Selected Prose of Heinrich Von Kleist

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$15.00  $13.95
Archipelago Books
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5.9 X 6.9 X 1.0 inches | 0.8 pounds
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About the Author
Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811), one of Germany's most enigmatic and celebrated authors, was an aristocrat by birth, a rebel by inclination, a Romantic by temperament, and a stylist of uncompromising rigor whose writings in multiple modes, including drama, fiction, and expository prose, have grown all the more pertinent over time. Kleist lived a restless, roving life, serving stints as a soldier, a bureaucrat, a prisoner, and an unsuccessful newspaper editor. Finding himself in financial straits and personal despair, Kleist, together with his terminally ill lover, committed suicide near the Wannsee in Berlin in 1811. Recipient of the 2012 Gold Grand Prize for Best Travel Story of the Year, Peter Wortsman is the author of A Modern Way to Die: Small Stories and Microtales, the plays The Tattooed Man Tells All and Burning Words, the recent memoir Ghost Dance in Berlin: A Rhapsody in Gray, and the forthcoming novel Cold Earth Wanderers. His translations from the German include Robert Musil[s Posthumous Papers of a Living Author, Heinrich Heine[s Travel Pictures, Peter Altenberg[s Telegrams of the Soul, and Tales of the German Imagination: From The Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann, an anthology published by Penguin Classics.
"[Kleist's] work is full of fatalistic paradoxes, harsh ironies, and fruitless attempts to make sense of an incoherent reality. The titular hero of his great novella is a horse trader who has two of his animals seized and mistreated by a corrupt nobleman . . . With typical Kleistian irony, a petty theft has become a chaotic peasant rebellion."
--Robert Rubsam, The Atlantic

"Kleist's narrative language is something completely unique. It is not enough to read it as historical - even in his day nobody wrote as he did. . . . An impetus squeezed out with iron, absolutely un-lyrical detachment brings forth tangled, knotted, overloaded sentences painfully soldered together . . . and driven by a breathless tempo."
--Thomas Mann

"Kleist was one of the first of a line of German writers whose inwardness is so intense it seems to dissolve the weak bonds of his society. . . . Even as order and paternalism struggled to assert themselves in the private and public life of the nineteenth century, Kleist was introducing scenes of mob violence, cannibalism, and less than benevolent fathers."
--Times Literary Supplement

"Kleist left behind a corpus of works that, while small in quantity, were and still are among the finest German texts."
--Library Journal

"A dark, charming collection of twisted fairy tales for grownups."
--Publishers Weekly

"Michael Kohlhaas. . . . a story I read with true reverence."
--Franz Kafka