Register of the Sigurd Burckhardt Manuscripts MSS 117

Finding aid prepared by Mandeville Special Collections Library
Mandeville Special Collections Library
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
Copyright 2005

Descriptive Summary

Title: Sigurd Burckhardt Manuscripts
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 117
Contributing Institution: Mandeville Special Collections Library
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, California 92093-0175
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 1.0 linear foot (3 archives boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1955 - 1969
Abstract: 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 Materials include published and unpublished essays and articles, reprint copies, chapbooks, drafts, relevant notes, Burckhardt's dissertation entitled "Sprache als Gestalt in Goethes Blankversdramen,"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.
Creator: Burckhardt, Sigurd, 1916-1966

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The Sigurd Burckhardt collection contains manuscripts and typescripts of published and unpublished essays, articles, chapbooks, drafts, notes and book-length studies.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).


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.

Preferred Citation

Sigurd Burckhardt Manuscripts, MSS 117. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

Acquisition Information

Not Available



Publication Rights

Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Burckhardt, Sigurd, 1916-1966
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 1749-1832
Kleist, Heinrich von, 1777-1811
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616
Criticism--United States



Box 1, Folder 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

Box 1, Folder 2

Brutus and Hamlet: The Dramatist Within - Two holograph drafts ca. 1962

Box 1, Folder 3

Die Natuerliche Tochter: Goethes Iphigenie in Aurelius? - Reprint from the journal Germanisch=Romantische Monatsschrift 1960

Box 1, Folder 4

Egmont and Prinz Friedrich von Homburg: Expostulation and Reply - Reprint from The German Quarterly 1963

Box 1, Folder 5

German Made Easy - Reprint from The Hudson Review 1966

Box 1, Folder 6

Hamlet and Julius Caesar: Two Plays in Search of a Plot - Two holograph drafts ca. 1962

Box 1, Folder 7

Hamlet and Julius Caesar, untitled writings - Two holograph drafts ca. 1961-1962

Box 1, Folder 8

Heinrich von Kleist: Fall und Ruckfall, Vorwort - Holograph on notecards. Two sub-headings: "Einfuhrung: Der Zusammenbruch" and "Der Dramatiker als Tater"

Box 1, Folder 9

Homburgs Pferde - Holograph

Box 1, Folder 10

How Not To Murder Caesar - Chapbook version of inaugural lecture, given October 31, 1963, at the University of California, San Diego

Box 1, Folder 11

I am but a Shadow of Myself: Ceremony and Design in I Henry VI - Typescript 1966

Box 1, Folder 12

I am but a Shadow of Myself: Episode and Design in I Henry VI - Typescript 1966

Box 1, Folder 13

Julius Caesar and Hamlet: Lofty Scenes and Casual Slaughters - Three holograph drafts

Box 1, Folder 14

King John: The Ordering of This Present Time - Reprint from ELH: A Journal of English Literary History 1966

Box 1, Folder 15

King's Language: Shakespeare's Drama as Social Discovery - Reprint from The Antioch Review, photocopy 1959 - 1960

Box 1, Folder 16

King Lear: The Quality of Nothing - Reprint from The Minnesota Review, photocopy with author's additions

Box 1, Folder 17

Kleist - General notes. Two holograph drafts. Covers: Marquise von O., Amphitryon, Verlobung und Penthesilea, Der Findling, Der Zweikampf, Zebrochene Krug

Box 1, Folder 18

Kleist - Notes on Prinz Friedrich von Homburg. Two holographs, one loose-leaf, one spiral bound notebook

Box 1, Folder 19

Kleist - Reprint from The Hudson Review. The Stories of Heinrich von Kleist - Reprint from The Modern Language Quarterly 1961 - 1963

Box 1, Folder 20

Kleist's Hermannsschlacht: the Lock and the Key - Typescript

Box 1, Folder 21

Limits of Representation - Reprint from The Hudson Review. Regards Rolf Hochhuth's The Deputy

