The Creation of an Avant-Garde Brand: Heiner Müller’s Self-Presentation in the German Public Sphere

von Jens Pohlmann
Erscheinungsjahr: 2023

Branding became a crucial technique over the course of the twentieth century. It changed the way we perceive politics and goods, but also works of art and authors. This development has called into question the traditional idea of authenticity as well as the intention to resist capitalist marketing practices.
This book examines the extent to which an author like Heiner Müller adopted branding strategies to present himself in the public sphere, investigating the impact that this had on his public persona. By focusing on Müller, this study analyzes the self-presentation and promotion of an adversarial author who drew on the ideals of the avant-garde and the artistic critique of capitalism. Yet Müller also inserted himself into the mainstream public sphere and the media, arenas that are highly influenced by the laws of the market. Thus, the author asks whether Müller’s use of marketing methods and media environments undermined his outsider credibility and therefore the integrity of his work, or, alternatively, how he may have been able to develop strategies to engage with marketing principles and the media in ways that allowed him to remain subversive nonetheless, perhaps working within the system and against it at the same time.

© Christopher Martin