Heinrich Von Kleist, Michael Hofmann
‘I finished it in one sitting. Probably for the tenth time… it carries me along waves of wonder’ Franz Kafka
MICHAEL KOHLHAAS HAS BEEN WRONGED. HE WILL HAVE JUSTICE.
Based on the real life of an ordinary horse-dealer cheated by a government official, Michael Kohlhaas is the darkly comical and magnificently weird story of one man’s alienation from a corrupt legal system. When his attempts to claim his rights are thwarted by bureaucracy and nepotism, Kohlhaas vows to take justice into his own – increasingly bloody – hands. Will he be remembered as a dangerous enemy of the peace, or a vigilante hero?
Praised by Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, Susan Sontag, Roberto Bolano, Werner Herzog, and J. M. Coetzee, this is one of the most influential tales in German literature. In this vital new translation by the renowned poet Michael Hofmann, Kleist’s bizarre, brutal and maddening story is urgent today.
This sparkling new translation from Michael Hofmann makes for a fine entry point into Kleist's passionate, grotesque, hysterical, and deeply strange body of work * The New Yorker * Michael Kohlhaas: a story about bravery and its twin, stupidity -- Roberto Bolano The morbid, the hysterical, the sense of the unhealthy, the enormous indulgence in suffering out of which Kleist's plays and tales were mined-is just what we value today. Today Kleist gives pleasure, most of Goethe is a classroom bore -- Susan Sontag Sometimes you find a brother, and you instantly know that you are no longer alone. I experienced this with Kleist -- Werner Herzog His sentences are remarkable - great hatchet-blows of thought, an implacable narrative speed, a pulverizing sense of inevitability. No wonder Kafka liked him so much -- Paul Auster
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