Heinrich von Kleist

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Heinrich von Kleist, reproduction of an illustration by Peter Friedel that the poet had made for his fiancée Wilhelmine von Zenge in 1801 Heinrich von Kleist signature
Frankfurt Stories: Restless Heinrich

Bernd Heinrich Wilhelm von Kleist (born October 10th [according to his own information] or October 18, 1777 [according to church register ] in Frankfurt (Oder) , Brandenburg , Prussia ; † November 21, 1811 at Stolper Loch, today Kleiner Wannsee ) was a German playwright , Narrator , poet and publicist .

Heinrich von Kleist stood as an "outsider in the literary life of his time [...] beyond the established camps" and the literary epochs of the Weimar Classics and Romanticism . He is best known for the "historical knight drama" Das Käthchen von Heilbronn , his comedies Der zerbrochne Krug and Amphitryon , the tragedy Penthesilea as well as for his novellas Michael Kohlhaas and The Marquise von O ....


Family, training and military service (1777–1799)

Coat of arms of the von Kleist family
Memorial plaque at the place of birth in Frankfurt (Oder)

Heinrich von Kleist came from a family of the Pomeranian nobility , who enjoyed a prominent position in Prussia . He was born to his father's fifth child and first son. His family produced numerous generals and field marshals , many landowners, but also a number of scholars, high diplomats and officials. Kleist's father, Joachim Friedrich von Kleist (* 1728, † 1788), served as the captain of the staff in the regiment on foot for Prince Leopold von Braunschweig in the garrison town of Frankfurt an der Oder. From a first marriage with Caroline Luise, née von Wulffen († 1774), Kleist's two half-sisters, Wilhelmine, called Minette, and Ulrike Philippine , who later became very close to Kleist, emerged. Joachim Friedrich married Juliane Ulrike, née von Pannwitz (* 1746, † 1793), who gave birth to the children Friederike, Auguste Katharina, Heinrich and finally his younger siblings Leopold Friedrich and Juliane, called Julchen, in 1775.

After the death of his father in 1788, Kleist was brought up in Berlin in the pension of the Reformed preacher Samuel Heinrich Catel . Kleist was probably made aware of the works of classical poets and contemporary philosophers of the Enlightenment , with whom he continued to grapple during his military service, through Catel, who was also a professor at the French grammar school . Before joining the Prussian Army , he broke off his studies at the Brandenburg University of Frankfurt because he wanted to give priority to the conventional military career.

In June 1792, the young Kleist, true to his family tradition, joined the 3rd Battalion of the Guard Regiment in Potsdam as a private corporal. Under Inspector General Ernst von Rüchel , he took part in the Rhine campaign against France and in the siege of the first bourgeois republic on German soil in Mainz. Despite growing doubts about being a soldier, Kleist remained in the military and was promoted to ensign in 1795 and lieutenant in 1797 . In his private life, however, he took up mathematical and philosophical studies in Potsdam together with his friend Rühle von Lilienstern and gained admission to the university. In 1797 he and his siblings sold their paternal estate, the small manor Guhrow in the Spreewald , for 30,000 thalers , of which he had a seventh when he was of age in October 1801.

In March 1799 he expressed his intention to give up military service, which was felt to be unbearable, and to base his life plan, even against the expected resistance of the family, not on wealth, dignity, honor, but on the training of the spirit and to take up a scientific study.

Studies and first employment (1799–1801)

Wilhelmine von Zenge, Kleist's fiancée, anonymous miniature (around 1800)

After his dismissal from the military (in favor of his studies), which was requested and approved against Ernst von Rüchel's opposition, Kleist began in April 1799 at the University of Frankfurt an der Oder in addition to mathematics as a major in physics , cultural history , natural law , Latin and - to reassure his relatives - cameralistics study. He was particularly interested in taking physics lessons from Professor Christian Ernst Wünsch , who also gave him private lessons in experimental physics . As for many other authors of the time (e.g. Goethe , Achim von Arnim and Novalis ), for him the natural sciences in the sense of the Enlightenment were an objective means of recognizing - and improving - oneself, society and the world. However, Kleist was soon no longer able to fully satisfy the hopeful scientific training he had begun; the book knowledge was not enough for him. With this attitude Kleist found little understanding in his environment. In 1799 he got to know the general daughter Wilhelmine von Zenge , to whom he got engaged in the beginning of 1800.

In 1800 he broke off his studies after only three semesters and began to work as a volunteer in the Prussian Ministry of Economics in Berlin, although this did not correspond to his understanding of a life plan of "free intellectual education". The reason for the decision was his engagement. The bride's family demanded that Kleist hold a state office. Kleist was on a secret mission for the ministry in the summer of 1800, presumably as an industrial spy (with the code name Klingstedt ) (from 9 September for two months in Würzburg , where he initially stayed in the Hotel Fränkischer Hof in today's Theaterstrasse 1, for a week later with the city surgeon Wirth at Schmalzmarkt 3, and possibly also underwent a surgical operation). Like other sensationalists, he visited the hospital of the Juliusspital Foundation in Würzburg , and his impressions of it, which he described in a letter to his bride, may have influenced his description of the madhouse in his story The Holy Cäcilie or the Violence of Music (1810) to have. Five letters written to his fiancée that summer and autumn show for the first time the poetic talent of Kleist, who was still unknown at the time.

The professional, social and individual problems ("Life is a difficult game [...] because you have to keep drawing a card over and over again and still don't know what the trump card is;" - Letter to half-sister Ulrike dated February 5th 1801) probably condensed against the background of reading Kant's Critique of Judgment on the “Kant crisis” - a controversial term in older Kleist research. Through the limits of rational knowledge that Kant had shown, Kleist saw his straightforward, purely rational-oriented life plan called into question. In a famous letter to Wilhelmine dated March 22, 1801, Kleist noted:

"We cannot decide whether what we call truth is truly truth or whether it just seems to us that way [...] My only, my highest goal has sunk, I now have none."

According to critics, however, Kleist only referred to a crisis triggered by reading Immanuel Kant in order to give a philosophical justification to a phase of life marked by hesitation, failure and wrong decisions. Letters that he wrote before March 22, 1801 clearly show that “he turned away from the sciences months before the so-called Kant crisis, and by no means because he fundamentally doubted the possibilities of reliable knowledge, but because the preoccupation with the sciences had lost its attraction for him. ”The thesis postulated by the older research of the complete change of the Kleistian personality solely on the basis of philosophical reading was put into perspective. This life crisis was essentially due to a weariness of the constraints to specialize. Kleist tried to overcome them by means of an extensive journey to France.

