The Challenge of Myth: Heiner Müller's Philoctetes * Paper presented at the Conference of the International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture, October 2004, in Uppsala, Sweden.
Author: Kaute, Brigitte
Source: Literature and Theology, Volume 19, Number 4, November 2005 , pp. 327-345(19)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:In this paper, myth and work on myth is understood as work on reflective discourse. At a certain point of history, mythological configurations figure the dark side, the inherent ‘wound’ of their contemporary reflective discourse. This hypothesis is examined in a reading of Heiner Müller's arrangement of the myth of Philoctetes. Here, the impossibility to re-integrate the excluded Philoctetes into the Greek society corresponds to the aporia of modern (post) Kantian enlightenment, that is, to the problem of how the self-enlightening subject can create a difference to itself under the presupposition of the self. Thus, Müller's work on myth does not serve one of the two opposing 20th century ideologies, but critically explores the epistemic basis of those ideologies.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: November 2005
- Literature and Theology provides a forum for interdisciplinary dialogue, inviting both close textual analysis and broader theoretical speculation as ways of exploring how religion is embedded within culture. Contributions, addressing questions of interest to both the disciplines of literature and theology, are encouraged to confront and challenge traditional modes of discourse within a wide range of related fields, encompassing biblical criticism, literary criticism, philosophy, politics, history, cultural studies, and contemporary critical theory or practice.