Life of Galileo, sc. 6, trans. by Howard Brenton (1980).
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