HEINRICH VON KLEINST, Romantic German novelist, poet, playwright, born on this date (d: 1811); He achieved in death what he could not in life: His works were taken seriously. None of his literary efforts had any real success during his short life time. Poverty-stricken and despondent, he killed himself in a suicide pact with a friend, a Frau Vogel, when he was 34.

Although he was older, Kleinst, in death, became the German Chatterton, revered by his contemporaries. His letters reveal him to have been homosexual. The letters to his friend Ernst con Pfuel particularly passionate in their outpouring of love. “You are my Greek god, dear youth. I want to sleep with you, embrace you. When you bathe in Lake Thun, I stare at your magnificent body with the longing of a girl.”