Heinrich von Kleist
Resulting from a family of soldiers, it makes its studies with Frankfurt-on-the Oder before entering the army until in 1792, within which it takes part in the Siège of Mainz (1793) and in the Blocus of Mainz. He travels in various countries of Europe. He writes news and plays which he never saw represented of alive sound. He also launches several literary reviews, which remain transitory. Suspected of espionage, he is imprisoned by the French in 1807 during a few months with the Fort of Joux. After the failure of its last part ( the prince de Hombourg' ), it commits suicide in the Île with the Peacocks ( Pfaueninsel in German) on the lake of Wannsee, close to Potsdam with his partner Henriette Vogel, reached of a cancer: it draws a ball to him from gun then commits suicide (in 1811).
One can read on his tomb worms drawn from the Prince de Hombourg : " Nun, O Unsterblichkeit, bist of the ganz mein " (Now, O immortality, you are very with me!)
Its life, its work
It is one of rare romantic which fully put their thought in action. The research of the absolute was its only search in its public life, arts person and deprived. The suicide with two, thoroughly prepared whereas it is only 34 years old, will be ultimate testimony - its Penthésilée, where the giddiness of the love is associated with that of death, seeming from now on a premonitory sign.
He wrote little, but is not less largest of the second generation - even if its works were accommodated initially with incomprehension. Its chaotic, made life passion and of disappointment overcome at once (" Early or late, will be needed that I set out again, such is my destin"), of an extreme density, is tragic like the majority of its texts. Line of Shakespeare, it can with wonder insert in traditional groundworks cruelty and the disproportionate one, the duel eternal of reality and subjectivity, the impossible attempt at going beyond - except in the Prince de Hombourg (immortalized by Gerard Philippe with the Festival of Avignon since 1951.)
At his place, the dream is never a refuge: well rather a leaven of reconciliation with reality. The being must reach itself without the help of the reason, which leads to a dead end, nor of the will, often sterile, but through the grace of the abolition of Ego, which only delivers these lives " locked intérieur" , if fatal with the human being. The man can choose only between also incurable evils.
" He is much larger and more perfect than Schiller. One can arrange it only beside Goethe, which perhaps could inspire it, but to which it is never subordinate. Only Shakespeare has it enfanté" (J. Grimm).
Its Correspondance supplements 1793 - 1811
The newspaper which Kleist held and which it called Histoire of my heart having undoubtedly disappeared forever, it is in its Correspondance that it is necessary to go to seek what this man who said " inexprimable" could try to deliver itself directly. Kleist, in which each one recognizes today, the " true tragic poet of Allemagne" , remained completely misunderstood of its contemporaries. Rejected by Goethe with the fatal brutality which one knows whereas Kleist subjected to him its Penthésilée in the terms of a humility become famous (" I put my heart at knees in front of you " - letter of the 24-1-1808), it was never accepted by the Romantiques themselves but with reserve, embarrassment or embarrassment. It will be necessary to await Nietzsche so that the " singularité" cumbersome of Kleist is recognized for what it is: sublime the " impossibility of vivre" a private existence of absolute. And Nietzsche also quotes the letter, become famous it, where Kleist says how the reading of Kant reduced it to despair, withdrawing to him any goal, an existence condemned to relative becoming the " incurable" even.
- the broken Jug , 1803,
- the Family Schroffenstein , 1801,
- Robert Guiscard , 1803 (handwritten burned by the author, of which there remains only the first act) ,
- the Marchioness of O… , 1805 (adapted to the cinema by Eric Rohmer in 1976), translated by Armel Guerne, Phébus, 1976
- Michael Kohlhaas , translated by Armel Guerne, Phébus, 1983
- Penthésilée , 1805 - 1807,
- the Small Catherine de Heilbronn , 1808,
- the Battle of Arminius , 1808,
- the Prince de Hombourg , 1811 (adapted to the cinema by Marco Bellocchio in 1997.
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