Winner of 2006 International Association of Theatre Critics Thalia Prize
Winner of 2006 Village Voice OBIE Awards Lifetime Achievement Award
In this collection, Eric Bentley presents Concord, a comedy adapted from Kleist's The Broken Jug;The Fall of the Amazons, a tragedy written in response to Kleist's Penthesilea; and Wannsee, a tragic-comedy which is Bentley's rendering of Kleist's Cathy of Heilbronn.
Bentley sets Concord in a courthouse during the early days of the Republic. Convened to discover who broke an irreplaceable jug symbolic of the chivalric age of Sir Walter Raleigh, Judge Adam's madcap court flounders in hilarious chaos induced by huge lies to cover comic lust.
Fall of the Amazons is the story of Achilles and the Amazon queen, Penthesilea. Through this pagan play, Bentley explores improbably love, which he exemplifies in the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac: "In seeming to be cruel to both father and son, God has enabled them to find, in total vulnerability, total love," a theme that also pervades Wannsee.
Bentley's Wannsee is a play of pageantry: emperors, counts, dueling knights, a young beauty of seemingly low birth, cherubs, and witches masked in loveliness. A fabulous love story ostensibly designed to dissuade Kleist from self-destruction, Wannsee demonstrates with a flourish that, though devils roam the earth, there are also angels.
In The Making of a Terrorist, Jeffrey Champlin examines key figures from three canonical texts from the German-language literature of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: Goethe’s Gotz von Berlichingen, Schiller’s Die Rauber, and Kleist’s Michael Kohlhaas. Champlin situates these readings within a larger theoretical and historical context, exploring the mechanics, aesthetics, and poetics of terror while explicating the emergence of the terrorist personality in modernity. In engaging and accessible prose, Champlin explores the ethical dimensions of violence and interrogates an ethics of textual violence.
Literary recognition is a technical term for a climactic plot device. Odysseys of Recognition claims that interpersonal recognition is constituted by performance, and brings performance theory into dialogue with poetics, politics, and philosophy. By observing Odysseus figures from Homer to Kleist, Ellwood Wiggins offers an alternative to conventional intellectual histories that situate the invention of the interior self in modernity. Through strategic readings of Aristotle, this elegantly written, innovative study recovers an understanding of interpersonal recognition that has become strange and counterintuitive. Penelope in Homer’s Odyssey offers a model for agency in ethical knowledge that has a lot to teach us today. Early modern and eighteenth-century characters, meanwhile, discover themselves not deep within an impenetrable self, but in the interpersonal space between people in the world. Recognition, Wiggins contends, is the moment in which epistemology and ethics coincide: in which what we know becomes manifest in what we do.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Sex Changes with Kleist
Katrin Pahl Northwestern University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PT2379.Z5P34 2019 | Dewey Decimal 838.609
Sex Changes with Kleist analyzes how the dramatist and poet Heinrich von Kleist (1777–1811) responded to the change in the conception of sex and gender that occurred in the eighteenth century. Specifically, Katrin Pahl shows that Kleist resisted the shift from a one-sex to the two-sex and complementary gender system that is still prevalent today. With creative close readings engaging all eight of his plays, Pahl probes Kleist’s appreciation for incoherence, his experimentation with alternative symbolic orders, his provocative understanding of emotion, and his camp humor. Pahl demonstrates that rather than preparing modern homosexuality, Kleist puts an end to modern gender norms even before they take hold and refuses the oppositional organization of sexual desire into homosexual and heterosexual that sprouts from these norms.
Focusing on the theatricality of Kleist’s interventions in the performance of gender, sexuality, and emotion and examining how his dramatic texts unhinge major tenets of classical European theater, Sex Changes with Kleist is vital reading for anyone interested in queer studies, feminist studies, phttp://tme.firebrandtech.com/NUPress/Images/Look/icons/view.pngerformance studies, literary studies, or emotion studies. This book changes our understanding of Kleist and breathes new life into queer thought.