Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang Goethe , from 1782 von Goethe (born August 28, 1749 in Frankfurt am Main ; † March 22, 1832 in Weimar , Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach ) was a German poet and naturalist . He is regarded as one of the most important creators of German-language poetry .
Goethe came from a respected middle-class family; his maternal grandfather was the highest judicial officer in the city of Frankfurt, his father a doctor of law and an imperial councillor . He and his sister Cornelia received extensive training from tutors . Following his father's wishes, Goethe studied law in Leipzig and Strasbourg and then worked as a lawyer in Wetzlar and Frankfurt. At the same time he followed his passion for poetry. He achieved his first recognition in the world of literature in 1773 with the drama Götz von Berlichingen , which brought him national success, and in 1774 with the epistolary novel Die Leiden des Junge Werthers , to which he owed even European success. Both works can be assigned to the literary movement of Sturm und Drang (1765 to 1785).
At the age of 26 he was invited to the court of Weimar , where he eventually settled for the rest of his life. As a friend and minister of Duke Carl August, he held political and administrative offices there and headed the court theater for a quarter of a century . The official activity with the neglect of his creative abilities triggered a personal crisis after the first Weimar decade, which Goethe escaped by fleeing to Italy. He experienced the trip to Italy from September 1786 to May 1788 as a "rebirth". He owed her the completion of important works such as Iphigenia in Tauris (1787), Egmont (1788) and Torquato Tasso (1790).
After his return, his official duties were largely limited to representative duties. The wealth of cultural heritage experienced in Italy stimulated his poetic production, and the erotic experiences with a young Roman woman prompted him to start a lasting, "unsuitable" love affair with Christiane Vulpius immediately after his return , which he only officially legalized with a marriage eighteen years later .
Goethe's literary work includes poetry , drama , epic , autobiographical , art and literary theory as well as scientific writings. In addition, his extensive correspondence is of literary importance. Goethe was the precursor and most important representative of the Sturm und Drang. His novel The Sorrows of Young Werther made him famous in Europe. Even Napoleon asked him for an audience on the occasion of the Erfurt Congress of Princes . In league with Schiller and together with Herder and Wieland he embodied the Weimar Classic . The Wilhelm Meister novels became exemplary forerunners of German-language artist and Bildungsromane . His drama Faust (1808) gained a reputation as the most important creation of German-language literature. In old age he was also regarded abroad as a representative of intellectual Germany.
In the German Empire he was glorified as the German national poet and proclaimer of the "German essence" and as such was appropriated for German nationalism . A reverence not only began for the work, but also for the personality of the poet, whose lifestyle was seen as exemplary. To this day, Goethe's poems, dramas and novels are among the masterpieces of world literature .
origin and youth
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born on August 28, 1749 in the Goethe family home (today 's Goethe House ) on Frankfurt 's Großer Hirschgraben and was baptized as a Protestant the following day. His nickname was Wolfgang. His grandfather, Friedrich Georg Göthe (1657–1730), who came from Thuringia, had settled in Frankfurt as a master tailor in 1687 and changed the spelling of the family name. He later had the opportunity to marry into a thriving inn and hostel business. As an innkeeper and wine merchant he had made a considerable fortune, which he left in the form of real estate, mortgage loans and several sacks full of money to his two sons from his first marriage and the youngest son Johann Caspar Goethe (1710-1782), Johann Wolfgang Goethe's father . Although Goethe's father had obtained a doctorate in law from the University of Leipzig , he did not practice law. With the honorary title "Imperial Councilor" he rose to the upper class in Frankfurt. As a reindeer , he lived off the income from his inherited fortune, which would later enable his son to live and study without financial constraints. He was interested in many things and educated, but also strict and pedantic, which repeatedly led to conflicts in the family.
Goethe's mother, Catharina Elisabeth Goethe , née Textor (1731–1808), came from a wealthy and respected Frankfurt family; her father , Johann Wolfgang Textor , was the city mayor and the highest-ranking judicial officer in the city. At the age of 17, the fun-loving and outgoing woman married Rat Goethe, who was 38 at the time. Five more children were born after Johann Wolfgang, of whom only the slightly younger sister Cornelia survived infancy. Her brother was in a close relationship of trust, which, according to the biographer Nicholas Boyle and the psychoanalyst Kurt R. Eissler , included incestuous feelings. The mother called her son her "Hätschelhans".
The siblings received an extensive education. From 1756 to 1758 Johann Wolfgang attended a public school. After that, he and his sister were taught together by their father and a total of eight tutors. Goethe learned Latin , Greek and Hebrew as the classic languages of education, as well as the modern languages French, Italian, English and “ Jewish German ”, which “was a living present in Frankfurt’s Judengasse”. These living languages were taught by native teachers. The schedule also included science subjects, religion and drawing. He also learned to play the piano and cello, horseback riding, fencing and dancing.
The boy came into contact with literature at an early age. It all began with my mother's bedtime stories and reading the Bible in the devout, Lutheran-Protestant family. For Christmas 1753 he received a puppet theater from his grandmother . He memorized the play intended for this stage and enthusiastically performed it again and again with friends. Little Goethe also showed the first signs of his literary imagination with his (as he said himself) "pretentious beginnings", inventing strange fairy tales and serving up his astonished friends in the first person for exciting entertainment. There was a lot of reading in the Goethe house; the father owned a library of around 2000 volumes. As a child, Goethe learned, among other things, the chapbook by Dr. know fist . During the course of the Seven Years' War , the French city commander, Count Thoranc , was billeted in his parents' house from 1759 to 1761 . Goethe owed his first encounter with French drama literature to him and the traveling troupe. Stimulated by the many languages he had learned, he began a multilingual novel at the age of twelve, in which all languages came into their own in a colorful jumble.
According to his biographers Nicholas Boyle and Rüdiger Safranski , although Goethe was a gifted child, he was not a child prodigy like Mozart . He learned languages quickly and had a "quite unchildlike dexterity in writing verse". He was "lively, of exuberant temperament and headstrong, but without depth".
Studies and early poetry
In the fall of 1765, on his father's instructions, Goethe began studying law at the traditional University of Leipzig . In contrast to the more old-fashioned Frankfurt, which at the time did not yet have its own university, Leipzig was an elegant, cosmopolitan city, nicknamed Little Paris . Goethe was treated as someone who came from the provinces and had to adapt in dress and manners in order to be accepted by his new fellow citizens. Provided by his father with a monthly change of 100 guilders , he had twice as much money as a student needed even at the most expensive universities at the time.
Goethe lived in Leipzig in a courtyard building of the Grosse Feuerkugel house on Neumarkt. Since during the fair the students vacated their accommodation for the traders, Goethe moved to a farm in Reudnitz , a village east of Leipzig, at the time of the fair.
Although his father entrusted him to the professor of history and constitutional law, Johann Gottlob Böhme , who forbade Goethe from changing his subject, he soon began to neglect his compulsory studies. He gave preference to attending the poetry lectures by Christian Fürchtegott Gellert , to whom the students could present their attempts at writing. Since Gellert was reluctant to accept verses, he immediately passed on Goethe's poetic attempts (including a wedding poem to Uncle Textor) to his deputy, who thought little of them. The painter Adam Friedrich Oeser , with whom Goethe continued his drawing lessons in Frankfurt, introduced him to the antiquity-oriented artistic ideal of his pupil Johann Joachim Winckelmann . Oeser – as the founding director of the Leipzig Art Academy, which was founded in 1764 – promoted Goethe's understanding of art and artistic judgement. In a letter of thanks from Frankfurt, Goethe wrote to him that he had learned more from him than in all the years at the university. In March 1768, on Oeser's recommendation, he visited Dresden and the Picture Gallery . Goethe formed a friendship with Oeser's daughter Friederike Elisabeth (1748–1829) in 1765, which continued in correspondence for a while after his years in Leipzig. Oeser also remained in close contact with Goethe through letters until he left for Strasbourg. Their connection lasted until Oeser's death.
Far from home, the 16 and 17-year-old enjoyed greater freedom in Leipzig: he attended theater performances, spent the evenings with friends, or went on excursions into the surrounding area. Goethe's "first serious love affair" took place during his time in Leipzig. The romance with the craftsman and innkeeper's daughter Käthchen Schönkopf was resolved after two years by mutual agreement. The emotional outbursts of these years influenced Goethe's style of writing; if he had previously written poems in the regular Rococo style , their tone now became freer and more stormy. A collection of 19 anacreontic poems, transcribed and illustrated by his friend Ernst Wolfgang Behrisch, resulted in the book Annette . Another small collection of poems was printed in 1769 under the title New Songs as the first of Goethe's works. In its youthful beginnings, according to Nicholas Boyle, Goethe's poetry is "uncompromisingly erotic" and deals "directly with the most powerful source of individual will and feeling".
In July 1768 Goethe suffered a severe hemorrhage as a result of a tuberculous illness. Halfway able to travel again, he returned to his parents' home in Frankfurt in August - to the disappointment of his father without an academic degree.
Frankfurt and Strasbourg (1768–1771)
The life-threatening illness required a long convalescence and made him receptive to the ideas of pietism , which a friend of his mother, the Moravian Susanne von Klettenberg , introduced to him. It was during this period that he temporarily found his closest contact with Christianity in his adult life. He also occupied himself with mystical and alchemical writings, reading which he would later refer to in Faust . Independently of this, he wrote his first comedy, The Accomplices , during this period .
In April 1770, Goethe continued his studies at the University of Strasbourg . With 43,000 inhabitants, Strasbourg was larger than Frankfurt and was given to the French kingdom in the Peace of Westphalia . Most of the teaching at the university was still in German.
This time Goethe devoted himself more purposefully to his legal studies, but also found time to make a number of personal acquaintances. The most important of these was the one with the theologian, art and literary theorist Johann Gottfried Herder . Goethe calls it the "most important event" of the Strasbourg period. During his almost daily visits, the elder opened his eyes to the original power of language of authors such as Homer , Shakespeare and Ossian as well as to folk poetry and thus gave decisive impetus to Goethe's poetic development. Later, through Goethe's intercession, he was to be appointed to serve in Weimar. His circle of friends and acquaintances, who mostly met over lunch, included the future ophthalmologist and pietistic writer Jung-Stilling and the theologian and writer Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz . Although surrounded by religiously oriented friends, he finally turned away from Pietism in Strasbourg.
Through a student friend, he was introduced to the family of Pastor Brion in Sessenheim (Goethe writes Sesenheim). He got to know and love the pastor's daughter Friederike Brion . With the departure from the University of Strasbourg, the young Goethe, who was reluctant to commit, ended the relationship, which Friederike admittedly only became aware of through a letter from Goethe in Frankfurt. As Nicholas Boyle interprets this episode, Friederike must have felt severely compromised, since Goethe's behavior towards her could be considered her fiancé. Shocked and guilty, Goethe received the news of her health collapse, which he took from her later reply letter. The poems addressed to Friederike, which later became known as Sesenheim songs (among others, Welcome and Farewell , Mailied , Heidenröslein ), are wrongly named after Karl Otto Conrady with the label "adventure poetry". The outer form of the poetry offers nothing new and the linguistic expression goes beyond the usual poetic language at best in nuances. Nevertheless, the ego in them has individual traits and is not based on "given patterns of pastoral types", rather "speaking ego, loved ones, love and nature appeared in a previously unknown linguistic intensity".
In the summer of 1771, Goethe submitted his (not preserved) legal dissertation on the relationship between state and church. The Strasbourg theologians found them scandalous; one of them described Goethe as a "mad despiser of religion". The dean of the faculty recommended that Goethe withdraw the dissertation. However, the university offered him the opportunity to obtain a licentiate . For this minor degree he only had to formulate and defend a few theses. The basis of the disputation on August 6, 1771, which he passed "cum applausu", were 56 theses in Latin under the title Positiones Juris . In the penultimate thesis he addressed the issue of whether a child murderer should be subjected to the death penalty . He later took up the theme in artistic form in the Gretchen tragedy .
Lawyer and poet in Frankfurt and Wetzlar (1771–1775)
Back in Frankfurt, Goethe opened a small law firm , which his father primarily regarded as a "mere way station" to higher offices (e.g. mayor like his grandfather). He practiced law for four years, with interest that soon waned and little enthusiasm for work, until he left for Weimar . Poetry was more important to Goethe than the legal profession. At the end of 1771, within six weeks, he wrote down the story of Gottfrieden von Berlichingen with an iron hand . After a revision, the drama was self-published in 1773 as Götz von Berlichingen . The work, which broke with all traditional dramatic rules, was enthusiastically received and is considered a founding document of the Sturm und Drang . The drama Sturm und Drang , which gave its name to the epoch , came from Friedrich Maximilian Klinger , who belonged to the circle of friends from Goethe's youth days.
In January 1772, in Frankfurt, Goethe witnessed the "somber ceremony" of the public execution of the child murderer Susanna Margaretha Brandt by the sword. According to Rüdiger Safranski , it formed the personal background for the "Gretchen Tragedy" in Faust , on which Goethe had begun to work in the early 1770s. In 1773 his sister Cornelia married the lawyer Johann Georg Schlosser , Goethe's friend ten years his senior and who had acted as a lawyer in the trial of the infanticide. In 1783, in the parallel case of the child murderer Johanna Höhn , when asked by Duke Carl August von Weimar , who wanted to commute her death sentence to life imprisonment, Goethe later pleaded with his decisive vote in the Secret Consilium for the retention of the death penalty, after which Höhn on November 28, 1783 was beheaded with the sword.
During these years he paid frequent visits to the Darmstadt circle of sensitive people around Johann Heinrich Merck , during which he hiked 25 kilometers from Frankfurt to Darmstadt. Goethe attached great importance to Merck's judgment; in his autobiography he certified him that he had "the greatest influence" on his life. Following his invitation, Goethe wrote reviews for the journal Frankfurter gelehrte advertisements , run by Merck and Schlosser .
Between the two writings of Götz , in May 1772, again at the urging of his father, Goethe had registered as an intern at the Imperial Court of Appeal in Wetzlar . His colleague there , Johann Christian Kestner , later described the then Goethe:
"He has what is called genius and a most extraordinary imagination. He is violent in his affects. He has a noble way of thinking. […] He loves the children and can keep himself busy with them. He is bizarre and has various things in his demeanor and appearance that could make him uncomfortable. But with children, with women and many others it is written down. – He does what he pleases without caring whether it pleases others, whether it is fashionable or whether the way of life allows it. He hates all compulsion. […] He made his main work from the fine sciences and arts, or rather from all sciences, except the so-called bread sciences.”
Again, Goethe paid little attention to legal studies. Instead, he dealt with the ancient authors. At a country dance retreat, he met Kestner's fiancée, Charlotte Buff , with whom he fell in love. Goethe became a regular and welcome guest in the Buff family home. After Charlotte had explained to him that he could hope for nothing but her friendship and that Goethe had recognized the hopelessness of his situation, he fled Wetzlar.
A year and a half later he processed this experience as well as other experiences of his own and others in the epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther , which he wrote in just four weeks at the beginning of 1774. The highly emotional work, which is attributed to both the "Sturm und Drang" and the contemporary literary trend of "Sensitivity", made its author famous throughout Europe within a short time. Goethe himself later explained the enormous success of the book and the “ Werther fever ” it triggered by saying that it met the needs of the time exactly. With the creative work on Werther , the poet saved himself from a crisis in his own life: "Like after a general confession, I felt happy and free again and entitled to a new life." Lotte through correspondence.
When he returned from Wetzlar, his father reproached him because his stay there had not been conducive to his son's professional advancement. The years that followed in Frankfurt before leaving for Weimar were among the most productive in Goethe's life. In addition to Werther , he wrote the great hymns (including Wanderer 's storm song , Ganymede , Prometheus and Mahomet's song ), several short dramas (including Das Jahrmarktsfest zu Plundersweilern and Götter, Helden and Wieland ) and the dramas Clavigo and Stella. A spectacle for lovers . It was also during this period that Goethe took up Faust for the first time .
At Easter 1775, Goethe became engaged to the Frankfurt banker's daughter Lili Schönemann . Towards the end of his life he told Eckermann that she was the first whom he "deeply and truly loved". For the first time, as Nicholas Boyle writes, Lili offered him "the very real possibility of marriage," but the young poet balked at such a bond. Marriage was not compatible with his life plans. The different milieus and denominations of the parents were additional obstacles. In order to gain distance, he accepted an invitation from the brothers Christian and Friedrich Leopold zu Stolberg-Stolberg to travel through Switzerland for several months . In Zurich he was a guest of Lavater , on whose Physiognomische Fragmente Goethe collaborated, and made the acquaintance of Barbara Schultheß from Lavater's circle of friends. This resulted in a lifelong friendship; Goethe called her his "most loyal reader". At intervals she received the finished books of the emerging Wilhelm Meister novel, which she copied with the help of her daughter. It is thanks to one of their copies that the original version of the novel, Wilhelm Meister's theatrical broadcast , which was discovered in 1909 and printed in 1910 , was handed down to posterity.
In October 1775, Lili's mother broke off the engagement with the declaration that marriage was not appropriate because of the difference in religion. In this situation, Goethe, who suffered greatly from the separation, accepted an invitation from the 18-year-old Duke Carl August to travel to Weimar .
Minister in Weimar (from 1775)
In November 1775 Goethe reached Weimar. The capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach only had around 6,000 inhabitants (the Duchy around 100,000), but thanks to the efforts of the Duchess Anna Amalia , it developed into a cultural center. At the time when Goethe was invited to Weimar without a specific purpose, he was already a famous author throughout Europe. He quickly won the trust of Duke Carl August, who was eight years his junior and had an enlightened upbringing, and who admired his great-uncle Frederick II for his friendship with Voltaire . Like the latter, he wanted to “put a great spirit at his side”. The duke did everything to keep Goethe in Weimar; he gave him generous gifts, including the garden house in the park on the Ilm . When the duke suggested that he help run the state, Goethe accepted after some hesitation. He was determined by the need for practical and effective work. He wrote to a friend from Frankfurt: "I'll probably stay [...]. Even if it were only for a few years, it's always better than the idle life at home where I can't do anything with the greatest desire. Here I have a couple of duchies ahead of me."
In the civil service
On 11 June 1776, Goethe became a secret councilor and a member of the Secret Consilium, the duke's three-man advisory body, with an annual salary of 1200 thalers . Goethe was nominally a member of the Secret Consilium until its dissolution in 1815. On May 14, 1780, he wrote to Kestner about his literary work during his civil service, saying that he was putting his writing on the back burner, but “allowed myself […] following the example of the great king , who spent a few hours a day on the flute , sometimes even one Exercise in the talent that is mine."
He abruptly turned his back on former friends from the Sturm und Drang period, such as Lenz and Klinger , who visited him in Weimar in 1776, stayed there for a long time and received financial support from Goethe. After an insult that has not yet been clarified, he even has Lenz expelled from the duchy.
From 1777 Goethe's official activities extended to the renewal of Ilmenau mining and from 1779 to the chairmanship of two permanent commissions, the road construction commission and the war commission, with responsibility for raising recruits for the Weimar army. His main concern was to restructure the heavily indebted state budget by curtailing public spending while at the same time promoting the economy. This succeeded at least in part, for example, the halving of the “armed forces” led to savings. Difficulties and the unsuccessful efforts of his efforts in the civil service combined with an excessive workload led to resignation. Goethe noted in his diary in 1779: "Nobody knows what I'm doing and with how many enemies I'm fighting to bring about what little I have." Traveling with the duke, Goethe familiarized himself with the country and its people. Among other things, his activities took him to Apolda , whose distress he describes, as well as to other areas of the duchy. In his first decade in Weimar, Goethe undertook several journeys beyond the national borders, mostly as part of official duties, including a trip to Dessau and Berlin in the spring of 1778 , to Switzerland from September 1779 to January 1780 and several times to the Harz Mountains (1777, 1783 and 1784 ). On September 5, 1779 he was promoted to Privy Council .
Hofrat Johann Joachim Christoph Bode , who had come to Weimar, aroused Goethe's interest in the Weimar Masonic lodge " Amalia ". During his second trip to Switzerland, Goethe made the first efforts to be accepted; on June 23, 1780 he joined the lodge. He quickly completed the usual degrees and was promoted to journeyman in 1781 and promoted to master in 1782, at the same time as Carl August. Goethe traveled to Gotha on October 7, 1781 to meet in person Friedrich Melchior Grimm , the Franco-German author, diplomat and friend of Denis Diderot and other encyclopedists . Grimm had already visited Goethe on October 8, 1777 at the Wartburg .
Goethe's activities in Ilmenau and his fight against corruption there caused the duke to give him the task on June 11, 1782 of familiarizing himself with the management of chamber affairs , i.e. state finances, without giving him the official title of June 6 1782 dismissed Chamber President Johann August Alexander von Kalb to transfer. He should attend the meetings of the Chamber College and be informed of all extraordinary business events. In the same year he was appointed supervisor of the University of Jena .
At the duke's request, he received the diploma of nobility from the emperor on 3 June 1782 . The ennoblement should make it easier for him to work at court and in state affairs. Later, in 1827, Goethe said to Johann Peter Eckermann about his ennoblement: “When I was given the aristocratic diploma, many believed that I wanted to feel elevated by it. Alone, between us, it meant nothing to me, nothing at all! We Frankfurt patricians always considered ourselves equal to the nobility, and when I held the diploma in my hands, all I had in my thoughts was what I had long had.”
The Immediate Commissions between 1776 and 1783 were Goethe's main instrument for enforcing reform projects, since the "frozen" system of authorities was not able to do this. Goethe's efforts at reform were hampered in the 1980s by the duchy 's aristocracy . Goethe's initiative to revive copper and silver mining in Ilmenau proved to be unsuccessful, which is why it was finally stopped altogether in 1812.
At almost 33 years of age, Goethe had reached the pinnacle of success. After the Duke, he was the most powerful man in Weimar. Because of his work for the duke, he was criticized as a " servant of the prince " and a "despot poet".
