Heiner Müller

The American Leviathan

Edited and with an afterword by Frank M. Raddatz
(German title: Der amerikanische Leviathan)
ca. 341 pages
Heiner Müller
Foto: Heiner Müller
© Brigitte Friedrich

Heiner Müller, born on January 9th, 1929, in Eppendorf (Saxonia), was one of the most important German-language playwrights of the second hald of the 20th century. Additionally, he was the author of poetry and prose, essayist and president of the East German Academy of the Arts. Heiner Müller died on December 30th, 1995 in Berlin.

MDR-project on the occasion of Heiner Müller's 90th birthday: www.muellerbaukasten.de

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With numerous, never before published photographs from Heiner Müller’s travels to America


All throughout his life, »America« was both dream and projection machinery to Heiner Müller. He never forgets the first Mickey Mouse film he saw as a child in Eppendorf, while Faulkner is a defining read in his adolescence. The early fascination is coupled with the disapproving scepticism towards the opposing system’s aggressive politics during the Cold War.

When Müller travels to the USA and Mexico in 1975 and subsequent years, he spends days and weeks in cinemas, meets director Robert Wilson and, with the concept of landscape, gains the crucial category for renewing his own theatrical work from the country’s vastness. At the same time, »America«, in Müller’s eyes, remains the code for the corrupt whole within a capitalism that has become global by now – and for a missed opportunity of history. This book gathers the most important passages on the America-complex in Heiner Müller’s œuvre in alphabetical order.


»After reading [this book], you will have a different perspective on [Heiner] Müller’s opinions as well. […] Müller exposes them, tests them and with them us, his audience.« Arno Widmann, Berliner Zeitung

Other publications

»Für alle reicht es nicht«/»Not Enough for Everyone« (2017)

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Portuguese rights (VS Editor), Serbia (Radni Sto)