Heinrich von Kleist: Writing after Kant

Heinrich von Kleist: Writing after Kant

by Tim Mehigan


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The question of Heinrich von Kleist's reading and reception of Kant's philosophy has never been satisfactorily answered. The present study aims to reassess this question, particularly in the light of Kant's rising importance for the humanities today. It argues not only that Kleist was influenced by Kant, but also that he may be understood as a Kantian, albeit an unorthodox one. The volume integrates material previously published by the author, now updated, with new chapters to form a greater whole. What results is a coherent set of approaches that illuminates the question of Kleist's Kantianism from different points of view. Kleist is thereby understood not only as a writer but also as a thinker - one whose seriousness of purpose and clarity of design compares with that of other early expositors of Kant's thought such as Reinhold and Fichte. Through the locutions and idioms of fiction and the essay, Kleist becomes visible for the first time as an original contributor to the tradition of post-Kantian ideas. Tim Mehigan is Professorial Chair of German in the Department of Languages and Cultures at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and Honorary Professor in the School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781571135186
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
Publication date: 12/01/2011
Series: Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture Series , #109
Pages: 244
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Tim Mehigan is professor of German and head of the Department of German and Russian at the University of Melbourne.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Kleist and the Problem of Self-Consciousness
Kleist's "Kant Crisis" and Its Consequences
"Betwixt a false reason and none at all": Kleist and Skepticism
On the Excluded Middle in Penthesilea
Heinrich von Kleist's Concept of Law, with Special Reference to "Michael Kohlhaas"
"Über das Marionettentheater"
The Narrative Paradigm: Text as Contract
"Die Marquise von O. . .": The Marriage Contract
"Michael Kohlhaas": Death and the Contract
"Der Donnerkeil des Mirabeau": Kleist's Essay "Über dieallmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden"
Kleist's Fiction from a Game-Theoretical Perspective: "Die Verlobung in St. Domingo" as an Example
The Process of Inferential Contexts: Franz Kafka Reading Heinrich von Kleist
Works Cited

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