Goethe's work in the Consilium is judged differently in the literature. Some authors regard him as an enlightened reform politician who, among other things, tried to free the farmers from oppressive slave labor and tax burdens; others point out that in an official capacity he advocated both the forced conscription of provincial children into the Prussian army and measures to restrict freedom of speech. In 1783 he voted for the execution of the unmarried mother Johanna Catharina Höhn , who had killed her newborn child out of desperation - in contrast to the understanding and compassionate attitude he later expressed in the Gretchen Tragedy .
In 1784 Goethe was able to persuade the Weimar, Jena and Eisenach estates to take on the state debt of 130,000 thalers by reducing their annual appropriations for the military budget from 63,400 thalers to 30,000 thalers.
poetry and nature studies
In his first decade in Weimar, Goethe published nothing apart from a few poems scattered in magazines. The daily work left him little time for serious poetic work, especially since he was also responsible for organizing court festivals and supplying the courtly amateur theater with singspiels and plays. Among these occasional productions, which he often regarded as a chore, was a remake of the Plundersweiler fairground festival . Only a first prose version of Iphigenie auf Tauris was finished of the demanding works of this time; Egmont , Tasso and Wilhelm Meister were also started . In addition, some of Goethe's best-known poems were written; in addition to the love poems for Charlotte von Stein (for example. Why did you give us the deep views ) these were, among others, the Erlkönig , Wanderer's Night Song , The Limits of Humanity (1780) and The Divine .
Around 1780 Goethe began to deal systematically with scientific questions. He later attributed this to his official occupation with questions of mining and agriculture, the timber industry, etc. His main interests were initially geology and mineralogy , botany and osteology . In this field he succeeded in 1784 in the supposed discovery (because it was hardly known, in reality only a self-discovery) of the premaxillary bone in humans. In the same year he wrote his essay On the Granite and planned a book entitled Roman der Erde .
Relationship to Charlotte von Stein
Goethe's most important and formative relationship during this Weimar decade was with his lady-in-waiting, Charlotte von Stein (1742–1827). The seven-year-older was married to the country nobleman Baron Josias von Stein , the chief equerry at court. She had seven children with him, three of whom were still alive when Goethe met her. The 1770 letters, bills, "Zettelgen" and the numerous poems that Goethe addressed to her are the documents of an extraordinarily close relationship (Frau von Stein's letters have not survived). It becomes clear that the lover promoted the poet as a "teacher". She taught him courtly manners, calmed his inner restlessness and strengthened his self-discipline. The question of whether it was also a sexual relationship or a pure “soul friendship” cannot be answered with certainty. Most authors assume that Charlotte von Stein refused her lover's physical desires. In a letter from Rome, he wrote that "the thought of not owning you […] wears me down and consumes me".
The thesis of the psychoanalyst Kurt Eissler , according to which Goethe had his first sexual intercourse at the age of 39 in Rome, is often advocated. His biographer Nicholas Boyle also sees the Roman episode with " Faustina " as the first documented sexual contact.
Goethe's secret departure for Italy in 1786 shook the relationship, and after his return there was a definitive break because of Goethe's steady love affair with Christiane Vulpius , his later wife, who would not forgive him the deeply injured Frau von Stein. She, whose whole life and self-understanding was based on the denial of sensuality, saw in the connection a breach of faith on the part of Goethe. She demanded her letters back to him. Christiane just called her "little creature" and said that Goethe had two natures, one sensual and one spiritual. Only in old age did both of them find a friendly relationship again, without the cordial contact of the past being restored. Goethe's little son August , who did some errands between Goethe's and von Stein's house and whom Charlotte had taken to his heart, gave the impetus for a sluggish resumption of their correspondence from 1794, which, however, from then on was conducted as "Sie".
Voyage to Italy (1786–1788)
In the mid-1780s, at the peak of his official career, Goethe fell into a crisis. His official activities remained unsuccessful, the burdens of his offices and the constraints of court life became tiresome for him, and his relationship with Charlotte von Stein became increasingly unsatisfactory. When the publisher Göschen offered him a complete edition in 1786, he realized with a shock that nothing new had been published by him in the last ten years. In view of his poetic fragments (Faust, Egmont, Wilhelm Meister, Tasso) , self-doubt about his double existence as artist and official person increased. In the play Torquato Tasso , Goethe found the appropriate material to shape his contradictory existence at court. He divided them into two figures, Tasso and Antonio, between whom there is no reconciliation. While he distrusted the poetic balance, in reality he tried to keep both aspects in balance.
But after the sobering experience of his poetic stagnation in the first Weimar decade, he withdrew from court by taking an educational trip to Italy, which was unexpected for those around him. On September 3, 1786, he left Karlsbad without saying goodbye. Only his secretary and trusted servant Philipp Seidel was in on it. After their last personal meeting in Karlsbad, he wrote to the Duke asking for unlimited leave. The day before his departure, he announced his impending absence without revealing his destination. The secret departure with an unknown destination was probably part of a strategy intended to enable Goethe to resign from office while continuing to receive his salary. The author of Werther , famous throughout Europe , traveled incognito under the name Johann Philipp Möller in order to be able to move about freely in public.
After stopovers in Verona , Vicenza and Venice , Goethe reached Rome in November . He stayed there until February 1787 (first stay in Rome). After a four-month trip to Naples and Sicily , he returned to Rome in June 1787, where he stayed until the end of April 1788 (second stay in Rome). On the return journey he made stopovers in Siena , Florence , Parma and Milan , among others . Two months later, on June 18, 1788, he was back in Weimar.
In Rome, Goethe lived with the German painter Wilhelm Tischbein , who painted what is probably the most famous portrait of the poet ( Goethe in the Campagna ). He was also in lively contact with other members of the German artist colony in Rome, including Angelika Kauffmann , who also portrayed him, with Jakob Philipp Hackert , Friedrich Bury , and with the Swiss painter Johann Heinrich Meyer , who later followed him to Weimar and worked under him there other things should become his artistic advisor. He was also on friendly terms with the writer Karl Philipp Moritz ; in conversation with him, the art-theoretical views were formed, which were to become fundamental to Goethe's "classical" view of art and were laid down by Moritz in his work On the educative imitation of beauty .
In Italy Goethe got to know and admire the buildings and works of art of antiquity and the Renaissance ; his special admiration was for Raphael and the architect Andrea Palladio . In Vicenza, he was enthusiastic about the fact that his buildings breathed new life into the forms of antiquity. Under the guidance of his artist friends, he practiced drawing with great ambition; about 850 drawings by Goethe have survived from the Italian period. But he also recognized that he was not born to be a visual artist, but to be a poet. He occupied himself intensively with the completion of literary works: he brought Iphigenia , which was already available in prose , into verse form, completed Egmont , which had begun twelve years earlier, and continued to write on Tasso . He also engaged in botanical studies. Above all, however, he “lived”: “Under the protection of the incognito (however, his true identity was known to his German friends), he was able to move about in lower social classes, let his joy in games and jokes run free and have erotic experiences.”
The journey became a drastic experience for Goethe; he himself repeatedly spoke in letters home of a "rebirth", a "new youth" that he had experienced in Italy. He had rediscovered himself as an artist, he wrote to the Duke. About his future work in Weimar, he let him know that he wanted to be freed from his previous duties and do "what nobody but I can do and leave the rest to others". The duke granted Goethe the requested extension of his paid leave, so that he could stay in Rome until Easter 1788. One result of his trip was that after his return to Weimar he separated his poetic from his political existence. Between 1813 and 1817 he wrote the Italian Journey based on his diaries .
Weimar Classic period (from 1789)
Relationship to Christiane Vulpius (1788–1816)
A few weeks after his return, on July 12, 1788, Goethe made the acquaintance of the 23-year-old milliner Christiane Vulpius , who appeared to him as a supplicant for her brother who got into trouble after studying law . She became his mistress and soon after his life companion. Goethe's mother called her the "bed treasure". Not only from the erotic allusions in the Roman Elegies , which Goethe was writing at that time and in which the figure of his Roman lover Faustina merged with that of Christiane, Sigrid Damm concludes that the two are “a sensual couple gifted with love and imagination”. had been. When Christiane was very pregnant, Goethe wanted to take her into the house on Frauenplan, but at the duke's request and out of consideration for Weimar society, he moved her into an apartment just outside the city gates. On December 25, 1789, she gave birth to son August Walter . On the occasion of the baptism, Goethe did not formally acknowledge his paternity, but the child was not listed as illegitimate. Four other children survived the birth only a few days. In 1792, the duke agreed to move to the house on Frauenplan, which Goethe and Christiane could live in rent-free before it passed into Goethe's possession in 1794 through a gift from the duke, out of gratitude for having been with them on the campaigns of 1792 and 1793 .
Little is known about Goethe's "fleeting, sentimental attachment to an aristocratic lady", the 21-year-old Henriette von Lüttwitz , whom he met in Breslau after August's birth on his trip to Silesia in 1790 and to whom he had proposed marriage, which her aristocratic father rejected .
Christiane, who was poorly educated and came from a family in financial difficulties, had no access to Weimar society, in which Goethe moved. She was seen there as vulgar and pleasure-seeking; The illegitimacy of the "unsuitable relationship" made things even more difficult. Goethe valued her natural, happy nature and maintained the connection with his "little eroticon" until the end of Christiane's life in 1816. It was not until 1806 that he eased her social position through marriage, which paved the way for her into good society. Goethe had decided to marry at short notice after Christiane had saved him from mortal danger with her courageous intervention when he was threatened in his house in Weimar by plundering French soldiers on the evening of the battle near Jena . The marriage was concluded just five days later. Goethe chose the date of the battle and his rescue in the night of terror as engraving for the rings: October 14, 1806.
Metamorphosis of Plants and Roman Elegies
In the years following his trip to Italy, Goethe was primarily concerned with natural science. In his relationship to nature, he only distinguished two periods: the decade before 1780, which was particularly shaped by the experience of nature in the Strasbourg years, and the following fifty years of systematic nature studies in Weimar. In 1790 he published his Attempt to explain the metamorphosis of plants , an 86-page monograph received with little interest in Goethe's lifetime, making him a co-founder of comparative morphology . With the great didactic poem The Metamorphosis of Plants , written in 1798, he succeeded in combining poetry and natural science. The nature poem, written in the verse of the elegiac distich , is addressed to a "beloved" (Christiane Vulpius) and presents its morphological teachings in a concentrated form. In the 1790s he also began his investigations into color theory , which would occupy him until the end of his life.
Works of the early 1790s include the Roman Elegies , a collection of libertinely erotic poems, written soon after his return. In the forms of ancient poetry, Goethe processed not only the memory of cultural and amorous Rome experiences from his first trip to Italy, but also his sensual, happy love for Christiane Vulpius. Twenty of the twenty-four poems appeared in Schiller's Horen in 1795 . Weimar society took offense at Goethe's Erotica, although he retained four of the most revealing poems.
Official tasks, campaigns and politics
After his return from Italy, Goethe had the duke relieve him of most of his official duties. However, he retained his seat in the Consilium and thus the possibility of exerting political influence. As a "minister without portfolio " he took on a number of cultural and scientific tasks, including running the drawing school and supervising public works. In addition, he was entrusted with the management of the Weimar Court Theater - a task that took up a lot of time, since he was responsible for all matters. In addition, Goethe was active in an advisory capacity in matters relating to the University of Jena , which belonged to the duchy . Thanks to his advocacy, a number of well-known professors were appointed, including Johann Gottlieb Fichte , Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel , Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Friedrich Schiller . After supervising the university was entrusted to him in 1807, Goethe campaigned primarily for the expansion of the natural sciences faculty.
After completing the eight-volume Göschen work edition for his 40th birthday, Goethe planned to travel to Italy again. In 1790 he spent several months in Venice , where he awaited the Duchess Mother on her return from a two-year trip to Italy. He accompanied her back to Weimar, with stays in Padua , Vicenza , Verona and Mantua . However, the high spirits of the first trip to Italy did not return. The product of this second (involuntary) trip to Italy are the Venetian Epigrams , a collection of satirical poems on the European situation that “exceeded the aesthetic-moral tolerance limit of the time”. In the fourth epigram he feels "cheated" by the innkeepers and misses "German honesty", complains: "The country is beautiful; but ah! I can't find Faustinen again.” Instead, he longed to go back to Christiane, his “darling” whom he left.
In 1789, the European system of government and states was shaken and called into question by the French Revolution . Most of Goethe's intellectual contemporaries (e.g. Wieland, Herder, Hölderlin , Hegel , Georg Forster , Beethoven ) were enthusiastic about the ideals of freedom and brotherhood that emanated from her, for example through the proclamation of human rights . In his ode, Know Yourself , Klopstock celebrated the revolution as "the noblest act of the century". Goethe was opposed to the revolution from the outset; for him it was "the most terrible of all events" and also questioned his existence in Weimar as a "prince's servant". He was a proponent of gradual reforms in the spirit of the Enlightenment and was particularly repelled by the violent excesses that followed the revolution; on the other hand, he saw their cause in the social conditions of the Ancien Régime . Looking back, he later said in conversation with Eckermann, "that the revolutionary uprisings of the lower classes are a consequence of the injustices of the big ones". At the same time, because he hated revolutions, he objected to being seen as a “friend of the status quo: “That is [...] a very ambiguous title that I would like to forgive myself. If everything that exists was excellent, good and just, I wouldn't mind at all. But since there is much that is bad, unjust, and imperfect alongside much that is good, a friend of the status quo often means not much less than a friend of the outdated and bad.”
In 1792, at his request, Goethe accompanied the duke to the first coalition war against revolutionary France. For three months he observed the misery and violence of this war as an observer, which ended in a French victory. He laid down his experiences in the autobiographical work Campagne in France . After a short stay in Weimar, he again went to the front with the duke. In the summer of 1793 he accompanied him to take part in the siege of Mainz . Mainz, occupied by the French and ruled by German Jacobins , was recaptured by the Prussian-Austrian coalition forces after a three-month siege and bombardment.
Poetic processing of the revolution
In retrospect, Goethe noted that the French Revolution, as "the most terrible of all events", cost him many years of boundless effort "to master its causes and consequences in poetry". According to Rüdiger Safranski, Goethe experienced the revolution as an elementary event, like a social and political volcanic eruption, and it is no coincidence that he dealt with the natural phenomenon of volcanism in the months following the revolution.
Under the influence of the revolution, a series of satirical, anti-revolutionary, but also anti-absolutist comedies emerged: The Great Cophta (1791), The Citizen General (1793) and the fragment The Excited Ones (1793). The one-act play Der Bürgergeneral was Goethe's first play to deal with the consequences of the revolution. Although it was one of his most successful plays - on the Weimar stage it was performed more often than Iphigenia and Tasso - he later refused to admit it. Nor did he include it in the seven-volume edition of his New Writings published by the Berlin publisher Johann Friedrich Unger at irregular intervals between 1792 and 1800 . The Reineke Fuchs , the animal epic from the late Middle Ages written in hexameters in 1792/93 , which reflects the cruelties, falsehood and malice of people in the animal kingdom, also refers to Goethe's experiences of those years. While still in the army camp near Mainz in 1793, he gradually polished the epic.
The revolutionary current events also formed the background of the conversations written by Goethe in 1795 between German emigrants and the epic poem Hermann and Dorothea (1797). The Conversations are a collection of novellas in which the revolution is only addressed in the background story. In order to forget the political dispute of the day, noble refugees who fled from the French revolutionary troops from their estates on the left bank of the Rhine to the right bank tell stories in the tradition of Romanesque novels ( Giovanni Boccaccio ). This narrative poetry introduced the first volume of Schiller's journal Die Horen . Hermann und Dorothea dealt directly with the consequences of the revolution ; In this epic, Goethe clothed the description of the fate of the Germans on the left bank of the Rhine in the guise of the classic hexameter. The work achieved “unprecedented popularity” alongside Schiller’s bell .
Director of the Weimar Theater (1776–1817)
Goethe had been put in charge of the amateur theater at the Weimar court in 1776, at a time when the courts favored French drama and Italian opera. Aristocratic and middle-class laypeople acted as actors at the Weimar theater, members of the court including Duke Carl August and Goethe. The venues changed. The singer and actress Corona Schröter from Leipzig, who was engaged for Weimar at Goethe's suggestion, was initially the only trained actress. She was the first actress to play Iphigenia in the first performance of the prose version of Goethe's Iphigenie auf Tauris in 1779, in which Goethe played Orestes and Carl August played Pylades . In 1779, an actor's company was contracted for the first time under Goethe's direction.
After Duke Carl August decided to found the Weimar Court Theater in 1791 , Goethe took over its management. The court theater was opened on May 7, 1791 with Iffland 's play Die Jäger . Goethe's desire to bind the talented actor and dramatist Iffland to the Weimar theater was shattered, as he preferred the more attractive position as director of the Berlin National Theater . In the course of his 26 years as director, Goethe made the Weimar Court Theater one of the leading German theaters, showing not only many of his own plays but also Schiller's later plays (such as the Wallenstein Trilogy , Maria Stuart , The Bride of Messina and Wilhelm Tell ) came to the premiere. Schiller also adapted Goethe's Egmont for the Weimar stage.
The duke had given Goethe a free hand in directing his theatre, which he admittedly exercised with a rather patriarchal approach to the actors and actresses. When the fully trained and self-confident actress and singer Karoline Jagemann , engaged in 1797, opposed Goethe's authoritarian management style, he retired from the theater in 1817. One reason was that this artist was not only the undisputed prima donna who lit up Weimar's stage, but also the duke's official mistress , whose support she found in her dispute with Goethe.
In league with Schiller (1789–1805)
Before Goethe met Schiller in person for the first time in the autumn of 1788 in Rudolstadt , Thuringia , the two had not remained strangers. They each knew each other's early works. As a student at the Karlsschule , Schiller read Goethe's Götz und Werther with enthusiasm and saw the man he admired standing next to Karl Eugen at the graduation ceremony of his class in 1780 as a visitor together with the Duke of Weimar . Goethe, who rejected Schiller's robbers with their violence, was astonished to see Schiller's growing fame after his return from Italy, and later also learned to appreciate Schiller 's thought poetry and his historical writings. At first, Schiller's judgments and feelings about Goethe changed rapidly and were intended to be revised again immediately. He repeatedly calls Goethe an "emotionally cold egoist". Safranski speaks of a “love-hate relationship” and quotes from a letter from Schiller to Körner : “I hate him […], even though I love his spirit with all my heart”. Schiller later found the “wonderful formula” (Rüdiger Safranski) for liberation from resentment and rivalry: “that there is no freedom in relation to excellence except love” (letter to Goethe of July 2, 1796).
The first personal encounter in Rudolstadt, arranged by Charlotte von Lengefeld , who later became Schiller's wife, was relatively unemotional. In a report to Körner, Schiller doubted "whether we will ever get very close to each other." After this "unsuccessful encounter" Goethe had pursued Schiller's appointment to a professorship in Jena, which Schiller initially accepted without pay.
Having lived as a history professor in nearby Jena since 1789, Schiller asked Goethe in June 1794 to join the editorial board of Horen , a journal for culture and art that he had planned . After Goethe's commitment, the two met in July of the same year in Jena, which Goethe considered "a happy event" and the beginning of his friendship with Schiller. In September 1794 he invited Schiller to a longer visit to Weimar, which lasted two weeks and served an intensive exchange of ideas between them. This meeting was followed by frequent mutual visits.
The two poets were as much in agreement in their rejection of revolution as they were in turning to antiquity as the highest artistic ideal; this was the beginning of an intensive working alliance, from which everything more personal was excluded, but which was characterized by a deep understanding of the nature and working methods of the other.
In the joint discussion of fundamental aesthetic questions, both developed a concept of literature and art that was to become the literary-historical epoch designation as "Weimar Classicism". Goethe, whose literary work, like that of Schiller, had previously come to a standstill, emphasized the stimulating effect of working with the ten-year-old: “You gave me a second youth and made me a poet again, which I am so good at being than had stopped."
In the first volume of the Horen , the Roman Elegies appeared for the first time under the title Elegien and without naming the author. Apparently “all respectable women” in Weimar were outraged by this. Herder prompted the publication to make the ironic suggestion that the hours should now be written with a "u". In the Horen in 1795/96, Schiller published his treatise on naive and sentimental poetry in three installments , a poetic typology that contributed significantly to the self-image of both of them: Goethe the “ naive ” poet, Schiller the “sentimental” poet.
Both poets took a lively theoretical and practical interest in the works of the other. Thus Goethe influenced Schiller 's Wallenstein , while the latter critically accompanied the work on Goethe's novel Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship and encouraged him to continue Faust . Goethe had asked Schiller to help him complete the Wilhelm Meister novel and Schiller did not disappoint. He commented on the manuscripts sent to him and was amazed that Goethe did not know exactly how the novel should end. He wrote to Goethe that he considered it "to be one of the most wonderful things in my life that I experienced the completion of this product". For Nicholas Boyle, the exchange of letters about Wilhelm Meister in the years 1795/96 was the high point in the intellectual relationship between Goethe and Schiller.
They also ran joint publishing projects. It is true that Schiller hardly contributed to Goethe's short-lived art journal Propyläen ; however, he published numerous works in the Horen and the Musen-Almanach , also published by Schiller . The Almanac of the Muses for 1797 produced a collection of collectively composed satirical verses, the Xenia . The most famous ballads of both authors, such as Goethe's The Sorcerer 's Apprentice , The Treasure Digger , The Bride from Corinth , The God and the Bayadere , and Schiller 's The Diver , The Cranes of Ibycus , The Ring of Polycrates , The Glove and The Knight , appeared in the Musen-Almanach the following year Toggenburg .
In December 1799, Schiller moved to Weimar with his family of four, initially to a rented apartment that Charlotte von Kalb had previously lived in; In 1802 he acquired his own house on the Esplanade . Parties formed in Weimar that challenged the comparison of the two "Dioscuri". The successful playwright August von Kotzebue , who had settled in Weimar, tried to drive a wedge between the two with a lavish celebration in honor of Schiller. Despite some temporary irritations between them, their friendship remained intact until Schiller's death.