In 1801 H. v. Kleist in the Gleimhaus in Halberstadt

Paris and Thun (Switzerland) (1801–1804)

In the spring of 1801 he traveled with his sister Ulrike to Paris via Dresden . In view of the French capital, which he regards as 'immoral', Kleist writes to Wilhelmine von Zenge:

“… Be a little happy as I am now that I… write. Yes, maybe I will bless this trip to Paris ... after all. Not because of the joys which I enjoyed, for they were frugally given to me; but all my senses here confirm what my feeling has long since told me, namely that science neither makes us better nor happier, and I hope that this will lead me to a resolution. Oh, I cannot describe to you what impression the first sight of this highest immorality in the highest science made on me. Where will fate lead this nation -? God knows It is more mature than any other European nation. Sometimes, when I look at the libraries, where the works of Rousseau , Helvetius , and Voltaire are in splendid halls and splendid volumes , I think what use have they been made of? Has a single one achieved its purpose? Have they been able to stop the wheel that rushes inexorably towards its abyss? Oh, if all who have written good works had done half of that good, the world would be better off. Even this study of natural science, upon which the whole spirit of the French nation has fallen with almost united forces, where will it lead? Why is the state wasting millions on all these scholarship-spreading institutions? Is he concerned with the truth? The state? A state has no other advantage than that which it can calculate in terms of percentages. He wants to apply the truth - and to what? On arts and crafts. He wants to make the comfortable even more comfortable, the sensual even more sensual, and the most refined luxury even more refined. - And if in the end even the most exuberant and pampered need can no longer devise a wish, what is -? "

Again Kleist processed his disappointing experiences as doubts about the uniqueness of reason and historical will. Through his reading of Rousseau he saw himself stimulated to lead a rural life: "To cultivate a field, to plant a tree and to father a child" (letter of October 10, 1801 to Wilhelmine).

From April 1802 he lived on the Scherzliginsel in the Aare in Thun , Switzerland. The memory of a visit by his childhood friend Ernst von Pfuel in Thun may have inspired him to write the idyllic drama The Horror in the Bath (1808). There was a break with Wilhelmine, who did not want to live with him as a farmer according to his ideas. He was now working on the tragedy Die Familie Schroffenstein , which had already begun in Paris under the title Die Familie Schroffenstein , continued to write on his tragedy Robert Guiskard, Duke of Normans, and began with the comedy Der Zerbrochne Krug .

At the end of 1802 Kleist returned to Germany. In Dresden he met Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué , among others , and met Ernst von Pfuel again. However, he did not last long there; Kleist traveled again to Paris with von Pfuel. There he burned the completed parts of the Guiskard in deep despair of not being able to realize his conceptual ideas, and experienced a creative crisis: "Heaven denies me fame, the greatest of the goods on earth!" He wrote on October 26, 1803 Ulrike. Kleist then decided to fight England in the French army , "to die in battle", but was persuaded by an acquaintance to return to Potsdam. In December 1803 Kleist was back in Germany and applied for a job in the diplomatic service in Berlin.

Königsberg (1804-1807)

After a brief activity in the finance department headed by Karl Freiherr vom Stein zum Altenstein in mid-1804, he worked from May 6, 1805 on his recommendation as a dietician (civil servant in preparatory work without a fixed salary) in Königsberg and should consult the state and economic theorist Christian Jacob Get Kraus trained in camera studies . In Königsberg he met Wilhelmine, who had meanwhile been married to Wilhelm Traugott Krug , who was now a professor of philosophy . Kleist completed the Broken Jug and worked on the comedy Amphitryon , the tragedy Penthesilea and the stories Michael Kohlhaas and The Earthquake in Chili .

In August 1806 Kleist informed his friend Rühle von Lilienstern of his intention to retire from the civil service in order to be able to feed himself through “dramatic work”. On the way to Berlin, Kleist and his companions were arrested by the French authorities as alleged spies in January 1807 and transported first to the Fort de Joux near Pontarlier and then to the Châlons-sur-Marne prisoner -of- war camp . There he probably wrote the novella Marquise von O ... and continued to work on the Penthesilea .

Dresden (1807-1809)

The Hermannsschlacht , theater announcement from 1923
New Kleistdenkmal from December 2011 in Dresden's old town, Pillnitzer Str. At the corner of Richterstrasse, on the site of his former home "Äußere Rampische Gasse" (later Pillnitzer Str. 29; destroyed on February 13, 1945) with the relics of the memorial plaques of the Tied Foundation from 1909
Detail of the above new Dresden Kleist monument

After his release he traveled via Berlin to Dresden (from the end of August 1807), where he met among others Schiller's friend Christian Gottfried Körner , the romantics Ludwig Tieck , Gotthilf Heinrich von Schubert , Caspar David Friedrich and above all the philosopher of state and history Adam Heinrich Müller as well as the historian Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann got to know. Together with Müller, Kleist published the Journal für die Kunst (so the subtitle) Phöbus from January 1808 . The first issue with the contribution Fragment from the tragedy: Penthesilea he sent to Goethe , among others , who expressed his amazement and incomprehension in a reply.

In the summer of 1808, Kleist must have been in the Westphalian city of Hamm , because that is where a letter from the French General Post Office, Düsseldorf, dated August 4, replied to Kleist's application and rejected it. Kleist had traveled from Dresden to Düsseldorf and, as a former “Premier Lieutenant au Serv [ice] Pruss”, had applied orally for the vacant post of post director in Lünen (Westphalia), which at the time was on the important post route from Holland to Berlin .

In December 1808, under the influence of Spain's resistance to Napoleon , the occupation of Prussia and the beginning of the Austrian struggle for freedom , Kleist completed the drama Die Hermannsschlacht . The subject of the drama with which Kleist took up the Arminius cult in German literature, which had existed since the 16th century, was the Varus Battle , in which three Roman legions fell in a crushing defeat against a Germanic army in the autumn of 9 AD Leadership of Arminius had perished.

In the hope of a strengthening resistance against Napoleon, Kleist traveled together with Dahlmann via Aspern , where Napoleon had been defeated a few days earlier, on 21/22. May 1809 to Prague. Here Kleist and Dahlmann got access to Austrian patriotic circles and planned to publish a weekly newspaper with the title Germania . It should become an organ of "German freedom". Because of Austria's surrender, the project remained unrealized. In this magazine his so-called political writings should What is the point of this war? , Catechism of the Germans in Spanish, for use by children and the elderly , the textbook of French journalism , satires and the Ode Germania to their children appear.

Kleist arrived in Frankfurt (Oder) in November and drove back to Berlin a month later, where he stayed, with a brief interruption, until his death.

Berlin (1809-1811)

Kleist's farewell letter
Memorial plaque on the Kleisthaus in Berlin-Mitte , Mauerstraße  53. The building in which Kleist last lived was in the same place.

In Berlin, Kleist made the acquaintance of Achim von Arnim , Clemens Brentano , Joseph von Eichendorff , Wilhelm Grimm , Karl August Varnhagen von Ense and Rahel Varnhagen, among others . The first volume of his stories appeared in April 1810 ( Michael Kohlhaas , Die Marquise von O .... , The Earthquake in Chili ) and in September Das Käthchen von Heilbronn , which Iffland, as director of the Berlin stage, declined to perform.

After the Phöbus was discontinued , Kleist initiated a new newspaper project on October 1, 1810: the Berliner Abendblätter . The evening papers were a daily newspaper with local news, the purpose of which was stated to be the entertainment of all classes of the people and the promotion of the national cause . Prominent authors such as Ernst Moritz Arndt , Achim von Arnim, Clemens Brentano, Adelbert von Chamisso , Otto August Rühle von Lilienstern , Friedrich Karl von Savigny and Friedrich August von Staegemann wrote here . Kleist himself published his treatises, the Zoroaster's Prayer , reflections on the course of the world , a letter from a painter to his son , the very latest educational plan and, above all, on puppet theater in the evening papers . Kleist's publication of current police reports turned out to be a special feature and a crowd puller.

In the spring of 1811 the publication of the newspaper had to be stopped due to stricter censorship regulations. When his attempt to get a job in the Prussian administration failed, and so did his play Prince Friedrich von Homburg, which began in 1809, until 1814 with a performance ban by Friedrich Wilhelm III. was occupied, Kleist had to write a few short stories within a short period of time in order to make a living. These works have been summarized in a second volume with short stories, which contains, among other things, The Begging Woman of Locarno and The Engagement in St. Domingo .

