Mr. Puntila and his man Matti
Long unavailable in this country, Mr. Puntila and His Man Matti comprises some of the best comedy that Bertolt Brecht wrote for the theater and contains one of his great characters. For his complexity and vitality, Mr. Puntila ranks on a par with Brecht's indelible Galileo and Mother Courage. A hard-drinking landowner, Puntila suffers from a split personality: when drunk, he is friendly and humane; when he sobers up, he is intolerable - ruthless, surly, and self-centered. Oscillating between these two poles, he plays havoc with his workers, his women, his daughter's marriage, and the loyalty of his sardonic chauffeur and valet, Matti.
This translation is by John Willett, who with Ralph Manheim is the editor of Brecht's complete dramatic work in English. The joint editors have equipped this volume with a critical introduction and notes, along with Brecht's own notes and variants and the short story on which the play was based.
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The Puntila Song
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Texts by Brecht
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aquavit Attache ATTI Aunt Hanna bath hut Berliner Ensemble better bottle Brecht Caspar Neher chauffeur CHEMIST'S ASSISTANT climb Mount Hatelma coffee cook cows crayfish Curt Bois d'you Daddy daughter doctor door drink drunk drunkenness engagement party Erich Engel Exit fair copy farmer Punttila father fiancees Fina Finland Finnish follows forest girl give goes hear Hella Wuolijoki Helsinki hiring fair human humour judge Kalle kitchen Klinckmann Kurgela labourer Laina Lammi landowner laugh lawyer legal alcohol Lisu look marry MATTI milk milkmaid Miss Eva Miss Hanna morning never night once PARSON PARSON'S WIFE play Puntila Hall realise RED-HEADED sawmill scarlet fever scene script sitting SLY-GROG EMMA song speech stand Steffin story Surkkala talking Tavasthus Tavastland TELEPHONIST tell there's thing Threepenny Opera told village W-B version WAITER walks WEEDY What's women yard