Heinrich Von Kleist

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Kleist, Heinrich Von


Born Oct. 18, 1777, in Frankfurt an der Oder; died Nov. 21, 1811, in Wansee, near Potsdam. German writer.

In the tragedies The Schroffenstein Family (published in 1803), Robert Guiskard (a fragment was preserved), and Penthesilea (1805–07; published in 1808) and in the drama Käthchen of Heilbronn, or Trial by Fire (1807; published in 1810), Kleist sought to combine elements of verisimilitude with the irrational and pathological in the actions of his protagonists. The comedy The Broken Pitcher (published in 1811) contains elements of social satire.

On the eve of the movement of liberation against Napoleon’s France, Kleist turned to national problems in verse, drama (The Warrior’s Battle, 1808; published in 1821), and the pamphlet (The German Catechism, 1809). At the same time, Kleist remained faithful to the Prussia of the Junkers, whose past he glorified in the drama Prince Friedrich of Homburg (1810; published in 1821). Kleist’s Short Stories (1810–11) are tensely dramatic and avoid any romantic idealization of the characters. The most important of the short stories is “Michael Kohlhaas” (1810).

Kleist’s legacy is the focus of pointed ideological debate. Marxist literary scholarship attempts to elucidate the humanistic tendencies characterizing his best works.


Werke, vols. 1–2. Weimar, 1961.
In Russian translation:
P’esy. Moscow, 1962.
Dramy, Novelly. Moscow, 1969.


Mering, F. “Kleist.” In his book Literaturno-kriticheskie stat’i, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934.
Berkovskii, N. Ia. “Kleist.” In the book Nemetskaia romanticheskaia povest’, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1935.
Heinrich von Kleist. Darmstadt, 1967.


References in periodicals archive ?
113; Anthony Stephens & Yixu Lu, "Die Ersetzbarkeit des Menschen: Alter Ego und Stellvertreter im Werk Heinrich von Kleists," Jahrbuch der Deutschen Schillergesellschaft (1994), p.
Heinrich von Kleist, Samtliche Werke und Briefe, ed.
For a far-reaching discussion of Kleist's relations to Prussian ideology, monarchism and militarism, see Wolf Kittler, Die Geburt des Partisanen aus dem Geist dem Poesie: Heinrich von Kleist und die Strategie der Befreiungskriege (Freiburg: Rombach, 1987).
There is no reason to think that American writer Herman Melville (1819-91) ever read anything by German writer Heinrich von Kleist (1771-1811), or had even heard of him, confesses Kaiser (comparative literature, Utrecht U.
And like a modern Gepetto, Porter has brought her toys to life: Two videos capture with fixed camera shots perversely tender theatrical situations--the love between a boy and the Renaissance man in a postcard (For You, 1999) or a little boy trapped under a black shoe (Drum Solo, 2000), all instilled with that unaffected gracefulness that Heinrich von Kleist once detected in puppet shows.
Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) attributed his turn from science to literature to a loss of confidence in knowledge of the world occasioned by his reading of Kant, particularly Kant's critiques of reason.
3 Frank Stella (Universitat Jena) Stella received a well-deserved apotheosis at this venerable university, where Professor Franz-Joachim Verspohl's huge exhibition focused on the artist's recent obsession with Heinrich von Kleist, the strangest of German Romantic writers.
North Carolina) argues that German writer Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) constructed a literary world of ambiguity and uncertainty in which gender absolutes are as rare as truth and self-certainty.
I am looking at my night table right now: Rilke's letters; Derrida on forgiveness; the Koran; Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist; Heinrich von Kleist, Michael Kohlhaas (on the unstoppable rage of man's need for revenge); letters from Goethe's mother; and my essential survival kit of poetry ranging from Shelley, Byron, Holderlin to contemporary poems including those of Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann, Pierre Alferi's works, Yusef Komunyakaa's Talking Dirty to the Gods, and Galway Kinnell, The Book of Nightmares.
But there's a common thread between these apparent opposites, one suggested by Stella's interest in the short stories of Heinrich von Kleist, after which many of the current works here are titled.