Mythos als Zivilisationskritik: Die Pragmatisierung einer erweiterten negativen Dialektik in Werken Heiner Müllers
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This thesis analyzes three works of the GDR dramatist Heiner Müller: his early prose poem Orpheus gepflügt, his learning play Mauser, and his late piece Verkommenes Ufer Medeamaterial Landschaft mit Argonauten. It demonstrates how Müller, throughout different career stages, pragmatizes myth to further critical thinking. Ancient Greek myths and Christian symbolism play a crucial role in Müller’s strategy of calling into question the very systems that lay claim to an absolute truth. Müller both alludes to and openly employs myths to identify their inherent dialectical tension operative in everyday life as well as in secular explanatory models used to legitimize political agendas. He expands Theodor W. Adorno’s concept of negative dialectics through an emphasis on the mythical pole of the dialectical dyad “myth and enlightenment.” By drawing attention to myths inherent in civilization, Müller opens up space for the imagination and the potential of the irrational to initiate change.