Heinrich von Kleist's Prose Fiction

Subject 671-366 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2.5-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

37.5 points of second/third-year subjects in German language. European studies students wishing to enrol in this subject would normally have completed 37.5 points of European studies at second/third year.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability

Subject Overview:

Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) was not only one of the greatest dramatists in German literature, but he also wrote a small body of short prose fiction that contains some of the most fascinating texts in German. The world of Kleist's stories is full of obscure implications which the characters struggle to decipher. Family relationships are fraught with latent violence; glimpses of a better world are fleeting or hedged with irony; circumstance and coincidence play an often cruel game with the fictional characters. Against this underlying grimness is the beauty and power of Kleist's literary technique. Students will undertake a close reading of Kleist's eight stories in order to both situate them in their historical context and relate them to paradigms of modern experience. Students who complete the subject should have an awareness of Kleist's place in the German literary tradition and an understanding of the problems posed by Kleist's experimental approach to writing.

Objectives: .

For third year: a 1000-word class paper 30% (due during semester) and an essay of 3000 words 70% (due end of semester). For fourth year: a 1200-word class paper 30% (due during semester) and an essay of 4000 words 70% (due end of semester).

Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

Prescribed Texts:

  • Sämtliche Erzählungen und Anekdoten (Heinrich von Kleist), München 1998
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have acquired skills in research, critical thinking and contextualising information;

  • have also developed skills in communicating knowledge intelligibly through oral presentations and essays in German.


This subject is taught in German.

Related Course(s): Diploma in Modern Languages (Japanese)

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