Manuscripts (1955-1969) of Sigurd Burckhardt, literary scholar specializing in Shakespeare, Goethe, and Kleist, and founding member of the University of California, San Diego, Literature Department. Materials include published and unpublished essays and articles, reprint copies, chapbooks, drafts, relevant notes, Burckhardt's dissertation entitled "Sprache als Gestalt in Goethes Blankversdramen," Shakespearean Meanings, and a transcript of Michael Kohlhaas. The collection consists of two series: 1) MISCELLANEOUS MANUSCRIPTS, and 2) BOOK-LENGTH STUDIES.


Sigurd Burckhardt was born on November 21, 1916, in Bielefeld, Germany. He received his secondary education at the Friedenauer Gymnasium, Berlin, from which he graduated in 1935. After absolving two years of compulsory military service, he emigrated to the United States. Burckhardt's family was relatively large and had long been working to earn enough money to send one of the children to America. When that sum had been accumulated, Sigurd seemed the most worthy recipient due to his scholarly inclinations and ambitious intellect. In the autumn of 1938, Burckhardt matriculated at the University of California at Berkeley, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in German in 1940 and, after some interruptions of his graduate studies by employment in a war industry and as a high school teacher, received his Master of Arts degree in English in 1945.

Burckhardt was employed from 1947 to 1953 as an instructor and assistant professor at Saint Mary's College in California. In the autumn of 1953, he entered Ohio State University to resume his study of German language and literature while simultaneously teaching as an assistant instructor from 1953 to 1954 and as an instructor from 1954 to 1956. At practical odds with the "New Critics" such as Brooks and Leavis, Burckhardt straddled the ground between traditional scholarship and "close reading" methodology.

In 1963, Burckhardt left his position at Ohio State and became a professor at the University of California, San Diego. A posthumous collection of his essays on Shakespeare has been co-edited and published (1967-1968) under the title Shakespearean Meanings by Pearce and Elliott. This was the first and only book to be published under Burckhardt's name. His preferred form of writing was the long essay, and he claimed to be intimidated by the scale of the book-length study. Sigurd Burckhardt died on December 15, 1966.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Sigurd Burckhardt collection contains manuscripts and typescripts of published and unpublished essays, articles, chapbooks, drafts, notes and book-length studies. Essays and notes related to Shakespearean plays in Series 1 can often be found in finished form in the manuscript, Shakespearean Meanings, located in Series 2. The collection is organized into two series: 1) MISCELLANEOUS MANUSCRIPTS, and 2) BOOK-LENGTH STUDIES.


The MISCELLANEOUS MANUSCRIPTS series contains typescripts, reprints, chapbooks, and holograph drafts. This series is arranged alphabetically, and a number of manuscripts have been annotated by Robert Elliott. In many cases, each folder contains several versions of a particular study. Within each folder, manuscripts are arranged chronologically, that is, in order of refinement, with rough notes and other "groundwork" at the beginning of each folder, and the finished product at the end.


This series contains three book-length studies arranged alphabetically. The first study is the manuscript of Shakespearean Meanings, a collection of Burckhardt's essays on Shakespeare, edited by R. Pearce and R. Elliott in 1967-1968. Press release forms and reviews, as well as some holograph notes from Elliott are included after the manuscript proper. The second study (exclusively in German) consists of the numerous preliminary drafts for Burckhardt's dissertation, "Sprache als Gestalt in Goethes Blankversdramen," as well as the completed dissertation. The third study is a transcript of Michael Kohlhaas (from an Old Chronicle).


