Monday, November 28, 2005

Heiner Müller

Heiner Müller is regarded as a German successor to Bertolt Brecht and owes much to the influence of Samuel Beckett. While translations of Heiner Mueller are often difficult, his plays are nonetheless fascinating. What is often lost in translation of Heiner Mueller is his play on words- the German language allows Muller to build words with fragments that themself have meaning. Also, readers of Mueller should understand that his works are commonly a vivasection of another work's theme, expanded to explore and highlight the conflict. Mueller's work draws from the writings of Shakespeare, Brecht, Kafka, and others.

Mueller's writing is political and often historical, examining relationships and conflicts from East German history. Hamlet Machine is Mueller's best known work, though probably not his best. The other plays included in this volume are all great. The author's remarkable work spans political changes before, during, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall and represents a pivotal time in German society and theatre. With new treatments of classical texts (like Hamlet and Medea) as well as innovative works exploring themes of devotion and sexuality (like Quartet), this collection of short plays is a great starting point for theatre enthusiasts interested in tackling Muller

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