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The most obvious area of attention is Brecht’s attitude asan exile in Hollywood, his descriptions of the landscape, the people, ofAmerican culture in general.
How did Hollywood film culture of the 1940s clashideologically with Brecht?
At what point (and what cost) does Brecht begin to cave intothe Hollywood writing scene he so despises?
How does Brecht portray himself as a writer and as an exilethrough the poems?
To what extent does Stalinizationappear in Brecht’s poetry, particularly the Svendborg Poems?
In a broad sense it is interesting to analyze the chronologyor ‘arch’ of the American poems especially compared with the journals.
How do concepts such as gestusand alienation figure in the construction (and intended performance) ofpoems/songs?
I’d like to suggestthat everyone – or at least a few people – to read a poem of their choicealoud. I think that the BEST wayto experience this work is to hear and feel it.
Themes/Images/WordChoices (preliminary list)
Cheap prettiness of Los Angeles
The desert looming over the horizon
Water and plants
Oil and petroleum
Death and Dying (esp friends)
The film industry
Sameness, lack of change
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