On September 13, 1804, Goethe became a Real Privy Councilor with the honorary title of Excellency .
The news of Schiller's death on May 9, 1805 plunged Goethe into a state of stupor. He stayed away from the funeral. He wrote to his friend, musician Carl Friedrich Zelter , that he had lost a friend and with him "half of my existence". For Rüdiger Safranski, Schiller's death marked a turning point in Goethe's life, a "farewell to that golden age when, for a short time, art was not only one of the most beautiful but also one of the most important things in life". According to Dieter Borchmeyer , the formative period of Weimar Classicism ended with him .
The late Goethe (1805–1832)
Goethe saw Schiller's death in 1805 as a drastic loss. Around this time he also suffered from various diseases ( facial erysipelas or facial erysipelas 1801, renal colic, heart attacks). He was also concerned about the political situation with the looming war with Napoleon Bonaparte . In his mind, Goethe already saw himself and his duke wandering through Germany, begging and seeking asylum . Nevertheless, his last decades were characterized by considerable productivity and strong love experiences. Friedrich Riemer (his son's tutor since 1805) soon became indispensable to him as secretary .
Late works and color theory
Safranski considers the fact that Goethe resumed work on Faust to be an immediate aftermath of Schiller's death; In addition, there was external pressure from the publisher Cotta. The new eight-volume complete edition of 1808 was to contain the first complete version of the first part of Faust .
The marriage to Christiane did not prevent Goethe, as early as 1807, from showing an amorous affection for Minna Herzlieb , the eighteen-year-old foster daughter of the bookseller Frommann in Jena. Safranski speaks of a “small infatuation”, which Goethe explained as a “substitute” for the “painful loss of Schiller”. An echo of the inner experiences of this time can be found in his last novel, The Elective Affinities (1809). It is characteristic of Goethe how he combines poetry and natural research in this work. In contemporary chemistry, the term “ elective affinity ” of the elements was used, which Goethe adopted in order to address the “natural attraction forces that cannot be finally controlled by reason” between two pairs.
In 1810 Goethe published the lavishly equipped color theory in two volumes and a volume with illustrations. He had been dealing with her for nearly twenty years. According to Safranski, the repeated studies of color (in the form of experiments, observations, reflections and literature studies) served Goethe as an escape from external turbulence and inner unrest; he had also noted his relevant observations during the campaign in France and at the siege of Mainz. The response to the publication was poor and filled Goethe with displeasure. Although friends showed respect, the scientific world hardly took any notice of them. The literary world absorbed them as a needless digression in a period of violent political upheaval.
In January 1811, Goethe began writing a major autobiography, later entitled Aus meine Lebens. Poetry and truth received. He was helped by Bettina Brentano , who had notes on what his mother had told him about Goethe's childhood and youth. Bettina visited Goethe in Weimar in 1811. After a quarrel between her and Christiane, Goethe broke up with her. The first three parts of the autobiography appeared between 1811 and 1814. The fourth part only appeared after his death in 1833. The original conception was a metamorphosis of the poet's educational history, emphasizing the "naturalness of the aesthetic and poetic abilities and aptitudes". A crisis while working on the third part made them seem inappropriate to him. In its place, he put the demonic as a "cipher [...] of the overpowering natural and historical context".
Encounters with Napoleon and Beethoven
Napoleon exerted a personal fascination on Goethe until the end of his life. For him Napoleon was "one of the most productive people [...] who ever lived". "His life was the striding of a demigod from battle to battle and from victory to victory." In 1808 Goethe met Napoleon twice. The Emperor received him and Christoph Martin Wieland for the first time on October 2nd at the Erfurt Congress of Princes for a private audience, at which Napoleon addressed him appreciatively about his Werther . A second encounter (again together with Wieland) took place in Weimar on the occasion of a court ball on October 6th. After that, he and Wieland were made Knights of the Legion of Honour . Tsar Alexander I , also present at the Congress of Princes, awarded both the Order of Anne . To the annoyance of his contemporaries and also of Duke Carl August, Goethe proudly wore the legionary cross, even at the time of the patriotic uprising against Napoleonic rule in Germany. In 1813 he said in a conversation: “Just shake your chains; the man is too big for you, you will not break her.” Immediately after the news of Napoleon's death on May 5, 1821 on Saint Helena , the Italian poet Alessandro Manzoni wrote the ode Il Cinque Maggio ( May Fifth ) with 18 six-line stanzas. When Goethe received the ode, he was so impressed by it that he immediately set about translating it, preserving its high, solemn tone.
Goethe met Beethoven in 1812 in the Bohemian spa town of Teplitz . By this time Beethoven had already set various verses and songs by Goethe to music and, commissioned by the Vienna Court Theater in 1809/10, composed the overture to the tragedy Egmont . It is considered a homage to Goethe's drama figure as the epitome of the heroic human being. It was with great respect that Beethoven sent the score to Goethe. Goethe was impressed by the new acquaintance; there were several encounters in Teplitz, where Beethoven also played the piano for him. On the evening of the first meeting, he wrote to his wife: "I have never seen an artist more summarized, more energetic, more heartfelt". He wrote to Zelter: “His talent amazed me; Unfortunately, he is a completely untamed personality, who is not at all wrong when he finds the world detestable, but of course does not make it more enjoyable for himself or for others.” After the meeting, Beethoven was no less critical of his publisher Hartel : "Goethe likes the air of court too much - more than befits a poet." A few letters were exchanged between the two, but it remained polite.
Friendships with Zelter and Boisserée
Goethe cultivated many friendships during his long life. The private letter served as the most important medium of communication for friendship. In the last decades of his life he formed two special friendships with Carl Friedrich Zelter and Sulpiz Boisserée .
In 1796, the musician and composer Carl Friedrich Zelter sent Goethe some settings of texts from Wilhelm Meister's apprenticeship years via his publisher . Goethe thanked him with the words "that I would hardly have thought the music capable of such heartfelt tones". They first met in February 1802, but by 1799 they had established correspondence. The extensive correspondence of almost 900 letters lasted until Goethe's death. In this old age friendship with Zelter, whose music sounded more pleasant to his ears than the "noise" of Ludwig van Beethoven, Goethe felt he was well understood, not only in questions of music.
What his friendship with Zelter meant for his understanding of music, he owed to Sulpiz Boisserée for his experiences with the visual arts. The Heidelberg art collector Boisserée, a disciple of Friedrich Schlegel, first visited him in Weimar in 1811. This resulted in a lasting exchange of letters and a lifelong friendship, which enriched him with new art experiences over the next few years. After a trip to the Rhine and Main area with a visit to the Boisséere collection of paintings in Heidelberg, they are reflected in the travelogue on art and antiquity in the Rhine and Mayn areas of 1816. During the trip in 1814, Goethe got caught up in the hustle and bustle of the traditional Saint Rochus festival in Bingen, which fascinated him just like the Roman carnival once did and which he lovingly described as a folk festival.
Goethe kept his distance from the patriotic uprising against French foreign rule. He took refuge intellectually in the Orient to study Arabic and Persian, he read the Koran and enthusiastically received the verses of the Persian poet Hafis in Cotta's new translation of the 14th-century Divan . They put him in a "creative high spirits", which he later described to Eckermann as "a repeated puberty": within a short time he wrote numerous poems in the light and playful tone of Hafiz. Hendrik Birus , the editor of the collection of poems in the Frankfurt edition , speaks of “eruptive productivity” .
In the summer of 1814, Goethe traveled to the Rhine and Main area. In Wiesbaden he met the Frankfurt banker and patron of the theater Johann Jakob von Willemer , who he had known since his youth, and his foster daughter Marianne Jung . He then visited her at the Gerbermühle near Frankfurt, where he also moved into quarters for a while. The widowed banker had taken Marianne in as a young girl and lived with her in concubinage . While Goethe was still there, and possibly on his advice, the two married in a hurry. The sixty-five year old Goethe fell in love with Marianne. She became his muse and partner in the poetry of the West-Eastern Divan . A "lyrical antiphon" and a "literary role-playing game of love" developed between them, which they continued the following year with another visit lasting several weeks. The poems written during the Frankfurt weeks were primarily included in the book Suleika . In 1850 Marianne revealed to Herman Grimm that some of the love poems included in this collection were her own. Heinrich Heine found the praising words in his writing The Romantic School for the collection of poems: "Goethe has brought the most intoxicating enjoyment of life into verses here, and these are so light, so happy, so breathy, so ethereal that one wonders how such things can be found in German language was possible".
On his journey in 1815, Goethe saw his homeland for the last time. When in July 1816 he left for the planned cure in Baden-Baden and wanted to pay another visit to the Willemers, the carriage broke down behind Weimar, whereupon Goethe broke off the journey. From then on he refrained from visiting Marianne and did not write to her for a while. He left the West-Eastern Divan unfinished for some time, only completing it in 1818.
Death of Christiane, work processing, writings on nature
Goethe's wife Christiane died in June 1816 after a long illness. Just as he sought distraction at work in other cases of death and illness in his vicinity or dealt with his own illness, he also withdrew when Christiane died. He was not present at her deathbed or at her funeral. Consistently, Goethe avoided the sight of dying or deceased people who were close to him. Johanna Schopenhauer told a friend that it was his way "to let every pain romp in silence and only to show his friends his composure again". After Christiane's death, things got lonelier around him in the big house on Frauenplan. The visit of Charlotte Buff, Kestner's widow, to Weimar in September 1816 did not improve his mood either. In 1817 his son married Ottilie von Pogwisch , who as a daughter-in-law looked after Goethe from then on. In 1817 Goethe was relieved of the management of the court theatre. Contrary to Goethe's fears, the small duchy emerged unscathed from the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars . Carl August was allowed to call himself "Royal Highness", and the new circumstances on December 12, 1815 brought Goethe the title of Minister of State .
Goethe arranged his writings and manuscripts. The diaries and long-standing notes served him to come to terms with the Italian journey . At times he delved into ancient Greek myths and Orphic poetry . This was reflected in five stanzas that first appeared in the journal Zur Morphologie in 1817 , summarized under the heading Urworte. Orphic . They were related to his efforts to recognize the laws of life in the form of the primordial plant and primordial phenomena. The one-volume first version of Wilhelm Meister's Wanderjahre followed in 1821 , which essentially consisted of a collection of novellas, some of which had already been published.
During these years, the history of my botanical studies (1817) was written, followed by 1824 in the series of publications on natural science , including thoughts on morphology, geology and mineralogy. The depiction of the morphology of the plants can also be found here in the form of an elegy that he had already written around 1790 for his mistress. During this time he was also in contact with the forest scientist Heinrich Cotta , whom he had first visited in Tharandt in 1813 . In 1818 Goethe became a member of the Leopoldina , one of the most renowned scientific societies.
In February 1823, Goethe fell ill, probably from a heart attack . After his recovery, some found him even more mentally alert than before.
Marianske Lazne Elegy
In the summer he left for Marienbad with great expectations of seeing Ulrike von Levetzow again . He had met the then seventeen-year-old with her mother in 1821 during a spa stay in Marienbad and fell in love with her. The following year they had met again in Marienbad and spent hours together in good company. At the third meeting, Goethe, who was seventy-four at the time, proposed to nineteen-year-old Ulrike. He had asked his friend, Grand Duke Carl August, to be his matchmaker. Ulrike politely declined. While still in the carriage, which brought him back to Weimar via several stops (Karlsbad, Eger), he wrote the Marienbader Elegie , a lyrical masterpiece and “the most important, the personally most intimate and therefore also the most beloved poem of his age” in Stefan Zweig’s opinion , who dedicated a chapter of his historical miniatures Great Hours of Humanity to the story of its origins.
the last few years
After that, his life belonged “to work alone”. He resumed work on the second part of Faust . He hardly ever wrote himself, but dictated. Not only was he able to cope with an extensive exchange of letters, but he was also able to confide his insights and wisdom in long-distance conversations to the young poet Johann Peter Eckermann , who was devoted to him.
For the collection, sighting and ordering of the literary results of his whole life in the final preparation of the Cotta edition, Goethe was able to rely on a staff of collaborators: in addition to the scribe and copyist Johann August Friedrich John , there was the jurist Johann Christian Schuchard, who Goethe's papers archived and extensive registers created, as well as Johann Heinrich Meyer , responsible for the text revision of Goethe's art-historical writings, and the prince's tutor Frédéric Soret , who devoted himself to the publication of the scientific writings. The librarian and writer Friedrich Wilhelm Riemer was also back on the staff after a brief quarrel over the upbringing of Goethe's son. At its head since 1824 was Eckermann, whom Goethe took into his confidence and bestowed with recognition and praise. Although he devoted all his energy to Goethe, he was poorly rewarded by him. He also had to earn his living by teaching English to English educational travellers. Goethe designated him in his will as the editor of his posthumous works.
In 1828, Goethe's friend and patron, the Grand Duke Carl August, died, and in November 1830 his son August . In the same year he completed work on the second part of Faust . It was a work in which the most important thing for him was the years of development, formally a stage play, actually hardly playable on stage, more of a fantastic series of pictures, ambiguous like many of his poems. Finally, he intervened in the controversy between the two paleontologists Georges Cuvier and Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire ( catastrophism vs. continuous evolution of species ). Geology and the theory of evolution occupied him just as much as the rainbow , which he had never been able to explain using his theory of colours. He was also fascinated by the question of how plants grow.
In August 1831, Goethe was once again drawn to the Thuringian Forest, where he had once received his first scientific suggestions, and he went to Ilmenau. In 1780, 51 years after he had written his most famous poem Wanderer's Night Song ("Over all Summits is Ruh...") on a board wall in the "Goethehäuschen" hunting lodge on the Kickelhahn near Ilmenau , he visited this site again in 1831 shortly before his last birthday.
On March 22, 1832, Goethe died, presumably of a heart attack . It is disputed whether his last words "More light!" are authentic. They were communicated to him by his family doctor , Carl Vogel , who was not in the room where he died at the time. Four days later he was buried in the Weimar Princely Crypt.
Goethe's biographers have often drawn attention to the uniqueness and close interweaving of Goethe's life and work. In the subtitle of his biography - work of art of life - Rüdiger Safranski put this in a nutshell. Georg Simmel centered his 1913 Goethe monograph on the exemplary spiritual existence of Goethe with the embodiment of a distinctive individuality. George 's student Friedrich Gundolf dedicated his 1916 monograph to the "representation of Goethe's entire form, the greatest unity in which German spirit has embodied itself", and in which "life and work" only appear as different "attributes of one and the same substance". The word "Olympian" was already used during Goethe's lifetime. In his extensive Goethe study, the psychoanalyst Kurt R. Eissler speaks less effusively of a "creative genius" and outlines his incredibly wide range of vision and activities:
“There is love and friendship and hate and travel and festivals and war and charity; there is Goethe the courtier, the adventurer, the scientist (physicist, mineralogist, botanist, meteorologist, anatomist and biologist), the teacher, the lover, the husband, the father, the administrator, the diplomat, the director of theaters and museums , the painter and draftsman, the master of ceremonies, the philosopher and the politician - and I have not even mentioned the poet and playwright, the novelist, the translator, the letter writer and critic.”
Goethe's "objective thinking"
It would be wrong to assume that Goethe had a coherent world view; it is more appropriate to speak of his understanding of the world. In the fields of philosophy, theology and natural sciences, he acquired knowledge of a scope and breadth that no poet of his time could match, but he did not combine this knowledge into a system. Nevertheless, he assumed the unity of human knowledge and experience, the connection between art and nature, science and poetry, religion and poetry. "I had no organ for philosophy in the true sense," he confessed in his essay Influence of Modern Philosophy (1820). In doing so, he testified to his aversion to conceptual abstractions, in the sphere of which he did not feel comfortable. However, the findings and insights taken from the most diverse areas of knowledge fertilized and enriched almost everything he wrote.
For an understanding of his philosophical, scientific and artistic thinking, "view" and "objective thinking" are key terms that are instructive. He countered Immanuel Kant's Critique of Reason with the demand for a Critique of the Senses . Goethe insisted on gaining knowledge through observation and reflection, also about "primal phenomena" such as the "primordial plant ". For him, “view” meant the empirical reference to the phenomena through observation and experiment; in this he followed the inductionist method of Francis Bacon . "Objective thinking" is the formulation of the Leipzig professor of psychiatry Heinroth coined for Goethe , which Goethe gratefully took up in his essay Significant support with a single witty word . Goethe also agreed with Heinroth that "my looking is itself thinking, my thinking is looking". In the further train of thought of his essay, he related this thinking both to his scientific research and to his "objective poetry". Heinrich Heine recognized with admiration Goethe's "capacity of plastic looking, feeling and thinking". Andreas Bruno Wachsmuth , the longtime President of the Goethe Society , called it “the desire to learn about things” .
understanding of nature
Goethe researcher Dieter Borchmeyer believes that Goethe devoted most of his life to science. In a monograph on Goethe's research on nature, Stefan Bollmann states: "One will have to get used to the thought that Germany's greatest poet was a natural scientist." : feeling and experiencing as an artist, viewing and analyzing as a scholar and natural scientist. For Goethe it was impossible to grasp nature in its infinite facets as a whole: It “has no system; it has, it is life and consequence from an unknown center to an unknowable limit. Contemplation of nature is therefore endless [...]”. His "natural thinking" provides the key to understanding his intellectual biography as well as his literary work. According to Andreas Wachsmuth, Goethe “elevated nature as an area of experience and knowledge to the highest level of human education”.
Since the Strasbourg years and prompted by Herder, Goethe has given nature a central place in his life. Under the influence of Rousseau , Klopstock and Ossian , it was the experience and feeling for nature that first touched him, but from 1780 onwards an increasing interest in natural research and natural sciences developed in Weimar. The philosopher Alfred Schmidt calls it the completed "step from feeling for nature to knowledge of nature". As a nature-observing scholar, Goethe conducted research in many disciplines: morphology , geology , mineralogy , optics , botany , zoology , anatomy , meteorology . As he said in retrospect to Eckermann, he was occupied with "objects that surrounded me on earth and that could be perceived directly through the senses".
His key concepts included metamorphosis and type on the one hand, and polarity and intensification on the other. He understood metamorphosis as a gradual change of form within the limits set by the respective type (“ primordial plant ”, “primordial animal”). The change takes place in a continuous process of attraction and repulsion (polarity), which brings about an increase to something higher.
In the pantheistic idea of thinking nature and God identically, Goethe's understanding of nature and religion were linked.
understanding of religion
Apart from a brief period of rapprochement with Pietist beliefs, which culminated during Goethe's convalescence from a serious illness in 1768–1770, he remained critical of the Christian religion. In 1782, in a reply to his theologian Johann Caspar Lavater , who was a friend of his and theologian Johann Caspar Lavater, he was early on in reply that he was “not a withercrist, not a non-crist[,] but a dedicated non-crist”. The Goethe researcher Werner Keller sums up Goethe's reservations about Christianity in three points: "For Goethe, the symbolism of the cross was a nuisance, the doctrine of original sin a degradation of creation, Jesus' deification in the Trinity a blasphemy of the one God."
According to Heinrich Heine , Goethe was called "the great heathen [...] generally in Germany". In his consistently optimistic view of human nature, he could not accept the dogmas of original sin and eternal damnation. His "worldly piety" (a term used by Goethe from Wilhelm Meister's Wanderjahre ) brought him into opposition to all world-contemptuous religions; he rejected everything supernatural. Goethe's religious rebellion found its strongest poetic expression in his great Sturm-und-Drang - Ode Prometheus . Nicholas Boyle sees in her Goethe's "explicit and angry rejection of the God of the Pietists and the mendacious consolation of their Redeemer". If the second stanza of the role -poem says "I know nothing poorer / Under the sun than you gods", then the Promethean revolt increases at the end of the seven-stanza ode to a defiant challenge from Zeus , to which Prometheus hurls: "Here I sit, forme People / In my image, / A generation like me, / To suffer, to weep, / To enjoy and to rejoice, / And to ignore you, / Like me."
Although Goethe dealt intensively with Christianity, Judaism and Islam and their authoritative texts, he opposed any revealed religion and the idea of a personal creator God. The individual must find the divine within himself and not follow the word of an external revelation. He countered revelation with perception. Navid Kermani speaks of a "religiousness of direct observation and universal experience" that gets by "without speculation and almost without belief". "Nature has neither core nor shell / It is everything at once," says Goethe's poem, However. The physicist. from 1820, with which he emphasized that nature also shows its essence in the form. In 1785 he replied to Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi 's writing against Spinoza that he could only recognize a divine being in and from individual things, Spinoza "does not prove the existence of God, existence is God". In another letter he defended Spinoza with the words: "I cling to the atheist's worship more and more firmly [...] and leave to you everything that you call religion".
In his studies of nature, Goethe found the foundations of truth. Again and again he acknowledged himself as a pantheist in the philosophical tradition of Spinoza and as a polytheist in the tradition of classical antiquity.
"We are natural-researching pantheists, poetic polytheists, moral monotheists."
Dorothea Schlegel reports that Goethe explained to a traveler that he was “an atheist in natural history and philosophy, a pagan in art and a Christian in feeling”.
The Bible and the Koran, which he was studying at the time of writing the West-Eastern Divan , were to him "poetic history books, interspersed here and there with wisdom, but also with time-bound follies". He saw religion teachers and poets as "natural opponents" and rivals: "religious teachers want to 'suppress', 'put aside', 'render harmless' the works of poets . " narrative tradition of all major religions, including Islam and Hinduism , rich sources for its poetic symbols and allusions ; the strongest evidence of this is provided by Faust and the West-Eastern Divan .
Goethe loved the plastic depiction of ancient gods and demigods, temples and sanctuaries, while he downright hated the cross and the depiction of martyred bodies.
"I can endure a lot. Most troublesome things / I endure with calm courage, as a god commands me. / Few, however, are disgusting to me like poison and serpents, / Four: smoke of tobacco, bugs and garlic and cross.”
Goethe treated Islam with respect, but not uncritically. In the Notes and Treatises for a Better Understanding of the West-Eastern Divan , he criticized that Mohammed had "thrown a gloomy religious cloak over his tribe"; He included the negative image of women, the ban on wine and intoxication, and the aversion to poetry.
