Downfall of The Egotist Johann Fatzer - Fatzer Document and Fatzer Commentary

Fatzer Document and Fatzer Commentary

The overall fragment includes, besides the dramatic text (the “fatzerdocument”), instructive sections which Brecht calls the “fatzerkommentar” (Fatzer Commentary).

Notable statements from the commentary regard the necessity of playing the document before interpreting it, the advice to always approach it taking into account to the most up-to-date practices and understanding of the arts at the time and the suggestion to “throw the whole play apart” for experimental “Selbstverständigung”. The term “Selbstverständigung” can be translated both as acquiring understanding of oneself as an individual as well as elaborating common understanding within a group.

Brecht also reflects that he writes the Fatzer Document first of all as a form of examination for himself. He considers that he doesn’t have to finish it as it is this method of examination which can become the focus for recipients’ own examinations. Literally: “The intention for which a work is produced is not identical with the way it is used.”

Brecht not only displays a significant shift with the Fatzer text from producing texts/drama as something to be put before an audience to using it as a means for the elaboration of meaning for himself: in the light of acquiring the concepts of materialistic dialectic for himself, he goes a step further in (rudimentary) laying this out as a general approach to theatrical elaboration as an ongoing process, emancipated from the delivery of productions, veering towards a concept of theatre characterized by participation rather than consumption.

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