The Cry of Marsyas: History as a Place of Permanent Catastrophe

Heiner Müller suggested in a international conference in Rome an interpretation key of his own work relating it to Benjamin and Pasolini. He defines “duel between industry and the future” as “the cry of Marsyas”. The playwright use myth as metaphoric language for his theatre. Müller’s vision of history as permanent catastrophe is expressed by the image of melancholic angel, drawn from Benjamin. Myth and history are not considered to be in opposition to one other, but simply treated as materials that have to be assembled. In a tragic way, historical time and subjective time reunite with one another at the point of death and send a signal, now deprived of all hope, in which desecrating irony becomes the force of an alarm signal, that last desperate “cry of Marsyas”.