Thursday, October 09, 2008

Bertold Brecht on Los Angeles

Oh, there is hope for us all! Brecht hated LA! (NYT)

'Brecht never tired of repeating how much he hated Los Angeles — the shiny, bloated cars, the eternal sunshine, the commercialization of everything “from a shrug to an idea” — and he poured out his bile in a series of poems he called the “Hollywood Elegies”:

In Hell too
There are, I’ve no doubt, these luxuriant gardens
With flowers as big as trees, which of course wither
Unhesitantly if not nourished with very expensive water. And fruit markets
With great heaps of fruit, albeit having
Neither smell nor taste. And endless procession of cars
Lighter than their own shadows, faster than
Mad thoughts, gleaming vehicles in which
Jolly-looking people come from nowhere and are nowhere bound.

“Brecht only wrote when he was unhappy,” said Erhard Bahr, the author of an illuminating book about the exiles, “Weimar on the Pacific.” “This disdain for Los Angeles kept him productive.”'


Anonymous said...

You should check your sources. Brecht didn't hate LA.

"The oil derricks and the thirsty gardens of Los Angeles/ and the ravines of California at evening and the fruit market," he once wrote, "did not leave the messenger of misfortune unmoved."

Miss Whistle said...

Thanks Anonymous. That was directly from the New York Times. If you click on the bright green link on Brecht, you can see the same story.

The quote you posted is from the LA Times story on being a real Angeleno, which I also posted a link to last night.

Thanks for your comment.

Miss W