Monday, May 10, 2010

The Beggarwoman Of Locarno, by Heinrich von Kleist

The Beggarwoman of Locarno is a short story by Heinrich von Kleist. Kleist is more famously known for his stories Michael Kohlhaas and The Marquise of O–.  He was a German Romantic, first making a name for himself with his plays; he was also a poet and novelist.

The Beggarwoman of Locarno is surprisingly, a ghost story. I didn’t know it would be. It was a great little story about the punishment suffered if you don’t show charity to the poor. It was an easy read, which I did expect, having read The Marquise of O—. As I mentioned in a previous post, I don’t know if the likability of the writing style comes from the author or the translator. What I do know is that I enjoyed the story immensely. I hope, with this story, Kleist was able to teach a few rich men how to be nicer to the poor.

A copy of the text can be found here.

The post was written in conjunction with Short Story Monday hosted at The Book Mine Set.


  1. I've bookmarked this one for Halloween. It's a long way off I know, but I love ghost stories at that time of year.

  2. When reading in translation, sometimes it's hard to know whether it's the work of the author or translator that you're connecting with. This sounds like a good story either way.

  3. When I read The Helmet of Horror by Victor Pelevin, I mentioned translations and translators too. As a reader, I hope that the translators are true to the style of the author. At least with the translation I own, I've enjoyed Kleist's stories.