Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
oil painting by Joseph Karl Stieler , 1828
Goethe's signature

Johann Wolfgang Goethe , from 1782 by Goethe (born August 28, 1749 in Frankfurt am Main , † March 22, 1832 in Weimar ), was a German poet and naturalist . He is considered one of the most important creators of German-language poetry .

Goethe came from a respected bourgeois family; his maternal grandfather was a city mayor highest judicial official in the city of Frankfurt, his father Doctor of Law and Imperial Councilor . He and his sister Cornelia received extensive training from private tutors . Following his father's wishes, Goethe studied in Leipzig and Strasbourg jurisprudence and was then as a lawyer in Wetzlar active and Frankfurt. At the same time he followed his inclination for poetry. The first recognitions in the world of literaturehe achieved in 1773 with the drama Götz von Berlichingen , which brought him national success, and in 1774 with the epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther , to which he even owed European success. Both works are part of the literary movement of Sturm und Drang (1765 to 1785).

At the age of 26 he was invited to the Weimar court , 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. The trip to Italy from September 1786 to May 1788 felt like a “rebirth”. He owed her the completion of important works such as Iphigenie auf Tauris (1787), Egmont (1788) and Torquato Tasso (1790).

After his return, his official duties were largely limited to representative tasks. The wealth of cultural heritage he experienced in Italy stimulated his poetic production, and his erotic experiences with a young Roman woman led him to enter into a permanent, “improper” love affair with Christiane Vulpius immediately after his return , which he only legalized eighteen years later with a marriage .

Goethe's literary work includes poetry , dramas , epics , autobiographical , art and literary theoretical as well as scientific writings. In addition, his extensive correspondence is of literary importance. Goethe was a preparer 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 Princely Congress . In alliance with Schiller and together with Herder and Wieland , he embodied the Weimar Classic . The Wilhelm Meister novels became exemplary forerunners of German-speaking artists and educational novels . His drama Faust (1808) gained a reputation as the most important creation in German-language literature. In his old age he was seen abroad as a representative of intellectual Germany.

In the German Empire he was transfigured as the German national poet and herald of the “German essence” and as such was appropriated for German nationalism . Thereby a reverence began not only for the work, but also for the personality of the poet, whose lifestyle was felt to be exemplary. To this day, his poems, dramas and novels are among the masterpieces of world literature .

Life

Johann Caspar Goethe, watercolor drawing by Georg Friedrich Schmoll , 1774
Catharina Elisabeth Goethe, portrait by Georg Oswald May , 1776

Origin and youth

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born on August 28, 1749 in the Goethe family house (today's Goethe House ) on Frankfurt's Großer Hirschgraben and was baptized Protestant the following day. His nickname was Wolfgang. His grandfather, Friedrich Georg Göthe (1657–1730), who came from Thuringia, settled in Frankfurt in 1687 as a master tailor 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 of money to his two sons from his first marriage and the youngest son Johann Caspar Goethe (1710–1782), Johann Wolfgang Goethe's father . Goethe's father had obtained a doctorate in jurisprudence from Leipzig University , but he did not practice a legal profession. With the honorary title "Imperial Councilor" he rose to the Frankfurt upper class. As a rentier , he lived on the income from his inherited wealth, which would later enable his son to live and study without financial constraints. He was interested and educated in many ways, 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 's highest-ranking judicial officer. The fun-loving and sociable woman had married the then 38-year-old Rat Goethe at the age of 17. After Johann Wolfgang five more children were born, of which only the little younger sister Cornelia survived childhood. Her brother was in a close relationship of trust, which, according to the biographer Nicholas Boyle and the psychoanalyst Kurt R. Eissler , included feelings of incestuousness . The mother called her son her "Hätschelhans".

Instructions for the German-Hebrew language in Goethe's own handwriting (top, left: the Hebrew alphabet ), around 1760

The siblings received extensive training. From 1756 to 1758 Johann Wolfgang attended a public school. Afterwards, he and his sister were taught together by their father and a total of eight private tutors. Goethe learned Latin , Greek and Hebrew as classic educational languages ​​as well as the living languages ​​French, Italian, English and the " Jewish German ", which was "a living presence in Frankfurt's Judengasse". These living languages ​​were taught by native speakers. The timetable also included science, religion and drawing. He also learned to play the piano and cello, horse riding, fencing and dancing.

