Marquise of O-and Other Stories

ISBN-10: 0140443592

ISBN-13: 9780140443592

Edition: 2004

Authors: Heinrich Von Kleist, David Luke, Nigel Reeves, Heinrich von Kleist, Nigel Reeves

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"A young Marquise, caught in mortal danger in the midst of a furious battle, falls into a deep swoon. She comes round moments later, however, safe within her castle and apparently unharmed, and is able to resume her life in gratitude and complacency. So when, weeks later, she is alarmed by strange periods of faintness and indisposition, the solution that suggests itself seems entirely irrational. How could the widowed young Marquise be pregnant? And what will her parents say?" "Imbued with subtle comic moments and lashed by the passionate outbursts of anger and love experienced by characters caught in a bizarre and unpredictable chain of events, The Marquise of O- is a truly Kleistian twist on the long tradition of sexual drama. Its companion pieces, The Earthquake in Chile and The Foundling, are darker and more uncompromising in flavour, demonstrating, in their flashes of horror and injustice, the full range of Kleist's art."--BOOK JACKET.
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Book details

List price: $17.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 9/28/1978
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.660

The plays and stories of Heinrich von Kleist seem particularly modern, in that they show a world in which the individual can no longer rely on the institutions of society, the discoveries of science, or the revelations of religion. Instead, his characters can trust only in their intuition of some higher, though unknowable, providential purpose. At a time when the writers of German classicism counseled moderation and restraint, Kleist excelled in depicting elemental passions. He differed, however, from the writers of both Storm and Stress and romanticism in the austere character of his language and the almost clinical detachment of his narrative prose. Kleist was born into a distinguished though impoverished Prussian family. In 1799, he broke with family tradition by refusing to pursue a military career. For a while he wished to study natural science, but, in 1801, a reading of Kant precipitated a crisis by convincing him that knowledge was impossible. The rest of his tempestuous life was marked by generally unsuccessful attempts to establish himself in various vocations, including journalism and politics. He achieved some moderate success with his play Katchen von Heilbronn in 1810, but most of his work remained unappreciated. Prince Friedrich von Homburg, now his most celebrated play, was not to be discovered and published until 1821, a decade after the author's death by suicide. The suicide of Kleist brought him the attention that had been denied him in life. He was, almost immediately afterward, recognized as a significant writer, and his reputation has grown steadily ever since. David Luke and Nigel Reeves have written, "It is precisely Kleist's vulnerability and disequilibrium, his desperate challenge to established values and beliefs, that carry him further than Goethe and Schiller across the gap between the eighteenth century and our own age." Despite the great attention now given to the work of Kleist in Germany, he remains largely unknown to the American public. In Japan and Korea, however, in part because of cultural affinities, he is extremely popular.

The Marquise of O-
The Earthquake in Chile
The Foundling
Biographical note
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