Heiner Müller

Summary: Original translations of Heiner Müller's plays, prose and poetry.

Hercules 5 (1964). One of Müller's earlier and more accessible plays, a comic rewriting of the Hercules myth into something halfway between a Leone Western and a US biker flick.

Germania Death in Berlin (1971). The bullet train through the nightmare of German prehistory. Müller's cameo as the skull-seller is priceless. I've preserved as much of the original formatting (e.g. capitalization, line breaks, free verse, etc.) as possible.

Life of Gundling (1976). The bullet train of German prehistory terminates in the underground building-site of the Hotel Europa. Müller tunnels its way beneath the future ramparts of the Eurostate.

Hamletmachine (1977). Müller's single most famous work, and the grimly prescient forecast of the Wall Street neoliberalisms and euroliberalisms to come. Don't be fooled by the brevity of the play: every single word, sentence and turn of phrase is loaded with explosive connotations, references, double and triple entendres, criss-crossing like the lines on a city map or the circuits of a chip. Performances of this play would last for hours, and use music, sound, images, projections, and anything else handy to fill in the spaces created by the text. Footnotes have been added to explain some of the more obscure points.

The Mission (1979). Where Hamletmachine critiqued neoliberalism, The Mission critiques the postcolonial state. Class struggle goes global, as the solidarity of the landscapes battle the landscape of betrayal.

Quartet (1980). Like a silicon marriage between Genet and a 3D videogame, brimming with subversion.

Despoiled Shore (1981). The euro as Jason's golden fleece, glimpsed from the Ophelia-underground.

Prose by Heiner Müller Speeches, letters, interviews

Poetry by Heiner Müller Selected poems