Heinrich von Kleist, born October 18, 1777 in Frankfurt/Oder. 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 Molière.
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.

Sources: www.kleist.org (very good non-profit page.. only in german)
www.gutenberg.aol.de www.columbia.edu www.britannica.com