New Moloko Plus chapbook: Heinrich von Kleist

New in our Moloko Print catalogue:

Heinrich von Kleist – Über die allmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden

‘Über die allmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden’ (On the Gradual Construction of Thoughts during Speech) is an essay written by Heinrich von Kleist in 1805. In the guise of a letter to his friend, general Otto August Rühle von Lilienstern, Kleist advises to start speaking – to whoever is around – when further meditation on a problem brings no solution. The French say “l’appétit vient en mangeant”, Kleist writes in his essay and adds that “l’idée vient en parlant” as well. “I have only to begin boldly and the mind, obliged to find an end for this beginning, transforms my confused concept as I speak into thoughts that are perfectly clear, so that to my surprise, the end of the sentence coincides with the desired knowledge”, Kleist explains and stresses that a sense of danger on the part of the speaker heightens the effect. He gives examples of improvised speeches that either became a turning point in history or saved the speaker’s life, such as the Count of Mirabeau’s improvised speech to the accent régime’s Master of Ceremonies or the fox’s shrewd improvised plea in La Fontaine’s fable ‘Les animaux malades de la peste’. Speeches like that, Von Kleist formulates, are pure articulated thought.

Moloko Plus chapbook #3 is illustrated by Berlin artist Frank Diersch, whose improvised but thoughtful drawings are a perfect companion to Kleist’s essay. Read more & order