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Re-Viewing Kleist

The Discursive Construction of Authorial Subjectivity in West German Kleist Films


Mary Rhiel

This study examines through textual and contextual analysis how the texts and the biography of Heinrich von Kleist have been appropriated in three West German films since 1975. The author brings to bear at least three areas of expertise - Kleist studies, film semiotics, feminist theory - in a work that closely analyzes Eric Rohmer's Die Marquise von O..., Helma Sanders-Brahms' Heinrich, and Hans Neuenfels' Heinrich Penthesilea von Kleist. Rather than discussing the loyalty of a particular film to the original texts of Kleist, Rhiel looks at each film's discursive construction of authorship and analyzes its participation in the formation of the film's textual and narrative strategies.