Herta Müller


Herta Müller

Politics and Aesthetics

Edited by Bettina Brandt and Valentina Glajar

312 pages
3 photographs, 10 illustrations


November 2013


$40.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

March 2020


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eBook (PDF)

November 2013


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About the Book

Two languages—German and Romanian—inform the novels, essays, and collage poetry of Nobel laureate Herta Müller. Describing her writing as “autofictional,” Müller depicts the effects of violence, cruelty, and terror on her characters based on her own experiences in Communist Romania under the repressive Nicolae Ceauşescu regime.

Herta Müller: Politics and Aesthetics explores Müller’s writings from different literary, cultural, and historical perspectives. Part 1 features Müller’s Nobel lecture, five new collage poems, and an interview with Ernest Wichner, a German-Romanian author who has traveled with her and sheds light on her writing. Parts 2 and 3, featuring essays by scholars from across Europe and the United States, address the political and poetical aspects of Müller’s texts. Contributors discuss life under the Romanian Communist dictatorship while also stressing key elements of Müller’s poetics, which promises both self-conscious formal experimentation and political intervention.

One of the first books in English to thoroughly examine Müller’s writing, this volume addresses audiences with an interest in dissident, exile, migration, experimental, and transnational literature.

Author Bio

Bettina Brandt taught at MIT, Columbia University, and Montclair State before joining the faculty at Pennsylvania State University. She has published on contemporary women writers such as Emine Özdamar and Yoko Tawada. Valentina Glajar is a professor of German at Texas State University, San Marcos. She is the coauthor of several books, including Local History, Transnational Memory in the Romanian Holocaust, and is the cotranslator of Müller’s Traveling on One Leg.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



      Bettina Brandt and Valentina Glajar

Part 1. Life, Writing, and Betrayal

1. Herta Müller: Writing and Betrayal

      Allan Stoekl

2. Nobel Lecture: Every Word Knows Something of a Vicious Circle

      Herta Müller

3. Collage Poems

      Herta Müller

4. Interview with Ernest Wichner

      Valentina Glajar and Bettina Brandt

Part 2. Totalitarianism, Autofiction, Memory

5. When Dictatorships Fail to Deprive of Dignity: Herta Müller's "Romanian" Period

      Cristina Petrescu

6. "Die akute Einsamkeit des Menschen": Herta Müller's Herztier

      Brigid Haines

7. Facts, Fiction, Autofiction, and Surfiction in Herta Müller's Work

      Paola Bozzi

8. From Fact to Fiction: Herta Müller's Atemschaukel

      Olivia Spiridon

Part 3. Müller's Aesthetics of Experimentation

9. "Wir können höchstens mit dem, was wir sehen, etwas zusammenstellen": Herta Müller's Collages

      Beverley Driver Eddy

10. In Transit: Transnational Trajectories and Mobility in Herta Müller's Recent Writings

      Monika Moyrer

11. Osmoses: Müller's Things, Bodies, and Spaces

      Anja Johannsen

12. Herta Müller's Art of Reverberation: Sound in the Collage Books Die blassen Herren mit den Mokkatassen and Este sau nu este Ion

      Arina Rotaru

13. Accumulating Histories: Temporality in Herta Müller's "Einmal anfassen--zweimal loslassen"

      Katrina Nousek

Selected Bibliography



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