Kleist Quotes

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But paradise is locked and bolted.... We must make a journey around the world to see if a back door has perhaps been left open.
Heinrich von Kleist (On a Theatre of Marionettes)
the kiss and the bite are such close cousins that in the heat of love they are too readily confounded
Heinrich von Kleist
Misconceptions are unavoidable now that we've eaten of the Tree of Knowledge. But Paradise is locked and bolted, and the cherubim stands behind us. We have to go on and make the journey round the world to see if it is perhaps open somewhere at the back.
Heinrich von Kleist
Does that mean", I said in some bewilderment, "that we must eat again of the tree of knowledge in order to return to the state of innocence?" "Of course", he said, "but that's the final chapter in the history of the world.
Heinrich von Kleist (On a Theatre of Marionettes)
We see that in the organic world, to the same degree that reflection gets darker and weaker, grace grows ever more radiant and dominant. But just as two lines intersect on one side of a point, and after passing through infinity, suddenly come together again on the other side; or the image in a concave mirror suddenly reappears before us after drawing away into the infinite distance, so too, does grace return once perception, as it were, has traversed the infinite--such that it simultaneously appears the purest in human bodily structures that are either devoid of consciousness or which possess an infinite consciousness, such as in the jointed manikin or the god.
Heinrich von Kleist (Selected Prose)
Eventually sinking into despair, [Heinrich von Kleist] shot himself in 1811 as part of a suicide pact made with a woman suffering from incurable cancer.
Nicholas Tucker (Darkness Visible: Inside the World of Philip Pullman)
The resolve rising in her soul to die with me drew me I cannot tell you how powerfully, irresistibly to her bosom. Do you remember that I often asked you would you die with me? — But you always said no — A whirlpool of never before experienced happiness has seized hold of me and I cannot deny that her grave is dearer to me than the beds of all the empresses in the world. — Oh, my dear friend, may God soon call you to that better world where we shall all with the love of the angels embrace one another again. — Adieu.
Heinrich von Kleist (Kleist: Selected Writings)
Frauen stünde gelehrt sein nicht? Die Wahrheit zu sagen, nützlich ist es: Es steht Männern so wenig wie Fraun.
Heinrich von Kleist
Torheit, du regierst die Welt, und dein Sitz ist ein schöner weiblicher Mund!
Heinrich von Kleist (Michael Kohlhaas)
The philosopher Heinrich von Kleist calls this “the gradual completion of thoughts while speaking.” Von Kleist quotes the French proverb that “appetite comes from eating” and observes that it is equally the case that “ideas come from speaking.” The best thoughts, in his view, can be almost unintelligible as they emerge; what matters most is risky, thrilling conversation as a crucible for discovery.
Sherry Turkle (Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age)
In Santiago, the capital of the kingdom of Chile, at the moment of the great earthquake of 1647 in which many thousands lost their lives, a young Spaniard called Jeronimo Rugera was standing beside one of the pillars in the prison to which he had been committed on a criminal charge, and he was about to hang himself.
Heinrich von Kleist (Kleist: Selected Writings)
Ben bu toplumun dışına atılmış olmasaydım, insan topluluğuna açtığım bu savaş, kötü bir davranış sayılabilirdi.
Heinrich von Kleist (Michael Kohlhaas)
Yasanın korumadığı kimseyi ben, devlet topluluğunun dışına atılmış sayarım.
Heinrich von Kleist (Michael Kohlhaas)
Adalet duygusu, Kohlhaas'ı bir haydut, bir katil yaptı.
Heinrich von Kleist (Michael Kohlhaas)
Wie Manche, die am Hals des Freundes hängt, Sagt wohl das Wort: sie lieb' ihn, o so sehr, Daß sie vor Liebe gleich ihn essen könnte; Und hinterher, das Wort beprüft, die Närrinn!
Heinrich von Kleist (Penthesilea: A Tragic Drama)
Alles, woran man glaubt, beginnt zu existieren.
Ilse Aichinger (Kleist, Moos, Fasane)
In M---, an important town in northern Italy, the widowed Marquise of O---, a lady of unblemished reputation and the mother of several well-brought-up children, inserted the following announcement in the newspapers: that she had, without knowledge of the cause, come to find herself in a certain situation; that she would like the father of the child she was expecting to disclose his identity to her; that she was resolved, out of consideration to her family, to marry him.