The boy came into contact with literature at an early age. It began with the mother's bedtime stories and Bible reading in the pious, Lutheran-Protestant family. At Christmas 1753 he received a puppet theater from his grandmother . He learned the play intended for this stage by heart and repeatedly performed it with enthusiasm with friends. Little Goethe also demonstrated the first beginnings of his literary imagination with his (according to his own statement) "flashy beginnings" of inventing whimsical fairy tales and serving his amazed friends in the first person for exciting entertainment. Much was read in the Goethe house; the father owned a library of around 2000 volumes. As a child, Goethe learned, among other things, the folk book from Dr. Know Faust . In the course of the Seven Years' War , the French city commander, Count Thoranc, was quartered in the family home from 1759 to 1761 . Goethe owed his first encounter with French dramatic literature to him and the drama troupe who traveled with him. Inspired by the many languages ​​he had learned, at the age of twelve he began a multilingual novel in which all languages ​​came into their own in a colorful jumble.

According to his biographers Nicholas Boyle and Rüdiger Safranski , Goethe was a gifted child, but not a child prodigy like Mozart, for example . He learned languages ​​quickly and possessed "a very unconscious dexterity in writing verses". He was "lively, exuberant and headstrong, but without depth".

Studies and Early Poetry

Leipzig (1765–1768)

Goethe shortly before his student days in Leipzig, after an oil painting by Anton Johann Kern that was burned in 1943
Courtyard of the "Big Fireball" - Goethe's student apartment in Leipzig

On instructions from his father, Goethe began studying law at the traditional University of Leipzig in autumn 1765 . In contrast to the rather old Franconian Frankfurt, which at that time did not yet have its own university, Leipzig was an elegant, cosmopolitan city that was nicknamed Little Paris . Goethe was treated like someone who came from the provinces and first had to adapt to clothing and manners in order to be accepted by his new fellow citizens. Provided by his father with a monthly bill of 100 guilders , he had twice as much money at his disposal as a student at the most expensive universities needed at the time.

Goethe lived in Leipzig in a courtyard building of the Große Feuerkugel house on Neumarkt. Since the students made their accommodation available for the traders during the fair , Goethe moved to a farm in Reudnitz , a village east of Leipzig, during the fair .

Although his father had entrusted him to the care of the professor for history and constitutional law, Johann Gottlob Böhme , and who forbade Goethe to change his subject, he soon began to neglect compulsory studies. He preferred to attend Christian Fürchtegott Gellert's poetry lectures , to which the students could present their literary experiments. Since Gellert did not like to accept verses, he passed Goethe's poetic attempts (including a wedding poem to Uncle Textor) on to his deputy, who thought little of it. The painter Adam Friedrich Oeser , with whom Goethe continued his drawing lessons in Frankfurt, introduced him to the ancient art ideal of his student 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 judgment. In a letter of thanks from Frankfurt, Goethe wrote him that he had learned more from him than in all those years at the university. On Oeser's recommendation, he visited Dresden and the picture gallery in March 1768 . Goethe made a friendship with Oeser's daughter Friederike Elisabeth (1748–1829) in 1765, which was maintained in correspondence for a while after his Leipzig years. Oeser himself remained in closer contact with Goethe through letters until he left for Strasbourg. Their connection lasted until Oeser's death.

During his student days in Leipzig, Goethe learned the techniques of woodcut and etching from the engraver Johann Michael Stock .

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 in the surrounding area. Goethe's “first serious love affair” occurred during his time in Leipzig. The romance with the daughter of a craftsman and innkeeper, Käthchen Schönkopf , was resolved by mutual agreement after two years. The upsurges of feeling during these years influenced Goethe's writing style; if he had previously written poems in the regular rococo style , their tone was now freer and more stormy. A collection of 19 anacreontic poems, copied 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 Neue Lieder 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 tubercular disease. Halfway able to travel again, he returned to his parents' house in Frankfurt in August - to the disappointment of his father without an academic degree.

Frankfurt and Strasbourg (1768–1771)

Goethe's house in Strasbourg, formerly on the fish market, now Rue du Vieux Marché aux Poissons

The life-threatening illness required a long convalescence and made him receptive to the ideas of pietism that a friend of his mother, the Moravian woman Susanne von Klettenberg , introduced to him. During this time he temporarily found closest contact with Christianity in his adult life. He also dealt with mystical and alchemical writings, a reading that he would later fall back on in Faust . Independently of this, he wrote his first comedy Die Mitschuldigen during this time .

In April 1770, Goethe continued his studies at the University of Strasbourg . With 43,000 inhabitants, Strasbourg was larger than Frankfurt and was awarded 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 determinedly to 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 the almost daily visits, the elder opened his eyes to the original language of authors such as Homer , Shakespeare and Ossian, as well as popular poetry and thus gave decisive impulses for Goethe's poetic development. Later, on Goethe's intercession, he was to be appointed to Weimar services. His circle of friends and acquaintances, who mostly met over lunch, also included the later 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.

