Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

30 October 2010

Brecht was right, but he had the wrong medium (how could he have known?)

Bertolt Brecht was talking about the internet,
I believe,
when he said:

"It is purely an apparatus for distribution, for mere sharing out. So here is a positive suggestion: change this apparatus over from distribution to communication. The radio would be the finest possible communication apparatus in public life, a vast network of pipes. That is to say, it would be if it knew how to receive as well as to transmit, how to let the listener speak as well as hear, how to bring him into a relationship instead of isolating him."

Bertolt Brecht
"The Radio As An Apparatus For Communication"

I was inspired to post this when I found this
other link on a film about Digital Humanities
(being bemoaned by Hitler! -- sorry, this cannot be embedded, so please follow the link),
thanks to the blog Exploring Our Matrix.

Also with gratitude for the blogger Radio Survivor,
who made it possible for me to find this quote
without having to dig through my books!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Wouldn't Brecht have had a heyday on the internet!?!

Makropoulos said...

He would have loved it!

EHauptmann said...

I doubt whether a Communist totalitarian like Brecht, who had his happiest moments as a propagandist for the GDR, would have approved of the internet's capacity for free speech.

On the other hand he would probably have approved of all the hypocrisy and misogyny flying around it. Right up his strasse.

Makropoulos said...

Hey EHauptmann, I love your name! Well, I'll have to check out your blog, or whatever you may be commandeering, but my take on Brecht is that he did have a utopian edge, especially during his early, "lehrstucke" days, when he wrote that article. And he did kind of go whatever way the wind blew, too.

And then there's the chance that a certain woman named Hauptmann wrote that article, and she was a bit more optimistic. . . . :)