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Literature versus Theatre

Textual problems and theatrical realization in the later plays of Heiner Müller


David Barnett

This study is the first major work to contextualize Heiner Müller (1929-95) within the theatre. It takes Müller's difficult later output (including such plays as Die Hamletmaschine and Der Auftrag) and analyses it in terms of formal structures and real productions. Under the broad headings of 'acting', 'character' and 'plot', the texts are examined to see in what way they challenge the institution of the theatre on paper. They are compared with documented stagings by major German-speaking theatres to establish to what extent formal devices are able to frustrate the production process. As a consequence, the book uses the methods of both Literary and Theatre Studies, and provides the reader with an interdisciplinary approach to Brecht's most adept successor.