He was introduced to the family of Pastor Brion in Sessenheim (Goethe writes Sesenheim) through a college friend . He got to know and love the pastor's daughter Friederike Brion . When he left the University of Strasbourg, the reluctant young Goethe ended the relationship, which, of course, only became apparent to Friederike through a letter from Goethe from Frankfurt. As Nicholas Boyle interprets this episode, Friederike had to feel seriously compromised because Goethe could be considered her fiancé through his behavior towards her. Shaken and guilty, Goethe received the news about her collapse in health, which he took from her later reply. The poems addressed to Friederike, which later became known as Sesenheimer Lieder (including Willkommen and Abschied , Mailied , Heidenröslein ), are incorrectly named after Karl Otto Conrady with the label "Erlebnislyrik". The external form of the lyric offers nothing new and the linguistic expression goes beyond the usual poetic language at most in nuances. Nonetheless, the ego in them has individual traits and does not lean on "given patterns of shepherd types", rather "speaking ego, lover, 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 an "insane 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 lower degree he only needed to set up 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 subject in artistic form in the Gretchen tragedy .

Lawyer and poet in Frankfurt and Wetzlar (1771–1775)

Goethe's profile in silhouette
Die Leiden des Junge Werther, first printing from 1774 (in a later revision the genitive -s was omitted )

Back in Frankfurt, Goethe opened a small law firm , which his father saw primarily as a “mere transit station” to higher offices (such as mayor and grandfather). He ran the law firm for four years until he left for Weimar, with interest soon waning and with little zeal for work . Poetry was more important to Goethe than the legal profession. At the end of 1771 - within six weeks - he put the story of Gottfried von Berlichingen on paper with an iron hand . After a revision, the drama was self-published as Götz von Berlichingen in 1773 . The work, which breaks all the traditional dramatic rules, was enthusiastically received and is considered a founding document of the Sturm und Drang . The epoch eponymous drama Sturm und Drang came from Friedrich Maximilian Klinger , who belonged to the circle of friends from Goethe's youth days.

In January 1772 Goethe witnessed the "dark ceremony" of the public execution of the child murderer Susanna Margaretha Brandt by the sword in Frankfurt . According to Rüdiger Safranski, it formed the personal background for the "Gretchen tragedy" in Faust , on which Goethe began to work in the early 1770s. In 1773 his sister Cornelia married the lawyer Johann Georg Schlosser , Goethe's friend ten years his senior, who had worked as a lawyer in the trial of the child murderer.

During these years he paid frequent visits to the Darmstadt Circle of Sensitive People around Johann Heinrich Merck , undertaking 25-kilometer hikes from Frankfurt to Darmstadt. Goethe attached great importance to Merck's judgment; in his autobiography, he attested that he had "had the greatest influence" on his life. Following his invitation, Goethe wrote reviews for the magazine Frankfurter learned advertisements, which was run by Merck and Schlosser .

Between the two writings of Götz , Goethe had registered as an intern at the Imperial Court of Justice in Wetzlar in May 1772, again at the insistence of his father . His colleague there, Johann Christian Kestner , later described the then Goethe:

“He has what is called a genius and an extraordinary imagination. He is violent in his affects. He has a noble way of thinking. [...] He loves children and can be very busy with them. He is bizarre and has various things in his demeanor and appearance that could make him uncomfortable. But it is written on children, women and many others. - He does what he likes without caring whether others like it, whether it is fashion, whether the way of life allows it. He hates all coercion. [...] He made his main work out of the fine sciences and arts, or rather out of all sciences, except those so-called bread sciences. "

Again, Goethe paid little attention to legal studies. Instead, he looked at the ancient authors. At a country dance, he met Kestner's fiancée, Charlotte Buff , who he fell in love with. Goethe became a regular and welcome guest in the house of the Buff family. After Charlotte had explained to him that he could hope for nothing but their 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 personal and foreign experiences in the epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther , which he wrote down in just four weeks at the beginning of 1774. The highly emotional work, which is attributed to both the “Sturm und Drang” and the simultaneous literary movement of “Sensibility”, made its author famous throughout Europe within a short time. Goethe himself later explained the tremendous success of the book and the " Werther fever " it triggered by saying that it met precisely the needs of the time. The poet saved himself from his own critical life situation with the creative work on the Werther : "I felt, as after a general confession, happy and free again, and entitled to a new life." Nevertheless, he maintained a warm relationship with Kestner and afterwards Lotte upright through correspondence.

On his return from Wetzlar, his father received him with reproaches because the stay there had not been beneficial to the son's professional advancement. The following years in Frankfurt until he left for Weimar were among the most productive in Goethe's life. In addition to the Werther , the great hymns were written (including Wandrers Sturmlied , Ganymed , Prometheus and Mahomets Gesang ), several short dramas (including The Fun Fair for Plundersweilern and Gods, Heroes and Wieland ) and the dramas Clavigo and Stella. A show for lovers . It was also during this time that Goethe took up the subject of Faust for the first time .