Church ceremonies and processions were "soulless pomp" and "Mummereyen" for him. The Church wants to rule and needs "a narrow-minded crowd that cowers and is inclined to let themselves be ruled". The whole history of the Church is a "hodgepodge of error and violence". On the other hand, with sympathy and profound humor he described the traditional Saint Rochus festival in Bingen - similar to his earlier description of the "Roman Carnival" (1789) - as a cheerful folk festival where life is good and beautiful and everyone affirms Christian asceticism was renounced. Nevertheless, he saw in Christianity "a power of order that he respected and that he wanted to see respected". Christianity was supposed to promote social cohesion among the people, but for the intellectual elite it was superfluous from Goethe's point of view, because: “Whoever owns science and art / also has religion; / whoever does not possess these two, / he has religion.”
On the other hand, the idea of reincarnation was not alien to him. However, his belief in immortality was not based on religious but on philosophical premises , such as Leibniz 's conception of the indestructible monad or Aristotelian entelechy . From the idea of activity, he developed the thesis in conversation with Eckermann that nature is obliged “if I seem restless to the end […] to assign me another form of existence if the current one is no longer able to withstand my spirit “.
As a reviewer of the Frankfurt scholarly advertisements directed by his Darmstadt friend Johann Heinrich Merck , Goethe dealt with the aesthetics of the then influential Johann Georg Sulzer during his Sturm und Drang period . In his early aesthetics, Goethe contrasted the traditional aesthetic principle that art is the imitation of nature with the genius who, in his creative expression , creates like nature itself. Poetic creation is an expression of unbridled nature and Shakespeare is its personified creative power.
Goethe's view of art developed during his trip to Italy; it was closely associated with the names of Johann Joachim Winckelmann and the classical master builder Andrea Palladio . In Winckelmann's classicism, he recognized the artistic truth that applied to him, as formulated using the example of Shakespeare: nature is not simply imitated, but heightened. He later paid tribute to Winckelmann by publishing letters and sketches in the anthology Winckelmann and his Century (1805).
After his return from Italy, the ideas of the aesthetics of autonomy , which Karl Philipp Moritz had laid down in the work On the Formative Imitation of the Beautiful (1788), gained great importance for Goethe. According to Goethe, this writing arose from conversations between himself and Moritz in Rome. She postulated that the work of art does not serve a foreign purpose and that the artist is not subservient to anyone, but as a creator is on a par with the creator of the universe. In this claim, Goethe also found the solution to his dilemma between courtly and artistic existence: as the creator of literary beauty, the artist allows himself to be supported by a patron without serving his purposes.
In contrast to Schiller, he refused to understand poetic works as the formation of ideas. Looking at Faust , he asked rhetorically what the result would have been “if I had strung such a rich, colorful and extremely diverse life, as I illustrated in 'Faust', onto the thin thread of a single continuous idea want to do it!” Goethe's statement, recorded in the same conversation by Eckermann, fits in with this: “The more incommensurable and incomprehensible to the mind a poetic production, the better”. He also rejected Denis Diderot's view that art should convey a faithful reproduction of nature. He insisted on the distinction between nature and art. According to him, nature organizes “a living indifferent being, the artist a dead but significant one, nature a real one, the artist an apparent one. To the works of nature, the viewer must first bring significance, feeling, thoughts, effect, effect on the mind himself, he wants and must find everything in the work of art." Art, as Karl Otto Conrady sums up, is reserved a decisive plus, that sets them apart from nature. The artist adds something to nature that is not her own.
In his essay On Naive and Sentimental Poetry , Schiller characterized Goethe as a naïve poet and placed him in a line of ancestors with Homer and Shakespeare . Schiller saw in the naive poets a striving to “imitate the real”, their object being the world created by the poet through art. In contrast, the work of the sentimental poet is self-reflectively aimed at the "representation of the ideal" of lost nature. Goethe, the realist and optimist, also refused to let his dramas and novels end in death and catastrophe. In a letter to Schiller dated December 9, 1797, he doubted that he "could write a true tragedy". His dramas and novels usually end untragically with renunciation, such as the novel Wilhelm Meister's Wanderjahre with the significant subtitle Die Rensagenden . In Elective Affinities he (in the person of Ottilie) shaped the theme of renunciation into the ascetic and sacred; this novel he brought to a tragic end.
With his coinage of the word “ world literature ”, the late Goethe countered the particular national literatures with a “general world literature” which “belongs neither to the people nor to the nobility, neither to the king nor to the peasants” but was “common property of mankind”. In his literary production, including translations from the most important European languages, Goethe impressively demonstrated the range of his aesthetic access to the literatures of Europe, the Near and Far East and classical antiquity. The poem cycles West-Eastern Divan and Chinese-German Times of the Day and Seasons bear witness to the reception of Persian and Chinese poetry. Goethe was in correspondence with European writers, such as the Scottish essayist and author of The Life of Schiller (1825), Thomas Carlyle , Lord Byron and the Italian Alessandro Manzoni . He translated the memoirs of the Renaissance goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini and Diderot's satirical-philosophical dialogue Rameau's Nephew . He regularly read foreign journals such as the French literary magazine Le Globe , the Italian cultural history magazine L'Eco and the Edinburgh Review . Gerhard R. Kaiser suspects that in Goethe's statements about world literature the author of De l'Allemagne. ( Über Deutschland. 1813), Madame de Staël , who had paid a visit to Weimar in 1803, was unspokenly present because her work accelerated the world literary process that was taking place in Goethe's time.
In a conversation with Eckermann , he postulated : "National literature does not want to say much now, the epoch of world literature is about time and everyone must now work to accelerate this epoch." scarcely worthy of mention, he read "from France Balzac , Stendhal , Hugo , from England Scott and Byron , and from Italy Manzoni ".
Goethe's artistic work is diverse. The literary work occupies the most important place. In addition, there are the drawings with over 3,000 works left behind, the 26-year-old theater management in Weimar and last but not least the planning of the " Roman House " in the park on the Ilm . His work overlaps and permeates his views on nature and religion and his understanding of aesthetics.
From his youth to old age, Goethe was a poet. With his poems he shaped the literary epochs of the storm and stress and the Weimar Classic . A large part of his poetry achieved world renown and is one of the most important parts of the lyrical canon of German-language literature .
In the course of about 65 years he wrote more than 3000 poems , some of which appeared independently, some in cycles such as the Roman Elegies , the Sonnet Cycle, the West-Eastern Divan or the Trilogy of Passion . The lyrical work shows an amazing variety of forms and expressions and corresponds to the breadth of inner experience. In addition to long poems comprising several hundred verses , there are short two-liners , verses with a high level of linguistic and metaphorical complexity, simple sayings, strict and antiquated metering, song -like or mocking stanzas, and rhyming poems in free rhythms . With his lyrical oeuvre, Goethe “originally created” the German-language poem and left role models against which almost all subsequent poets have measured themselves.
In his lyrical production, Goethe appropriated all forms of this literary genre known from (old and new) world literature with metrical virtuosity. His ability to express himself poetically became as natural to him as “eating and breathing”. When compiling his poems, he rarely proceeded chronologically, but according to criteria of thematic coherence , whereby the individual poems complemented each other, but could also contradict each other. This poses major problems for Goethe research when publishing his lyrical works in critical complete editions. An outline that has proved influential and is easily accessible is that of Erich Trunz in the Hamburg edition . The two volumes published by Trunz are in the first volume, poems and epics I , structured in a slightly chronological order: early poems , storm and urge , poems from the first years of manhood. The time of the classics. late works . The second volume, Poems and Epics II contains the West-Eastern Divan and the verses of Reineke Fuchs. Hermann and Dorothea and Achilleis .
The epic work of Goethe, like the dramatic one, includes almost all forms of epic literature: the animal fable ( Reineke Fuchs ), the verse epic ( Hermann und Dorothea ), the novella ( Novelle ), the novel ( Die Wahlverhangschaften , Wilhelm Meisters Lehr- and Wanderjahre) and epistolary novel ( The Sorrows of Young Werther ), the travelogue ( Italian Journey ) and autobiographical writings ( Poetry and Truth , Campagne in France ).
Goethe's first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, became one of the greatest successes in German literary history. The author used a narrative form typical of the 18th century, the epistolary novel . But he radicalized this genre by not depicting an exchange of letters between characters, but writing a monological epistolary novel. In Poetry and Truth he confesses that with the novel he made poetic use of his life for the first time. With the sensitive design of his unfulfilled love story with Charlotte Buff in Wetzlar, he triggered a real "Werther fashion". People dressed like him (blue frock coat, yellow pants, brown boots), talked and wrote like him. There were also numerous suicidal imitators who used Werther's suicide as a model (see Werther effect ). He owed his early European reputation to this novel, which was available in most European languages by 1800. Even Napoleon mentioned this book during his historical encounter with Goethe on October 2, 1808 in Erfurt.
The Wilhelm Meister novels occupy a central position in Goethe's epic work . The novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre was seen by the romantics as an epochal event and " paradigm of the romantic novel" (Novalis), the realistic narrators as the "prelude to the history of the Bildungs- und Entwicklungsroman " in the German-speaking area. In particular , it served as a paradigm for the poetic reproduction of real reality for realistic storytellers such as Karl Immermann , Gottfried Keller and Adalbert Stifter , and later also for Wilhelm Raabe and Theodor Fontane . On the other hand, the late work of Wilhelm Meister's Wanderjahre appears as a "highly modern work of art" due to its open form, with the tendency to dispense with the content-related instance of a central hero and omniscient narrator, which "makes a multitude of reception offers" available to the reader. The forerunner of Wilhelm Meister's theatrical program , which was only published posthumously (1911) - a fragmentary "Urmeister" - is closer to the Sturm und Drang in terms of content and is formally assigned to the genre of the theater and artist novel. The Romantics had already received Wilhelm Meister's apprenticeship under this genre .
In a conversation, Goethe described Elective Affinities as his “best book ” . In a kind of experimental arrangement, he brings together two couples, whose nature-bound destiny he shapes according to the model of chemical forces of attraction and repulsion, by underlining their regularity to the relationships between the two couples. The novel is characterized by an ambivalence between moral forms of life and mysterious passions. The novel is reminiscent of Goethe's first novel, Werther , primarily through the "unconditional, even ruthless claim to love" of one of the main characters (Eduard), "in contrast to the self-controlled renunciation" of the others. Thomas Mann saw it as "Goethe's most ideal work", the only product of any major scope that Goethe, according to his own testimony, "worked on the presentation of a thoroughgoing idea". The work opened the series of European adultery novels: Flaubert's Madame Bovary , Tolstoy's Anna Karenina , Fontane 's Effi Briest . It has been criticized as immoral, even though the author only imagines the adultery being committed.
Goethe published The Italian Journey decades after his journey. It is not a travel book in the usual sense, but a self-portrayal in encounters with the South, a piece of autobiography. In the first edition she appeared in 1816-1817 as the "Second Section" of his autobiography From My Life, the "First Section" of which contained fiction and truth . Goethe's Italian travel journal, which he sent to Charlotte von Stein in loose sequences, and the letters to her and Herder at the time served as a basis for Goethe. It was not until 1829 that the work was published under the title Italian Journey with a second part: "Second Roman Stay". In it, edited original letters alternate with reports written later.
In the first decade of the 19th century, Goethe set about writing a major autobiography, Poetry and Truth . Its original conception was an educational history of the poet stylized as a metamorphosis. When working on the third part, he ran into a crisis with this model of interpretation; he replaced it with the category of the “demonic”, with which he sought to capture the uncontrollable in an overpowering natural and historical context. The representation did not go beyond the description of childhood, youth, studies and first literary successes.
From his youth to the last years of his life, Goethe wrote more than twenty dramas , of which Götz von Berlichingen , Clavigo , Egmont , Stella , Iphigenie auf Tauris , Torquato Tasso and above all the two parts of Faust are still part of the classic repertoire of German theaters today . Although his plays cover the entire spectrum of theatrical forms - pastoral , farce , farce , comedy , heroic drama , tragedy - the classical dramas and tragedies form the main focus of his dramatic production. Three of his plays became milestones in German drama literature.
With the storm and stress drama Götz von Berlichingen with the iron hand , Goethe made his breakthrough as a playwright; it made him famous overnight. Contemporaries saw in him "something of Shakespeare's spirit", even in Goethe the "German Shakespeare". In addition to the " Götz quote ", the exclamation aimed at the main character "It is a pleasure to see a great man" was also reflected in the proverbial vocabulary of the Germans. Another historical drama, Egmont , is also organized around a single dominant character, also acting as a proxy for the author, who saw his works as "fragments of a great confession".
The drama Iphigenie auf Tauris is considered a model of Goethe's classicism . Goethe himself described it to Schiller as "totally devilishly humane". Friedrich Gundolf even saw in him the "gospel of German humanity par excellence". The original prose version was written in blank verse in the final version (1787), like the Torquato Tasso , completed at the same time, "the first purely artistic drama in world literature".
The Faust tragedy, on which Goethe worked for more than sixty years, is described by the Faust expert and editor of the volume with the Faust poems in the Frankfurt edition, Albrecht Schöne , as the "summary of his poetry". With Faust , Goethe took up Renaissance material about human hubris and focused it on the question of whether the pursuit of knowledge can be reconciled with the desire for happiness. Heinrich Heine called the Faust drama "the secular Bible of the Germans". The philosopher Hegel praised the drama as the "absolute philosophical tragedy" in which "on the one hand the lack of satisfaction in science, on the other hand the liveliness of world life and earthly enjoyment [...] gives a breadth of content as it is in one and the same work [...] ] no other dramatic poet has dared before". After the founding of the Reich , Faust was transfigured into a "national myth", into the " incarnation of German character and German sense of mission". More recent interpretations push back the traditional interpretative optimism of the "Faustian" with its role model for the restless urge for perfection and instead point to the "ban on rest" and the "compulsion to move" in the modern character of the "global player Faust".
Goethe rejected the theatrical theory of Johann Christoph Gottsched , which was fixated on French drama (primarily that of Pierre Corneille and Jean Baptiste Racine ), as did Gotthold Ephraim Lessing before him . After Herder had introduced him to Shakespeare's plays in Strasbourg, the unity of place, action and time demanded by Gottsched according to Aristotle seemed to him as "Sturmer und Dranger" "anxious like a dungeon" and "anxious fetters on our imagination". With Götz von Berlichingen's account of his life, material fell into his hands which, as "German national [r] material [...] corresponded to Shakespeare's English national material". However , Goethe only dared to use the open dramatic form chosen in Götz in Faust . According to Albrecht Schöne, the piece already went "out of the usual dramatic joints" of the "traditional Aristotelian uniform rules" in the first part; in the second part the "dissolution phenomena are obvious". The later dramas after Götz approached - under Lessing's influence - the bourgeois drama ( Stella , Clavigo ) and classical forms, the latter most clearly in Iphigenia, in which the unity of place (grove before Diana's temple) and time is preserved .
Writings on art and literature
Beginning with his early works, Goethe commented on questions of art and literature throughout his life. At the beginning there were two "prose hymns" from the early 1770s: the speech on Shakespeare Day (1771) and the hymn to the Strasbourg Cathedral and its builder Erwin von Steinbach with the writing Von deutscher Baukunst (1772). At a later age he wrote a detailed appraisal of Leonardo 's painting The Last Supper (1818), in which he neglected the sacramental character of the work and used it as an example to show artistic autonomy with its own inner laws. In between there were numerous theoretical works on art and literature, such as the essay About Laocoon published in the first volume of his journal Propyläen in 1798 and the translation of the autobiography of the Italian Renaissance artist Life of Benvenuto Cellini (1803), as well as the collected work Winckelmann und sein Jahrhundert that he edited . In letters and essays (1805) with his sketches of Winckelmann's person and work, as well as numerous essays on European and non-European literature, which confirmed Goethe's idea of an emerging world literature .
According to Nicholas Boyle, Goethe was “one of the greatest letter writers in the world”, and for him the letter was the “most natural literary form”. About 12,000 letters from him and 20,000 to him have survived. The significant correspondence between Goethe and Schiller alone comprises 1015 surviving letters. He sent about one and a half thousand letters to Charlotte von Stein.
Goethe drew throughout his life, “preferably with pencil, charcoal, chalk and colored ink”, and a number of early etchings have survived. His favorite subjects were portraits of heads, theatrical scenes and landscapes. Hundreds of drawings were made during his first trip to Switzerland with the Stolberg brothers in 1775 and on his trip to Italy in 1786-1788. In Rome, his fellow artists taught him perspective painting and drawing and motivated him to study human anatomy. He acquired knowledge of anatomy from the famous surgeon Lobstein . But he also recognized his limitations in this profession.
Goethe's means of knowledge of nature was observation; He was suspicious of tools like the microscope :
“Man in himself, insofar as he makes use of his sound senses, is the largest and most precise physical apparatus that there can be; And that is precisely the greatest misfortune of modern physics, that experiments have been separated from human beings, so to speak, and nature is only to be recognized in what artificial instruments show, yes, what it can achieve, and thereby limited and proven.”
He endeavored to recognize nature in its overall context, including humans. Goethe viewed the abstraction, which science was beginning to make use of, with suspicion because of the associated isolation of the objects from the viewer. However, his procedure cannot be reconciled with modern, exact natural science: "he [...] did not go beyond the area of direct sensory impressions and direct spiritual perception in the direction of an abstract, mathematically verifiable, non-sensory legality" ( Karl Robert Mandelkow ) stated the physicist Hermann von Helmholtz in 1853.
Goethe's preoccupation with the natural sciences often found its way into his poetry, for example in Faust and in the poems The Metamorphosis of Plants and Gingo biloba . Faust , who worked with Goethe throughout his life, registered for the philosopher Alfred Schmidt as “the succession of layers of rock, the stages of his knowledge of nature”.
Goethe imagined living nature as constantly changing. In botany , for example, he first attempted to trace the different types of plants back to a common basic form, the " primeval plant ", from which all types should have developed. He later turned his attention to the individual plant and thought he saw that the parts of the flower and the fruit ultimately represented transformed leaves. He published the results of his observations in Attempt to explain the metamorphosis of plants (1790). In anatomy , in 1784, Goethe, together with the anatomy professor Justus Christian Loder , succeeded in (supposedly) discovering the premaxillary bone in the human embryo , to his great delight . The premaxillary bone, known in other mammals at the time, grows together with the adjoining maxillary bone in humans before birth. Its existence in humans was denied by the majority of anatomists of the time. But four years before Goethe's observation, the French anatomist Félix Vicq d'Azyr had reported its existence on a human fetus to the Académie Royale des Sciences . At the time, its detection in humans was regarded as an important indication of its relationship to animals – a fact disputed by many scientists.
Goethe considered his Theory of Colors (published in 1810) to be his main scientific work and stubbornly defended the theses it contained against numerous critics . In old age he said that he valued this work more than his poetry. With the theory of colors , Goethe opposed that of Isaac Newton , who had proved that white light is made up of lights of different colors . Goethe, on the other hand, believed he could conclude from his own observations "that light is an indivisible unit and that the colors arise from the interaction of light and dark, light and darkness, through the mediation of a 'cloudy' medium". For example, the sun appears reddish when a cloudy layer of haze spreads in front of it and darkens it. Even in Goethe's time, however, it was recognized that these phenomena could also be explained using Newton's theory. The core of color theory was soon rejected by experts, but it exerted a great influence on contemporary and subsequent painters, especially Philipp Otto Runge . In addition, Goethe proved to be a "pioneer of scientific color psychology ". Today, “both Newton and Goethe are partly right and partly wrong”; both researchers are "examples of different types of experimental work within the system of modern science".
In geology , Goethe was primarily concerned with building up a mineral collection, which by the time of his death had grown to 17,800 stones. He wanted to gain general insights into the material composition of the earth and the history of the earth by learning about the individual types of rock. He followed the new findings of chemical research with great interest. As part of his responsibility for the University of Jena, he founded the first chair in chemistry at a German university.
transcripts of conversations
For Goethe research , the extensive transcripts of Johann Peter Eckermann 's conversations with Goethe in the last years of his life , those of Goethe's conversations with Chancellor Friedrich von Müller and the communications about Goethe by Friedrich Wilhelm Riemer are of considerable importance for understanding Goethe's work and Personality. The transcripts published by Eckermann after Goethe's death in two parts in 1836 and a third part in 1848 cover the period from 1823 to 1832. Chancellor von Müller, who was a friend of Goethe and who he appointed as his executor, wrote down a conversation with Goethe for the first time in 1808 . In the years that followed, further reports of conversations followed, first in his diary and then on separate sheets. Two commemorative speeches on Goethe published in 1832, while he was still alive, revealed the richness of his Goethe notes, which, however, were only published in 1870 from the estate. Friedrich Wilhelm Riemer, a language universalist and librarian in Weimar, served Goethe for three decades, first as tutor to his son August, then as scribe and secretary. Immediately after Goethe's death, he edited his correspondence with Zelter and contributed to the major editions of his works. His communications first appeared in two volumes in 1841.
Goethe was a diligent and versatile translator. He translated works from French ( Voltaire , Corneille , Jean Racine , Diderot , de Staël ), English ( Shakespeare , Macpherson , Lord Byron ), Italian ( Benvenuto Cellini , Manzoni ), Spanish ( Calderón ) and Ancient Greek ( Pindar , Homer , Sophocles , Euripides ). He also retranslated the Song of Solomon from the Bible .
Goethe received various medals and awards. Napoleon Bonaparte presented him with the Knight's Cross of the French Legion of Honor (Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur) on 14 October 1808 . Napoleon commented on the encounter with the legendary phrase "Voilà un homme!" (meaning "What a man!"). Goethe valued this order because he was an admirer of the French Emperor.