Almost penniless and inwardly "so sore that, I would almost like to say that when I stick my nose out the window, the daylight that glimmers on it hurts me" (letter to Marie von Kleist of November 10, 1811) my thoughts took away to a suicide out of hand due to money worries and the constant criticism of his work, also because his acting was banned "the Prince of Homburg" and he likewise no place in the Prussian civil service received. Out of money he continued to write pieces that were published posthumously in the second volume. Previously, in an effort to obtain a loan, he had sent several pleading and begging letters, including to the King, the Prince of Prussia and, above all, to the State Chancellor Karl August von Hardenberg , but without receiving an answer. Only the message in the margin of the application has been handed down: "To the files, since the pv Kleist 21.II.II. no longer lives ”.

Kleist sought and found for the path of suicide a companion, the terminally to a carcinoma ill Henriette Vogel . With her consent, Kleist shot first her and then himself on November 21, 1811 at Stolper Loch , today's Kleiner Wannsee in the south-west of Berlin. it was Henriette Vogel who asked for a common burial “in the safe castle of the earth”. Kleist and Henriette Vogel were buried on the spot, as the suicide was socially and ecclesiastically outlawed at the time, which forbade burial in a cemetery (cemeteries were exclusively in the ecclesiastical administration at that time).

last words

Grave of Heinrich von Kleist and Henriette Vogel at the Kleiner Wannsee before the renovation in 2011
Honorary grave of Heinrich von Kleist and Henriette Vogel at the Kleiner Wannsee after the renovation carried out in 2011

The last word to Ulrike

To Ulrike von Kleist, November 21, 1811.

To Miss Ulrike von Kleist Hochwohlgeb. to Frankfurt a. Or.

I cannot die without having myself, satisfied and cheerful as I am, with the whole world, and thus also, before everyone else, my dearest Ulrike, to have reconciled with you. Let me, the stern utterance contained in the letter to the Kleisten, let me take it back; Really, you have done to me, I am not saying what was in the strength of a sister, but in the strength of a person, to save me: the truth is that I could not be helped on earth. And now goodbye; May heaven give you a death, only half like mine in joy and inexpressible cheerfulness: that is the warmest and most heartfelt wish I can muster for you.

 Tuning near Potsdam.
    d. - on the morning of my death.

Towards the end of the farewell letter, as in the printed versions, there is “d.” (D, period). An expert like Hans Joachim Kreutzer considers this to be “a strange (…) turn” () in his 2011 book “Heinrich von Kleist”. However, it should simply be the abbreviation of Latin date (literally translated as “given”, to be understood as “written”), which was quite common in Kleist's time. A closer look at the facsimile also suggests this: the character immediately after the “d” is so much larger than Kleist's other dots that it looks like another letter (followed by a colon), and this letter reads like the second of “datum ".

It is also controversial whether the transcription "to the Kleist", which is widespread in the source and also in other places, is correct, because in the original two i-dots are clearly recognizable in the word, so that "to the Kleistin" would be more likely.

Significance in literary history

Kleist's life was shaped by the restless pursuit of ideal happiness , which, however, repeatedly turned out to be deceptive, and this is reflected in his work. In terms of intellectual history, however, Kleist is difficult to classify: Neither the romantic theory nor the classical discourse can easily incorporate the author and the work. At this point we should refer to Kleist's short story About the Marionette Theater . Early Kleist research always read this text as a more or less theoretical treatise by Kleist and tried to interpret it in the sense of the aesthetic program of the romantic discourse. More recent attempts at interpretation - especially those that arise from a deconstructivist interest - emphasize the subversive potential of the text and see the central content in the playful and ironic dismantling of the contemporary aesthetic-ideal-philosophical discourse. For example, the puppets are interpreted as “the opposite of the self” and “the episodes told in the text [as] images of unidentity” in the sense of a lack of autonomy.

Just as one tries to classify Kleist into the tendencies of Romanticism , an affinity between Kleist's dramas and classical poetry is emphasized. This assignment is based on the choice of material, because several times Kleist adapts ancient mythological content, which is actually a characteristic of classical aesthetics, and adheres to the classical drama structure in his adaptation, like the writing of dramas in general, more for the poets of the Weimar Classic than for them Romantic poet is characteristic. At the same time, however, the classical principles of style are violated to a large extent in Kleist's “classical” dramas, as the choice of material shows: it is no longer the general human, civilizing, classically pacified element of ancient poetry, but rather the particular, extreme and cruel that comes to the fore . In many works, “on the level of the subject, the subjective interior space of the humanistic or classical individual is up for debate”; the subject, to which - at least as a postulate in idealism - inherent identity and autonomy, is radically questioned: "The implicit theory of desire production, which understands feeling and the unconscious as social productions, constitutes Kleist's modernity" and uses it literary classics and romanticism in opposition.

Dramatic work

The Broken Jug , title page of the first edition (1811)

Kleist's first tragedy The Schroffenstein Family (completed in 1803, premiered in 1804 at the National Theater in Graz) is based on Shakespeare's dramatic style and thematizes the themes of fate vs. chance and subjective (preliminary) judgment vs. objective reality, which are central to Kleist's work. His second tragedy Penthesilea (1808) is inspired by three ancient tragedies of Euripides ( Medea , Hippolytos and The Bacchae ). It is about the Amazon queen who woos the Greek hero Achilles in a warlike manner on a battlefield in front of Troy and fails in the process. Because of the stylistically sophisticated language, the war scenes that could not be portrayed at the time and the cruelty modeled on the ancient tragedy, the play was not a success during Kleist's lifetime; it was only premiered in Berlin in 1876. His romantic drama Das Käthchen von Heilbronn or Die Feuerprobe 1808, a poetic drama full of mysteries and medieval goings-on, which has retained its popularity, was more successful than these two tragedies .

In the comedy genre , Kleist made a name for himself with the Broken Jug . The Hermannsschlacht (1809) deals with a historical topic and is at the same time full of references to the political conditions of its time. In the Hermannsschlacht , Kleist expresses his hatred of the oppressors of his country. Together with the drama Prinz Friedrich von Homburg (see also Friedrich II. (Hessen-Homburg) ), a high point of Kleist's work, the play was first published in 1821 by Ludwig Tieck in Heinrich von Kleist's writings . Robert Guiskard , a large-scale drama, remained a fragment.

Narrative work, poetry and other writings

Stories of Heinrich von Kleist in 1810 and the second part in 1811 in the first edition

Kleist was a master in the art of storytelling. Michael Kohlhaas is considered to be one of the most important German-language stories of its time. In it, the famous Brandenburg horse dealer Kohlhase gives up his family, social position and other belongings from Luther's day, and ultimately even violates the legal norms himself, only to be right in a relatively minor dispute in which he was clearly wronged to obtain; an ambivalent monument is set for him in the narrative. The stories The Earthquake in Chili , The Marquise of O .... , Saint Cecilia or the Violence of Music are also important .

Kleist was also a fatherland-loving, anti-French poet, which is clearly expressed in his poems Germania to their children and war song of the Germans . In its time, the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation consisted partly of vassal states occupied by France and thus dependent, which among other things had to provide troop contingents for the Napoleonic wars of conquest or were directly annexed by Napoleon.