At Easter 1775, Goethe got engaged to the Frankfurt banker's daughter Lili Schönemann . Towards the end of his life, he said to Eckermann that she was the first whom he “loved deeply and truly”. For the first time, as Nicholas Boyle writes, Lili offered him “the very real possibility of marriage”, but the young poet shrank from such a bond. Marriage was incompatible with his life plans. The different milieus and denominations of the parents added as further 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 at Lavater's , on whose Physiognomic Fragments Goethe contributed, as a guest 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 posterity discovered the original version of the novel, Wilhelm Meister's theatrical broadcast , printed in 1910 .

In October 1775, Lili's mother broke off the engagement with the declaration that due to the diversity of religions, marriage was not appropriate. 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)

City plan of Weimar (1782); Goethe's garden is shown at the bottom left

In November 1775, Goethe reached Weimar. The capital of the Duchy of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach only had around 6,000 inhabitants (the Duchy around 100,000), but thanks to the efforts of Duchess Anna Amalia it developed into a cultural center. At the time when Goethe was invited to Weimar for no purpose, he was already a famous author across Europe. He quickly won the trust of Duke Carl August, who was eight years his junior and educated in an enlightened spirit, and who admired his great-uncle Friedrich II for his friendship with Voltaire . Like him, 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 summer house in the park on the Ilm . When the Duke suggested that he take part in the management of the state, Goethe accepted after some hesitation. The need for practical, effective activity determined him. He wrote to a friend from Frankfurt: “I will [...] probably stay there [...]. 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 pleasure. Here I have a couple of duchies in front of me. "

In civil service

Johann Wolfgang Goethe , oil painting by Georg Oswald May , 1779

On June 11, 1776, Goethe became a secret legation councilor and a member of the secret consilium, the duke's three-person advisory committee, 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, that he would postpone his writing, but "allow himself [...] after the example of the great king who played a few hours a day on the flute , sometimes one Practice in the talent that is my own. "

He finally turned abruptly away from 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 were financially supported by Goethe. He even had Lenz expelled from the duchy after an insult that has not yet been clarified.

Goethe's official activities extended from 1777 to the renewal of the Ilmenau mining and from 1779 to the chairmanship of two permanent commissions, the road construction commission and the war commission, with responsibility for the recruiting for the Weimar army. His main concern was to restructure the heavily indebted national budget by restricting public spending while at the same time promoting the economy. This was at least partially successful, for example halving the “armed forces” led to savings. Difficulties and the unsuccessfulness of his efforts in the civil service with simultaneous work overload led to resignation. Goethe noted in his diary in 1779: "Nobody knows what I am doing and with how many enemies I fight to bring about the little." By traveling with the Duke, Goethe familiarized himself with the country and its people. His activities took him to Apolda , among others , whose distress he describes, as well as to other areas of the duchy. In his first decade in Weimar, Goethe undertook several trips across national borders, including a trip to Dessau and Berlin in spring 1778 , from September 1779 to January 1780 to Switzerland and several times to the Harz Mountains (1777, 1783 and 1784), mostly as part of official duties ). On September 5, 1779, he was promoted to the Privy Council .

Thanksgiving from Goethe to the Weimar lodge "Amalia" on his 50th anniversary as a bricklayer (1830)

Hofrat Johann Joachim Christoph Bode , who had come to Weimar, aroused Goethe's interest in the Weimar Freemason Lodge " Amalia ". During his second trip to Switzerland, Goethe made his 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 craftsman in 1782, at the same time as Carl August. Goethe traveled to Gotha on October 7, 1781 to meet Friedrich Melchior Grimm , the Franco-German author, diplomat and friend of Denis Diderot and other encyclopedists , personally. Grimm had already visited Goethe on October 8, 1777 at the Wartburg .

Goethe's activities in Ilmenau and his fight against corruption there prompted the Duke on June 11, 1782 to give him the task of familiarizing himself with the management of chamber affairs , i.e. state finances, but without giving him the official title of June 6 1782 dismissed Chamber President Johann August Alexander von Kalb transferred. He should take part in the meetings of the Chamber College and be informed of all extraordinary business transactions. In the same year he was appointed supervisor at the University of Jena .

