Mit, gegen und nach Brecht: Heiner Müllers Fatzer

Translated title of the contribution: With, against and after Brecht: Heinz Müller's Fatzer

Uwe Schütte

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


Heiner Müller has often been described as the only rightful (literary) heir and flag- bearer of Bertolt Brecht in German drama of the late twentieth century. This article first examines the critical position that Müller took towards his predecessor. The essay will then focus on the Fatzer complex which Müller considered to be by far the most important work by Brecht. Next, I will discuss the relationship between Fatzer and Müllerʼs synthesised stage version FATZER from 1978, followed by a brief assessment of the various ways in which Mu ̈ller treated Brechtʼs Fatzer material over the next two decades. Special attention will be paid to the radio play that Müller produced of his version of Fatzer during the final years of the GDR; I argue that it represents an exemplary engagement with Brecht’s fragment because, rather than aiming for a standard illusionistic radio play, Mu ̈ller’s intention is to allow his FATZER version, as it were, to speak for itself. To conclude, the essay undertakes a brief and inevitably speculative discussion of the influence of Brechtʼs unfinished drama project on Müller’s works.
Translated title of the contributionWith, against and after Brecht: Heinz Müller's Fatzer
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)256-268
Number of pages13
JournalGerman Life and Letters
Issue number2
Early online date7 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Schütte, U. (2016). Mit, gegen und nach Brecht: Heiner Müllers Fatzer. German life and letters, 69(2), 256-268, which has been published in final form at article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


  • Heiner Müller
  • Bertolt Brecht
  • Fatzer
  • communism


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