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The Theater of Heiner Muller: Revised and Enlarged Edition Paperback – August 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Limelight Editions; Rev Enl edition (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879109653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879109653
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Pleasing and easy to read...the book includes 15 excellent production photographs. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals." Choice "...Kalb's close readings of the MUller oeuvre are incisive and refreshingly free of critical rhetoric..." Michael Bloom, American Theatre "This book will not only inspire theater scholars to take a closer look at MUller, it could also pave the way for a more engaged confrontation with MUller's work in the English-speaking world--not only among theater directors, actors, translators, and publishers, but for readers who recognize the significance of the most important German playwright since Brecht." Holger Teschke, Theater "The author of this excellent study is a recipient of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism (1991) and author of a previous volume on Beckett as well as a collection of essays titled Free Admissions: Collected Theater Writings. Jonathan Kalb presents a thoughtful and personally intimate analysis of the life and theater of Heiner MUller by comparing his production with that of various predecessors. An extraordinarily insightful, sensitive book, a tour de force of knowledge of modern drama and its critics, The Theater of Heiner MUller is an indispensible aid in unlocking the riddles and merits of the man and his contemporaries." Erlis Wickersham, World Literature Today --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The first comprehensive study in English of Bertold Brecht's most significant spiritual heir, whose typical practice was to imitate the work of existing authors in a more or less subversive fashion. This book attempts to illuminate Müller's work and thought by way of his carefully-chosen alter egos. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Autonomeus on June 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book, full of brilliant insights into the dramas of Heiner Muller (1929-1995). Indispensable! Kalb is on the faculty of Hunter College, and theater critic for the New York Times. Originally published by Cambridge University Press in 1998, this revised edition was published in 2001 with minimal changes.

Kalb presents valuable biographical information on Muller in the introduction, drawing on Muller's 1992 autobiography "War Without Battle" among other sources. Kalb met Muller and interviewed him several times before Muller's death in 1995. "The entire Nazi period entailed severe financial hardship and humiliation for [Muller's] family." (5) "...[T]he main result of these painful experiences was the development of 'a hate potential, a need for revenge.'" (Muller 25, Kalb 6). Muller's rage at capitalism is linked in his mind at all times with fascism. "The establishment of the GDR [DDR -- East Germany] was justified, to him, both as a dictatorship to 'establish a new order' and as 'a dictatorship against the people who had damaged my childhood.'" (Muller 181, Kalb 6). Muller's writings and his life are characterized by "belligerent subterfuge and protean elusiveness." (9)

Says Kalb, "Every text Muller wrote was, in some fashion, dialogue with the dead. Although he never attended a university, he was one of the most erudite dramatists of the century, conceiving most of his texts in direct response to other literary works." (15) One of his typical practices was "to adopt the manner of the source author entirely, style, tone and all, occupying the corpus like a vampire or virus in order to explode it from within." (15) For instance, "Mauser" is a direct rebuttal to Brecht's "Die Massnahme (The Measures Taken)," in the same style.
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The Theater of Heiner Muller: Revised and Enlarged Edition
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