Heiner Müller’s re-imaginings of William Shakespeare have puzzled and fascinated readers and spectators alike for the past forty-five years. For the first time, this study addresses all of Müller’s re-workings of Shakespeare, including dramatic adaptations, translations, poems, references in interviews and in his autobiography, as well as fragments of unfinished projects, not forgetting the strong Shakespearean echoes in Müller’s last play, Germania 3. An analysis of Müller’s diverse positions regarding different understandings of history and of its catastrophic violence suggests that Shakespeare is at the literary and theoretical core of Müller’s always complex and conflicted relation with philosophy of history and with the notions of heritage, fragmentation and difference.
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Review Quotes

“This excellently-researched and clearly argued book will be of interest to any Shakespeareans interested in Müller’s adaptations of Shakespeare and those who are interested in the pleasures and paradoxes of rewriting Shakespeare more generally. It combines breadth with depth in an engaging and thoughtful way and argues for the centrality of Shakespeare to Müller’s development as a dramatist without suggesting that this is an inevitable or necessary trajectory. As a comprehensive account of Müller’s transformative engagement with Shakespeare, it will certainly become a key reference for future studies of these plays.”
- Francesca Rayner, University of Minho, Portugal in Sederi, Vol. 25 pp. 207-11

“Gomes manages to give an extensive and well-written reimagining of Müller’s turn to Shakespeare as he reworked four of his most widely discussed plays […] Gomes’s claim to read Müller’s plays as powerful interventions in a complex political and cultural context is broadly successful. He thereby not only contributes an important new aspect to scholarship on Müller but has also produced an excellent general introduction to Müller’s plays.”
- Stephan Ehrig, University of Bristol in Modern Language Review, Vol. 110.4 2015 pp. 1171-73

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Abbreviations Introduction – Texts Waiting for History 1. Incorporating Shakespeare 2. A Cemetery Is Not a Lunapark 3. Emergency Brake 4. Barbarism Begins at Home 5. Rome instead of Berlin Conclusion Annex 1 Annex 2 Bibliography Index


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