Coat of arms of Goethe

At the request of the duke he received the nobility diploma from the emperor on June 3, 1782 . The ennoblement was supposed to facilitate his work at court and in state affairs. Later, in 1827, Goethe told Johann Peter Eckermann about his ennoblement: “When I was given the nobility diploma, many believed that it would make me feel elevated. Alone, between us, it was 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 I had nothing more in my mind than what I had long owned. "

The Immediate Commissions between 1776 and 1783 were Goethe's main instrument for the implementation of reform projects, since the "frozen" system of authorities was unable to do so. Goethe's reform efforts were hindered in the eighties by the aristocracy in the duchy. Goethe's initiative to revive the copper and silver mining in Ilmenau turned out to be unsuccessful, which is why it was finally discontinued in 1812.

At the age of almost 33, Goethe had reached the peak 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 " prince servant " and "despot poet".

Goethe's work in the Consilium is assessed differently in the literature. Some authors consider him an enlightening reform politician who, among other things , endeavored to free the peasants from oppressive labor and tax burdens; others point out that in an official capacity he advocated both the forced recruitment of country children for 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 that he later expressed in the Gretchen tragedy .

In 1784 Goethe was able to persuade the Weimar, Jena and Eisenach estates to take over the national debt of 130,000 thalers by lowering their annual military budget from 63,400 thalers to 30,000 thalers.

Poetry and study of nature

In his first decade in Weimar, Goethe published nothing but a few poems scattered in magazines. The daily work left him little time for serious poetic activity, especially since he was also responsible for the organization of court festivities and the supply of the courtly amateur theater with singing plays and plays. One of these occasional productions, which he often viewed as a chore, was a revision of the Plundersweilers fair . Only a first prose version of Iphigenia on Tauris was completed of the demanding work of this time ; Egmont , Tasso and Wilhelm Meister were also started . Some of Goethe's most famous poems were also written; In addition to the love poems for Charlotte von Stein (for example. Why did you give us the deep looks ), these included the Erlkönig , Wanderer's Night Song , Boundaries 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 relating to mining and agriculture, the timber industry, etc. His main interest was initially geology and mineralogy , botany and osteology . In this area he succeeded in 1784 in the supposed discovery (because hardly known, in reality only a self-discovery) of the intermaxillary bone in humans. In the same year he wrote his essay On Granite and planned a book called The Earth Novel .

Relationship with Charlotte von Stein

Charlotte von Stein

The most important and most formative relationship between Goethe and the court lady Charlotte von Stein (1742-1827) was during this Weimar decade . The seven-year-old elder was married to the country gentleman Baron Josias von Stein , the head stable master at the court. She had seven children with him, three of whom were still alive when Goethe met her. The 1770 letters, tickets, "pieces of paper" and the numerous poems that Goethe wrote to her are the documents of an extraordinarily close relationship (Frau von Stein's letters have not survived). It becomes clear that the beloved promoted the poet as an “educator”. She taught him courtly manners, soothed his inner unrest 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. The majority of the authors assume that Charlotte von Stein refused the physical desire of her lover. 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 is often represented, according to which Goethe had his first sexual intercourse as a 39-year-old in Rome. His biographer Nicholas Boyle also sees the Roman episode with " Faustina " as the first sexual contact that is documented.

Goethe's secret departure to Italy in 1786 shook the relationship, and after his return there was a definitive break because of Goethe's firm love affair with Christiane Vulpius , his future wife, who did not forgive the deeply injured Frau von Stein. She, whose whole life and self-image was based on the denial of sensuality, saw in the connection a breach of Goethe's loyalty. She asked for her letters back to him. Christiane just called her “the little creature” and said that Goethe had two natures, one sensual and one spiritual. It was only in old age that the two of them found a friendly relationship again, without the cordial contact of yore being restored. Goethe's little son August , who ran some errands between the Goetheschen and von Steinschen houses and which Charlotte had taken to heart, gave the impetus for a halting resumption of their correspondence from 1794, which from then on was carried out by "Sie".

Journey to Italy (1786–1788)

View of St. Peter's Basilica from the Arco Oscuro near Villa Giulia , watercolor by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, summer 1787
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in his Italian circle of friends, pen drawing by Friedrich Bury , around 1787

In the middle of the 1780s, at the height of his official career, Goethe fell into a crisis. His official activities remained without success, the burdens of his offices and the constraints of court life became annoying to him, the relationship with Charlotte von Stein was increasingly unsatisfactory. When the publisher Göschen made him the offer of a complete edition in 1786, he realized with a shock that nothing new from him had appeared in the last ten years. Looking at his poetic fragments (Faust, Egmont, Wilhelm Meister, Tasso) , self-doubts about his dual existence as artist and official increased. In the play Torquato Tasso , Goethe found the appropriate material to shape his contradicting existence at court. He divided her into two figures, Tasso and Antonio, between whom there is no reconciliation. While he mistrusted the poetic balance, he tried to keep both aspects in balance in reality.