In 1805 Goethe was accepted as an honorary member of Moscow University . On October 15, 1808, he received the Russian Order of Saint Anne , 1st class , from Tsar Alexander I. In 1815, Emperor Franz I awarded Goethe the Austrian Imperial Order of Leopold. On January 30, 1816, Goethe received the Grand Cross of the House Order of the White Falcon (also House Order of Vigilance) , which was revived by Grand Duke Carl August of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach . He received the award for his official work as a Real Privy Councilor and for his political activities. In 1818 Goethe received from the French King Louis XVIII. the Officer 's Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honour. On his 78th birthday, August 28, 1827, he received his last order, the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown . King Ludwig I of Bavaria attended the ceremony in person. In 1830 he became an honorary member of the Instituto di corrispondenza archeologica .
Goethe had a pragmatic relationship to religious orders. In May 1827 he said to the portrait painter Moritz Daniel Oppenheim : "A title and a medal keeps many a riot away in a crowd..." The asteroid of the middle main belt (3047) Goethe was named after him.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and his wife Christiane had five children. Nur August , the first born, (December 25, 1789 – October 27, 1830) reached adulthood. One child was stillborn, the others all died very young, which was not unusual at the time. August had three children: Walther Wolfgang (April 9, 1818 - April 15, 1885), Wolfgang Maximilian (September 18, 1820 - January 20, 1883), and Alma Sedina (October 29, 1827 - September 29 ). 1844). August died in Rome two years before his father. After his death, his wife Ottilie von Goethe gave birth to another child (not from August) named Anna Sibylle, who died a year later. Their children remained unmarried, so the direct line of descendants from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe died out in 1885. His sister Cornelia had two children (Goethe's nieces), whose descendants (Niclolovius line) are still alive today. See Goethe (family) .
Goethe had appointed his three grandchildren as universal heirs. As the survivor of the three grandchildren, Walther secured the family legacy for the public. In his will, he personally bequeathed Goethe's archive to the Grand Duchess Sophie , the collections and the property to the state of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach .
The reception of Goethe as an author "who, like hardly anyone else, has had an impact on all areas of life and left his formative marks" is extremely diverse and goes far beyond the literary-artistic significance of his work.
Reception during his lifetime at home and abroad
With Götz von Berlichingen (first printed in 1773, premiere in 1774), Goethe achieved a resounding success with a literary audience even before the premiere in the Berlin Comödienhaus . For Nicholas Boyle he was 'a public figure from now on and for the rest of his long life, and very soon he was seen as the most prominent representative of a movement' known in the 19th century as the Sturm und Drang . Goethe reached the peak of his popularity at the age of twenty-five with the Werther novel. The work found access to all levels of readers and triggered a broad debate, as it dealt with "central religious, ideological and socio-political problems" that called the "principles of bourgeois life order" into question.
German literary historians usually divide Goethe's poetry into three periods: Sturm und Drang , Weimarer Klassik and Altenwerk, while from outside Germany the "age of Goethe" is seen as a unit and as part of the "age of European romanticism ". As an opponent of romantic poetry, Goethe was and is considered by German literary criticism - his saying "Classical is healthy, romantic is sick" is one of those quoted frequently. However, that generalizing view neglects this contrast and leads to the picture of a classical-romantic period from Klopstock to Heinrich Heine , in which Goethe played the important role of having broken the classical conventions of French origin with romantic ideas and innovative poetic practices.
The contemporary German Romantics' perception of Goethe was ambivalent. On the one hand, he was the "intellectual focus" of the Jena Romantics, who glorified him as the "true representative of the poetic spirit on earth" ( Novalis ) and his poetry as "the dawn of genuine art and pure beauty" ( Friedrich Schlegel ). With their concept of universal poetry, they anticipated Goethe's concept of world literature . On the other hand, after turning to Catholicism, they criticized the previously praised Wilhelm Meister novel as "artistic atheism" (Novalis) and Goethe as "German Voltaire" (Friedrich Schlegel).
Likewise ambivalent, albeit in a different way, Heinrich Heine paid tribute to Goethe's personality and poetry in his essay The Romantic School : On the one hand, he celebrated him as an Olympian and "absolute poet" who made everything he wrote a "rounded work of art" comparable only with Homer and Shakespeare, but on the other hand criticized his political indifference with regard to the development of the German people.
With her book De l'Allemagne ( About Germany ), published in 1813, Madame de Staël introduced France and subsequently England and Italy to German culture and literature. In the book, which was received throughout Europe, she characterized contemporary German literature as romantic art centered on Weimar and Goethe as an exemplary figure, even as the "greatest German poet". Only after that did Weimar become the epitome of German literature beyond the German borders and "only then did the pilgrimages of intellectuals from all over Europe to the Frauenplan begin, only then did the international exchange processes come about, which are associated with names like Manzoni , Carlyle or Walter Scott are". Towards the end of his life, Goethe felt less accepted by his German than by the foreign contemporaries with whom he had exchanged views and who published articles about his works.
Change in the image of Goethe
After the poet's death and the founding of the Reich, academic Goethe philology spoke of "an epoch in which Goethe was distant and hostile to Goethe" and described his 100th birthday as the "lowest level of his reputation in the nation". In fact, in the period between 1832 and 1871 "not a single biography of Goethe of lasting value" appeared. But, as Mandelkow reports, this section of Goethe's history of influence created a "field of tension between negation and apotheosis ". The Weimar art lovers and associates of Goethe – the three administrators of Goethe’s estate (Eckermann, Riemer , Chancellor Friedrich Müller ) and others from close circles – founded the first “Goethe Association” immediately after Goethe’s death and, with their estate editions and -Documentation "the first foundation of a Goethe philology". Heinrich Heine's and Ludwig Börne 's critical appropriation of Goethe stood in opposition to their admiration for Goethe. Although both criticized his "artistic comfort" in a time of political restoration , which was intent on peace and order, in fundamental contrast to the embittered "Goethe hater" Börne, Heine valued Goethe's poetry as the highest. For Young Germany , Goethe was overshadowed by Schiller, whose revolutionary tendencies fitted better into the Vormärz period than Goethe's politically conservative attitude.
A Christian opposition, both Catholic and Protestant, formed against Goethe's life and work, with Elective Affinities and Faust being the focus of criticism. With “undisguised sharpness” various pamphlets by church partisans were directed against the cult of classics and Goethe emerging in the last third of the 19th century. The Jesuit Alexander Baumgartner wrote an extensive portrayal of Goethe, in which he did characterize Goethe as a “brilliantly gifted” poet, but castigated his “immoral” lifestyle, “carefree lust for life and lust for pleasure”: “In the midst of a Christian society he became open to paganism known and just as openly organized his life according to its principles.”
After Goethe had been part of the reading canon at German schools since the 1860s, after the founding of the Reich in 1871 he was gradually declared the genius of the new Reich. Herman Grimm's Goethe lectures of 1874/75 were an example of this. According to him, Goethe "affected the intellectual atmosphere of Germany [...] like a telluric event that increased our climatic warmth by such and such a number of degrees on average". – “Goethe's prose has gradually become an exemplary mode of expression for all subjects of intellectual life. It entered philosophy through Schelling , jurisprudence through Savigny , natural sciences through Alexander von Humboldt , and philological scholarship through Wilhelm von Humboldt .”
A flood of Goethe editions and Goethe secondary literature appeared. Since 1885, the Goethe Society has devoted itself to researching and disseminating Goethe's work; its members included the leaders of society at home and abroad, including the German imperial couple.
Characteristic of the Goethe cult of the Kaiserreich was the shift of interest from Goethe's work to "the work of art of his well-led, eventful and rich life, and yet one that was held together in a harmonious unity", behind which the poetic production threatened to disappear in the general consciousness. The writer Wilhelm Raabe wrote in 1880: "Goethe is not given to the German nation because of poetry, etc., but rather that they get to know a full human being from his life from beginning to end." From the study of Goethe's life, which he felt to be exemplary one hoped for advice and benefit for one's own way of life. However, there were also voices that emphasized the emptiness of the Goethe cult in parts of the population. Gottfried Keller remarked in 1884: "Every conversation is dominated by the sacred name, every new publication about Goethe is applauded - but he himself no longer read it, which is why the works are no longer known and knowledge is no longer developed." And Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in 1878 : "Goethe is an incident without consequences in the history of the Germans: who would be able, for example, to point out a piece of Goethe in German politics of the last seventy years?"
In the Weimar Republic , Goethe was invoked as the spiritual foundation of the new state. In 1919, the later Reich President Friedrich Ebert announced that the task now was to complete the change “from imperialism to idealism, from world power to intellectual greatness. […] We must treat the great problems of society in the spirit in which Goethe grasped them in the second part of Faust and in Wilhelm Meister's Wanderjahre”. The "Spirit of Weimar" was set as a counterpoint to the "Spirit of Potsdam" that was believed to have been overcome. However, this commitment had no practical effect. The political left criticized the genius cult around Goethe with the "Nature Park" Weimar ( Egon Erwin Kisch ). Bertolt Brecht replied in a radio interview: The classics died in the war. However, there were also important writers, such as Hermann Hesse , Thomas Mann and Hugo von Hofmannsthal , who countered the left-wing scolding of classics with a positive image of Goethe. Hermann Hesse asked in 1932: "Was he really, as the naive Marxists who have not read him think, just a hero of the bourgeoisie, the co-creator of a subaltern, short-term ideology that has long since faded away today?"
Unlike with Schiller, Kleist and Hölderlin , the National Socialist cultural policy found it difficult to appropriate Goethe for their goals. In 1930, Alfred Rosenberg explained in his book The Myth of the 20th Century that Goethe was of no use in the coming "times of bitter struggles" because he hated the violence of a type-forming idea and he did not like the dictatorship of a type in life or in poetry wanted to acknowledge thought". At the same time, there was no lack of attempts to claim Goethe as the ideology of the Nazi regime, for example in writings such as Goethe's Mission in the Third Reich (August Raabe, 1934) or Goethe in the Light of New Becoming (Wilhelm Fehse, 1935 ). ). These writings were the main sources to which the party officials referred, including Baldur von Schirach in his speech at the opening of the Weimar Youth Festival in 1937. The Faust poem was misused as a much-used reservoir of quotations (especially Mephisto's statement: "Blood is a very special juice") and Faust stylized as a "leading figure of the new National Socialist type of man".
In the two German states after 1945, Goethe experienced a renaissance . He now appeared as a representative of a better, more humanistic Germany that seemed to be carrying on past years of barbarism. However, the appropriation of Goethe in East and West was under different signs. A Marxist-Leninist interpretation established itself in the German Democratic Republic , inspired above all by Georg Lukács . The poet was now declared an ally of the French Revolution and a pioneer of the revolution of 1848/1849 , his Faust a "productive force for the establishment of a socialist society". On the other hand, in the Federal Republic of Germany , people initially took up the traditional image of Goethe, i.e. a figure of a poet elevated to myth, “who had emerged from the barbarism of the past twelve years of Nazi rule apparently undamaged and untouchable”. From the late 1960s, however, there was a reassessment of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and the Weimar Classic. Mandelkow speaks of a "classic scolding" of the New Left , which Friedrich Hölderlin , the "failed revolutionary", designed as a contrast to Goethe. Towards the end of the 1970s, a depoliticization of the reception of Goethe became apparent due to more objective approaches and a socio-historical analysis perspective. With his positive image of Goethe and Classicism, Peter Hacks was an exception within GDR literature during the 1970s.
Influence on literature and music
Goethe's influence on the German-speaking poets and writers born later is omnipresent, so that only a few authors can be named here who dealt with him and his work in a special way.
The poets and writers of the Romantic period took up the emotional exuberance of the Sturm und Drang . Franz Grillparzer referred to Goethe as his role model and, in addition to certain stylistic conventions, shared with him the aversion to political radicalism of any kind. Friedrich Nietzsche admired Goethe all his life and felt particularly his skeptical attitude towards Germany and Christianity as his successor. Hugo von Hofmannsthal found: "Goethe can replace an entire culture as the basis of education" and "More teachers perhaps come from Goethe's sayings in prose today than from all German universities". He wrote numerous essays on Goethe's work. Thomas Mann felt deep sympathy for Goethe. He felt akin to him not only in his role as a poet but also in a whole range of character traits and habits. Thomas Mann wrote numerous essays and essays on Goethe and gave the central speeches at the Goethe anniversary celebrations in 1932 and 1949. In his novel Lotte in Weimar he brought the poet to life, with the novel Doctor Faustus he took up the subject of Faust again. Hermann Hesse , who repeatedly dealt with Goethe and opposed a falsification of the image of Goethe in a scene from his Steppenwolf , confessed: “Of all the German poets, Goethe is the one to whom I owe the most, who occupies, oppresses and encourages me the most , forced him to become a successor or to object.” In his novel The New Sorrows of Young W. , Ulrich Plenzdorf transferred what happened in Werther to the GDR in the 1970s. Peter Hacks made Goethe's relationship with the lady-in-waiting, Charlotte von Stein, the subject of his monodrama A Conversation in the Stein House, about the absent Herr von Goethe . In the play In Goethe's Hand. Scenes from the 19th century , Martin Walser made Johann Peter Eckermann the main character and depicted him in his delicate relationship with Goethe. Goethe's last love for Ulrike von Levetzow in Marienbad served as the subject for Walser's novel A Loving Man . In Thomas Bernhard 's short story Goethe schtirbt , the character Goethe calls himself a "lameman of German literature" who also ruined the careers of numerous poets (Kleist, Hölderlin).
Many of Goethe's poems were set to music – by composers , especially from the 19th century – whereby the poet promoted the development of the art song , although he categorically rejected the so-called through-composed song by Franz Schubert . Nevertheless, with 52 Goethe settings, Schubert was the most productive among the musical interpreters of Goethe. His settings include the popular songs Heidenröslein , Gretchen am Spinnrade and Erlkönig . Carl Loewe set several of Goethe's ballads to music . Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy , who was personally acquainted with Goethe, set the ballad The First Walpurgis Night to music . In 1822, Fanny Hensel also met Goethe after complaining that there were not enough poems that could be set to music. Thereupon Goethe, who had a high opinion of her as a pianist and composer, dedicated his poem Wenn ich mir in quieter Seele to her . She then set the poem to music. In addition to Robert and Clara Schumann , Hugo Wolf also left Goethe settings. Robert Schumann not only set scenes from Goethe's Faust to music , but also poems from Wilhelm Meister's apprenticeship years and a requiem for Mignon . Among other things, Hugo Wolf set poems from the Wilhelm Meister and the West-Eastern Divan to music . In the 20th and 21st centuries, too, numerous composers dealt with Goethe's work, whereby the musical presentation often took place in new instrumentations and recitation forms in addition to the proven genre of the piano song. Gustav Mahler wrote the "most powerful and important" Goethe setting, whose "characteristic effect on the music of the Viennese school around Arnold Schönberg, Alban Berg and Anton Webern should not be underestimated": The large-scale 8th symphony ("Symphony of a Thousand " ) culminates in a setting of the mountain gorge scene from Faust II (1910). Richard Strauss also regularly set poems by Goethe to music throughout his life . In addition to poems, composers increasingly used other texts by the poet. The Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth combined smaller passages from the Italian Journey and from the Metamorphosis of Plants in her …morphological fragments… for soprano and chamber ensemble (1999). Goethe's scientific treatise on metamorphosis also served as the basis for Nicolaus A. Huber 's Lob des Granit for soprano and chamber ensemble (1999). Text excerpts from Goethe's letters form the basis of the Goethe-Musik (2000) by the Swiss composer Rudolf Kelterborn , alongside poems such as Gretchen am Spinnrade . The Roman Elegies by Giselher Kleber (1952), which are characterized by the spirit of strict twelve-tone technique, are also remarkable insofar as the vocal part is not performed by a singing voice but by a speaker. Goethe's Proserpina served Wolfgang Rihm as the libretto for an opera of the same name ( Proserpina , Schwetzingen 2009). The same composer combined six Goethe texts of different provenance to form his Goethe-Lieder cycle (2004/07). Aribert Reimann composed a scene for soprano and piano entitled It was a look that tore me to ruin. Stella's second monologue from the play of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (published in 2014). Jörg Widmann does not want his musical adaptation of Wanderer's Night Song for soprano and instrumental ensemble (1999) to be understood either as a "transportation of the text" or as a "setting to music" in the conventional sense. Rather, “in listening and listening, an oppressively dense 'scene' emerged”.
Reception as a scientist
Goethe's scientific work was recognized and taken seriously by contemporary colleagues; he was in contact with distinguished researchers such as Alexander von Humboldt , with whom he undertook anatomical and galvanic experiments in the 1790s, the chemist Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner , and the physician Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland , who was his family doctor from 1783 to 1793 . In the specialist literature, his writings, above all the color theory, were discussed controversially from the beginning; With the further development of the natural sciences, Goethe's theories were largely considered outdated. It experienced a temporary renaissance from 1859, the year of publication of Charles Darwin's work On the Origin of Species . Goethe's assumption of constant change in the living world and the traceability of organic forms to a common archetype now meant that he was considered a pioneer of evolutionary theories .
According to Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker , Goethe failed to “convert natural science to a better understanding of its own essence […]. Today's physicists are [...] students of Newton and not of Goethe. But we know that this science is not absolute truth, but a definite methodical procedure.”
From August 28, 2019 to February 16, 2020, the Weimar Classics Foundation organized the special exhibition Adventures of Reason: Goethe and the Natural Sciences around 1800 , for which a catalog volume was published.
Exemplary monographs and biographies
Entire libraries have been written about Goethe's life and work. The encyclopedias and compendiums, yearbooks and manuals dedicated to him can hardly be counted. A few exemplary works are presented below that analyze and interpret the Goethe phenomenon in an overall view.
Early works of this type include:
Herman Grimm : Goethe. Lectures held at the Royal University of Berlin. (2 volumes. 1st edition. W. Hertz, Berlin 1877; 10th edition. Cotta, Stuttgart 1915).
Grimm's legendary Goethe lectures from 1874/75 (winter semester) and 1875 (summer semester) were published in a two-volume work of over 600 pages (1st edition) with numerous subsequent editions. They shaped the understanding of Goethe by generations of readers and students. As one of the most important essayists of the 19th century, Grimm's approach of "holistic" re-experiencing of great artistic personalities and works is considered a forerunner of the intellectual-historical view of art and literature in the sense of Wilhelm Dilthey . He appeared to contemporary experts more as an idiosyncratic essayist than as a scientist. Grimm was a co-founder of the Goethe Society and a member of the editorial board of the 143-volume Weimar Goethe Edition.
Georg Simmel : Goethe. (1st edition. Klinkhardt & Biermann, Leipzig 1913; 5th edition. 1923)
Simmel's philosophical monograph on Goethe, which was published several times and "received almost unanimously positively", only comprises 264 pages. With a “programmatic departure from the positivist biography type,” she processes Goethe’s biographical data to present him as an exemplary spiritual existence and embodiment of a distinctive individuality that “is not just a point in the world, but a world itself.” Goethe also transferred this conception of individuality to his main figures, "each of whom is the center of an individual spiritual world".
Friedrich Gundolf : Goethe. (1st edition. Bondi, Berlin 1916; 7th edition 1920; 13th edition. 1930).
Gundolf, a student of George , portrayed Goethe as a symbolic person of his time in his nearly 800-page work; Goethe appears to him as “the creative German par excellence”. His publication triggered an unusually heated discussion in which well-known colleagues took part. The magazine Euphorion dedicated a special issue to the controversy surrounding the publication in 1921. The dispute arose over Gundolf's approach to intellectual history, which the representatives of a historical-philologically oriented literary research perceived as the "most stark contrast" to Goethe philology. They called Gundolf a "scientific artist". Walter Benjamin criticized Gundolf's book that it had "taken up the most thoughtless dogma of the Goethe cult, the palest confession of the adepts: that of all Goethe's works the greatest is his life [...]" and would therefore not strictly distinguish between Goethe's life and his works differentiate.
The three monographs offer no direct points of contact for contemporary literary studies.
Two important works from the 1950s/1960s enriched the reception of Goethe through their innovative approaches:
Emil Staiger : Goethe. Volume I: 1749-1786; Volume II: 1786-1814; Volume III: 1814–1832. (1st edition Artemis & Winkler, Zurich 1958–1960; 5th edition. 1978).
In his three-volume monograph, Staiger seeks out "the poet in the conditions of his time and space". History, the history of ideas and psychology are used as conditions under which the poetic and scientific work stands, whereby the interpretation nevertheless forms the center of the work. For Karl Robert Mandelkow , this publication is “not only the most important attempt at a comprehensive portrayal of the poet since Gundolf, but also the most representative achievement of Goethe research in the 1950s”. Staiger's impressive reception of Goethe, through his work-immanent interpretation , which worked with the means of the then new structural-analytical literary science, withdrew his subject from the nihilistic mood of the time.
Richard Friedenthal : Goethe. His life and his time. (1st edition Piper, Munich 1963, 16th edition 1989).
With this almost 800-page, "large-scale and meticulous work [...] Friedenthal achieved worldwide success". With the biography he did not choose an academic, but a novel-like form of representation or "spiritual reportage". Because Friedenthal outlines the historical-sociological-political environment, i.e. the misery of the Weimar conditions under which Goethe produced his works, his work became a forerunner of the turn to political literary interpretation that had been taking place in West Germany since the mid-1960s and on the social history of literature”. Among the weakest parts of the otherwise meritorious biography, Mandelkow counts those about the natural scientist Goethe, who characterized his morphology and theory of colors as false and ineffective.
Three works from the last two decades stand out:
Karl Otto Conrady : Goethe. Life and work. Volume I: Half of Life. Volume II: Sum of Life. (2 volumes. 1st edition. Athenaeum, Königstein/Ts. 1985; new edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994).
With his 1100-page biography, Conrady knows how to skilfully convey the scholarly knowledge of the philologist without the help of a scientific apparatus. As the first Goethe biographer, he renounces an authoritative view of his subject "in favor of a method of presentation that leaves open the possibility of other, alternative interpretations".
Nicholas Boyle : Goethe: the poet in his time (2 volumes. Volume I: 1749-1790; Volume II: 1790-1803. C.H. Beck, Munich 1995 and 1999. TB edition Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004).