In contrast to contemporary customs, Heinrich von Kleist did not leave behind any overtly aesthetic-programmatic writing. The puppet theater in particular was examined for its theoretical and poetological content. However, the fictional character of the conversation was generally neglected: it is a report on a conversation that was several years ago at the time it was reproduced. The proclamation of the regaining of a paradisiacal state can only be recognized with reservation in the short essay. Especially Hanna Hellmann , who rediscovered the puppet theater in 1911, interpreted this text in the sense of the romantic triad, which is the third stage of human development - i.e. H. sees the regaining of the paradisiacal state - realized in the field of art. However, like many after her, she “overlooked” the “irony with which this game, invented for the heap, is recognized as a fine art ; peasant figures of all things are considered exemplary; overlook the irony with which the movements of those who have lost their thighs - most often in war - and now have mechanical legs , should proceed with calm, ease and grace . "


Heinrich von Kleist's literary work had a contradicting but lasting effect on his contemporaries and later readers. "The contemporaries were more shocked by the violence of the images, the excess of the emotional outbursts, the crassness of the situations, the disregard for beautiful conventions than by the force, the rhythmic dynamics, the wide dramatic arcs of tension and the poetic beauty of this language." “You had never read texts like this, or seen pieces like this. His analyzes were ahead of history, his images and forms ahead of literary history. ”In the course of the contradicting history of reception, Kleist was claimed by groups that were, so to speak, contrary to the world view. He was interpreted as a misunderstood harbinger of literary modernity as well as an important contender in the sense of the nationalistic and chauvinistic currents of the German Empire . Especially since the founding of the German Empire in 1871 there were changing renaissance and increasing political claims by Kleist.

Kleist in the judgment of his contemporaries

Kleist's first publication, Die Familie Schroffenstein in "the Geßnerische Buchhandlung beym Schwanen" in 1802, drew skeptical and equally benevolent judgments from contemporaries. A first detailed review of the anonymously published Kleist debut comes from the pen of the playwright Ludwig Ferdinand Huber . In March 1803, Huber affirmed that the unknown poet had been able to replace his initial skepticism with the enthusiastic hope that “at last a vigorous fighter for the poetic laurel will rise again, as our Parnassus needs so much now”. In spite of the unanimously recognized talent of the poet, albeit in need of further development, the play received little attention on German stages. Four years passed before another work by Kleist was published, the comedy Amphitryon (1807), edited by Adam Müller . The Amphitryon , a far-reaching adaptation of a model by Molière and a border crossing between national literatures, received little response in view of Napoleon's entry into Berlin (October 27, 1806). The chain of Kleistian publications did not break off until mid-1811.

The world premiere of the Broken Krug at the Weimar Court Theater under the direction of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who had awarded the piece “extraordinary merits” after reading it twice, proved to be momentous . The work, which contemporaries saw in its Weimar premiere on March 2, 1808, was long-winded and cumbersome and had a lasting impact on the attitudes of contemporary audiences towards Kleist. Kleist's fate as a contemporary playwright was largely sealed after the unsuccessful premiere, especially on Goethe's demanding reform stage.

A heavily alienated, pantomime staging of excerpts from the Penthesilea in Berlin in 1811 also fell through with the audience, and Kleist was also unsuccessful as a political publicist ("Phöbus") . Only the success story of the Kleist drama Das Käthchen von Heilbronn began during the poet's lifetime with a Viennese performance on March 17, 1810: “However, the audience - as it was for the rest of the nineteenth century - was much more impressed by this play than the criticism that was skeptical of the genre alone. [...] The reviewer of the Morgenblatt for educated classes finally summarized this observation, made again and again, almost laconically in the formula 'Kleist's Käthchen von Heilbronn is judged very differently, but always heavily visited' [...]. "

Last but not least, Kleist's fate was that he was largely denied the sympathy of the intellectual elite of his time who formed judgments and shaped public culture. In some cases he was turning against him potential sponsors whose support he had been dependent on. Through targeted indiscretions about August Wilhelm Iffland , the mighty General of the Royal Theater Games in Berlin, a staging of Käthchens had rejected, he built up access to Berlin theater and the audience. With a few exceptions, the playwrights were closed to the playwright Kleist as the main places of activity.

Kleist renaissances and the Kleist myth

Kleist monument by Gottlieb Elster in Frankfurt (Oder), 1910

In addition to Kleist's spectacular suicide, the consequences of his clumsiness in soliciting suitable sponsors had a negative impact on Kleist's reputation and image for decades. In particular, Goethe's rejection and the posthumous printing of unauthorized Goethe sentences about the "Nordic sharpness of the hypochondriac" Kleist by Johann Daniel Falk had a negative effect in this regard. It was only when the historical framework conditions changed that there was a lasting renaissance of Kleist's reception, which was intended to permanently change the perception of the poet. Since the second half and increasingly since the end of the 19th century, Kleist's dramas and stories in the very different fields of reference of German unification as well as literary modernism have been the subject of opposing currents of rediscovery. "Within the ideological campaign that began in the 1860s, with which the proponents of Prussia covered the Germans to promote the unified nation, Kleist was offered an important [...] part: in it one wanted to recognize the prophet of the nascent empire and at the same time to be an exemplary Prussia- see how Germanness is embodied. "

The nationalistic and chauvinistic appropriation of Kleist during the late 19th century later found its continuation in the appropriation of the poet by the Nazi cultural policy , the “temporal affirmation of the great single perpetrator in the 'Hermannsschlacht' and the absolute obedience of the elector in 'Prinz Friedrich von Homburg 'as an anticipation of the fascist leader cult. "

5 Mark commemorative coin of the GDR for the 175th anniversary of Heinrich von Kleist's death from 1986

In addition to the extensive reception of the political poet Kleist as the epitome of the German patriot ( Hermannsschlacht , Prince Friedrich von Homburg ) in the sense of the German Empire, the young authors of literary modernism also turned programmatically to Kleist's work around the turn of the century. In view of his extensive alienation from the representatives of the Weimar Classicism, Kleist offered himself an exemplary role model for the replacement of a new generation of writers from Goethe's overpowering appearance. “As a result, Kleist was assigned a twofold pioneering role: in his own presence as a fighter against the classical and - eighty years later under the sign of the literary avant-garde as a pioneer of modernism, who also fell victim to the classical.” In the wake of this lasting second In the early twentieth century, a generation of young writers, including Gerhart Hauptmann , Frank Wedekind , Carl Sternheim and Georg Kaiser , discovered the poet as an important pioneer of experimental and subjective literary approaches.

Memories of Kleist

Burial place

The Kleist grave below Bismarckstrasse on the Kleiner Wannsee was redesigned following a competition organized by the Federal Cultural Foundation . Thanks to a donation from the Berlin publisher Ruth Cornelsen ( Cornelsen Kulturstiftung ) and grants from the Federal Cultural Foundation and the Berlin Senate , the tomb and its surroundings were renovated to mark the two hundredth anniversary of the couple's death in 2011 and equipped with information boards. The granite tombstone erected in 1936 and a wrought-iron knee-high iron grille as a fence have been preserved. Kleist's date of birth is now given as October 10 instead of October 18. Henriette Vogels - previously on its own stone - data are now carved into the tombstone. Below this is again the memorial of the Jewish poet Max Ring , which was removed for ideological reasons during the time of National Socialism, with the reference to the fifth prayer of the Lord's Prayer: “'He lived, sang and suffered / in gloomy, difficult times. / He looked for death here / and found immortality '. Matth. 6 V.12 ". The reverse of the stone, rotated by 180 degrees, shows the previous heroic inscription from 1941 with the line from Kleist's Prince of Homburg : “Well, immortality, you are all mine.” The grave is designated as the honor grave of the city of Berlin .

