“An Unconditional Kleistian”: A Note to Barbara Honigmann’s Bilder von A.

Gabriele Eckart


This study examines the German writer and painter Barbara Honigmann’s complex relationship to the works of Heinrich von Kleist. During the last decade, Honigmann has become renowned for novels in which she describes her experience of crossing borders—geographically (from the GDR to France in 1984), linguistically (from German to French), and religiously (converting to Judaism after having been an ardent Marxist). As she explains in her narrative Bilder von A. (2011), reading, rereading, staging Kleist, and painting a portrait of the writer played an important role in the process of negotiating her identity during the years in the GDR and afterwards, in France.

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