The British Germanist at Cambridge University has tackled a monumental biography of Goethe, which is considered by far the most extensive since 1945. The first two volumes contain around 2,000 pages; the final third volume is still pending. The author is "at the height of German Goethe research" and in the abundance of details he is "more thorough than his predecessors [Staiger, Friedenthal, Conrady] in the past decades".
Rüdiger Safranski : Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. (1st edition Hanser, Munich 2013; 11th edition. 2013).
Similar to Friedenthal, Safranski places the close connection between life and work at the center of this “House Book for Goethe Lovers” ( Lorenz Jäger ). At the same time, Safranski shows that Goethe's “art of living” consisted in separating the spheres of poetry and political-administrative responsibility from one another; both areas are presented in detail in the 750-page book.
Goethe as namesake
The eminent importance of Goethe for German culture and German-language literature is reflected in the naming of numerous prizes, monuments, memorials, institutions, museums and societies that hardly any other German has achieved in the cultural life of his country. This is how the institute, which was entrusted with spreading German culture and language abroad, bears his name: Goethe-Institut , which has gained a great reputation with branches all over the world. The poet's birthplace, Frankfurt, and his main place of work, Weimar, honor him with the Goethe National Museum (Weimar), the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University (Frankfurt) and the Goethe Prize of the City of Frankfurt am Main . The Goethe Society , which has existed since 1885 and is headquartered in Weimar, unites several thousand readers and scholars in Germany and abroad. After all, the poet gave his name to an entire literary epoch that encompasses the Classical and Romantic periods: Goethezeit .
Goethe monuments were erected all over the world. The first project initiated in Frankfurt am Main in 1819 failed due to lack of funding. It was not until 1844 that the first Goethe monument was created by Ludwig Schwanthaler and erected on Goetheplatz . Goethe sculptures also adorn building facades, for example the main portal of the Semperoper in Dresden and the main portal of the Church of St. Lamberti in Münster.
Films with Goethe as the main character
- Friederike . Feature film 1932, 82 minutes, director and script: Fritz Friedmann-Frederich .
- Goethe in Weimar. Documentary, 60 minutes, written and directed by: Gabriele Dinsenbacher , production: SWR , first broadcast: July 10, 1999, table of contents from press portal SWR-Südwestrundfunk (repeat of February 23, 2007), retrieved on September 16, 2009
- Goethe - magician of passions. Docudrama, 60 minutes, written and directed by Günther Klein , produced by ifage Filmproduktion i. A. des ZDF , series: Giganten , first broadcast: April 9, 2007, table of contents on the production company's homepage, retrieved on May 8, 2017
- The whole of nature - Goethe's natural philosophy. Documentation, 55 min., book: Wolfram Höhne, director: Markus Schlaffke, production: Studio Bauhaus (2010), table of contents and full film at uni-weimar.de, retrieved on July 1, 2017
- Goethe! Feature film (2010) by Philipp Stölzl about Goethe's time in Wetzlar. Main role: Alexander Fehling
radio play series
On the occasion of Goethe's 200th birthday, the Northwest German Broadcasting Corporation in Hamburg produced a 35-part radio play series by Hans Egon Gerlach entitled Goethe tells his life . The first three parts were created in 1948 under the direction of Ludwig Cremer . All further episodes were produced in 1949 under the direction of Mathias Wieman , who also spoke the title role. The total playing time is more than 25 hours.
Index of first editions at Wikisource
It was one of Goethe's special traits to leave poems he had begun lying around for years, sometimes even decades, to subject works that had already been printed to considerable revisions, and to publish some finished works only after a long period of time. It is therefore sometimes very difficult to date the works by the time they were created. The list is based on the (presumed) time of origin.
- Complete Works. Letters, diaries and conversations. Frankfurt edition in 40 volumes, including official writings and drawings, with commentary and index (the most complete current edition of Goethe's works). German Classics Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1985 ff., ISBN 3-618-60213-8 .
- Goethe's works. Hamburg edition in 14 volumes, with commentary and registers, edited by Erich Trunz . CH Beck, Munich 1982-2008, ISBN 978-3-406-08495-9 .
- All works by epoch of his work. Munich edition in 20 volumes edited by Karl Richter . Hanser, Munich 1986–1999.
- poetic works. Art theoretical writings and translations. Berlin edition in 22 volumes, edited by a collective of editors led by Siegfried Seidel and others. Construction publishing house, Berlin, Weimar 1965-1978.
- Commemorative edition of the works, letters and conversations in 24 volumes and 3 supplementary volumes. Edited by Ernst Beutler . Artemis, Zurich 1948–1971.
- Goethe's works. Weimar edition (or Sophien edition) in 143 volumes. Photomechanical reprint of the 1887-1919 Weimar edition. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-423-05911-7 .
- Goethe's works. Complete final edition in 40 volumes. JG Cotta, Stuttgart, Tübingen 1827–1830.
- The Writings on Natural Science . (Founded by K. Lothar Wolf and Wilhelm Troll on behalf of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.) Complete edition with explanations by Dorothea Kuhn, Wolf von Engelhardt and Irmgard Müller. Weimar 1947 ff., ISBN 3-7400-0024-4 . (online) ( Memento of 19 February 2001 at Internet Archive )
- The mood of the lover (shepherd's play), written in 1768, printed in 1806
- The Accomplices (comedy), begun 1769, printed 1787
- Götz von Berlichingen with the Iron Hand (play), 1773
- Satyros or The Deified Forest Devil (play), created 1773, published 1817
- A Shrovetide Play by Father Brey ( Posse ), 1774
- The Plundersweilern Fair (Farce), 1774
- Hanswurst's Wedding (farce), 1775
- Gods, Heroes and Wieland (Farce), 1774
- Clavigo (Funeral Play), 1774
- Egmont (Traumspiel), begun in 1775, printed in 1788. Latest edition: S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2010, ISBN 978-3-596-90157-9 .
- Erwin and Elmire (play with singing), 1775
- The siblings . A Play in One Act, 1776. Latest edition: Dodo Press, Gloucester 2009, ISBN 978-1-4099-2326-8 .
- Claudine von Villa Bella (Singspiel), 1776
- Stella . A play for lovers, 1776. Latest edition: Hamburg reading books, Husum 2010, ISBN 978-3-87291-203-9 .
- The Triumph of Sensibility . A Dramatic Cricket , composed in 1777
- Lila (Singspiel), 1777
- Proserpina (Monodrama), 1778/1779
- Iphigenie auf Tauris (drama), prose version 1779, printed in 1787. Latest edition: Suhrkamp, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-518-18903-0 .
- Torquato Tasso (drama), from 1780, printed in 1790. Latest edition: S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2010, ISBN 978-3-596-90157-9 .
- Fist. A fragment, 1790 ( digitized and full text in the German Text Archive )
- Der Groß-Cophta (Comedy), 1792. Latest edition: Reclam, Ditzingen 1989, ISBN 3-15-008539-X .
- The Citizen General (comedy), 1793
- The Excited Ones (Political Drama in Five Acts, Fragment), 1793
- Fist. Eine Tragedy , from 1797, first published in print under this title in 1808. Latest edition: Hamburg reading books, Husum 2010, ISBN 978-3-87291-028-8 .
- Mahomet the Prophet , Translation and Adaptation of a Tragedy by Voltaire , 1802. Latest edition: Das Arsenal, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-931109-45-5 .
- The natural daughter (tragedy), 1803. Latest edition: Reclam, Ditzingen 1986, ISBN 3-15-000114-5 .
- Pandora . A festival, created in 1807/08, printed in 1817. Latest edition: Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1992, ISBN 3-458-16345-X .
- The Awakening of Epimenides (Festival), 1815
- Fist. The Second Part of Tragedy , 1832 (published posthumously). Latest edition: S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2010, ISBN 978-3-596-90284-2 .
Novels and short stories:
- The Sorrows of Young Werther (letterman), 1774, 2nd version 1787 ( digital copy )
- Wilhelm Meister’s theatrical program (“Urmeister”, novel), from 1776, printed in 1911
- Conversations of German emigrants ( frame narrative ), 1795
- Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship , 1795/96
- Novella , from 1797
- Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre (novel), from 1807, printed in 1821, extended version in 1829
- The Elective Affinities , 1809
- Reineke Fuchs (animal epic), 1794
- Hermann and Dorothea ( Idyll in hexameters ), 1798
- Achilles (fragment), 1799.
- 1771: Mailied
- 1771: Heidenröslein
- 1772: Wanderer's Storm Song
- 1774: Prometheus
- 1774: Ganymede
- 1774: The King in Thule (Early version: The King of Thule )
- 1774/1775: In court
- 1775: Welcome and Farewell (2nd version 1789)
- 1776: Why did you give us the deep looks
- 1776: Restless love
- 1778: To the moon
- 1780: Wanderer's Night Song
- 1780: (Wanderer's Night Song) A Same (Above All Peaks)
- 1782: The Erlkönig (Ballad)
- 1797: The Sorcerer's Apprentice and The Treasure Hunter (Ballads)
- 1797: The Bride of Corinth and The God and the Bayadere (Ballads)
- 1798: The Metamorphosis of Plants
- 1799: The first Walpurgis Night (ballad set to music by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in the form of a cantata for soloists, choir and orchestra)
- 1813: The Dance of Death
- 1823: (Marienbader) Elegy
- 1829: Legacy
Poetry cycles and epigram collections:
- Roman Elegies , 1788–1790
- Venetian Epigrams , 1790
- Xenien (Epigrams, together with Friedrich Schiller), published 1796
- Sonnets , 1807/08
- West-Eastern Divan , published 1819, enlarged 1827
- The Passion Trilogy, published in 1827.
- Sino-German times of the day and seasons, published in 1830.
- Diderot's Essay on Painting. Translated and annotated by Goethe, published in 1799.
- Life of Benvenuto Cellini , Florentine goldsmith and sculptor, written by himself. Translated and edited with an appendix by Goethe, published in 1803.
- Rameau's nephew . A dialogue by Diderot. Translated from the manuscript and accompanied by notes by Goethe, published in 1805.
Notes and aphorisms:
- Particulars, Maxims and Reflections, 1833 (published posthumously)
- Arts and Crafts , 1797
- About dilettantism (fragment, together with Friedrich Schiller), 1799
- On Art and Antiquity (6 vols., together with Johann Heinrich Meyer ), 1816–1832
- About the Granite 1784
- On the Intermediate Jaws of Men and Animals , 1786.
- Contributions to optics (Treatisees, 2 vols.), 1791/92
- On the theory of colors (scientific treatise), 1810
- Out of my life. Poetry and Truth (autobiographical poetry, 4 vols.), 1811–1833
- Italian Voyage , 1816/17
- Campaign in France (report), 1822
Collections of letters:
- Goethe's Letters and Letters to Goethe . Hamburg edition. 6 volumes. CH Beck, Munich 1988.
- Goethe - Schiller: Correspondence. With an afterword by Emil Staiger . Fischer Library, Frankfurt am Main 1961.
- Schiller - Goethe: The correspondence. text and comment. Historical-critical edition. Edited and commented by Norbert Oellers with the collaboration of Georg Kurscheidt. 2 volumes. Reclam, Leipzig 2009, ISBN 978-3-15-010712-6 and ISBN 978-3-15-010737-9
- Goethe and Martius . Nemayer, Mittenwald 1932. Digitized edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf
- Hans Gerhard Gräf (ed.): Goethe's marriage in letters. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-458-33325-8 .
- Richard M. Meyer (ed.): Goethe and his friends in correspondence. 3 volumes. Bondi, Berlin 1909-1911.
- Jan Volker Röhnert (ed.): Lotte my Lotte. The letters from Goethe to Charlotte von Stein . 1776-1787. 2nd volumes. The Other Library , Berlin 2014/2015.
- Johann Peter Eckermann : Conversations with Goethe. Edited by Christoph Michel with the participation of Hans Grüters. German Classics Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2011. TB edition, ISBN 978-3-618-68050-5 .
- Literature by and about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the catalog of the German National Library
- Goethe tells his life. Compiled by Hans Egon Gerlach and Otto Herrmann based on Goethe's own testimonies and notes from his contemporaries. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1982, ISBN 978-3-596-25600-6 .
- Jörg Drews : Sighting and Clarity - Critical forays through the Goethe editions and the Goethe literature of the last fifteen years. P. Kirchheim, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-87410-082-0 .
- Helmut G. Hermann (compilation): Goethe bibliography - literature on the poetic work. Reclam, Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 3-15-008692-2 .
Lexica and reference works:
- Michael Bernays : Goethe, Johann Wolfgang . In: General German Biography (ADB). Volume 9, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1879, pp. 413–448q.
- Effi Biedrzynski : Goethe's Weimar - The Encyclopedia of Persons and Scenes . Artemis & Winkler, Zurich 1992, ISBN 3-7608-1064-0 .
- Richard Dobel : Encyclopedia of Goethe Quotations. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-423-03361-4 .
- Wilhelm Flitner : In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 6, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1964, ISBN 3-428-00187-7 , pp. 546–575 ( ).
- Wolfgang Kohlhammer: Goethe Dictionary . Published by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen and the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart.
- Martin Müller: Goethe's Strange Words. 2nd Edition. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2006, ISBN 3-534-19078-5 .
- Rose Unterberger: The Goethe Chronicle . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2002, ISBN 3-458-17100-2 .
- Gero von Wilpert : Goethe-Lexikon (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 407). Kröner, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-520-40701-9 .
- Bernd Witte, Theo Buck , Hans-Dietrich Dahnke, Regine Otto, Peter Schmidt (eds.): Goethe Handbook. Special edition 6 volumes incl. index volume. Metzler, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-476-02022-3 .
- Peter Boerner : Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (= Rowohlt monograph. 50577). Rowohlt, Reinbek 2004, ISBN 3-499-50577-0 .
- Dieter Borchmeyer : Goethe . Series DuMont crash course, DuMont, Cologne 2005, ISBN 3-8321-7628-4 .
- Peter Matussek : Goethe for the introduction . 2nd revised edition. Junius, Hamburg 2002, ISBN 3-88506-972-5 .
- Gero von Wilpert : The 101 most important questions: Goethe. CH Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-55872-6 .
Life and work:
- Albert Bielschowsky : Goethe, his life and his works. 43rd edition. 2 volumes, CH Beck, Munich 1925.
- Dieter Borchmeyer : Goethe. The Time Citizen . Hanser, Munich/Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-446-19643-9 .
- Nicholas Boyle : Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790 . Volume II: 1790–1803 . Translated from English by Holger Fliessbach. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-458-34725-9 and ISBN 3-458-34750-X .
- Christa Bürger : Goethe's Eros (= Insel Paperback No. 3325). Insel, Frankfurt am Main/Leipzig 2009, ISBN 978-3-458-35025-5 ( review )
- Francis Claudon: Goethe: Essai de biography. Edition Kimé, Paris 2011, ISBN 978-2-84174-543-2 .
- Karl Otto Conrady : Goethe - life and work. Artemis, Zurich 1994.
- Richard Friedenthal : Goethe - his life and his time. 15th edition. Piper, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-492-20248-9 .
- Bernd Hamacher: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. blueprints of a life. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2010, ISBN 978-3-534-21561-4 .
- Friedrich Gundolf : Goethe. Bondi, Berlin 1916.
- Erich Heller : Essays on Goethe . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1970.
- Rainer Matthias Holm-Hadulla : Passion: Goethe's path to creativity. A psychobiography. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Goettingen 2009, ISBN 978-3-525-40409-6 .
- Petra Maisak: Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Drawings. Reclam, Stuttgart 1996.
- Albert Meier: Goethe. Poetry - Art - Nature. Philip Reclam Jr. Verlag, Stuttgart 2011, ISBN 978-3-15-010806-2 .
- Rüdiger Safranski : Goethe - work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-446-23581-6 .
- Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, ISBN 0-521-66560-4 .
- Georg Simmel : Goethe. Klinkhardt, Leipzig 1913.
- Emil Staiger : Goethe. Atlantis, Zurich/Freiburg i. Br. 1958-1960.
Life and work in the picture:
- Jörn Göres (ed.): Goethe's life in pictorial documents. Bechtermünz, Augsburg 1999, ISBN 3-8289-0236-7 .
- Christoph Michel (ed.): Goethe - His life in pictures and texts. 2nd Edition. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1982, ISBN 3-458-04768-9 .
- Hans-Jürgen Schings : Approval for the world. Goethe Studies. Königshausen & Neumann, Wuerzburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-8260-4663-6 .
- Hans Wahl and Anton Kippenberg (eds.): Goethe and his world . With the participation of Ernst Beutler , Insel Verlag Leipzig 1932.
- Hans Ludwig Oeser : people and works in the age of Goethe. A picture work , Paul Franke Verlag, Berlin 1932.
stages of life:
- Theo Buck : The poet who perfects himself. Goethe's Years of Apprenticeship and Wandering . Böhlau, Cologne/Weimar/Vienna 2008, ISBN 978-3-412-20091-6 .
- Sigrid Damm: Summer rain of love. Goethe and wife von Stein. Suhrkamp 2015, ISBN 978-3-458-17644-2 .
- Sigrid Damm : Christiane and Goethe: Research. 7th edition. Frankfurt am Main 2001, ISBN 3-458-34500-0 .
- Sigrid Damm: Goethe's Last Journey . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-458-17370-0 .
- Wolfgang Fruehwald : Goethe's Wedding. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-458-19294-7 .
- Birgit Himmelseher: The Weimar Court Theater under Goethe's direction. Claims to art and cultural politics in conflict . De Gruyter, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-11-023150-2 .
- Helmut Koopmann : Welcome and farewell. Goethe and Friederike Brion . Beck, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-406-65998-0 .
- Elisabeth Mentzel: The Frankfurt Goethe . Rütten & Loening, Frankfurt am Main 1900. ( Digitized up to p. 78 from the Internet Archive )
- Rüdiger Safranski : Goethe and Schiller. Story of a Friendship . Hanser, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-446-23326-3 .
- Gustav Seibt : Goethe and Napoleon. A historic encounter. Beck, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-406-57748-2 .
- Gustav Seibt. "With a kind of anger". Goethe in the Revolution. Beck, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-406-67055-8 .
- Johannes Urzidil : Goethe in Bohemia. 3rd Edition. Artemis, Zurich/Munich 1982, ISBN 3-7608-0251-6 .
- Roberto Zapperi : The incognito - Goethe's completely different existence in Rome. Beck, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-406-44587-X .
Natural History and Science:
- Stefan Bollmann : The breath of the world. Johann Wolfgang Goethe and the experience of nature. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2021.
- Georg Balzer: Goethe as a garden lover. F. Bruckmann, Munich 1966; Reissued 1976, ISBN 3-453-42014-4 .
- Hartmut Böhme : "Nature and Figure". Goethe in context . Wilhelm Fink, Paderborn 2016.
- Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub : Goethe as an alchemist. Euphorion 3rd episode, 48 (1954), pp. 19-40 ( digital copy from archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de)
- Aeka Ishihara: Goethe's Book of Nature. Königshausen & Neumann, Wuerzburg 2005, ISBN 3-8260-2994-1 .
- Otto Krätz: Goethe and the natural sciences. Callwey, Munich 1992.
- Elmar Mittler , Elke Purpus, Georg Schwedt : »The good head shines out everywhere«. Goethe, Göttingen and science. Wallstein, Goettingen, 1999, ISBN 3-89244-367-X .
- Olaf L. Müller : "More light". Goethe and Newton in an argument about colors. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2015, ISBN 978-3-10-403071-5 .
- Frank Nager: The healing poet. Goethe and medicine. Artemis, Zurich/Munich 1990; 4th edition ibid. 1992, ISBN 3-7608-1043-8 .
- Maren Partenheimer: Goethe's scope in science. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1989.
- Georg Schwedt : Goethe as a chemist. Springer, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-540-64354-0 .
- Wolfram Voigt, Ulrich Sucker: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (= biographies of outstanding scientists, technicians and physicians . Volume 38). Teubner, Leipzig 1987.
- Rüdiger Scholz: Goethe and the execution of Johanna Höhn. Infanticides and infanticides in Carl August's Weimar. The files on the cases of Johanna Catharina Höhn, Maria Sophie Rost and Margarethe Dorothea Altwein . 2nd Edition. Königshausen and Neumann, Würzburg 2019, ISBN 978-3-8260-6760-0 .
- Hans Tümmler : Goethe as statesman . Musterschmidt, Göttingen et al. 1976, ISBN 3-7881-0091-5 .
- Ekkehart Krippendorff : How the great play with the people - essay on Goethe's politics. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1988, ISBN 3-518-11486-7 .
- Wolfgang Rothe: The political Goethe. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Goettingen 1998, ISBN 3-525-01220-9 .
- W. Daniel Wilson : The Goethe taboo - protest and human rights in classic Weimar. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-423-30710-2 .
- Hermann Abert: Goethe and Music. Engelhorn, Stuttgart 1922; Reprint of the original edition from 1903: Europäischer Literaturverlag, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-86267-571-5 , as well as: Dearbooks 2013, ISBN 3-95455-485-2 .
- Barbara Mühlenhoff: Goethe and music - a musical curriculum vitae. Lambert Schneider, Darmstadt 2011, ISBN 978-3-650-40116-8 .
- Hanns Stahmer: Goethe's path to music. Hannsens, Neustadt am Rübenberge 2016, ISBN 978-3-945207-11-6 .
- Hubertus coal: Goethe and the Gothic. Website of www.faustkultur.de
- Rabea Kleymann: Formless form. Epistemology and poetics of the aggregate in late Goethe. Wilhelm Fink, Leiden 2021, ISBN 978-3-7705-6643-3 .
- Kurt R. Eissler : Goethe - A Psychoanalytic Study 1775-1786. 2 volumes. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-423-04457-8 .
- Rainer J. Kaus: The case of Goethe - a German case. A psychoanalytic study. Winter, Heidelberg 1994, ISBN 3-8253-0241-5 .
- Josef Rattner : Goethe, life, work and effect from a depth psychological point of view . Königshausen & Neumann, Wuerzburg 1999, ISBN 3-8260-1660-2 .
