Heinrich von Kleist

(3194 words)
  • William C. Reeve (Queen's University, Canada)

Now recognized as the most “modern” and most performed German classical dramatist and as the author of eight narrative masterpieces, Heinrich von Kleist never saw any of his plays on stage and achieved notoriety throughout most of the 19th century primarily for his scandalous suicide. Because his dramas were considered unperformable and dealt with socially unacceptable themes such as rape, sado-masochism, guerilla warfare or a Prussian officer's fear of death, they could only appear in adaptations until the 20th century. Suddenly, a writer who identified art with life and whom his contemporaries had rejected as a “sick” romantic had anticipated the crisis of modernity and raised crucial existential issues. Since Jean Vilar's …

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Citation:
Reeve, William C.. "Heinrich von Kleist". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 August 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5477, accessed 24 November 2014.]

Articles on Kleist's works

  1. Amphitryon
  2. Das Bettelweib von Locarno [The Beggarwoman of Locarno]
  3. Das Erdbeben in Chili [The Earthquake in Chili]
  4. Das Käthchen von Heilbronn [Cathy of Heilbronn]
  5. Der zerbrochne Krug. Ein Lustspiel [The Broken Jug. A Comedy]
  6. Die Hermannsschlacht [Hermann's Battle]
  7. Die Marquise von O ... [The Countess of O ...]
  8. Die Verlobung in St. Domingo [The Betrothal in St. Domingo]
  9. Michael Kohlhaas
  10. Penthesilea
  11. Prinz Friedrich von Homburg [The Prince of Homburg]
  12. Über die allmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden [Concerning the Gradual Construction of Thoughts while Speaking]