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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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Goodreads rating: 3.50

Paperback, Published in Dec 2006 by Nordica Libros

ISBN10: 8493485446 | ISBN13: 9788493485443

Page count: 176

Tal vez sea Michael Kohlhaas la obra más representativa de su autor, pues es en ella donde se dan cita todos los fantasmas interiores que atormentaron su breve pero fecunda existencia. Kleist, que sintió el mundo como una inmensa fábrica de miseria y tribulación, prefigura con esta narración el mundo simbólico y onírico de Kafka puesto que ambos autores parten del mismo aprisionamiento vital y de una intrínseca imposibilidad para superarlo.
Heinrich von Kleist, escarba en esta nouvelle el tejido de la existencia humana, construyendo una inquietante parábola sobre la imposibilidad de alcanzar el deseo de justicia. En el repetido y frustrado intento de M. Kohlhaas por recuperar unos caballos usurpados de forma despótica y cruel por una autoridad local y reclamar justicia, Kleist nos sitúa en la orilla oscura de un naufragio que fue también el suyo. No hay aquí, pues, una esperanza de liberación o recuperación de una identidad perdida propia del romanticismo en el que se sitúa cronológicamente, sino una enorme interiorización de la realidad precursora del expresionismo, puesto que Kleist entiende el arte de una forma hasta entonces inaudita y que aún hoy nos estremece.

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