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.