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About the Author: Heinrich von Kleist

The dramatist, writer, lyricist, and publicist Heinrich von Kleist was born in Frankfurt an der Oder in 1777. Upon his father's early death in 1788 when he was ten, he was sent to the house of the preacher S. Cartel and attended the French Gymnasium. In 1792, Kleist entered the guard regiment in Potsdam and took part in the Rhein campaign against France in 1796. Kleist voluntarily resigned from army service in 1799 and until 1800 studied philosophy, physics, mathematics, and political science at Viadrina University in Frankfurt an der Oder. He went to Berlin early in the year 1800 and penned his drama "Die Familie Ghonorez". Kleist, who tended to irrationalism and was often tormented by a longing for death, then lit out restlessly through Germany, France, and Switzerland.

After several physical and nervous breakdowns, in which he even burned the manuscript of one of his dramas, Heinrich von Kleist reentered the Prussian army in 1804, working in Berlin and Königsberg. There he wrote "Amphitryon" and "Penthesilea."

After being discharged in 1807, Kleist was apprehended on suspicion of being a spy. After this he went to Dresden, where he edited the art journal "Phoebus" with Adam Müller and completed the comedy "The Broken Pitcher" ("Der zerbrochene Krug") and the folk play "Katchen von Heilbronn" ("Das Käthchen von Heilbronn").

Back in Berlin, the one time Rousseau devotee had become a bitter opponent of Napoleon. In 1811, he finished "Prinz Friedrich von Homburg." Finding himself again in financial and personal difficulties, Heinrich von Kleist, together with his lover, the terminally ill Henriette Vogel, committed suicide near the Wannsee in Berlin in 1811.

[From http://www.heinrich-von-kleist.com/]


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, by Cornelsen Verlag GmbH & Co

ISBN10: 3464609529 | ISBN13: 9783464609521

Based on historical events, this thrilling saga of violence and retribution bridges the gap between Medieval and modern literature, and speaks so profoundly to the contemporary spirit that it has been the basis of numerous plays, movies, and novels.

It has become, in fact, a classic tale: that of the honorable man forced to take the law into his own hands. In this incendiary prototype, a minor tax dispute intensifies explosively, until the eponymous hero finds the forces of an entire kingdom, and even the great Martin Luther, gathered against him. But soon even Luther comes to echo the growing army of peasants asking, "Isn’t Kohlhaas right?"

Widely acknowledged as one of the masterworks of German literature, Michael Kohlhaas is also one of the most stirring tales ever written of the quest for justice.

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