Hamletmachine and other texts for the stage

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P A J Publications, Jun 1, 1984 - Performing Arts - 140 pages
This volume contains eight texts which radically question how culture, myth, art, and human relations create history. The poetically violent language and surreal imagery of the settings -- a faceless American president as a robot, Medea in East Berlin -- evoke the devastated landscape of a haunted nuclear age.

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User Review  - keristars - LibraryThing

Heiner Müller's plays as in Hamletmachine are postmodern and just plain weird. I really don't know how else to describe them, except, perhaps, disturbing? Because they're that, too. All the works ... Read full review



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About the author (1984)

Like many other modern German dramatists---such as Brecht, Weiss, and Peter Hacks---Heiner Muller constantly veers between the poles of authoritarian communism and nihilism. As a young man he served in the German army during World War II. After the defeat of Germany, he became an ardent Marxist and settled in East Berlin. His early plays such as Der Lohndrucker (The Scab) (1958) were written in the approved style of socialist realism, though the perspective of Muller was often too ardent and too militant for the East German cultural authorities. His later plays such as Hamlet Machine (1979) and Mauser (1970) express an increasingly bitter disillusionment and despair over the possibility of creating a socialist utopia. Peter Demetz has written that Muller "is the only playwright in the Communist world who, so far, has successfully combined personal allegiance to the past of Socialism with the most challenging exploration of the despair and hate of history, which he shows to be a torture chamber... .

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