Heinrich von Kleist and Modernity

December 2011
21 black and white illustrations
314 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571135063
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, PHI000000, LIT020000

Heinrich von Kleist and Modernity

Edited by Bernd Fischer, Tim Mehigan

New essays employing a multitude of approaches to the works of Kleist, in the process shedding light on our present modernity.
Modernity, according to some views, poses the problem of homo politicus -- the problem of how to act in a moral universe without a "master narrative," without a final foundation. From this angle, the oeuvre of Heinrich von Kleist -- novellas, dramas, and essays -- addresses problems emerging from a new universe of Kantian provenance, in many ways the same universe we inhabit today.
This volume of new essays investigates Kleist's position in our ever-changing conception of modernity, employing aesthetic, narrative, philosophical, biographical, political, economic, anthropological, psychological, and cultural approaches and wrestling with the difficulties of historicizing Kleist's life and work. Central questions are: To what extent can the multitude of breaking points and turning points, endgames and pre-games, ruptures and departures that permeate Kleist's work and biography be conceptually bundled together and linked to the emerging paradigm of modernity? And to what extent does such an approach to Kleist not only advance understanding of this major German writer and his work, but also shed light on the nature of our present modernity?

Contributors: Seán Allan, Peter Barton, Hilda Meldrum Brown, David Chisholm, Andreas Gailus, Bernhard Greiner, Jeffrey L. High, Anette Horn, Peter Horn, Wolf Kittler, Jonathan W. Marshall, Christian Moser, Dorothea von Mücke, Nancy Nobile, David Pan, Ricarda Schmidt, Helmut J. Schneider.

Bernd Fischer is Professor of German at the Ohio State University. Tim Mehigan is Professor of German in the Department of Languages and Cultures at the University of Otago, New Zealand.

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Table of Contents

Introduction - Bernd Fischer and Tim Mehigan
Zu Ende schreiben: Ultimative Strategien im Schaffen Kleists - Bernhard Greiner
"Sein Nahen ist ein Wehen aus der Ferne": Ottokar's Leap in Die Familie Schroffenstein - Nancy Nobile
The Fragmented Picture and Kleist's Zerbrochner Krug - Dorothea von Muecke
"So glaubst du jetzt, daß ich dir Wahrheit gab?" Gender, Power and the Performance of Justice in Kleist's Der zerbrochne Krug - Sean Allan
Recht als Krieg: Moderne Staatlichkeit und die Aporienlegalistischer Herrschaft bei Heinrich von Kleist - Christian Moser
Representing the Nation in Heinrich von Kleist's Prinz Friedrich von Homburg - David Pan
Herrschaftsgenealogie und Staatsgemeinschaft: Zu Kleists Dramaturgie der Moderne im Prinzen von Homburg - Helmut J. Schneider
Changing Perceptions of Modernity in Nineteenth-CenturyGerman Theater from Goethe to Wagner, with Reference to Kleist's Prinz Friedrich von Homburg - Hilda Brown
Weiblicher Sadismus, Wutwelt des Liebes-Urwalds, Geschlechtskampf, absolutes Gefühl: Die Penthesilea-Rezeptionin der Moderne - Ricarda Schmidt
Prosodic and Dramatic Tension in the Blank-Verse Dramas of Heinrich von Kleist - Dr. David Chisholm-Univ. of Arizona
Crisis, Denial, and Outrage: Kleist (Schiller, Kant) and the Path to the German Novella(s) of Modernity - Jeffrey L. High
Das Gespenst der Armut: "Das Bettelweib von Locarno" - Zwischen traditioneller christlicher, kantisch aufgeklärter undmoderner marxistischer Auffassung - Peter Horn
The Problem of Knowledge and the Discourse of the Hysteric: Exploring a Lacanian Interpretation of "Die Marquise von O. . ." - Peter Barton
Religion nach der Aufklärung: Die heilige Cäcilie - Identität, Religion und Moderne - Anette Horn
Breaking Skulls: Kleist, Hegel, and the Force of Assertion - Andreas Gailus
Kleist's "Übermarionette" and Schrenck-Notzing's "Traumtänzerin": Nervous Mechanics and Hypnotic Performance under Modernism - Jonathan Marshall
Falling after the Fall: The Analysis of the Infinite in Kleist's Marionette Theater - Wolf Kittler
Notes on the Contributors


This outstanding collection of essays . . . is an excellent indicator of the state of contemporary Kleist scholarship. Written by some of the foremost Kleist experts, the contributors display a wide methodological range . . . . [P]rovides readers novel insights into what constitutes Kleist's modernity and how his writings participate in modernity's emerging literary, philosophical, and scientific discourses. . . . No matter what methodological predisposition readers have, they will encounter fascinating new insights into the life and work of an author whose unique if enigmatic status is still growing two hundred years after his death. MONATSHEFTE

Excellent insights into Kleist's contemporary relevance. . . . This lively, interesting collection offers great benefit to advanced scholars. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. CHOICE

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