Last spring, we asked a number of critics, scholars, and directors who are concerned with Brecht's work whether they'd been affected by the last few years' spate of articles about the role of Brecht's female collaborators. Did giving new weight to the contribution of a woman assistant or co-author make any difference in how a director staged a play, or a critic judged a production? Would it change the interpretation of Brecht's theories or his politics? Was any of this new information about the way his plays were created more than biographically and historically interesting? Was it really new? Was it true?
At that time, John Fuegi's Brecht & Company had not yet come out, though its claims were generally known by academic Brechtians (and had been prefigured in his own earlier publications). Other research on Elisabeth Hauptmann inter alia had already appeared, in the Brecht Yearbook and elsewhere, and among the general reevaluations spurred by the disintegration of the DDR were many that had a feminist point of view; the comments printed below were written before their authors had seen Fuegi's book. I trust this will account for what may seem like a most peculiar reticence. (For the record, I should add that my own opinion of it was unformed when this project started, though I read bound galleys more or less mid-way; once I knew what I thought, I tried to keep silent until people's responses were finished.)—Erika Munk