Heinrich von Kleist (The Marquise of O— and Other Stories)
The so-called intellectual consumes himself in what he considers pathbreaking work and in the end has only succeeded in making himself ridiculous, whether he’s called Schopenhauer or Nietzsche, it doesn’t matter, even if he was Kleist or Voltaire we still see a pitiful being who has misused his head and finally driven himself into nonsense. Who’s been rolled over and passed over by history. We’ve locked up the great thinkers in our bookcases, from which they keep staring at us, sentenced to eternal ridicule, he said, I
Thomas Bernhard (The Loser)
Nabokov, Heinrich von Kleist, Raymond Carver, Jane Bowles, James Baldwin, Alice Munro, Mavis Gallant—the list goes on and on. They are the teachers to whom I go, the authorities I consult, the models that still help to inspire me with the energy and courage it takes to sit down at a desk each day and resume the process of learning, anew, to write.
Francine Prose (Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them)
So the paradise is locked and bolted... We should make a journey around the world to see if perhaps a back door has been left open.
Henrich Von Kleist
As the new Adam, it might be said, his final act was to cast the Apple of Knowledge into the deep blue sea.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Galápagos)
U zemlji u kojoj moja prava neće biti zaštićena ne mogu ostati.
Heinrich von Kleist (Michael Kohlhaas)
Es gehört mehr Genie dazu, ein mittelmäßiges Kunstwerk zu würdigen, als ein vortreffliches. Schönheit und Wahrheit leuchten der menschlichen Natur in der allerersten Instanz ein; und so wie die erhabensten Sätze am Leichtesten zu verstehen sind (nur das Minutiöse ist schwer zu begreifen): so gefällt das Schöne leicht; nur das Mangelhafte und Manierirte genießt sich mit Mühe. (…) Wer also Schiller und Göthe lobt, der giebt mir dadurch noch gar nicht, wie er glaubt, den Beweis eines vorzüglichen und außerordentlichen Schönheitssinnes; wer aber mit Gellert und Kronegck hie und da zufrieden ist, der läßt mich, wenn er nur sonst in einer Rede Recht hat, vermuthen, daß er Verstand und Empfindungen, und zwar beide in einem seltenen Grade besitzt.
Heinrich von Kleist
Let's press ahead a little further by sketching out a few variations among short shorts: ONE THRUST OF INCIDENT. (Examples: Paz, Mishima, Shalamov, Babel, W. C. Williams.) In these short shorts the time span is extremely brief, a few hours, maybe even a few minutes: Life is grasped in symbolic compression. One might say that these short shorts constitute epiphanies (climactic moments of high grace or realization) that have been tom out of their contexts. You have to supply the contexts yourself, since if the contexts were there, they'd no longer be short shorts. LIFE ROLLED UP. (Examples: Tolstoy's 'Alyosha the Pot,' Verga's 'The Wolf,' D. H. Lawrence's 'A Sick Collier.') In these you get the illusion of sustained narrative, since they deal with lives over an extended period of time; but actually these lives are so compressed into typicality and paradigm, the result seems very much like a single incident. Verga's 'Wolf' cannot but repeat her passions, Tolstoy's Alyosha his passivity. Themes of obsession work especially well in this kind of short short. SNAP-SHOT OR SINGLE FRAME. (Examples: Garda Marquez, Boll, Katherine Anne Porter.) In these we have no depicted event or incident, only an interior monologue or flow of memory. A voice speaks, as it were, into the air. A mind is revealed in cross-section - and the cut is rapid. One would guess that this is the hardest kind of short short to write: There are many pitfalls such as tiresome repetition, being locked into a single voice, etc. LIKE A FABLE. (Examples: Kafka, Keller, von Kleist, Tolstoy's 'Three Hermits.') Through its very concision, this kind of short short moves past realism. We are prodded into the fabulous, the strange, the spooky. To write this kind of fable-like short short, the writer needs a supreme self-confidence: The net of illusion can be cast only once. When we read such fable-like miniatures, we are prompted to speculate about significance, teased into shadowy parallels or semi allegories. There are also, however, some fables so beautifully complete (for instance Kafka's 'First Sorrow') that we find ourselves entirely content with the portrayed surface and may even take a certain pleasure in refusing interpretation. ("Introduction")
Irving Howe (Short Shorts)
Because dearest Lisbeth, I will not abide in a country in which my rights are not protected. If I am to be trampled underfoot, I would rather be a dog than a man. I am certain that, on this point, my wife thinks with me.
