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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Portrait of the Artist as a Dead Man: Thomas Mann and Stefan Zweig's Reception of Kleist's Literary Suicide(s)
by Chen, Christina Elaine, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2020, 122; 27834544
Abstract (Summary)

Thomas Mann (1875-1955) and Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) were fascinated by the work, life, and suicide of author Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811). In their view, his bloody intercourse between uncompromising political, moral, and aesthetic convictions and literary sublimation of seemingly insatiable violent and sexual urges resulted in Kleist’s honest and sympathetic portrayal of the consequences of coercive cultural imperatives—and his suicide. Accordingly, Mann and Zweig portrayed Kleist as both a tragic hero and a model for literary success in a number of biographical essays and novellas. There is clear evidence in Zweig’s novella “Verwirrung der Gefühle” (1927) that his artistic responses to Kleist were to some extent filtered through Mann’s own Kleist reception in the novella “Der Tod in Venedig” (1912). Zweig’s representations of themes of suicide and survival reflect a constant process of study and integration of Kleist, Mann, and of Kleist through the lens of Mann into his aesthetic of artistic production.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: High, Jeffrey L.
Commitee: Reed, Terence James, Hempel-Lamer, Nele
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Romance, German, Russian Languages and Literatures
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 82/4(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: German literature, Mental health, Aesthetics
Keywords: Heinrich von Kleist, Novella, Stefan Zweig, Suicide, Thomas Mann
Publication Number: 27834544
ISBN: 9798678189646
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