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1 1 Bloom, Allan - Includes two reprints from "The American Political Science Review", vols. LIV, nos. 1 and 2, March and June, respectively. No. 1 is entitled "English Barbs and APSR Reviewers", No. 2 is entitled "On Reading Ordinary Prose: A Reply to Allan Bloom", 1960.
1 2 Brutus and Hamlet: The Dramatist Within - Two holograph drafts, ca. 1962.
1 3 Die Natuerliche Tochter: Goethes Iphigenie in Aurelius? - Reprint from the journal Germanisch=Romantische Monatsschrift, 1960.
1 4 Egmont and Prinz Friedrich von Homburg: Expostulation and Reply - Reprint from The German Quarterly, 1963.
1 5 German Made Easy - Reprint from The Hudson Review, 1966.
1 6 Hamlet and Julius Caesar: Two Plays in Search of a Plot - Two holograph drafts, ca. 1962.
1 7 Hamlet and Julius Caesar, untitled writings - Two holograph drafts, ca. 1961-1962.
1 8 Heinrich von Kleist: Fall und Ruckfall, Vorwort - Holograph on notecards. Two sub-headings: "Einfuhrung: Der Zusammenbruch" and "Der Dramatiker als Tater".
1 9 Homburgs Pferde - Holograph.
1 10 How Not To Murder Caesar - Chapbook version of inaugural lecture, given October 31, 1963, at the University of California, San Diego.
1 11 I am but a Shadow of Myself: Ceremony and Design in I Henry VI - Typescript, 1966.
1 12 I am but a Shadow of Myself: Episode and Design in I Henry VI - Typescript, 1966.
1 13 Julius Caesar and Hamlet: Lofty Scenes and Casual Slaughters - Three holograph drafts.
1 14 King John: The Ordering of This Present Time - Reprint from ELH: A Journal of English Literary History, 1966.
1 15 King's Language: Shakespeare's Drama as Social Discovery - Reprint from The Antioch Review, photocopy, 1959 - 1960.
1 16 King Lear: The Quality of Nothing - Reprint from The Minnesota Review, photocopy with author's additions.
1 17 Kleist - General notes. Two holograph drafts. Covers: Marquise von O., Amphitryon, Verlobung und Penthesilea, Der Findling, Der Zweikampf, Zebrochene Krug.
1 18 Kleist - Notes on Prinz Friedrich von Homburg. Two holographs, one loose-leaf, one spiral bound notebook.
1 19 Kleist - Reprint from The Hudson Review. The Stories of Heinrich von Kleist - Reprint from The Modern Language Quarterly, 1961 - 1963.
1 20 Kleist's Hermannsschlacht: the Lock and the Key - Typescript.
1 21 Limits of Representation - Reprint from The Hudson Review. Regards Rolf Hochhuth's The Deputy.
1 22 Mann, Thomas - Holograph drafts for an untitled essay on the critical treatment of.
1 23 Merchant of Venice: The Gentle Bond - Reprint from ELH, A Journal of Engish Literary History. Read in April of 1962 as the annual Tudor and Stuart Lecture at The Johns Hopkins University.
1 24 Metaphorical Structure of Goethe's "Auf Dem See" - Two holograph drafts with footnotes and reprint from The Germanic Review.
1 25 Name of Caesar - Three holograph drafts.
1 26 Poet as Fool and Priest - Reprint from ELH, A Journal of English Literary History, 1956.
1 27 Poetry of Hugo von Hofmannsthal - Reprint from The Hudson Review, 1961.
1 28 Precision of the Poet's Language - Typescript with author's corrections.
1 29 Rhyme or Reason? - Two holograph drafts.
1 30 Shakespeare and Goethe - Two holograph drafts.
2 1 Sprache als Gestalt in Goethe's Prometheus und Pandora.
Photocopy reprint from unidentified journal. German. This article is a pared-down synthesis of what figure as the two discreet chapters "Prometheus" and "Pandora" in Burckhardt's dissertation, "Sprache als Gestalt in Goethes Blankversdramen".
2 2 Strategy of Interpretation - Holograph.
2 3 Swoll'n with Some Other Grief: Shakespeare's Prince Hal Trilogy - Typescript, 1966.
Though unpublished in his lifetime, this essay appears in his posthumous collection Shakespearean Meanings.
2 4 Time in Julius Caesar II.i: or For Whom the Clock Strikes - Typescript with author's additions, ca. 1961-1962.
This essay is the "scholarly version" (as R. Elliott phrased it) of the essay "How Not To Murder Caesar," which appears in the posthumous collection, Shakespearean Meanings.
2 5 What Color Was Homburg's Horse? or the Method of Interpretation - Holograph.
2 6 Who Was Shakespeare? - Typescript of lecture given on March 13, 1964 at the University of California, San Diego.
2 7 Zum Fall Des Prinzen von Homburg - Typescript with author's additions and notes.
2 8 Zur Theorie der Werkimmanenten Deutung and Appendix - Typescript with author's additions.


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2 9-10 Shakespearean Meanings - Original typescripts, photocopy reprints from literary journals, and versions of original text edited by Pearce and Elliott, 1967.
2 11 Book reviews on and publicity documents for Shakespearean Meanings, 1968 - 1969.
Sprache als Gestalt in Goethes Blankversdramen Drafts.
2 12 Abstract - Typescript, 1955 - 1956.
2 13 Autobiography and Misc., 1956.
"Misc." refers to a page numbered 223 which cannot be found to correlate with any of the Burckhardt collection. It refers to Faust I.
2 14 Bibliographie, 1956.
2 15 IV. Dichter und Sprache: Goethe's Tasso - Two typescript drafts with author's notes and additions, holograph footnotes, 1955 - 1956.
Although the drafts are numbered chapter IV, they do not appear as such in the final dissertation.
2 16 Die Natuerliche Tochter - Two typescript drafts with author's additions, holograph footnotes, 1955 - 1956.
2 17 III. Iphigenie - Two typescript drafts with author's additions, 1955 - 1956.
2 18 VI. Pandora - Two typescript drafts with author's additions, plus holographic insert, 1955 - 1956.
3 1 Prometheus - Two typescript drafts with holograph footnotes, 1955 - 1956.
3 2 Vorwort - Two typescript drafts with author's notes, holograph footnotes, 1955 - 1956.
On the latter of the drafts, the title "Vorwort" is crossed out by the author and EINLEITUNG is written over in pencil.
3 3 Sprache als Gestalt in Goethes Blankversdramen - Completed dissertation, 1956.
Contains six chapters: Einleitung, Prometheus, Iphigenie, Tasso, Die Natuerliche Tochter, and Pandora, and a bibliography. In German.
3 4 Transcript of Michael Kohlhaas (from an Old Chronicle) - Typescript, undated.

Finding aid generated: 2012-07-11