Heinrich von Kleist (Michael Kohlhaas)
В М., един от големите градове на Горна Италия, овдовялата маркиза фон О., жена с отлична репутация и майка на няколко прекрасно възпитани деца, даде обявление във вестниците, че тя, без сама да подозира, се оказала в положение и моли бащата на очакваното от нея дете да се обади, тъй като по семейни съображения била готова да се омъжи за него.
Heinrich von Kleist
In M…, einer bedeutenden Stadt im oberen Italien, ließ die verwitwete Marquise von O…, eine Dame von vortrefflichem Ruf, und Mutter von mehreren wohlerzogenen Kindern, durch die Zeitungen bekannt machen: daß sie, ohne ihr Wissen, in andre Umstände gekommen sei, daß der Vater zu dem Kinde, das sie gebären würde, sich melden solle; und daß sie, aus Familienrücksichten, entschlossen wäre, ihn zu heiraten.
Heinrich von Kleist (The Marquise of O—)
Our great philosophers, our greatest poets, shrivel down to a single successful sentence, he said, I thought, that’s the truth, often we remember only a so-called philosophical hue, he said, I thought. We study a monumental work, for example Kant’s work, and in time it shrivels down to Kant’s little East Prussian head and to a thoroughly amorphous world of night and fog, which winds up in the same state of helplessness as all the others, he said, I thought. He wanted it to be a monumental world and only a single ridiculous detail is left, he said, I thought, that’s how it always is. Even Shakespeare shrivels down to something ridiculous for us in a clearheaded moment, he said, I thought. For a long time now the gods appear to us only in the heads on our beer steins, he said, I thought. Only a stupid person is amazed, he said, I thought. The so-called intellectual consumes himself in what he considers pathbreaking work and in the end has only succeeded in making himself ridiculous, whether he’s called Schopenhauer or Nietzsche, it doesn’t matter, even if he was Kleist or Voltaire we still see a pitiful being who has misused his head and finally driven himself into nonsense. Who’s been rolled over and passed over by history. We’ve locked up the great thinkers in our bookcases, from which they keep staring at us, sentenced to eternal ridicule, he said, I thought. Day and night I hear the chatter of the great thinkers we’ve locked up in our bookcases, these ridiculous intellectual giants as shrunken heads behind glass, he said, I thought. All these people have sinned against nature, he said, they’ve committed first-degree murders of the intellect, that’s why they’ve been punished and stuck in our bookcases for eternity. For they’re choking to death in our bookcases, that’s the truth. Our libraries are so to speak prisons where we’ve locked up our intellectual giants, naturally Kant has been put in solitary confinement, like Nietzsche, like Schopenhauer, like Pascal, like Voltaire, like Montaigne, all the real giants have been put in solitary confinement, all the others in mass confinement, but everyone for ever and ever, my friend, for all time and unto eternity, my friend, that’s the truth.
Thomas Bernhard (The Loser)
A true solitude is not unbearable since it allows for otherness.
Hélène Cixous (Readings: The Poetics of Blanchot, Joyce, Kakfa, Kleist, Lispector, and Tsvetayeva)
there must be a perpetual state of tension between torment and ecstasy if man is to be projected into the infinite.
Stefan Zweig (The Struggle with the Daemon: Hölderlin, Kleist and Nietzsche)
He saw “the nationalism as of horned cattle”, of brute beasts whose highest conception was selfishness based upon a narrow interpretation of history,
Stefan Zweig (The Struggle with the Daemon: Hölderlin, Kleist and Nietzsche)
Art, nothing but art! Art was given us that we might not be slain by truth.
Stefan Zweig (The Struggle with the Daemon: Hölderlin, Kleist and Nietzsche)
Fundamental in Hölderlin’s scheme is the idea that poesy is indispensable to the world; nay, more, that it is not merely a creation within the cosmos, but itself creates the cosmos.
Stefan Zweig (The Struggle with the Daemon: Hölderlin, Kleist and Nietzsche)
The daemon is the incorporation of that tormenting leaven which impels our being (otherwise quiet and almost inert) towards danger, immoderation, ecstasy, renunciation and even self-destruction.
