The Kleist Prize is a German literary prize.
The prize was first awarded in 1912 on the 101st anniversary of Heinrich von Kleist's death at the suggestion of Fritz Engel (1867–1935), editor of the Berliner Tageblatt , by the Kleist Foundation . Purpose of the foundation:
- "To grant gifts of honor to aspiring and less well-off German-language poets, men and women."
59 well-known personalities from the German-speaking area, including Otto Brahm , Richard Dehmel , Fritz Engel , Maximilian Harden , Hugo von Hofmannsthal , Fritz Mauthner , Walter Rathenau , Max Reinhardt , Arthur Schnitzler , Hermann Sudermann , Theodor Wolff , signed the founding appeal .
Encouraged by Richard Dehmel, the foundation's multi-member art council, which is authorized by the statutes, decided not by a majority of votes, "rather, the final decision for one year should be made exclusively by a single shop steward." Kleistpreis is intended to support new and unusual talents. Majorities opt for the average talent that suits everyone. "Only a single person can ruthlessly advocate the extraordinary."
The Kleist Prize was the most important literary award of the Weimar Republic. The Kleist Foundation was dissolved in 1933/1934 under unsettled circumstances.
|year||Award winners||Award-winning work (s)||Confidant|
|1912||Hermann Burte||Wiltfeber||Richard Dehmel|
|Reinhard Sorge||The beggar, a dramatic show|
|1913||Hermann vinegar||The hero of the forest||Jakob Schaffner|
|1914||Hermann vinegar||The emperor's soldiers||Arthur Eloesser|
|Fritz von Unruh||Louis Ferdinand Prince of Prussia|
|1915||Robert Michel||The houses on the Džamija||Paul Wiegler|
|Arnold Zweig||Ritual murder in Hungary|
|1916||Heinrich Lersch||The great forge||Karl Strecker|
|1917||Walter Hasenclever||Antigone||Bernhard Kellermann|
|1918||Leonhard Frank||Man is good||Heinrich Mann|
|Paul Zech||To Heinrich von Kleist|
|1919||Dietzenschmidt||Christopher (drama) & King Death (short story book)||Franz Servaes|
|Kurt Heynicke||The nameless face. Rhythms from time and eternity|
|1920||Hans Henny Jahnn||Pastor Ephraim Magnus||Oskar Loerke|
|1921||Paul Gurk||Thomas Münzer||Julius Bab|
|1922||Bertolt Brecht||Drums in the night , Baal & In the thicket||Herbert Ihering|
|1923||Wilhelm Lehmann||Wine god||Alfred Doblin|
|Robert Musil||The enthusiasts|
|1924||Ernst Barlach||The flood||Fritz Stroke|
|1925||Carl Zuckmayer||The happy vineyard||Paul Fechter|
|1926||Alexander Lernet-Holenia||Austrian Comedy , Ollapotrida & Demetrius||Bernhard Diebold|
|Alfred Neumann||The devil|
|1927||Gerhard Menzel||Toboggan||Monty Jacobs|
|1928||Anna Seghers||Uprising of the fishermen of St. Barbara & Grubetsch||Hans Henny Jahnn|
|1929||Alfred chest||The lost earth||Wilhelm von Scholz|
|Eduard Reinacher||The anger of the peasants|
|1930||Reinhard Goering||Captain Scott's South Pole Expedition||Ernst Heilborn|
|1931||Ödön from Horváth||All of the dramatic poems||Carl Zuckmayer|
|Erik Reger||Union of firm hands|
|1932||Richard Billinger||Rauhnacht||Erich Bricks|
|Else Lasker-Schüler||Poetic life's work|
- Helmut Sembdner (Ed.): The Kleist Prize 1912–1932: A Documentation. Erich Schmidt, Berlin 1968. (Reprint with corrections and additions based on Helmut Sembdner's personal copy: Kleist Archive Sembdner, Heilbronn 2015. (Heilbronner Kleist reprints))
- Hans Joachim Kreutzer : The Kleist Prize 1912–1932 - 1985. Speech on its re-establishment. In: Kleist yearbook. 1986, pp. 11-18.
The renewed Kleist Prize
In 1985, at the annual meeting of the Heinrich von Kleist Society , which was newly founded in 1960, it was decided to award the prize again. In the renewed foundation, too, an annually appointed person of trust decides to whom the award will be awarded. Between 1994 and 2000, the prize was only awarded every other year, and has been annually since then. The prize money of 20,000 euros (as of 2019) is donated by the Deutsche Bank Cultural Foundation and the Georg von Holtzbrinck publishing group .
In the understanding of the Kleist Foundation, the prize is a "gift of honor". According to the statutes of the Kleist Foundation, from 1912 onwards it should go to "aspiring and poorly well-funded German-language poets". The renewed Kleist Prize has recently been criticized for being predominantly, if not exclusively, awarded to authors who have already emerged with success. Certainly most of them deserved an award, but not the Kleist Prize.
- Explanation of the various Kleist prizes on the website of the Kleist Archive Sembdner, Heilbronn , plus photos from the award ceremony since 2000
- For the history of the Kleist Prize on the website of the Heinrich von Kleist Society
- kleist.org ( Memento of the original from May 4, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Navid Kermani receives Kleist Prize 2012. In: Saarbrücker Zeitung. (Culture), August 21, 2012, p. B4.
- Award: Katja Lange-Müller receives Kleist Prize. In: Kölnische Rundschau. Culture, May 17, 2013, accessed May 17, 2013.
- Buchmarkt.de of May 12, 2014: Hortensia Völckers awards the Kleist Prize to Marcel Beyer , accessed on May 12, 2014.
- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, May 2, 2015, p. 13.
- orf.at: Kleist Prize goes to Christoph Ransmayr . Article dated February 14, 2018, accessed February 14, 2018.
- Kleist Prize for Swiss writer Ilma Rakusa
- Kleist Prize 2020 goes to Clemens J. Setz
- on the age structure see http://www.kleist.org/images/kleistpreis/kleist_preis_alter_der_preistraeger.pdf