Heinrich von Kleist

Studies in the Character and Meaning of his Writings

Heinrich von Kleist

216 pp., 6 x 9, notes, bibl

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-5746-2
    Published: May 2020

University of North Carolina Studies in Germanic Languages and Literature

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Ellis's book confronts directly the most central issue of Kleist criticism: the essential nature and meaning of his work. Rather than provide a general survey of Kleist's writings, Ellis performs an analysis of six of his most mature works: Der Findling, Die Marquise von O. . ., Das Erdbeben in Chili, Der Zweitkampf, Michael Kohlhaas, and Prinz Friedrich von Homburg. Ellis draws some general conclusions about the uniquely Kleistian character of these six works which are at sharp variance with previous Kleist criticism.


"Unlike so many previous critics, Ellis does not resort to needlessly complex terminology to make a point, nor does he attempt to decode Kleist's entire literary production with a single conceptual key. . . . By probing beneath surface meanings and bringing to light the complexities of these texts, this study will oblige many readers to re-evaluate and revise their own interpretations of Kleist's work."--The Journal of English and Germanic Philology