Jacob's Reviews > The Marquise of O

The Marquise of O by Heinrich von Kleist
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's review
Oct 01, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction-and-literature, i-own, short-fiction, 2012, in-translation, culling-the-herd
Read from September 29 to October 01, 2012


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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Ali (new)

Ali I love Kleist! His winding sentences with all those comma-connected waves of words makes me all weak and wobbly in the knees. I have no idea yet if the stories are interesting in any way, but holy balls, that writing! Which is why the fact that the title of the work you have just added does not have the words "And Other Stories" at the end makes my heart sad. It's currently choking down arteryfuls of anti-depressants and listening to My Chemical Romance in its bedroom. You need more Heiney in your life.

Jacob Yeah, I've been meaning to get a larger collection of von Kleist's stories, but this novella from Hesperus press seemed too pretty to pass up. I'll probably read it and immediately purchase more of his work, so please, step away from MCR!

Jacob Ali wrote: "Which is why the fact that the title of the work you have just added does not have the words "And Other Stories" at the end makes my heart sad."

Turns out this edition also includes the stories "The Earthquake in Chile" and "The Foundling." I don't know why I didn't notice that before.

message 4: by Ali (last edited Sep 29, 2012 01:48PM) (new)

Ali That's better. You may also want to get you a copy of his Selected Prose. It does repeat some stories found in The Marquise of O and Other Stories and two stories of the volume you've got, albeit in different translations by Peter Wortsman, but has the advantage of containing some of his nonfiction writings, which both your edition and the two versions of Marquise of O and Other Stories I have do not.

Jacob Ali wrote: "That's better. You may also want to get you a copy of his Selected Prose."

Ooh, thanks. I hadn't noticed that one. Just did some searching and found the Selected Writings, which along with the essays contains additional stories, the plays, and anecdotes. The one review on Amazon complains about the translation, but the review on Goodreads doesn't mention any problems.

message 6: by Ali (new)

Ali Just read the Amazon complaint. I don't know if it's entirely valid or not as I haven't read that edition (though I wish I had it, as it's got more non- short story writings than the volumes I have), but Kleist's prose is deliberately alien and sometimes difficult, as any research and perfunctory browsing will tell you, and most translations I've seen of his try to replicate that effect in English, so I think it more likely that that reviewer isn't yet used to reading Kleist, but blamed the translator because they didn't want to admit to their literary shortcomings of not yet being used to reading Kleist. I could be wrong, as I've got no experience with that translator at all and it may be bad and incomprehensible, but that they never mentioned the already strange quality of Kleist's prose, perhaps as an adjunct to their complaint ("Kleist's writing is already difficult without this shitty translation cocking it up", that kind of thing), along with a few other qualities of the review, suggest that I'm not.

message 7: by knig (new)

knig A favourite. Let us know which story you like best.

Jacob Proustitute wrote: "Wonderful: five stars. Glad you enjoyed it! He's so wonderful."

Yes! I was briefly and ever-so-slightly turned off by Kleist's love of very long sentences and longer paragraphs, but soon got used to 'em. My only real problem with this collection was its length. Three stories aren't enough! Gotta read the rest.

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