Few authors have had such a dramatic effect as Bertolt Brecht. His work has helped to shape a generation of writers, theatergoers, and thinkers. His plays are studied worldwide as texts that changed the face of theater.
The Caucasian Chalk Circle is a parable inspired by the Chinese play Chalk Circle. Written at the close of World War II, the story is set in the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia. It retells the tale of King Solomon and a child claimed by and fought over by two mothers. But this chalk circle is metaphorically drawn around a society misdirected in its priorities. Brecht's statements about class are cloaked in the innocence of a fable that whispers insistently to the audience.
No translations of Brecht's work are as reliable and compelling as Eric Bentley's. These versions are widely viewed as the standard renderings of Brecht's work, ensuring that future generations of readers will come in close contact with the work of a playwright who introduced a new way of thinking about the theater.