Naming of streets, squares and parks

According to Heinrich von Kleist streets were z. B. in Frankfurt am Main, Mannheim, Bonn, Vienna, Graz, Potsdam, Cologne, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Leipzig, Berlin, Braunschweig, Bad Homburg vd Höhe, Wolfsburg, Limburg ad Lahn and Dresden, as well as places in Kitzingen, Leverkusen , Würzburg and Wuppertal as well as the Heinrich-von-Kleist-Park in Berlin, the Kleistpark in Frankfurt (Oder) and the Kleist-Inseli in Thun.

Naming of buildings

Heinrich von Kleist Institutions

The Kleist Museum in Frankfurt (Oder) and the Kleist Archive Sembdner in Heilbronn are dedicated to the life and work of Heinrich von Kleist.

The Heinrich von Kleist Society awards the Kleist Prize annually and upholds his memory.


Radio play about the last 24 hours before the suicide

In 1966 Hans Rothe wrote his radio play Bei Stimming am Wannsee , which was produced by NDR under the direction of Hans Bernd Müller and first broadcast on December 17, 1966.

It spoke:

The following text about the content of the almost 57-minute radio play can be read on the corresponding page in the ARD radio play database: Hans Rothe's radio play "Bei Stimming am Wannsee" is about the last 24 hours before Heinrich von Kleist and Henriette Vogel's suicide . A noble lady and a noble gentleman rent rooms from the Stimmings at Wannsee. The host couple, Stimming, and the maid do not suggest the events, the strange amusements of the gentlemen, to death. One floor up, the precisely planned suicide, the longing for death becomes a precise process that exalted emotions want to disguise. Two different languages ​​are spoken on two different levels, people think, act and feel on two levels. After beautiful and witty words could not help, death brings a common vocabulary.


Musical and other adaptations


From the 19th century to the present day, Heinrich von Kleist inspired numerous composers to create their own. The subject of the musical discussion was both Kleist's works and his eventful life. In addition to stage music and symphonic poems, the musical adaptations also include several opera compositions. There are eight opera versions available for the play Das Käthchen von Heilbronn alone .

The musical adaptations of Kleist's works include:

  • Carl Martin Reinthaler : Das Käthchen von Heilbronn , romantic opera in four acts, world premiere in Frankfurt 1881 (re-performance at Theater Erfurt 2009)
  • Felix Draeseke (1835–1913) set Germania to music for her children as a cantata and composed a symphonic prelude to Penthesilea
  • Hugo Wolf (1860–1903) took Penthesilea as a template for his symphonic poem of the same name
  • Hans Pfitzner (1869-1949) wrote to Cathy of Heilbronn incidental music
  • Richard Wetz (1875-1935) could be the life of the poet to Kleist overture stimulate
  • Othmar Schoeck (1886–1957) set Penthesilea to music as an opera in one act
  • Viktor Ullmann (1898–1944) set Der zerbrochne Krug to music as an opera in one act
  • Hans Werner Henze (1926–2012) set Prince Friedrich von Homburg to music as an opera (first performance 1958) (see The Prince of Homburg )
  • Werner Egk (1901–1983) set Die Verlobung in San Domingo as an opera in two acts
  • Fritz Geißler (1921–1984) set Der zerbrochne Krug to music as a comic opera in seven scenes, 1968/69
  • Klaus Schulze (* 1947) dedicated a piece of the same name to the poet on his album "X"
  • The Chili earthquake served as a literary template for Awet Terterjan's (1929–1994) opera Das Beben , as well as Ján Cikker's (1911–1989) opera Das Verdikt .
  • On March 22nd, 2008 the premiere of the opera Kleist by Rainer Rubbert (composition) and Tanja Langer ( libretto ) took place in the theater of the city of Brandenburg an der Havel , which deals with the life, work and death of Heinrich von Kleist. The score, piano reduction and libretto were published by the Kleist Archive Sembdner , Heilbronn (Kleist und die Musik series, Volume 3, 1-3).
  • Michèle Jung: "Paradise is locked ...". Intro du livret de l'Opéra en un acte de René Koering. "Scènes de Chasse", d'après "Penthesilea". Créé à l'Opéra Berlioz in 2008.
  • Charlotte Since then : shadow and clarity. Verse für Heinrich von Kleist (2009/10) for soprano and string orchestra. Commissioned by the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn
  • Hauke ​​Berheide : Wall show . Opera about Penthesilea, commissioned by the Bavarian State Opera, Munich Opera Festival, 2016.

Movie and TV

Kleist's works have formed the basis of numerous international film adaptations for cinema and television since 1935. The dramas Der zerbrochne Krug (among others in the well-known feature film with Emil Jannings from 1937), Das Käthchen von Heilbronn (as a television film directed by Karl-Heinz Stroux 1968) and Prince Friedrich von Homburg (e.g. from Marco Bellocchio and Kirk Browning ) filmed. The most frequently filmed Kleist story is Michael Kohlhaas , of which there are versions by Volker Schlöndorff and Edward Bond (" Michael Kohlhaas - The Rebel ", 1969) and by Miloš Forman ("Ragtime", 1981).

Heinrich von Kleist also appears as a character in several cinema and television productions, for example in:

  • Like two happy airmen (1969), 85 minutes, screenplay and director: Jonatan Briel . The DFFB production recreates the last three days in Kleist's life and was shown as a German contribution to the Locarno Film Festival in 1970.
  • In 1977, the 130-minute film Heinrich was made under the direction of Helma Sanders-Brahms, starring Heinrich Giskes, Grischa Huber , Hannelore Hoger , Heinz Hönig and Lina Carstens . In flashbacks to the life of the poet Heinrich von Kleist and his girlfriend Henriette Vogel, the film looks for motifs for their suicide in the fall of 1811. The work was awarded the Federal Film Prize and Gold Film Ribbon for the script.
  • Kleist's drama Die Hermannsschlacht is linked to a 70-minute film project of the same name (authors and producers: Christian Deckert, Hartmut Kiesel, Christoph Köster, Stefan Mischer and Cornelius Völker ), which was made between 1993 and 1995. The comparatively elaborate student film shows, among other things, the playwright Kleist at work on his play of the same name. In fictional meetings on the Velmerstot and on the ancient battlefield, he meets the playwright Christian Dietrich Grabbe . Kleist becomes entangled in literary debates with his fellow poet, who approves schnapps (first performance: Düsseldorf, May 1995; DVD edition 2005).
  • The Kleist files (2011), 52 minutes, idea and producer Christian Beetz , directors: Simone Dobmeier, Hedwig Schmutte, Torsten Striegnitz is a documentary with game scenes and animations. In the roles of Heinrich von Kleist: Alexander Beyer , Henriette: Meret Becker , speaker: Nina Hoss . The Kleist files are opened in a crime drama by Ulrike Landfester - literary scholar, Claus Peymann - theater director, Christopher Clark - historian, Alexander Weigel - dramaturge. A production by the Beetz brothers film production
  • Amour Fou (2014), 96 minutes, screenplay and direction: Jessica Hausner , with Christian Friedel as Heinrich von Kleist and Birte Schnöink as Henriette Vogel