Stefan Zweig (The Struggle with the Daemon: Hölderlin, Kleist and Nietzsche)
Manchmal, sagt Kleist - irgend etwas an dieser Frau entzieht ihm wie ein Magnet die angreifbarsten Geständnisse -, manchmal ist es mir unerträglich, daß die Natur den Menschen in Mann und Frau aufgespalten hat. Das meinen Sie nicht, Kleist. Sie meinen, daß in Ihnen selbst Mann und Frau einander feindlich gegenüberstehn. Wie auch in mir.
Christa Wolf (No Place on Earth)
Kleist erinnert sich, daß der Schmerz ihm Geständnisse erpreßt hat, Versuche, den Schmerz zu beschreiben. Das erträgt kein Mensch lange, Doktor. Einmal muß es nachlassen oder mich töten.
Christa Wolf (No Place on Earth)
Johann Kleist: If something is waiting for me in that midnight thicket, it can have me soon enough. To be claimed by that primal darkness, to be swallowed up, to cease: the thought of it is bliss to me.
Garth Ennis (War Stories, Volume 1)
Every sensitive person carries in himself old cities enclosed by ancient walls —Robert Walser. A German-speaking Swiss writer, Walser is understood to be the missing link between Kleist and Kafka. Confined to a sanatorium in Herisau, Switzerland, he used to write ‘micrograms’, (undecipherable short texts handwritten in a nano text-size) and take long walks. On the 25th of December 1956 he was found, dead of a heart attack, in a field of snow.
Robert Walser
Wenn Euer Landesherr käme, und spräche, ich will mich, mit dem ganzen Troß derer, die mir das Szepter führen helfen, vernichten – vernichten, versteht ihr, welches allerdings der größteste Wunsch ist, den meine Seele hegt: so würde ihm doch den Zettel noch, der ihm mehr wert ist, als das Dasein, verweigen und sprechen: du kannst mich auf das Schafott bringen, ich aber kann dir weh tun und ich wills!
Heinrich von Kleist (Michael Kohlhaas)
Ist es nicht eine Unart, nie den Augenblick der Gegenwart ergreifen zu können, sondern immer in der Zukunft zu leben?
Ere long, however, the daemon was wrestling with him once more; he was seized by that “terrible spirit of unrest” which drove him “like the deluge, to the mountain peaks”. Shadows of gloom and discontent crept into his letters. He began to complain of his “dependent position”, and the forces at work within him soon became obvious. He could not endure regular occupation, could not bear to participate in the daily round of ordinary people. No existence other than that of a poet was acceptable. In this first crisis he probably failed to understand that the trouble sprang from the daemonism within him, from the jealous exclusiveness of the spirit that possessed him, making mundane relationships impossible. He still rationalised the immanent inflammability of his impulses by discovering objective causes for them. He spoke of his pupil’s stubbornness, of defects in the lad’s character which he, as tutor, was impotent to remedy. Hölderlin’s incapacity to meet the demands of everyday life was in this matter all too plain. The boy of nine had a stronger will than the man of twenty-five. The tutor resigned his post. Charlotte von Kalb, who was anything but obtuse, grasped the underlying truth. Wishing to console Johann Christian Friedrich’s mother, she wrote to the latter: “His spirit cannot stoop to these petty labours … or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he takes them too much to heart.
Stefan Zweig (The Struggle with the Daemon: Hölderlin, Kleist and Nietzsche)
Er bestrich sich Stirn und Brust, unwissend, was er aus seinem Zustande machen sollte, und ein unsägliches Wonnegefühl ergriff ihn, als ein Westwind, vom Meere her, sein wiederkehrendes Leben anwehte, und sein Auge sich nach allen Richtungen über die blühende Gegend von St. Jago hinwandte.
Heinrich von Kleist (Das Erdbeben in Chili)
Verflucht das Herz, das sich nicht mäß'gen kann!
Heinrich von Kleist (Penthesilea)
At the moment when his soul brimmed with bitterness and disgust, when his spirit was darkened, he encountered a woman, a stranger… who showed gratitude for this proposal of a special union. She was an invalid, marked for death, eaten away by cancer as Kleist was eaten away by the fatigue of life, and though herself incapable of making a forceful resolution, she was exalted by his passion and agreed to journey with him into the abyss.
