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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bertolt Brecht Quotes



1898-1956, German playwright, founder of the Berliner Ensemble Company.

Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes.

Society cannot share a common communication system so long as it is split into warring factions.

The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don't understand it, or are prevented by naked misery from obeying it.

Literary works cannot be taken over like factories, or literary forms of expression like industrial methods. Realist writing, of which history offers many widely varying examples, is likewise conditioned by the question of how, when and for what class it is made use of.

Poverty makes you sad as well as wise.

For once you must try not to shirk the facts: mankind is kept alive by bestial acts.

The world of knowledge takes a crazy turn when teachers themselves are taught to learn.

He who laughs last has not yet heard the bad news.

Grub first, then ethics.

War is like love; it always finds a way.

Don't be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life.

No one will improve your lot if you do not yourself.


What is the crime of robbing a bank compared with the crime of founding one.

No one can be good for long if goodness is not in demand.

The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don't understand it, or are prevented by naked misery from obeying it.

Mixing one's wines may be a mistake, but old and new wisdom mix admirably.

A man who sees another man on the street corner with only a stump for an arm will be so shocked the first time he'll give him sixpence. But the second time it'll only be a three penny bit. And if he sees him a third time, he'll have him cold-bloodedly handed over to the police.

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.

Boy meets Girl, So What?

Don't tell me peace has broken out.

Everyone needs help from everyone.

From the cradle to the coffin underwear comes first.

It is easier to rob by setting up a bank than by holding up a bank clerk.

One forgets too easily the difference between a man and his image, and that there is none between the sound of his voice on the screen and in real life.

People are too durable, that's their main trouble. They can do too much to themselves, they last too long.

People remain what they are even if their faces fall apart.

Right is its own defense.

Science knows only one commandment - contribute to science.

Sometimes it's more important to be human, than to have good taste.

The world of knowledge takes a crazy turn when teachers themselves are taught to learn.

What a miserable thing life is: you're living in clover, only the clover isn't good enough.

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?

What's breaking into a bank compared with founding a bank?

Why be a man when you can be a success?

We need a type of theatre which not only releases the feelings, insights and impulses possible within the particular historical field of human relations in which the action takes place, but employs and encourages those thoughts and feelings which help transform the field itself.

Life is short and so is money.

The people have lost the confidence of the government; the government has decided to dissolve the people, and to appoint another one.

Youth is when you blame your troubles on your parents; maturity is when you learn that everything is the fault of the younger generation.

You can only help one of your luckless brothers by trampling down a dozen others.

Whenever there are great virtues, it's a sure sign something's wrong.

You can't write poems about trees when the woods are full of policemen.

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