Box 1, Folder 22

Mann, Thomas - Holograph drafts for an untitled essay on the critical treatment of

Box 1, Folder 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

Box 1, Folder 24

Metaphorical Structure of Goethe's "Auf Dem See" - Two holograph drafts with footnotes and reprint from The Germanic Review

Box 1, Folder 25

Name of Caesar - Three holograph drafts

Box 1, Folder 26

Poet as Fool and Priest - Reprint from ELH, A Journal of English Literary History 1956

Box 1, Folder 27

Poetry of Hugo von Hofmannsthal - Reprint from The Hudson Review 1961

Box 1, Folder 28

Precision of the Poet's Language - Typescript with author's corrections

Box 1, Folder 29

Rhyme or Reason? - Two holograph drafts

Box 1, Folder 30

Shakespeare and Goethe - Two holograph drafts

Box 2, Folder 1

Sprache als Gestalt in Goethe's Prometheus und Pandora

General note

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".
Box 2, Folder 2

Strategy of Interpretation - Holograph

Box 2, Folder 3

Swoll'n with Some Other Grief: Shakespeare's Prince Hal Trilogy - Typescript 1966

General note

Though unpublished in his lifetime, this essay appears in his posthumous collection Shakespearean Meanings.
Box 2, Folder 4

Time in Julius Caesar II.i: or For Whom the Clock Strikes - Typescript with author's additions ca. 1961-1962

General note

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.
Box 2, Folder 5

What Color Was Homburg's Horse? or the Method of Interpretation - Holograph

Box 2, Folder 6

Who Was Shakespeare? - Typescript of lecture given on March 13, 1964 at the University of California, San Diego

Box 2, Folder 7

Zum Fall Des Prinzen von Homburg - Typescript with author's additions and notes

Box 2, Folder 8

Zur Theorie der Werkimmanenten Deutung and Appendix - Typescript with author's additions



Box 2, Folder 9-10

Shakespearean Meanings - Original typescripts, photocopy reprints from literary journals, and versions of original text edited by Pearce and Elliott 1967

Box 2, Folder 11

Book reviews on and publicity documents for Shakespearean Meanings 1968 - 1969


Sprache als Gestalt in Goethes Blankversdramen Drafts

Box 2, Folder 12

Abstract - Typescript 1955 - 1956

Box 2, Folder 13

Autobiography and Misc. 1956

General note

"Misc." refers to a page numbered 223 which cannot be found to correlate with any of the Burckhardt collection. It refers to Faust I.
Box 2, Folder 14

Bibliographie 1956

Box 2, Folder 15

IV. Dichter und Sprache: Goethe's Tasso - Two typescript drafts with author's notes and additions, holograph footnotes 1955 - 1956

General note

Although the drafts are numbered chapter IV, they do not appear as such in the final dissertation.
Box 2, Folder 16

Die Natuerliche Tochter - Two typescript drafts with author's additions, holograph footnotes 1955 - 1956

Box 2, Folder 17

III. Iphigenie - Two typescript drafts with author's additions 1955 - 1956

Box 2, Folder 18

VI. Pandora - Two typescript drafts with author's additions, plus holographic insert 1955 - 1956

Box 3, Folder 1

Prometheus - Two typescript drafts with holograph footnotes 1955 - 1956

Box 3, Folder 2

Vorwort - Two typescript drafts with author's notes, holograph footnotes 1955 - 1956

General note

On the latter of the drafts, the title "Vorwort" is crossed out by the author and EINLEITUNG is written over in pencil.
Box 3, Folder 3

Sprache als Gestalt in Goethes Blankversdramen - Completed dissertation 1956

General note

Contains six chapters: Einleitung, Prometheus, Iphigenie, Tasso, Die Natuerliche Tochter, and Pandora, and a bibliography. In German.
Box 3, Folder 4

Transcript of Michael Kohlhaas (from an Old Chronicle) - Typescript undated