Stefan Zweig (Montaigne)
Şeytani demekle kastettiğim şey, her insanın temelinde ve özünde yatan o doğuştan gelen huzursuzluktur ve bu huzursuzluk onu kendinden çıkarır, onu kendinden alıp sonsuza, asıl olana sürükler, sanki doğa her bir ruhta, o ilk kaosun dışa vurulmamış, tedirgin bir parçasını bırakmıştır; bu parça ise gerilim ve tutku yoluyla o insanüstü, algı ötesi temeline geri dönmek ister.
Stefan Zweig (Hölderlin, Kleist, and Nietzsche: The Struggle with the Daemon)
Major von Kleist gave orders that a man or, if no man was available, a woman, be taken from every household as a hostage.” Through some peculiar failure of the system, the greater the terror, the more terror seemed to be necessary.
Barbara W. Tuchman (The Guns of August)
But without Rousseau's pessimistic approach to history and without his doctrine of the depravity of the present, the nineteenth-century novel of disillusionment is just as inconceivable as the conception of tragedy held by Schiller, Kleist, and Hebbel.
Arnold Hauser (The Social History of Art Volume 3: Rococo, Classicism and Romanticism)
So it was a mistake. Kisses, bites... They sound alike, and those who deeply love Can reach for one as well as for the other...
Özgür bir insan, rastlantıların onu getirip bıraktığı bir yerde öylece durmaz... insanın kendi kaderinin dizginlerini eline alabileceği, hatta onu doğru anlarsa kaderini yönlendirmesinin bile mümkün olabileceğini hisseder. Kendi aklıyla hangi mutluluğun kendisi için en yüksek olduğunu belirler ve kendi hayat planını tasarlar... Bir insan kendine bir hayat planı yapacak duruma gelmediği sürece reşit olamaz ve çocukken nasıl anne babanın himayesindeyse, yetişkin olduğunda da kaderin himayesine girer.
Dura lex, sed lex
Wir wissen hierzuland nur unvollkommen, Was in der Hölle Mod ist, Frau Brigitte
Heinrich von Kleist (Der zerbrochene Krug: Ein Lustspiel)
The first electrical battery was invented separately by Dean Von Kleist and Cuneus of Leyden in 1745 and 1746. Joseph Priestley and Carl Wilhelm Scheele independently isolated oxygen between 1772 and 1774.
Steven Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation)
Vemos que, en la medida en que en el mundo orgánico es más oscura y débil la reflexión, tanto más radiante y dominadora se presenta de continuo la gracia. En efecto, así como la intersección de dos líneas a un lado de un punto, vuelve a presentarse súbitamente al otro lado después de atravesar por el infinito, o lo mismo que la imagen del espejo cóncavo, tras de haberse alejado hasta el infinito, aparece de repente ante nosotros, del mismo modo, cuando el conocimiento ha pasado, por decirlo así, a través de un infinito, comparece de nuevo la gracia. Y ésta se presenta a la vez con su máxima pureza en la figura humana que no posee conciencia alguna o en la que la tiene infinita, es decir, en el muñeco articulado o en el dios.
Heinrich von Kleist (On a Theatre of Marionettes)
Nietzsche’s own thoughts gathered around him and with which he was entrapped as by an impenetrable bell glass, a solitude wherein there were no flowers or colours or music or beasts or men, a solitude whence even God was excluded, the dead and petrified solitude of some primeval world which existed long ago or may come into being aeons hence.
Stefan Zweig (The Struggle with the Daemon: Hölderlin, Kleist and Nietzsche)
The evacuation of Boulogne as the panzers rolled in threw the weight of attention onto the fate of Calais, the next port in the way of the advancing tanks, moving along the coast from west to east. If Dunkirk was going to be held to take off even part of the BEF, then Calais would have to be held for most of that time. Orders were given to the troops fighting there that it must be held to the last round of ammunition. It was a brutal decision.  In fact, Guderian had already swept past Calais on his way to Dunkirk, leaving the defenders surrounded. Then the unexpected happened. General Ewald von Kleist ordered him to stop at the line of the canal outside Dunkirk.
David Boyle (Dunkirk: A Miracle of Deliverance)
Lord Kleist
K.M. Shea (Snow White (Timeless Fairy Tales, #11))