The Beggar Woman of Locarno, by Heinrich von Kleist

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The German author Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) had a keen sense of the macabre, and his double suicide together with Henriette Vogel on the shores of the Little Wannsee, only a few short miles from where I type these lines, attests to his sense of the dramatic. But the story of “The Beggar Woman of Locarno” is not simply spooky, but conceals a great many mysteries and contradictions. For example, who else but the Marquise would ever provide a beggar with a bed of straw on the floor of the castle’s most luxurious room? Why does the beggar return at the moment she does? And why does the Marquis find his eternal rest in that particular place, rather than in a more suitable venue? Questions upon questions that go to show that, with Kleist, what we get is never what we see.

Go HERE to hear it in the German original.

The Beggar Woman of Locarno, by Heinrich von Kleist {8:30}

One thought on “The Beggar Woman of Locarno, by Heinrich von Kleist

  1. Pingback: Podcast | Stimming’s Inn

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