- Rainer M. Holm-Hadulla: Passion. Goethe's path to creativity. A psychobiography. 3rd, extended edition, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2019, ISBN 978-3-525-40669-4 .
- Eva Axer, Eva Geulen , Alexandra Heimes: From the life of form. Studies on the afterlife of Goethe's morphology in 20th century theory formation. Wallstein, Goettingen 2021, ISBN 978-3-8353-3880-7 .
- Hartmut Fröschle : Goethe's relationship to romanticism. Königshausen and Neumann, Würzburg 2002, ISBN 978-3-8260-2298-2 .
- Karl Robert Mandelkow (ed.): Goethe in the judgment of his critics. Documents on the history of Goethe's influence in Germany. 4 vols. CH Beck, Munich 1975–1984.
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany. Reception history of a classic. 2 vols. Beck, Munich 1980–1989.
- Bettina Meier: Goethe in ruins. On the reception of a classic in the post-war period. German University Press, Wiesbaden 1989, ISBN 978-3-8244-4036-8 .
- Astrida Ment: Goethe between the wars. Commemorative Speeches in the Weimar Republic (1919–1933). Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2010, ISBN 978-3-631-59220-5 .
- Jana Piper: Goethe and Schiller in the cinematic culture of remembrance. Königshausen & Neumann, Wuerzburg 2019, ISBN 978-3-8260-6589-7 .
Further basic literature:
- Michael Botor: Conversations with Goethe. Studies on the function and history of a biographical genre (= Kasseler studies - literature, culture, media. Vol. 4). Carl Böschen, Siegen 1999, ISBN 3-932212-20-7 .
- Karl-Josef Kuschel : Goethe and the Koran. Patmos, Ostfildern 2021, ISBN 978-3-8436-1246-3 .
- Peter Meuer (ed.): Farewell and transition - Goethe's thoughts on death and immortality. Artemis & Winkler, Zurich 1993, ISBN 3-7608-1081-0 .
- Katharina Mommsen : Goethe and the Arab world. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1988.
- Katharina Mommsen: Goethe and Islam. Insel, Frankfurt am Main/Leipzig 2001, ISBN 3-458-34350-4 .
- Emil Schaeffer, Jörn Göres: Goethe - his outward appearance . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1980, ISBN 3-458-33975-2 .
- Albrecht Schöne : The Letter Writer Goethe. Beck, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-406-67603-1 .
- Hans-Joachim Simm (ed.): Goethe and religion. Insel, Frankfurt am Main/Leipzig 2000, ISBN 3-458-33900-0 .
- Renate Wieland: Apparent Criticism Utopia. On Goethe and Hegel . Edition text + criticism, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-88377-419-7 .
More content in Wikipedia
|Commons||– media content (gallery)|
|Commons||– Media content (category)|
|wikisource||– Sources and full texts|
|Wikiversity||– course materials|
- Works by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe at Zeno.org .
- Works by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the Gutenberg-DE project
- Works by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the German Text Archive
- Works by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe as audio books at LibriVox
- Works by and about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the German Digital Library
- Poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (final edition; West-Eastern Divan) at di-lemmata.de (incl. lemmatized word lists)
- Works by Goethe in the literature network
- Poems on zgedicht.de
- Exchange of letters Goethe - Schiller, 995 digital copies of the original letters published by the Weimar Classics Foundation
- Correspondence between Goethe and Schiller in the first edition of the correspondence published by Goethe in 1828/1829 in the Friedrich Schiller Archive
- Compositions based on poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe : sheet music and audio files in the International Music Score Library Project
- The Goethezeit portal , extensive information, essays, pictures and materials, there also a sub-portal Goethe, Schiller & Co. for young people
- Goethe's legacy in the Goethe and Schiller Archive Weimar
- Works by and about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the German Digital Library
- Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Hessian biography. (As of May 9, 2020). In: State Historical Information System Hesse (LAGIS).
- Entry on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the Rhineland-Palatinate personal database
- Goethe, Johann Wolfgang (von) in the Frankfurter Personenlexikon
- Weimar Goethe Bibliography online (WGB) - searchable database
- Annotated collection of links from the University Library of the Free University of Berlin, founded and compiled by Ulrich Goerdten ( memento from October 11, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
- Goethe dictionary online (so far only digitized up to the letter "M"). Printed version at Kohlhammer, Stuttgart (volume 6, delivery 6 to "Dutch")
- As the poet himself remarked, it is an idealized representation. As Stieler reports, Goethe said: "You show me how I could be. It would be nice to have a word with this man in the picture. He looks so beautiful that he could probably get a wife.” Quoted from: Jörn Göres, Emil Schaeffer (ed.): Goethe. His outward appearance. Literary and artistic documents of his contemporaries. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1999, p. 179.
- According to Heinrich Düntzer: Goethe's family trees - A genealogical representation. Salzwasser, Paderborn 1894, p. 93 ff. However, Nicholas Boyle attributes this step to Johann Caspar G. See Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-458-34725-9 , p. 69. – Although Goethe always wrote his name with oe, publications also appeared under the name Göthe throughout his life.
- Werner Plumpe: Economy, consumption and acquisition in Goethe's parents' house . In: Vera Hierholzer and Sandra Richter (eds.): Goethe and the money. The poet and the modern economy. Catalog of the exhibition in Frankfurt's Goethehaus/Freies Deutsches Hochstift from September 14 to December 30, 2012 , p. 118.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, pp. 68, 87.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 76. – In his extensive psychoanalytic study of 1963 (first American publication) on Goethe, Kurt R. Eissler already spoke of an “incestuous bond” with his sister, whose “influence on Goethe’s life and artistic development [...] could hardly be overestimated". Kurt R. Eissler: Goethe. A Psychoanalytic Study 1775–1786. Volume 1. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1987, pp. 74, 167. - According to Boyle, Goethe cautiously hints at a mutual incestuous desire in the Sixth Book of Poetry and Truth . zeno.org (accessed 26 February 2015).
- Karl Otto Conrady : Goethe. Life and work. New edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-538-06638-8 , p. 328.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 73 f.
- Johann Wolfgang Goethe: From my life. Poetry and Truth. Part One, Book Two zeno.org (accessed January 14, 2015).
- Karl Otto Conrady: Goethe. Life and work. New edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994, p. 328.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 74; Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-446-23581-6 , p. 32. Boyle speaks of "exceedingly talented", Safranski of "highly talented".
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 74.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 83.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 87.
- Johann Wolfgang Goethe: From my life. Poetry and Truth. Part Two, Book Six, p. 302 zeno.org (accessed January 14, 2015).
- Irene Altmann: Goethe and the cake garden in Reudnitz. In: Leipziger Osten 2. Verlag im Wissenschaftszentrum, Leipzig 1994, ISBN 3-930433-00-1 , p. 24.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 84.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 44.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 56.
- In Poetry and Truth , (second part, seventh book, p. 302 (Zeno) ) he mentions such a trip to the cake baker Hendel, the landlord of the cake garden in Reudnitz, one of the so-called cabbage villages, where he wrote a satirical poem and put it on the wall wrote.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 88.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 106.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 93.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 96.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 91.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 73.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 116.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 81.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 118.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 128 f.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 133.
- Karl Otto Conrady: Goethe. Life and work. New edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-538-06638-8 , pp. 121 and 125 f.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 100 f.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 102.
- Dieter Borchmeyer : Rapid course Goethe. Dumont, Cologne 2005, p. 35.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 120.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 119.
- Uwe Wittstock, Was this punishment really well deserved? , In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of January 8, 2022
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 156.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 123–128.
- Quoted from Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 160.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 162.
- Johann Wolfgang Goethe: From my life. Poetry and Truth. Part Three, Book Thirteen zeno.org (accessed January 14, 2015).
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 164.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 139.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 236.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life . Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 183.
- Arthur Henkel : Afterword to Goethe: Wilhelm Meister's theatrical broadcast (= Fischer Library of the Hundred Books ). Fischer Library, Frankfurt am Main 1969, pp. 317-321, here pp. 318 f.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 185.
- After the early death of her husband, Anna Amalia not only succeeded in governing her duchy with great prudence for 17 years, but also in bringing artists and scientists to her "court of muses" and promoting them to the best of her ability. She even appointed the poet Wieland , who was already well-known at the time, to tutor her two sons.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 197.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 207.
- Klaus Seehafer : My life one only adventure. Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Biography. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-351-02471-1 , p. 141.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 279.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, ISBN 3-407-32124-4 , p. 66.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 228.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 294 f.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 72 f. See also Sandra Richter: People and Market. Why we fear competition and still need it. Murmann, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-86774-128-6 , p. 71.
- Quoted after Karl Otto Conrady : Goethe. Life and work. New edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994, p. 328.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 72 f.
- Willy Flach : Official activity. 1958/61. In: Volker Wahl (ed.): Willy Flach (1903–1958). Contributions to archiving, Thuringian regional history and Goethe research. Böhlau, Weimar 2003, ISBN 978-3-7400-1205-2 , pp. 384-393, here p. 385.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, pp. 319 and 387.
- Gero von Wilpert: Goethe-Lexikon (= Kröner's pocket edition. Volume 407). Kröner, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-520-40701-9 , pp. 425–426.
- Irmtraut Schmid , Gerhard Schmid : Goethe's official writings. In: Reinhard Kluge (ed.): Johann Wolfgang Goethe. All works, letters, diaries and conversations. Volume 26: Official Writings. Part 1: Secret Consilium and other areas of responsibility taken over up to the trip to Italy. German Classics Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 978-3-618-60425-9 , pp. 815–854, here p. 837.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 73 f.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 391 f.
- Monsieur Göthé (Accessed October 17, 2020.) Marko Kreutzmann: Between corporate and bourgeois lifeworld: The nobility in Saxony-Weimar , 2008, p. 7.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, pp. 73–78.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 314; Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time. Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 294 f.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time. Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 392. It is not without irony that Johann Gottfried Herder lists the functions Goethe held: “So he is now the Real Privy Councilor, President of the Chamber, President of the War Collegii, Supervisor of the building industry down to the construction of roads, and also Director des plaisirs, court poet, author of beautiful festivities, court operas, ballets, parades, inscriptions, works of art, etc., director of the drawing academy, […] in short, the factotum of Weimar and, God willing, soon the major domus of all Ernestine houses whom he goes about to worship.” Quoted from Boyle, p. 392.
- Ludwig Börne has handed down the term "princely despot poet" coined for Goethe. See Gero von Wilpert: The 101 most important questions: Goethe. Beck, Munich 2007, p. 121 f.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Rapid course Goethe. Dumont, Cologne 2005, p. 52.
- W. Daniel Wilson : The Goethe taboo. Protest and Human Rights in Classic Weimar. Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-423-30710-2 , p. 47 ff., 76 ff. and 7 f.
- Irmtraut Schmid, Gerhard Schmid: Goethe's official writings. In: Reinhard Kluge (ed.): Johann Wolfgang Goethe. All works, letters, diaries and conversations. Volume 26: Official Writings. Part 1: Secret Consilium and other areas of responsibility taken over up to the trip to Italy. German Classics Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 978-3-618-60425-9 , pp. 815–854, here p. 838.
- Klaus Seehafer: My life a single adventure. Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Biography. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 2000, p. 180.
- Helmut Koopmann : Goethe and Frau von Stein - Story of a love. CH Beck, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-406-48652-5 , p. 254 ff.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 309. – How Goethe's contemporaries felt about the relationship can be deduced from Schiller's letter of August 12, 1787 to Körner: "It is said that their dealings should be quite pure and blameless" ( online ( Memento from April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive )).
- Kurt R. Eissler : Goethe. A Psychoanalytic Study 1775–1786. German paperback publisher. Volume 2. Munich 1987, ISBN 3-423-04457-8 , p. 1157.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 588.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 677.
- Wolfgang Frühwald : Goethe's Wedding . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-458-19294-7 , p. 60.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 556 f.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 307-314.
- Klaus-Detlef Müller: The misery of the poet's existence: Goethe's "Torquato Tasso": In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 124, 2007, p. 198.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 318.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, pp. 452, 471.
- Roberto Zapperi: The Incognito. Goethe's very different existence in Rome. Beck, Munich 1999, ISBN 978-3-406-60471-3 , p. 8 f.
- Casa di Goethe museum , which is mainly dedicated to Goethe's stays in Rome and Italy.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 480 f.
- Venetian epigrams, number 100g: "I love boys too, but I prefer girls / If I'm tired of her as a girl, she still serves me as a boy"
- Roberto Zapperi: The Incognito. Goethe's very different existence in Rome. CH Beck, Munich 1999, p. 133 ff.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 506. – Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 328.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 338–341.
- Klaus-Detlef Müller: The misery of the poet's existence: Goethe's "Torquato Tasso". In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 124, 2007, pp. 198–214, here: p. 214.
- Sigrid Damm : Christiane and Goethe. A research . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-87763-020-0 , p. 117.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 663.
- Sigrid Damm: Christiane and Goethe. A research . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1998, p. 121.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 355.
- Sigrid Damm: Christiane and Goethe. A research . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1998, p. 142 f.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume II: 1790–1803. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, pp. 145 and 251.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume II: 1790–1803. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 111.
- Irma Margarethe Lengersdorff: A marriage intention of Goethe from the year 1790. In: Goethe Yearbook . New episode, volume 27, 1965, pp. 175-192.
- Wolfgang Frühwald: Goethe's Wedding . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2007, pp. 35, 42, 60.
- Alfred Schmidt : Nature. Entry in: Goethe Handbook. Volume 4/2: people, things, terms LZ. Metzler, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-476-01447-9 , p. 766.
- Johan Wolfgang von Goethe: Attempt to explain the metamorphosis of plants. Ettinger, Gotha 1790. ( Digital copy and full text in the German Text Archive )
- Felix Sieglbauer : Goethe's concept of morphology. In: Academic Senate of the University of Innsbruck (ed.): Innsbruck University Almanac on the Goethe Year 1949. Tyroliadruck, Innsbruck 1949, pp. 165-190.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, pp. 183–186.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 742.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 758 f., 768 f.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 188.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, pp. 756–766.
- See Goethezeit#French Revolution
- Hans-Jürgen Schings : Not a friend of the revolution. The French Revolution in Goethe's Field of View. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 126, 2009, p. 52 f., 56; on the Goethe quote: Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Significant support through a single witty word. In: Theoretical writings. zeno.org (accessed March 22, 2015).
- Johann Peter Eckermann : Conversations with Goethe in the last years of his life. Conversation of January 4, 1824 in the project Gutenberg-DE Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1981.
- Quoted from Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 368.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 369.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 377.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 380 f.
- Erich Trunz: Commentary on Goethe's Works . Hamburg Edition Volume II: Poems and Epics II. CH Beck, Munich 1981, p. 719.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 248 f.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 273.
- Lesley Sharpe: Goethe and the Weimar theatre. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 116.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume II: 1790–1803. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 444.
- Lesley Sharpe: Goethe and the Weimar theatre. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 121.
- Lesley Sharpe: Goethe and the Weimar theatre. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 126 f. – As Sharpe reports, the last impetus ( the last straw ) for Goethe's resignation was a dog melodrama with a poodle in the leading role, pushed through by Karoline Jagemann. It was a melodrama by René Charles Guilbert de Pixérécourt , translated into German under the title Der Hund des Aubry , whose performance with the poodle Dragon Goethe had protested and threatened to resign, which the Grand Duke promptly accepted.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Friedrich Schiller or The Invention of German Idealism. Hanser, Munich, ISBN 3-446-20548-9 , p. 103.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 389.
- Gesa von Essen: "A rapprochement that didn't happen"? The difficult beginnings of a poets' association. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 123, 2005, pp. 43–61, here: pp. 53 f. ( digital copy )
- Rüdiger Safranski: "that there is no freedom towards the excellent than love". About the friendship between Schiller and Goethe. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 123, 2005, pp. 25–35, here: p. 27 ( digital copy ).
- Gesa von Essen: "A rapprochement that didn't happen"? The difficult beginnings of a poets' association. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 123, 2005, pp. 43–61, here: pp. 50 f. ( digital copy )
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 388; Heinrich Düntzer : On Goethe's report on his connection with Schiller. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 2, 1881, pp. 168–189 (digital copy)
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 389. See also: Letter from Schiller to Goethe of June 13, 1794.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 396.
- Correspondence between Schiller and Goethe - Second Volume. Goethe to Schiller, January 6, 1798 in Project Gutenberg-DE
- Erich Trunz: Commentary on Goethe: Poems . anniversary edition ed. and commented by Erich Trunz. Beck, Munich 2007, p. 584.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume II: 1790–1803. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 339.
- TJ Reed: Weimar Classicism: Goethe's Alliance with Schiller. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 103.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 405–407.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time. Volume II: 1790–1803. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 502.
- Musen-Almanach for the year 1797 . wikisource.
- Musen-Almanac for the year 1798 . wikisource.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 455 f.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 458 f., 465.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 463.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 461.
- Werner Neuhauser: The poet between the ideal and reality. The Sorrows of Old Goethe. In: zm online. 19, 2006.
- Goethe's medical advisor at this time was the pioneer of romantic medicine and pioneer of modern psychiatry, Johann Christian Reil .
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 468.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 467 f.
- Entry The Elective Affinities. In: Frank Rainer Max, Christine Ruhrberg (eds.): Reclams Romanlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-15-010474-2 , p. 341.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 488.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 497 f.
- Goethe could not forgive her for calling Christiane "big blood sausage". See Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 585.
- Entry from my life. Poetry and Truth. In: Frank Rainer Max, Christine Ruhrberg (eds.): Reclams Romanlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, p. 343.
- Gustav Seibt : Goethe and Napoleon. A Historical Encounter . Beck, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-406-57748-2 , p. 223.
- Johann Peter Eckermann : Conversations with Goethe in the last years of his life. Conversation of March 11, 1828 in the project Gutenberg-DE Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1981.
- Augsburgische Ordinari Postzeitung, No. 266, Saturday, November 5th, Anno 1808, p. 3, as a digital copy, .
- Frank Deibel, Friedrich Gundelfinger : Goethe in conversation. Salzwasser, Paderborn 2012 [reprint from 1906], p. 168.
- Gustav Seibt: Goethe and Napoleon. A Historical Encounter . Beck, Munich 2008, pp. 228–231. – The Fifth of May , Goethe's interlinear translation of Manzoni's Napoleon Ode
- Alfred Brendel : Goethe, Music and Irony . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of November 20, 2020, p. 12.
- Martin Geck: The meeting in Teplitz. In: The time. from July 14, 2012 Beethoven & Goethe: The Meeting in Teplitz – Die Zeit online.
- Martin Geck: The meeting in Teplitz. In: The time. from July 14, 2012 Beethoven & Goethe: The Meeting in Teplitz – Die Zeit online.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 590.
- Edith Zehm: The “radical reproduction of poetic intentions”: Goethe and Zelter. In: Goethezeitportal , sheet 1.
- Correspondence between Goethe and Zelter in the years 1796 to 1832. Edited by Friedrich Wilhelm Riemer. 6 volumes. Duncker and Humblot, Berlin 1833-1834.
- Karl Otto Conrady: Goethe. Life and work. New edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994, p. 852 ff., 889 f.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life . Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 588 f.
- In the opening poem of the West-Eastern Divan it says: "North and West and South splinter / thrones burst, kingdoms tremble / flee in the pure east / taste the air of the patriarchs!" Action: "As some monstrous menace arose in the political world, I stubbornly threw myself on the remotest." zeno.org (accessed March 31, 2015).
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 546–548.
- Hendrik Birus: Comment I. Overview comments. In: Johann Wolfgang Goethe: West-Eastern Divan. Part I. Insel, Berlin 2010, p. 728.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 549–552, 561. Quotations from Safranski on pp. 552 and 561.
- Entry Grimm, Herman. In: Walther Killy : Literaturlexikon. Authors and works of German language. Bertelsmann Lexicon Verlag. Digital Library, p. 6,656 (Vol. 4, p. 352). Volume 4, Bertelsmann. Digital Library, p. 6,656 ().
- Heinrich Heine : Complete works. Volume III : Writings on literature and politics I. With notes by Uwe Scheikert. 2nd Edition. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1992, p. 301.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 563.
- Sigrid Damm: Christiane and Goethe. A research . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1998, pp. 501–508.
- Navid Kermani : God-breathing. Goethe's religion. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 130, 2013, p. 24.
- Goethe tells his life. Compiled by Hans Egon Gerlach and Otto Herrmann based on Goethe's own testimonies and notes from his contemporaries. Fischer Library, Frankfurt am Main 1956, p. 342.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 583 f.
- Hans Jürgen Geerdts : Johann Wolfgang Goethe Reclam, Leipzig 1974.
- Goethe on the Leopoldina website Goethe as a member of the Leopoldina. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
- Peter Uhrbach: Goethe's lady in Bohemia , Sax-Verlag, Beucha 2009, pp. 59-79. ISBN 978-3-86729-050-0
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 594–596.
- Stefan Zweig: Great moments of mankind. Twelve Historical Miniatures . S. Fischer, Frankfurt 1986, p. 127.
- Stefan Zweig: Great moments of mankind. Twelve Historical Miniatures . S. Fischer, Frankfurt 1986, p. 135.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 626 f.
- Cf. also Albert Schöne : "Rainbow on a black-grey background" - Goethe's Dornburg letter to Zelter on the death of his grand duke. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1979 (= Göttinger Universitätsreden. Issue 65).
- Klaus Seehafer: My life a single adventure. Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Biography. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 2000, p. 458.
- Carl Vogel: Goethe's last illness [...]. Along with a postscript by CW Hufeland. In: Journal of practical medicine (1833). University of Gießen, 1961, accessed 8 January 2013 .
- Georg Simmel: Goethe. Klinghardt & Biermann, Leipzig 1913.
- Friedrich Gundolf: Goethe. 1st edition. Bondi, Berlin 1916, p. 1.
- According to Walter Benjamin ( Illuminations. Selected writings. TB edition. Suhrkamp. Frankfurt am Main 1977, p. 84) it was attributed to Jean Paul .