Kleist as a literary figure

Kleist's dazzling biography inspired numerous writers in the 20th and 21st centuries to make literary adaptations, including:

  • Albrecht Schaeffer : Rudolf Erzerum or the simplicity of life . Neuer Verl., Stockholm 1945. (Kleist is an actor in the novel. His name comes up late, but several times. Cf. Arno Pielenz: Der erdichte Dichter. Heilbronner Kleist-Blätter 23)
  • Karin Reschke: pursued happiness. Henriette Vogel's find book . Rotbuch, Berlin 1982, ISBN 3-88022-266-5 . (Paperback edition: Rotbuch, Hamburg 1996, ISBN 3-88022-397-1 ). (Depiction of suicide from Henriette Vogel's perspective)
  • Christa Wolf : No place. Nowhere . Berlin, Weimar 1979, ISBN 3-423-08321-2 (story about a possible but fictional encounter between Karoline von Günderrode and Heinrich von Kleist)
  • Robert Löhr : The Erlkönig maneuver . Piper, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-492-04929-0 (Fictional story: Goethe, Schiller, Arnim, Brentano, Humboldt and Kleist set out to free the Dauphin from France) ISBN 3-492-04929-X
  • Roman Bösch : Kleist's “Story of My Soul”. Verlag Josef Knecht, Freiburg 2007, ISBN 3-7820-0901-0 (historical novel. Kleist describes his life in a fictional autobiography in his own words)
  • Dagmar Leupold : The brightness of the night . CH Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-59071-9 (The author lets Heinrich von Kleist, traveling through Germany, enter into a letter contact with Ulrike Meinhof )
  • Robert Löhr : The Hamlet plot. Piper, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-492-05327-3 . (Goethe and Kleist wrestle for the fate of the German imperial crown in 1807)
  • Klauspeter Bungert : Kleist - a dream play (play - the life of Heinrich von Kleist as a foil for a labyrinthine drama about the search for a permanent location), 1975/94, Synopsis @ theaterverlag-cantus.de; Dramas. Volume 1, Barnstorf 2015, pp. 41–77, Verlagswerbung
  • Tanja Langer: See you again in eternity. The last night of Henriette Vogel and Heinrich von Kleist . dtv 2011, ISBN 978-3-423-13981-6
  • Gerd Hergen Lübben : Versions I“From the logbook of a soul seller”, “Thinka can dance • Kleist's emphases”, “Appropriations • Daimonion” and other texts. ebook publisher dreikorb 2014, ISBN 978-3-95577-773-9 . (The author traces the significant names of Katharina , Käthchen and Thinka as well as the tarantella-like moving use of reed instruments in the life and work of Heinrich von Kleist)
  • Stefan Haenni : Sharrels │ »On the 200th anniversary of the death of the poet Heinrich von Kleist«, detective novel, Gmeiner Verlag 2011, ISBN 978-3-8392-1193-9 (Kleist's stay on Lake Thun as a current variation of the "broken jug")


Date of origin and original editions


Title page of the first edition, 1810

Stories and anecdotes

Theoretical writings

Complete and work editions

  • Heinrich von Kleist: Stories. Provided with an introduction, an afterword and a list of typographical errors and edited by Thomas Nehrlich. Reprint of the Berlin 1810/11 edition. 2 volumes. Olms, Hildesheim 2011 (= Historia Scientiarum. ).
  • Heinrich von Kleist: Complete Works. Edited and introduced by Arnold Zweig . 4 volumes. Rösl & Cie, Munich 1923.
  • Heinrich von Kleist's collected writings . Edited by Ludwig Tieck. 3 volumes. G. Reimer, Berlin 1826.
  • Heinrich von Kleist's Complete Works. Complete edition in four volumes. With three portraits of the poet, a picture of his grave and a letter in facsimile. Edited by Prof. Dr. Karl Siegen. 4 volumes. Max Hesses Verlag, Leipzig around 1900.
  • All of Kleist's works. Edited by Arthur Eloesser. 5 volumes. Tempel-Verlag, Leipzig around 1920.
  • Heinrich von Kleist: Works and Letters. Edited by Siegfried Streller. 4 volumes. Structure, Berlin / Weimar 1978.
  • Heinrich von Kleist: Complete Works and Letters. Edited by Ilse-Marie Barth, Klaus Müller-Salget, Stefan Ormanns and Hinrich C. Seeba. 4 volumes. Deutscher Klassiker Verlag , Frankfurt am Main 1987–1997.
  • Heinrich von Kleist: Complete Works. Edited by Roland Reuss and Peter Staengle . Stroemfeld , Basel / Frankfurt am Main 1988–2010 (Berlin edition; from 1992: Brandenburg edition), edition plan
  • Heinrich von Kleist: Complete Works and Letters. Edited by Helmut Sembdner. 9th, increased and revised edition. Hanser, Munich 1993; also Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag, Munich 2001 (= German volume 2001), ISBN 3-423-12919-0 .
  • Heinrich von Kleist: Complete Works and Letters. Munich edition. Edited by Roland Reuss and Peter Staengle . 3 volumes. Hanser, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-446-23600-4 .



To individual works

  • Ludwig Börne : Dramaturgical sheets: Das Käthchen von Heilbronn (1818). In: All Writings. Volume I. Melzer, Düsseldorf 1964.
  • Gerhard Dünnhaupt : Kleist's Marquise von O. and its Literary Debt to Cervantes. In: Arcadia 10 (1975).
  • Günther Emig , Peter Staengle (Ed.): Amphitryon. “No mortal can grasp that”. Interdisciplinary colloquium on Kleist's “Comedy after Molière”. Kleist Archive Sembdner, Heilbronn 2004 ( Heilbronner Kleist Colloquia ; Volume 4), ISBN 3-931060-74-8 .
  • Bernhard Greiner : Kleist's Dramas and Stories: Experiments on the “Fall” of Art. - 2nd edition - Tübingen University Library, Tübingen 2010 [1. Ed. Francke, Tübingen 2000 (UTB; 2129: Germanistik)].
  • Walter Hinderer (ed.): Kleist's dramas. Reclam, Stuttgart 1997 ( Reclam's Universal Library. Literature Studies. Interpretations ; Volume 17502), ISBN 3-15-017502-X .
  • Peter Horn : Heinrich von Kleist's stories. An introduction. Language + literature + didactics. Librarian, 1978.
  • Peter Horn : Verbal violence or Kleist on the couch. On the problems of psychoanalysis of literary texts. Athena Verlag, Oberhausen 2009, ISBN 978-3-89896-346-6 .
  • Anette Horn / Peter Horn : “I am a mystery to you?” Heinrich von Kleist's dramas. Athena, Oberhausen 2013, ISBN 978-3-89896-532-3 .
  • Jochen Schmidt : Heinrich von Kleist. The dramas and stories in their epoch. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-534-15712-5 .
  • Helmut Sembdner : The Berlin evening papers Heinrich von Kleists, their sources and their editorial office . Reprint of the Berlin 1939 edition. Kleist Archive Sembdner, Heilbronn 2011. ( Heilbronner Kleist reprints ). ISBN 978-3-940494-41-2 .
  • Hans Steffen: The law of contradiction as Kleist's law of poetry. Demonstrated in his comedy "The Broken Jug" . In: European Comedy . Edited by Herbert Mainusch. Scientific Buchges., Darmstadt 1990. pp. 304-354.
  • Rolf Tiedemann : A dream of order. Marginalia on Heinrich von Kleist's novellas. In: Ders .: No man's land. Munich 2007, pp. 34–59.