But after the sobering experience of his poetic stagnation in the first Weimar decade, he withdrew from the court on an educational trip to Italy that was unexpected for those around him. On September 3, 1786, he left a cure in Karlsbad without saying goodbye. Only his secretary and trusted servant Philipp Seidel was initiated. After the last personal meeting in Karlsbad he had written to the Duke asking for an indefinite leave of absence. The day before his departure, he announced his imminent absence without revealing his destination. The secret departure with an unknown destination was probably part of a strategy that was supposed to enable Goethe to resign from his offices, but to continue drawing his salary. The author of the Werther , famous throughout Europe , traveled incognito under the name of Johann Philipp Möller in order to be able to move freely in public.

After stops 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 way back he made stops 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 the most famous portrait of the poet ( Goethe in the Campagna ). He was also in lively exchange 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 stayed there other should be his artistic advisor. He was also on friendly terms with the writer Karl Philipp Moritz ; In conversation with him, the art theoretical views developed which were to become fundamental for Goethe's “classical” conception of art and which were laid down by Moritz in his work On the visual imitation of the beautiful .

In Italy Goethe got to know and admire the architecture and works of art of antiquity and the Renaissance ; he was especially devoted to Raffael and the architect Andrea Palladio . In Vicenza he had noticed with enthusiasm that the buildings were reviving the forms of antiquity. Under the guidance of his artist friends he practiced drawing with great ambition; around 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 a poet. Intensive he dealt with the completion of literary work: He brought already in prose present Iphigenia in verse form, completed the twelve years earlier begun Egmont and continued writing on Tasso . In addition, he dealt with botanical studies. Above all, however, he "lived": "Under the protection of incognito (his true identity was known to his German friends) he was able to move around in simple social classes, let his joy in games and jokes run free and have erotic experiences."

The journey became a decisive experience for Goethe; he himself repeatedly spoke in letters home of a “rebirth”, a “new youth” that he had experienced in Italy. He wrote to the Duke that he had found himself an artist. About his future work in Weimar he let him know that he wanted to be freed from his previous duties and do what "no one but me can do and the rest of the others can do". 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 on his return to Weimar he separated the poetic from the political existence. Based on his diaries, he wrote the Italian journey between 1813 and 1817 .

Weimar Classic Period (from 1789)

Relationship with Christiane Vulpius (1788–1816)

Christiane Vulpius, drawing by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A few weeks after his return, on July 12, 1788, Goethe made the acquaintance of the 23-year-old cleaner Christiane Vulpius , who appeared to him as a petitioner for her brother , who was in distress after studying law . She became his lover and soon afterwards his partner. Goethe's mother called it the "bed treasure". Not only from the erotic allusions in the Roman elegies that Goethe wrote at that time and in which the figure of his Roman lover Faustina merged with Christianes, Sigrid Damm concludes that the two are "a sensual couple, gifted with imagination in love" have been. When Christiane was heavily 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 into her apartment at the gates of the city. On December 25, 1789, she gave birth to their son August Walter . On the occasion of the baptism, Goethe did not formally acknowledge his fatherhood, but the child was not listed as illegitimate. Four other children together survived the birth only a few days. In 1792 the Duke agreed to move into the house on Frauenplan, which Goethe and Christiane could live in rent-free, before it passed into Goethe's possession in 1794 through a donation from the Duke, out of gratitude for accompanying him on the campaigns in 1792 and 1793 .

Little is known about Goethe's “fleeting, sentimental bond with a noble lady”, the 21-year-old Henriette von Lüttwitz , whom he met on his trip to Silesia in Breslau in 1790 after the birth of August and who he proposed to marry her noble father refused .

The poorly educated Christiane, who came from a family in financial need, was denied access to Weimar society, in which Goethe moved. There she was seen as vulgar and lustful; The illegitimacy of the “improper relationship” made things more difficult. Goethe valued her natural, happy nature and held on to the connection with his "little eroticon" until Christiane's end in 1816. It was not until 1806 that he eased her social position by marrying her, which paved her way into good society. Goethe decided to marry at short notice after Christiane had rescued him with her courageous intervention from danger to his life when he was threatened by plundering French soldiers in his house in Weimar on the evening of the battle of Jena . The marriage was concluded just five days later. Goethe chose the date of the battle and his rescue on the night of horror as the engraving for the rings: October 14, 1806.