- Kurt R. Eissler: Goethe. A Psychoanalytic Study 1775–1786. Volume 1. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1987, p. 38.
- Kurt R. Eissler: Goethe. A Psychoanalytic Study 1775–1786. Volume 1. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1987, p. 36.
- Hugh Barr Nisbet, Religion and Philosophy. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, ISBN 0-521-66211-7 , pp. 224 and 231.
- The discourse between Goethe and Schiller about the primeval plant and about idea versus experience at their first successful encounter in 1794 has been handed down; see Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 391–393.
- Hugh Barr Nisbet, Religion and Philosophy. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 231.
- Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Significant support through a single witty word. In: Theoretical writings. zeno.org (accessed March 9, 2015).
- Heinrich Heine: Reisebilder. second part. The North Sea. Third Division . In: Düsseldorf Heine Edition, Volume 6: Letters from Berlin. About Poland. Travel Pictures I/II (prose) . p. 148.
- Andreas Bruno Wachsmuth : United intermediate nature. Essays on Goethe's scientific thinking. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 1966, p. 14.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 183.
- Stefan Bollmann: The breath of the world - Johann Wolfgang Goethe and the experience of nature. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2021; quoted here from the Süddeutsche Zeitung of April 13, 2021, p. 14.
- Alfred Schmidt Nature. Entry in: Goethe Handbook. Volume 4/2: people, things, terms LZ. Metzler, Stuttgart 1998, p. 755 f.
- Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Writings on morphology. Frankfurt Edition, Volume 24. German Classics Publishers, Frankfurt am Main 1987, p. 582.
- Alfred Schmidt: Nature. Entry in: Goethe Handbook. Volume 4/2: people, things, terms LZ. Metzler, Stuttgart 1998, p. 757.
- Andreas Bruno Wachsmuth: United intermediate nature. Essays on Goethe's scientific thinking. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 1966, p. 7.
- Alfred Schmidt: Nature. Entry in: Goethe Handbook. Volume 4/2: people, things, terms LZ. Metzler, Stuttgart 1998, p. 764.
- Quoted from Alfred Schmidt: Natur. Entry in: Goethe Handbook. Volume 4/2: people, things, terms LZ. Metzler, Stuttgart 1998, p. 766.
- Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Explanations on the aphoristic essay "Die Natur" zeno.org (retrieved on March 10, 2015).
- Hugh Barr Nisbet, Religion and Philosophy. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, pp. 219 f.
- Goethe to Lavater, July 29, 1782, quoted from Terence James Reed : The secular Goethe and his religion. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 130, 2013, p. 61.
- Werner Keller : Age mysticism? The late Goethe and the Christianity of his time. A fragment in sketch form. Quoted from Wolfgang Fruehwald: Goethe and Christianity. Notes on an ambivalent relationship. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 130, 2013, p. 47.
- Heinrich Heine: Complete Works. Volume III: Writings on literature and politics I. With notes by Uwe Scheikert. 2nd Edition. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1992, p. 295.
- Hugh Barr Nisbet, Religion and Philosophy. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 220.
- Gerhard von Frankenberg: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In: Karlheinz Deschner (ed.): Christianity in the judgment of its opponents . Max Hueber, Ismaning 1986, ISBN 3-19-005507-6 , p. 152.
- Hugh Barr Nisbet, Religion and Philosophy. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 221.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 196.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 566.
- Navid Kermani: God Breathing. Goethe's religion. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 130, 2013, p. 27.
- Goethe to Jacobi, June 9, 1785, quoted from Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 297.
- Goethe to Jacobi, May 5, 1786, quoted from Terence James Reed: The secular Goethe and his religion. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 130, 2013, p. 59.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 534.
- Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Maxims and Reflections: On Literature and Life. zeno.org (accessed January 20, 2015)
- Quoted from: Hans Dieter Betz: Antiquity and Christianity. Collected essays IV. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1998, ISBN 3-16-147008-7 , p. 86.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 564.
- Katharina Mommsen : Goethe and the Arabic world. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1988, p. 436.
- Hugh Barr Nisbet, Religion and Philosophy. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 224.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 568.
- For this and other statements critical of religion, see: Goethe und die Religion
- Cf. Hendrik Birus: Goethe - "ein Muselmann"? In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 130, 2013, pp. 51–58.
- Katharina Mommsen: Goethe and the Arabic world. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1988, p. 437.
- Quoted from: Gerhard von Frankenberg: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In: Karlheinz Deschner (ed.): Christianity in the judgment of its opponents . Max Hueber, Ismaning 1986, pp. 161 and 163.
- Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Poems. Gleanings: Zahme Zenien 9. zeno.org (accessed on January 20, 2015)
- Cf. for example Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: The Roman Carneval. After the 1789 edition. With an afterword by Harald Keller and 20 color plates after Georg Schütz . Harenberg, Dortmund (= The bibliophile paperbacks. Volume 60).
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life . Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 588 f.; Karl Heinz Weiers: Goethe's experiences at the Saint Rochus Festival in Bingen on August 16, 1814 and his later report on this folk festival , p. 16  retrieved on August 17, 2020
- Wolfgang Fruehwald: Goethe and Christianity. Notes on an ambivalent relationship. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 130, 2013, p. 46.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time. Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 441.
- Goethe Poems. edited and commented by Erich Trunz. (Jubilee edition based on the text of volume 1 of the Hamburg edition) CH Beck, Munich 2007, p. 367.
- Johann Peter Eckermann : Conversations with Goethe in the last years of his life. Conversation of February 4, 1829 in the Gutenberg-DE Insel project, Frankfurt am Main 1981.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 129–131.
- Alfred Schmid: Nature. Entry in: Goethe Handbook. Volume 4/2: people, things, terms LZ. Metzler, Stuttgart 1998, p. 758 f.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an Epoch . study edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 129.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 435.
- Karl Philipp Moritz claims autonomy both for the work of art and for the artist: "The latter is there 'first for his own sake, then only for our sake'." Entry autonomy. In: Ulrich Pfisterer (ed.): Encyclopedia of Art Science . Metzler, Stuttgart 2003, p. 31.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 359-361.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 577 f.
- Johann Peter Eckermann : Conversations with Goethe in the last years of his life. Conversation of May 6, 1827 in Projekt Gutenberg-DE Insel Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1981.
- From Goethe's annotated translation of Diderot's Essay on Painting . Quoted from Karl Otto Conrady: Goethe. Life and work. New edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994, p. 699.
- Karl Otto Conrady: Goethe. Life and work. New edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994, p. 699 f.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic Portrait of an Epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 318.
- Friedrich Schiller : About naive and sentimental poetry. The Sentimental Poets in Project Gutenberg-DE
- Quoted from Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 532.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 531 f.
- Quoted from Hendrik Birus: Goethe's idea of world literature. A historical visualization. In: Goethezeitportal , p. 3 and 4.
- For Goethe's occupation with Chinese poetry and art, see the brief overview in Goethe's commentary. Poems edited and annotated by Erich Trunz (anniversary edition based on the text of volume 1 of the Hamburg edition), CH Beck, Munich 2007, pp. 774–776.
- Gerhard R. Kaiser: Mme de Staël "De l'Allemagne" and Goethe's reflections on "world literature". In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 128, 2011, pp. 237, 239.
- Gerhard R. Kaiser: Mme de Staël "De l'Allemagne" and Goethe's reflections on "world literature". In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 128, 2011, p. 237 f.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 648.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 7. Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 534.
- Bernd Witte: Preliminary remarks, interpretations. In: Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Poems. Reclam, Stuttgart 2005, p. 5.
- John R. Williams: Goethe the Poet. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 42.
- John R. Williams: Goethe the Poet. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, pp. 43f.
- Entry The Sorrows of Young Werther. In: Frank Rainer Max, Christine Ruhrberg (eds.): Reclams Romanlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, p. 335.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 152.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 208.
- Gustav Seibt: Goethe and Napoleon. A Historical Encounter . Beck, Munich 2008, pp. 131–135.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 345.
- Entry Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship. In: Frank Rainer Max, Christine Ruhrberg (eds.): Reclams Romanlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, p. 339.
- Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 238.
- Entry Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre. In: Frank Rainer Max, Christine Ruhrberg (eds.): Reclams Romanlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, p. 346.
- Entry Wilhelm Meisters theatrical broadcast. In: Frank Rainer Max, Christine Ruhrberg (eds.): Reclams Romanlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, p. 335 f.
- Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 238.
- Handed down by Heinrich Laube , quoted here from: Walter Benjamin: Goethe's Elective Affinities. In: Ders.: Illuminations. Selected Writings. TB edition. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1977, p. 101.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an epoch. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 529.
- Thomas Mann: On Goethe's Elective Affinities. In: Ders.: Writings and speeches on literature, art and philosophy. First volume. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1968, p. 243.
- Afterword to Goethe: Italian Journey . (Jubilee edition based on the text of volume 11 of the Hamburg edition) CH Beck, Munich 2007, pp. 574–578.
- Entry: From my life. Poetry and Truth. In: Frank Rainer Max, Christine Ruhrberg (eds.): Reclams Romanlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, p. 343.
- Kindler's New Literature Lexicon. Volume 6, p. 472.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time. Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 175.
- David V. Pugh: Goethe the dramatist. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, ISBN 0-521-66560-4 , p. 66.
- Correspondence between Schiller and Goethe - Second volume. Goethe to Schiller, January 19, 1802 in Project Gutenberg-DE
- Friedrich Gundolf : Goethe . Bondi, Berlin 1918, p. 318.
- Dieter Borchmeyer: Commentary on Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Dramas 1776-1790. Frankfurt Edition 1st Section, Volume 5, Deutscher Classics Verlag, Frankfurt an Mein 1988, p. 1416.
- Albrecht Schöne : Preliminary Remarks on Goethe's Faust Poetry. In: Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Faust. comments . German Classics Publishers, Frankfurt am Main 1999, p. 11.
- Hans Robert Jauß : Aesthetic experience and literary hermeneutics . Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1991, ISBN 3-518-28555-6 , p. 513 f.
- Heinrich Heine: Complete Works. Volume III : Writings on literature and politics I. With notes by Uwe Scheikert. 2nd Edition. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1992, p. 299.
- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Aesthetics. Volume II. Structure, Berlin 1955, p. 574.
- Albrecht Schöne: Preliminary Remarks on Goethe's Faust Poetry. In: Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Faust. Comments. German Classics Publishers, Frankfurt am Main 1999, p. 37 f.
- Exemplary: Michael Jaeger: Global Player Faust or The Disappearance of the Present. On the topicality of Goethe. 2nd Edition. Settlers, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-937989-34-1 .
- Quoted from Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 99. See original: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Zum Schäkespears Tag, online at Wikisource .
- Otto Mann: History of the German drama (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 296). Kröner, Stuttgart 1960, , p. 205.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 144.
- Albrecht Schöne: Preliminary Remarks on Goethe's Faust Poetry. In: Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Faust. Comments. German Classics Publishers, Frankfurt am Main 1999, p. 44.
- Otto Mann: History of the German Drama. Kröner, Stuttgart 1960, pp. 211 and 225.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p, 143,
- Joseph Bossi on Leonard da Vinci's Last Supper in Milan . In: On Art and Antiquity . Volume I, Issue 3, March 1818.
- Entry Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) . In: Andreas Beyer, Ernst Osterkamp (eds.): Goethe Handbook . Supplements, Volume 3: Art . Metzler, Stuttgart 2011, pp. 509-511, here 510.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 7, 108.
- Classic Foundation Weimar: Goethe-Schiller correspondence
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 203.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 84 f.
- Volker Hesse: Auxiology and anatomy in Goethe: Larger than the contemporaries. In: Deutsches Ärzteblatt. Volume 95, Issue 34-35, 1998, p. A 2038 (B 1725, C 1621).
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 339.
- Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre im Projekt Gutenberg-DE
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. 1773-1918. tape 1 . CH Beck, Munich 1980, ISBN 3-406-07907-5 , p. 183 (Hermann von Helmholtz: About Goethe's scientific work ).
- Attempt to explain the metamorphosis of plants in Projekt Gutenberg-DE ISBN 3-927795-32-1 .
- Klaus Seehafer: My life a single adventure. Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Biography. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 1998, p. 180.
- Manfred Wenzel, Mihaela Zaharia: 1776, 1781-1788: Natural history contribution to Lavater's physiognomic fragments - attempt from the comparative bone theory that the intermediate bone of the upper jaw is common to humans with the other animals - work on the intermediate jaw bone - studies in Italy: Evolution and epigenesis. In: Manfred Wenzel (ed.): Goethe Handbook. supplements. Volume 2: Natural Sciences. Metzler, Stuttgart/Weimar 2012, ISBN 978-3-476-01983-7 , pp. 10–18, here p. 11.
- Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe - work of art of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 299.
- Karl Otto Conrady: Goethe. Life and work. New edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994, p. 841.
- Helga W. Kraft: Goethe's theory of colors and the fairy tale . Color magic or science? In: Monika Schausten (ed.): The colors of imagined worlds. On the cultural history of their coding in literature and art from the Middle Ages to the present. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-05-005081-2 , p. 92.
- Johann Peter Eckermann: Conversations with Goethe. text and comment. German Classics Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1999. TB edition 2011, ISBN 978-3-618-68050-5 .
- Friedrich von Müller: Conversations with Goethe. CH Beck, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-406-08497-4 .
- Friedrich Wilhelm Riemer: Communications on Goethe. 2 volumes. 1841. Communications on Goethe; edited by Arthur Pollmer (1921) on the basis of the 1841 edition and the manuscript legacy
- Renate Grumach: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 18, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-428-00199-0 , pp. 375–377 ( ). In:
- Goethe's conversations with Chancellor Friedrich von Müller. Edited by CAH Burckhardt. Cotta, Stuttgart 1870 ( digital copy )
- The Song of Solomon. In the transmission of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe .
- Intelligence sheet of the General. Literaturzeitung Num. 157 of October 9, 1805, page 1304 , retrieved January 4, 2020.
- Weimarisches Wochenblatt , number 2, February 6, 1816 ( online ).
- Eckhard Ullrich: Goethe and his orders .
- Friedrich Wilhelm Deichmann : Goethe and the Instituto di corrispondenza archeologica . In: Robert Boehringer. A friend gift . Mohr, Tübingen 1957, pp. 177–191.
- Gero von Wilpert : The 101 most important questions: Goethe. Beck, Munich 2007, p. 122.
- Lutz D. Schmadel: Dictionary of Minor Planet Names. Fifth Revised and Enlarged Edition. 5th revised and enlarged edition. Berlin et al. 2003, p. 186.
- Steffi Böttiger: I have to remain invisible. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung April 7, 2018, p. 18.
- Karl Robert Mandelkow : Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume I: 1773–1918. Beck, Munich 1980, ISBN 3-406-07907-5 , p. 11.
- Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The Poet in His Time . Volume I: 1749–1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 176.
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany. Reception history of a classic. Volume I: 1773–1918. Beck, Munich 1980, p. 41.
- Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 233.
- Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections: On Literature and Life. zeno.org (accessed January 20, 2015)
- Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 233.
- Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 237.
- Quoted from Dieter Borchmeyer: Goethe (1749–1832). In: Goethezeitportal. Posted December 15, 2003.
- Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 236.
- Heinrich Heine: Complete Works. Volume III : Writings on literature and politics I. With notes by Uwe Scheikert. 2nd Edition. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1992, pp. 294 and 298. See also Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, pp. 236 f.
- Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 244.
- Gerhard R. Kaiser: Mme de Staël "De l'Allemagne" and Goethe's reflections on "world literature". In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 128, 2011, p. 235.
- Olaf Müller: Madame de Staël and Weimar. European dimensions of an encounter. In: Hellmut Th. Seemann (ed.): Europe in Weimar. Visions of a continent. Yearbook of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar 2008, p. 296.
- Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 232.
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume I: 1773–1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 85.
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume I: 1773–1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 88 f.
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume I: 1773–1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 104 f., 110 ff.
- Referenced and quoted by Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume I: 1773–1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 170 f.
- From this extremely deep perspective, the laurel wreath that Goethe is holding in his right hand seems to frame his head.
- Wolfgang Leppmann: Goethe and the Germans. On the Posthumous Fame of a Poet. Kohlhammer, 1962, p. 169 ff.
- Herman Grimm: Goethe. Lectures held at the Royal University of Berlin. First volume. Wilhelm Hertz, Berlin 1877, p. 2 and 4.
- David Friedrich Strauss - Quoted after Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume I: 1773–1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 262.
- Constantin Bauer, Hans Martin Schultz (eds.): Raabe memorial book for the 90th birthday of the poet. Hermann Klemm, Berlin-Grunewald 1921, p. 139.
- Quoted from Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception History of a Classic. Volume I: 1773–1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 230.
- Quoted from Dieter Borchmeyer: "Poetry of the future"? Goethe the Überdeutsche, in the image of Nietzsche. In: Goethezeitportal , p. 1.
- Quoted from Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception History of a Classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 9.
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 11 f.
- Hermann Hesse : Thanks to Goethe. Observations, reviews, letters. Insel, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-458-33950-7 , p. 118.
- Quoted from Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany. Reception history of a classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1989, p. 78.
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany. Reception history of a classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1989, p. 81.
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany. Reception history of a classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1989, p. 190, 213 f.
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany. Reception history of a classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1989, p. 135.
- With his book Hölderlin and the French Revolution (1969) , the French Germanist Pierre Bertaux provided the impetus for Martin Walser's lecture on Hölderlin (1970) and Peter Weiss' play Hölderlin (1971).
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany. Reception history of a classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1989, p. 238 f.
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany. Reception history of a classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1989, p. 232.
- Wolfgang Leppmann: Goethe and the Germans. On the Posthumous Fame of a Poet. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1962, p. 206.
- Hugo von Hofmannsthal : Book of friends. Edited with references by Ernst Zinn . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1965, pp. 68 and 78.
- Hermann Hesse: Thanks to Goethe. Observations, reviews, letters. Insel, Berlin 1999, p. 9.
- Thomas Bernhard: Goethe dies. In: The Time . March 19, 1982.
- Fanny Hensel: Job - An important, a beautiful work (PDF).
- Dieter Borchmeyer: "The geniuses are just one big family..." Goethe in compositions by Richard Strauss; http://www.goethezeitportal.de/db/wiss/goethe/borchmeyer_strauss.pdf , as of March 23, 2017.
- Axel Bauni/Kilian Sprau and Klaus Hinrich Stahmer "From the post-war period to today" in: Reclams Liedführer, Stuttgart (Reclam), 6th edition 2008, p. 1077.
- Andreas W. Daum : Social Relations, Shared Practices, and Emotions: Alexander von Humboldt's Excursion into Literary Classicism and the Challenges to Science around 1800. In: Journal of Modern History 91 (2019), 1-37.
- Heinrich Arnold, Werner Koehler and others (eds.): The chemist Doebereiner and his minister Goethe - A reception study. In: Vital Principle Academy. Announcement by the Academy of Non-Profit Sciences in Erfurt on the occasion of the 450th anniversary of the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. Erfurt 2008, pp. 211–232. ( Secondary Edition )
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume 1: 1773-1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 187.
- Quoted from Alfred Schmidt: Natur. Entry in: Goethe Handbook. Volume 4/2: people, things, terms LZ. Metzler, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-476-01447-9 , p. 757.
- Adventures of reason: Goethe and the natural sciences around 1800
- Kristin Knebel, Gisela Maul, Thomas Schmuck (eds.): Adventures of Reason. Goethe and the natural sciences around 1800. Sandstein, Dresden 2019, ISBN 978-3-95498-486-2 .
- Entry Grimm, Herman. In: Walther Killy Literaturlexikon. Authors and works of German language. Bertelsmann Lexicon Verlag. Digital Library, pp. 6,656-6,658 (Vol. 4, p. 352).
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume 1: 1773-1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 272.
- Georg Simmel: Goethe. Klinkhardt & Biermann, Leipzig 1913, p. 157 and 161.
- Wolfgang Höppner: On the controversy surrounding Friedrich Gundolf's "Goethe". In: Ralf Klausnitzer, Carlos Spoerhase (eds.): Controversies in literary theory / literary theory in controversy. Peter Lang, Bern 2007, ISBN 978-3-03911-247-0 , pp. 186 and 195 f.
- Walter Benjamin: Goethe's Elective Affinities . In: Ders.: Illuminations. Selected Writings . 63–135, here p. 96.
- Emil Staiger: Goethe. Volume I: 1749–1786. 5th edition. Artemis & Winkler, Zurich, p. 8.
- Staiger, Emil. In: Walther Killy Literaturlexikon. Authors and works of German language. Bertelsmann Lexicon Verlag. Digital Library, p. 18.846 (Vol. 11, p. 137).
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume 2: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 172.
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume 2: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 172 f.
- Entry Friedenthal, Richard. In: Walther Killy: Literaturlexikon. Authors and works of German language. Bertelsmann Lexicon Verlag. Digital Library, p. 5,510 (Vol. 4, p. 16).
- Thomas Halbe: Goethe's greatness without legend. (Review) In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. dated October 3, 1963.
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume 2: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 67.
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume 2: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 177 f.
- Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume 2: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 272.
- Hans-Christof Kraus : Review of Volume 1 in: Historical Journal . Volume 265, 1997, p. 790.
- Lorenz Jäger: The urbanized Olympian (review). In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. dated August 30, 2013.
- Dirk Appelbaum: The monument. Goethe and Schiller as a double statue in Weimar. Wasmuth, Tübingen 1993, ISBN 3-8030-0402-2 , p. 12 f.
- Goethe's drawings can be accessed using the search term "Goethe" in the "Artist" field, pictures relating to Goethe using the search term "Goethe" in the "Object" field.
|SURNAME||Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von|
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Goethe, Johann Wolfgang; Goethe, Johann Wolfgang|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German poet, scientist, art theorist and Weimar statesman|
|BIRTH DATE||August 28, 1749|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Frankfurt am Main|
|DATE OF DEATH||March 22, 1832|
|PLACE OF DEATH||Weimar|