Further individual aspects

  • Heinrich Banniza von Bazan : The ancestors of the poet Heinrich von Kleist. In: Familie, Sippe, Volk , 7, 1941, pp. 2-4
  • Günter Blöcker : Heinrich von Kleist or The Absolute Me. Argon, Berlin 1960
  • Eroticism and sexuality in the work of Heinrich von Kleist. International Colloquium of the Kleist Archive Sembdner , 22. – 24. April 1999 in the Kreissparkasse Heilbronn. Kleist Archive Sembdner, Heilbronn 2000 ( Heilbronner Kleist Colloquia ; Volume 2), ISBN 3-931060-48-9 .
  • Robert Floetemeyer: De-romanticized Romanticism - Kleist in front of Friedrich's “Monk by the Sea”. In: From Altdorfer to Serra - student festival publication for Lorenz Dittmann, ed. v. I. Besch. St. Ingbert 1993, pp. 97-115
  • Ulrich Fülleborn: The early dramas of Heinrich von Kleist. Fink, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-7705-4331-1 .
  • Dirk Grathoff: Kleist. History, politics, language. Essays on the life and work of Heinrich von Kleist . Heilbronn: Kleist-Archiv Sembdner 2008. (Heilbronner Kleist-Reprints), ISBN 978-3-940494-12-2 . (Reprint of the 2nd, improved edition Wiesbaden 2000)
  • Barbara Gribnitz, Wolfgang de Bruyn (Ed.): Here the heart is empty of worries. The Hirschberg Valley around 1800 . Special edition of the quarterly Silesia Nova for the exhibition About the heads of the giants - Kleist's Silesian journey of the Kleist Museum Frankfurt (Oder) and the City Museum Gerhart-Hauptmann-Haus Jelenia Gora. Neisse Verlag, Dresden 2008, ISBN 978-3-940310-45-3 .
  • Johannes Hilgart: Heinrich von Kleist am Rhein , Mitteldeutscher Verlag, Halle (Saale) 2013, ISBN 978-3-95462-025-8 (= stations 2).
  • Klaus Jeziorkowski (ed.): Kleist in jumps . With contributions by Annette Linhard, Kay Link , Sigurd Martin, Klaus Jeziorkowski, Mareike Blum and Ingo Wintermeyer. Iudikum Verlag, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-89129-626-6 .
  • Kevin Liggieri, Isabelle Maeth, Christoph Manfred Müller (eds.): "Beat him to death!" Heinrich von Kleist and the Germans. Documentation of the Bochum conference April 29, 2011. Kleist Archive Sembdner, Heilbronn 2013, ISBN 978-3-940494-62-7 .
  • Gerd Hergen Lübben , Kleist and the emphasis on the tarantella . In: 'rohrblatt - magazine for oboe, clarinet, bassoon and saxophone; 2000, issue 3 (Schorndorf)
  • Michael Mandelartz: Goethe, Kleist. Literature, politics and science around 1800 . Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag 2011, ISBN 978-3-503-12271-4 .
  • Martin Maurach: "Considerations about the world course". Kleist 1933-1945. Berlin: Theater der Zeit , 2008, ISBN 978-3-940737-12-0
    • ders .: "A German whom we only now recognize". Heinrich von Kleist at the time of National Socialism. Kleist Archive Sembdner, Heilbronn 2011, ISBN 978-3-940494-52-8
  • James M. McGlathery: Desire's Sway: The Plays and Stories of Heinrich Von Kleist. Wayne State University Press, Detroit 1983, ISBN 978-0-814-31734-1 .
  • Katharina Mommsen : Kleist's fight with Goethe. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1979.
  • Walter Müller-Seidel (Ed.): Heinrich von Kleist. Articles and essays . Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1967 (= 4th edition 1987) (= Paths of Research ; Volume 147), ISBN 3-534-03989-0 .
  • Thomas Nehrlich: "It has more meaning and interpretation than you think." On the function and meaning of typographical text features in Kleist's prose. Olms, Hildesheim: Olms 2012.
  • Joachim Pfeiffer: The broken pictures. Disrupted order in Heinrich von Kleist's work . Königshausen + Neumann, Würzburg 1989, ISBN 3-88479-436-1 .
  • Poetry album 296 . Märkischer Verlag, Wilhelmshorst 2011, ISBN 978-3-931329-96-9 .
  • Sigismund Rahmer : The Kleist problem due to new research on the characteristics and biography of Heinrich von Kleist. Reimer, Berlin 1903. Reprint: Kleist-Archiv Sembdner, Heilbronn 2009, ISBN 978-3-940494-26-9 .
  • Viola Rühse: 'this wonderful painting'. Aesthetic and art-political aspects in texts by Clemens Brentano, Achim von Arnim and Heinrich von Kleist on Caspar David Friedrich's landscape painting 'Mönch am Meer' In: Kleist-Jahrbuch 2013, pp. 238–255
  • Johann Karl von Schroeder: The birthday of Heinrich v. Kleist. In: Der Herold , NF 11, 1984/86, pp. 389-391.
  • Horst Schumacher: The Kleist grave at the Kleiner Wannsee. Kleist Archive Sembdner, Heilbronn 2010, ISBN 978-3-940494-34-4 .
  • Helmut Sembdner (ed.): Heinrich von Kleists traces of life. Documents and reports from contemporaries. 7th expanded new edition. Hanser, Munich 1996.
  • Stefan Zweig : The fight with the demon. Hölderlin - Kleist - Nietzsche (=  The Builders of the World . Volume 2 ). Insel Verlag, Leipzig 1925.
  • Robert Labhardt : Metaphor and History - Kleist's dramatic metaphor up to “ Penthesilea ” as a reflection of his historical position. Dissertation at the University of Basel , Scriptor, Kronberg im Taunus 1976, ISBN 3-589-20509-1 .
  • Albert Gessler: Heinrich von Kleist and Basel . In: Basler Jahrbuch 1908, pp. 246-283 .


  • Günther Emig , Arno Pielenz (Ed.): Kleist Bibliography . Part 1: Until 1990 . Kleist Archive Sembdner, Heilbronn 2007 (Heilbronner Kleist Bibliographies, Volume 2).
  • Günther Emig: Kleist Bibliography . Part 4: 2001-2015 . Kleist Archive Sembdner 2018, Heilbronn (Heilbronner Kleist Bibliographies, Volume 6).
  • Kleist in the mirror of the press . Edited by the Kleist Archive Sembdner , Heilbronn. Published: Volume 1 (1993–1995) to Volume 10 (2010/11). Continued on the Internet (www.kleist.org)

A current Kleist bibliography has appeared in:

Web links

Wikisource: Heinrich von Kleist  - Sources and full texts
Commons : Heinrich von Kleist  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual references and comments