Metamorphosis of Plants and Roman Elegies

In the years after his trip to Italy, Goethe was primarily concerned with nature research. In his relationship to nature, he distinguished only two periods of time: the decade before 1780, which was particularly characterized by the experience of nature in the Strasbourg years, and the following fifty years of systematic nature study in Weimar. In 1790 he published his attempt to explain the metamorphosis of plants , an 86-page monograph which was received with little interest during Goethe's lifetime and which made him one of the founders of comparative morphology . With the great didactic poem The Metamorphosis of Plants , written in 1798, he succeeded in combining poetry and natural research. The natural poem, written in the meter of the elegiac distich , is addressed to a “lover” (Christiane Vulpius) and presents his morphological teaching in a concentrated form. In the 1790s he also began his research into color theory , which would keep him occupied until the end of his life.

The works of the early 1790s include the Roman Elegies , a collection of freely erotic poems , which he wrote soon after his return . In the forms of ancient poetry, Goethe not only processed the memory of cultural and amorous experiences in Rome on his first trip to Italy, but also his sensual and happy love for Christiane Vulpius. Twenty of the twenty-four poems appeared in Schiller's Horen in 1795 . The Weimar Society took offense at Goethe's Erotica, although he had retained four of the most revealing poems.

Official tasks, campaigns and politics

After his return from Italy, Goethe let the Duke release him from most of his official duties. However , he retained his seat in the Consilium and thus the possibility of political influence. As a “minister without portfolio ” he took on a number of cultural and scientific tasks, including running the drawing school and overseeing public works. In addition, he was entrusted with the management of the Weimar court theater - a task that took up a lot of time, as he was responsible for all matters. In addition, Goethe advised on matters relating to the University of Jena, which was part of 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 he was given the supervision of the university in 1807, Goethe campaigned primarily for the expansion of the natural science faculty.

After completing the eight-volume Göschen edition on his 40th birthday, Goethe planned to travel to Italy again. In 1790 he spent several months in Venice , where he expected 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 ridiculous poems on European conditions 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 oh! I won't find Faustinen again. ”Instead, he longed for Christiane, his“ sweetheart ”, whom he left.

In 1789 the European system of rule and state was shaken and called into question by the French Revolution . Most of Goethe's intellectual contemporaries (e.g. Wieland, Herder, Holderlin , 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 Yourselves, Klopstock celebrated the revolution as “the noblest deed of the century”. Goethe opposed the revolution from the start; for him it was “the most terrible of all events” and also questioned his Weimar existence as a “prince servant”. He was a proponent of gradual reforms in the spirit of the Enlightenment and felt particularly repelled by the excesses of violence in the wake of the revolution; on the other hand, he saw their cause in the social conditions of the ancien régime . In retrospect, he later said in conversation with Eckermann, "that the revolutionary uprisings of the lower classes are a consequence of the injustices of the great". At the same time he protested against being seen as a “friend of the existing” because he hated revolutions: “That is [...] a very ambiguous title that I would like to forbid. If all that existed were excellent, good and just, I would have nothing against it. But since there is also a lot of bad, unjust and imperfect in addition to much good, a friend of the existing is often not called much less than a friend of the obsolete and bad. "

In 1792, at the Duke's request, Goethe accompanied the Duke into the first coalition war against revolutionary France. For three months, as an observer, he witnessed the misery and violence of this war, 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 returned 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 troops after three months of siege and bombing.

In 1796 the Duchy joined the Franco-Prussian Peace Treaty of Basel . The ten years of peace that followed enabled the Weimar Classicism to flourish in the middle of war-shaken Europe .

Poetic processing of the revolution

In retrospect, Goethe noted that the French Revolution, as "the most terrible of all events", had cost him many years of boundless efforts to "poetically master this in its causes and consequences". According to Rüdiger Safranski, Goethe experienced the revolution as an elementary event like a volcanic eruption of the social and political, and it was not by chance that he dealt with the natural phenomenon of volcanism in the months after the revolution.

Under the influence of the revolution, a series of satirical, anti-revolutionary, but also anti-absolutist comedies emerged: Der Groß-Cophta (1791), Der Bürgergeneral (1793) and the fragment Die Aufgeregten (1793). The one-act play Der Bürgergeneral was Goethe's first play that dealt with the consequences of the revolution. Although it was one of his most successful pieces - it was played more often on the Weimar stage than Iphigenie and Tasso - he later refused to admit it. He also did not include it in the seven-volume edition of his Neue Schriften , published at irregular intervals by the Berlin publisher Johann Friedrich Unger from 1792 to 1800 . The Reineke Fuchs , the animal poem from the late Middle Ages, written in hexameters in 1792/93 , which reflects the cruelty, falsehood and malice of the people in the animal kingdom, refers to the Goethe experiences of those years. While still in the army camp in front of Mainz in 1793, he gradually filed through the epic.

