The Scepticism of Heinrich von Kleist

Tim Mehigan

in The Oxford Handbook of European Romanticism

Published in print January 2016 | ISBN: 9780199696383
Published online May 2016 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

The Scepticism of Heinrich von Kleist

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  • Literary Studies (19th Century)


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This chapter presents a philosophical reading of the writer Heinrich von Kleist (1788–1811) and his oeuvre. Kleist’s connections with the movement of Romanticism only become properly evident when measured against the weight of philosophical problems Kleist felt to be pressing even before his career as a writer began. The most considerable of these was the problem of philosophical scepticism, a by-product of his early encounter with the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. The picture of Kleist presented here is one of an earnest mind in search of an answer to a problem that emerged in the philosophical discussion after Kant and, in one sense at least, has never left us.

Keywords: Scepticism; Kant; Kleist; vision; crisis; representation; epistemologytheatre; Germany

Article.  8999 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (19th Century)

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