  1. In a letter dated 10/11. In October 1800 Kleist wrote to Wilhelmine von Zenge: "Yes, my birthday is today, [...]".
  2. Wolfgang Beutin, Klaus Ehlert, Wolfgang Emmerich, Helmut Hoffacker, Bernd Lutz, Volker Meid, Ralf Schnell, Peter Stein and Inge Stephan: Deutsche Literaturgeschichte. From the beginning to the present. Fifth, revised. Edition. Stuttgart, Weimar: Metzler 1994, p. 188.
  3. His friend Ludwig von Brockes , who accompanied him, called himself Bernhoff
  4. 1848 renamed the Russischer Hof .
  5. The "gazing at the mentally ill" (also for a fee) at the Juliusspital was soon prohibited until Anton Müller, the director of the insane asylum there.
  6. ^ Konrad Rieger : From the Julius Hospital and the oldest psychiatric clinic. In: A hundred years Bavarian. A festival book published by the city of Würzburg. Würzburg 1914, pp. 303–334, here: p. 305.
  7. Magdalena Frühinsfeld: Anton Müller. First psychiatrist at the Juliusspital in Würzburg: life and work. Brief outline of the history of psychiatry up to Anton Müller. Medical dissertation Würzburg 1991, pp. 9–80 ( Brief outline of the history of psychiatry ) and 81–96 ( History of psychiatry in Würzburg to Anton Müller ), pp. 109 f. And 120.
  8. Thomas Vogel: Illness and Poetry. Heinrich von Kleist. In: In the footsteps of the poets in Würzburg . Ed .: Kurt Illing. Self-published (print: Max Schimmel Verlag), Würzburg 1992, pp. 25–36; here: pp. 26–32.
  9. a b c d Heinrich von Kleist. All works and letters . Edited by Ilse-Marie Barth, Klaus Müller-Salget, Stefan Ormanns and Hinrich C. Seeba. 4 volumes. Frankfurt am Main: Deutscher Klassiker Verlag 1987–1997.
  10. ^ Jochen Schmidt: Heinrich von Kleist. The dramas and stories in their epoch . Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 2003, p. 13. - "Sciences" are to be understood here in the sense of acquiring basic knowledge that was necessary for practicing a practical profession.
  11. ^ Letter to Wilhelmine dated August 15, 1801 @ kleistdaten.de, accessed on February 21, 2015
  12. ^ Heinrich von Kleist's Scherzliginsel ( note: Kleist's little house was demolished in 1940. ( Kleist on the Road ZDF documentary from 2011 ))
  13. ^ Wilhelm Beck: Heinrich von Kleist's application for French postal services in Westphalia , in: Archive for German Postal History (Ed. Society for German Postal History eV), Issue 1 (pp. 14-25), Frankfurt 1958, p. 15
  14. Reich-Ranicki, Marcel: My History of German Literature, Deutsche Verlagsgesellschaft, 2014, p. 138
  15. (December 19, 2012) ( Memento from June 30, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) @ archive-org.com /, accessed on February 21, 2015
  16. a b Ingeborg Harms : What will happen to Kleist's grave? Well, oh immortality, you are all mine , FAZ-online from July 24th, 2009
  17. Michael Bienert, How Kleist Berlin erlebte, Der Tagesspiegel of February 27, 2011, No. 20901, p. 7
  18. ^ Hans Joachim Kreutzer: Heinrich von Kleist . 1st edition. CH Beck, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-61240-4 .
  19. source?
  20. Cf. also Heinrich von Kleist: essay to find the safe way of happiness. In: Complete Works and Letters. Volume 2. Munich 1985.
  21. Herbert Kraft, p. 182
  22. Wolf Wingenfeld, p. 66
  23. Wingenfeld, p. 67
  24. Many logical inconsistencies of action guiding the Zerbrochnen pitcher that make a perpetrator of village judge Adam everywhere unlikely revealed Gerhard Stadelmaier in the detailed essay: Adams alibi or who was in Eve's chamber? In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, November 29, 2008.
  25. Kraft, p. 182. - Italics in the original.
  26. Siegfried Streller: Introduction . In: Heinrich von Kleist. Dramas 1. The Schroffenstein Family, Robert Guiskard, The Broken Jug, Amphitryon . Frankfurt am Main: Insel 1986 (Heinrich von Kleist. Works and letters in four volumes. Ed. By Siegfried Streller in collaboration with Peter Goldammer and Wolfgang Barthel, Anita Golz, Rudolf Loch). Pp. 5–96, here p. 5.
  27. Kraft, p. 207
  28. ^ Anett Lütteken: Heinrich von Kleist - A poet renaissance. Max Niemeyer, Tübingen 2004, p. 27.
  29. Ludwig Ferdinand Huber: Appearance of a new poet . In: Der Freimüthige, or Berlinische Zeithung for educated, impartial readers , March 4, 1803, No. 36, p. 141 f.Quoted from: Anett Lütteken: Heinrich von Kleist - Eine Dichterrenaissance. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer 2004, p. 40.
  30. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe to Adam Müller, August 28, 1807, in: Jakob Baxa (Ed.): Adam Müller's witnesses. 2 volumes. Munich; Paderborn; Vienna 1966. Vol. I, p. 345 f., No. 236. Quoted from: Anett Lütteken: Heinrich von Kleist - Eine Dichterrenaissance. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer 2004, p. 66.
  31. ^ Anett Lütteken: Heinrich von Kleist - A poet renaissance. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer 2004, p. 58.
  32. ^ Anett Lütteken: Heinrich von Kleist - A poet renaissance. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer 2004, pp. 74–77, here p. 75.
  33. ^ Anett Lütteken: Heinrich von Kleist - A poet renaissance. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer 2004, p. 151.
  34. Siegfried Streller: Introduction . In: Heinrich von Kleist. Dramas 1. The Schroffenstein Family, Robert Guiskard, The Broken Jug, Amphitryon . Frankfurt am Main: Insel 1986. pp. 5–96, here p. 7. - In more detail: Rolf Busch: Imperialist and Fascist Kleist Reception 1890–1945. An ideology-critical investigation. Frankfurt am Main 1974.
  35. ^ Anett Lütteken: Heinrich von Kleist - A poet renaissance. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer 2004, p. 84.
  36. More on this: Klaus Kanzog (Ed.): Text and Context. Sources and essays on the reception history of Heinrich von Kleist's works. Berlin [West] 1979.
  37. ^ A b Heinrich von Kleist's grave is being redesigned. In: Hamburger Abendblatt. November 23, 2009, p. 6.
  38. FAZ of October 8, 2010, p. 34
  39. morgenpost.de of November 21, 2011
  40. kleinezeitung.at of November 15, 2011
  41. Ingeborg Harms: Well, oh immortality, you are completely mine . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , July 24, 2009.
  42. Compare also the summarized presentation "Review: Kleist Year 2011" in: Fachdienst Germanistik. Language and literature in the criticism of German-language newspapers . Edition 02, 2012, pp. 1–7, here p. 1
  43. bibelundliteratur.strefa.pl
  44. 11/21/2011 - Worldwide reading in memory of Heinrich von Kleist - Worldwide Reading. In: www.worldwide-reading.com. Retrieved March 29, 2016 .
  45. ↑ In more detail: Klaus Kanzog, Hans Joachim Kreutzer (Hrsg.): Works by Kleist on modern music theater . Berlin 1977.
  46. More in detail: Klaus Kanzog (Ed.): Narrative Structures - Film Structures . Tales of Heinrich von Kleist and their filmic realization. Berlin [West]: Schmidt 1981. - Mary Rhiel: Re-viewing Kleist. The discursive construction of authorial subjectivity in West German Kleist films. New York: Lang 1991.
  47. Like two happy airmen. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed May 18, 2021 . 
  48. ^ The Kleist files. gebrueder-beetz.de
  49. Received the award: “International Humanities. Prize for the Promotion of the Translation of Humanities Literature, “2012. Coordination of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels