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Michael Kohlhaas (English Translation)

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By: (1777-1811)

Michael Kohlhaas, a novella written by Heinrich von Kleist, tells the story of a man who seeks justice and is driven to extreme measures in order to achieve it. Kohlhaas, a respected horse trader, is wronged by a nobleman who confiscates his horses and abuses his workers. Despite trying to seek legal recourse, Kohlhaas is met with corruption and injustice at every turn.

The story is a gripping and intense exploration of one man's struggle against a corrupt system, and the lengths he is willing to go to in order to right the wrongs done to him. Kleist's writing is concise and powerful, drawing the reader into Kohlhaas's world and his quest for justice. The character of Kohlhaas is both sympathetic and complex, making the reader question the lengths they would go to in order to seek justice in a similar situation.

Overall, Michael Kohlhaas is a compelling read that raises thought-provoking questions about power, justice, and morality. Kleist's exploration of these themes through the character of Kohlhaas makes for a thought-provoking and engaging novella that will leave a lasting impact on the reader.

Book Description:
Michael Kohlhaas is an 1811 novella by Heinrich von Kleist, based on a 16th-century story of Hans Kohlhase. Both the theme (a fanatical quest for justice) and the style (existentialist detachment posing as a chronicle) are surprisingly modern. They resonated with other writers more than a century after it was written. Kafka devoted one of only two public appearances in his whole life to reading passages from Michael Kohlhaas. Kafka said that he "could not even think of" this work "without being moved to tears and enthusiasm."

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