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The Reincarnated Plot: E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime , Heinrich von Kleist's "Michael Kohlhaas," and the Spectacle of Modernity

The Reincarnated Plot: E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime , Heinrich von Kleist's "Michael Kohlhaas," and... THE REINCARNATED PLOT: E. L. DOCTOROWS RAGTIME, HEINRICH VON KLEIST'S "MICHAEL KOHLHAAS/ AND THE SPECTACLE OF MODERNITY Christian Moraru Discussing the "scene of reading" in nineteenth-century fiction Clayton Koelb cogently argues that "the Romantic desire to recuperate and revivify the dead past by reading achieves one of its most dramatic expressions in 'Michael Kohlhaas'" (1106), Heinrich von Kleist's 1810 novella. As we may recall, Kohlhaas is a Brandenburg horse dealer who, on his way to Dresden, is stopped by the Junker Wenzel von Tronka's men at the Saxon border and asked to pay a toll as well as to produce a "permit" (Paßschein) stating his right to bring horses across the border. Unable to comply with the latter request, he leaves a pair of horses instead and rides on to Dresden to apply for his "certificate." Finding out that the Junker's demands were "illegal," he returns to Tronka Castle only to learn that his well-fed pair of blacks were worked to death in the fields and the groom he left with the horses was almost killed and driven away. As the law of his time fails to "protect his rights" (Kleist, Michael Kohlhaas 27) both in Saxony and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

The Reincarnated Plot: E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime , Heinrich von Kleist's "Michael Kohlhaas," and the Spectacle of Modernity

The Comparatist , Volume 21 (1) – Oct 3, 1997

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University of North Carolina Press
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Copyright © the Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887
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Abstract

THE REINCARNATED PLOT: E. L. DOCTOROWS RAGTIME, HEINRICH VON KLEIST'S "MICHAEL KOHLHAAS/ AND THE SPECTACLE OF MODERNITY Christian Moraru Discussing the "scene of reading" in nineteenth-century fiction Clayton Koelb cogently argues that "the Romantic desire to recuperate and revivify the dead past by reading achieves one of its most dramatic expressions in 'Michael Kohlhaas'" (1106), Heinrich von Kleist's 1810 novella. As we may recall, Kohlhaas is a Brandenburg horse dealer who, on his way to Dresden, is stopped by the Junker Wenzel von Tronka's men at the Saxon border and asked to pay a toll as well as to produce a "permit" (Paßschein) stating his right to bring horses across the border. Unable to comply with the latter request, he leaves a pair of horses instead and rides on to Dresden to apply for his "certificate." Finding out that the Junker's demands were "illegal," he returns to Tronka Castle only to learn that his well-fed pair of blacks were worked to death in the fields and the groom he left with the horses was almost killed and driven away. As the law of his time fails to "protect his rights" (Kleist, Michael Kohlhaas 27) both in Saxony and

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Oct 3, 1997

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