Reading Brecht’s Journals 1934-1955. Blog-like, short, razor-sharp entries. From Denmark:

5 mar 39
interesting, this new “realistic” american literature (CAIN, COY, HEMINGWAY). these people protest against the prevailing descriptions of certain milieu, bank heavily on the novelty of “unbiased” description. it all remains within the domain of the formal. at its inception stands the experience of film (and at the end stands hollywood). film, esp. silent film, needed an unexpectedly large amount of action (consumed a large amount of expression) . . . with these hard boiled men it is a matter of producing hot stuff, they need to arouse emotions because they are part of the great emotions racket. So they use emotions as a driving force, as the path of least resistance. They give a new 10 horse power engine, complete with appropriate brakes to the man in the street, to each of roosevelt’s new deal types, garage mechanics, farm hands, reporters, the souped-up petty bourgeois, a romantic character, comes into existence. he is a poor devil who is highly strung beyond belief, has been given a seconds spirit by rationalization, stands gasping, is threatened by unemployment, and invests his last vestige of strength in competitiveness. He bestrides the stage as hero and muscle-man, and the boards cave-in. 24

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