The present project pursues how the nineteenth-century practice of adapting well known stage plays, often constituted a willful misreading of an original text. A surprising yet paradigmatic case in point is Heinrich von Kleist’s (1777-1811) “great historical chivalric drama,” Das Käthchen von Heilbronn (Kathy of Heilbronn, 1808). The present thesis places Kleist’s play in its literary context, and investigates: I) how Kleist’s Käthchen defies the genre conventions of Chivalric Drama, Early Romanticism, and parody; II) what methods Käthchen adapter Franz Ignaz Holbein used to transform the piece form its initial confusion-inducing state into a success the original had never attained; III) in which ways Kleist’s Käthchen was coincidentally well suited to be reimagined on the opera stage after 1840; IV) in what relation the four Käthchen operas in this study stand to Kleist’s original, keeping in mind the adaptations and the demands of the opera stage; V) how the reception of the operatic adaptations influence the current understanding of Kleist’s reception trajectory.
|Advisor:||High, Jeffrey L.|
|Commitee:||Herman, Martin, Moser, Christian, Schneider, Helmut|
|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, Music history, Theater, Performing Arts|
|Keywords:||Adaptation, German Opera, Irony, Käthchen, Kleist, Opera|
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