Heinrich von Kleist,
born October 18, 1777 in Frankfurt
. Commited suicide at the Wannsee November 21, 1811
German dramatic poet
He was one of the most
evocative and disturbing of the
German Romantic writers.
Kleist served (1792-99) in the
Prussian army. He studied (1799/1800) Philosophy, Physics, Math and political science.
He abandoned his studies and went to Paris and Switzerland, where he wrote his first book "Die Familie Schriffenstein" (The Schroffenstein family).
After that he took a journey to Paris and tried to volunteer for the french army. Expelled from France, he traveled to Dresden but he was imprisoned and arrested for 6 month as a spy by the french.
taken from britannica.com: "Poets
of the Realist, Expressionist, Nationalist, and Existentialist
movements in France and Germany all saw their prototype in Kleist"
famous comedies: "Der zerbrochene Krug" (1806, tr. The Broken Pitcher, 1961) and "Amphitryon" (1807), after
tragedies: "Käthchen von Heilbronn" (1810) is a tale of chivalry; his masterpiece is
"The Prince of Homburg", (1821, tr. 1956), a historical tragedy.
novellas: Best known of these
are Michael Kohlhaas (1810-11,
tr. 1967) and The Marquis of O
(1810-11, tr. 1978).
philosophical texts: Über die allmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden.
www.kleist.org (very good non-profit page.. only in german)