The current revolutionary events also formed the background of the conversations of German emigrants written by Goethe in 1795 and the verse epic Hermann and Dorothea (1797). The conversations are a collection of novels in which the revolution is only discussed in the framework of the plot. In order to forget the political quarrel of the day, aristocratic refugees who fled from their estates on the left bank of the Rhine to the right bank of the Rhine before the French revolutionary troops tell each other stories in the tradition of Romanesque novelism ( Giovanni Boccaccio ). This narrative poem introduced the first volume of Schiller's magazine Die Horen . Hermann and Dorothea dealt directly with the consequences of the revolution ; In this epic, Goethe dressed the portrayal of the fate of the Germans on the left bank of the Rhine in the garb of the classic hexameter. In addition to Schiller's bell, the work achieved “unprecedented popularity”.

Head of the Weimar Theater (1776–1817)

Goethe had been entrusted with the management of the Liebhabertheater at the Weimar court in 1776, at a time when the courts preferred French drama and Italian opera. Actors at the Weimar Theater were aristocratic and bourgeois laypeople, members of the court including Duke Carl August and Goethe. The venues changed. The singer and actress Corona Schröter from Leipzig, who was hired for Weimar at Goethe's suggestion, was initially the only trained actress. She became the first actress of Iphigenie 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 company was signed 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 tie the talented actor and playwright Iffland to the Weimar Theater was dashed, 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, on which not only many of his own dramas, but also the later dramas by Schiller (such as the Wallenstein trilogy , Maria Stuart , The Bride of Messina and Wilhelm Tell ) premiered. Schiller also arranged Goethe's Egmont for the Weimar stage.

The Duke had given Goethe a free hand in his theater management, which he did, of course, with a rather patriarchal approach to the actors and actresses. When the fully trained and self-confident actress and singer Karoline Jagemann , who was engaged in 1797, resisted Goethe's authoritarian leadership style, he withdrew from the theater in 1817. One reason was that this artist was not only the undisputed prima donna who made Weimar's stage shine, but also the official mistress of the Duke, whose support she found in the dispute with Goethe.

In league with Schiller (1789–1805)

Friedrich von Schiller, drawing by Friedrich Georg Weitsch , 1804
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stayed twice in the Gleimhaus in Halberstadt.

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. Even as a student at the Karlsschule Schiller had read Goethe's Götz and Werther with enthusiasm and saw the one he admired standing next to Karl Eugen as a visitor together with the Weimar Duke at the graduation ceremony of his class in 1780 . Goethe, who rejected Schiller's robbers with their violence, had noticed Schiller's growing fame with astonishment after his return from Italy, and later also learned to appreciate Schiller's thought poetry and his historical writings. Schiller's judgments and feelings towards Goethe changed quickly at first and were designed to be revised again immediately. Several times he calls Goethe a "cold egoist". Safranski speaks of a "hate-love" and quotes from a letter from Schiller to Körner : "I hate him [...] even though I love his spirit with all my heart". For the liberation from resentment and rivalry, Schiller later found the “wonderful formula” (Rüdiger Safranski): “that there is no freedom in the face of the excellent but 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 come very close”. After this “unsuccessful encounter”, Goethe had made Schiller's appointment to a Jena professorship, which he initially accepted without pay.

Having lived as a history professor in nearby Jena since 1789, Schiller had asked Goethe in June 1794 to join the editorial team of a journal for culture and art he was planning , Horen . After Goethe's acceptance, the two met in Jena in July of the same year, “a happy event” for Goethe and the beginning of the friendship with Schiller. In September 1794 he invited Schiller to a longer visit to Weimar, which lasted two weeks and served as an intensive exchange of ideas between them. This meeting was followed by frequent mutual visits.

The two poets agreed in their rejection of the revolution as well as in their turn 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 the way of working of the other.

In the joint discussion of aesthetic fundamental questions, both developed a conception of literature and art that was to become the “Weimar Classic” to denote the literary-historical epoch. Goethe, whose literary work, like that of Schiller, had previously stalled, emphasized the stimulating effect of working with the ten-year-old younger: “You gave me a second youth and made me a poet again, which I am so good at than had stopped. "

In the first year of the Horen , the Roman elegies appeared for the first time under the title Elegies and without an indication of the author. Apparently “all honorable women” of Weimar were indignant about this. Herder prompted the publication to make the ironic suggestion that the Horen should now be written with a "u". In 1795/96, Schiller published his treatise on naive and sentimental poetry in three episodes in the Horen , a poetic typology that contributed significantly to their self-understanding: Goethe the “ naive ”, Schiller the “sentimental” poet.

Both poets took a lively theoretical and practical part in each other's works. In this way, 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 finish the Wilhelm Meister novel, and Schiller did not disappoint. He commented on the manuscripts sent to him and was astonished that Goethe did not know exactly how the novel was supposed to end. He wrote to Goethe that he considered it “the most beautiful happiness of my existence that I experienced the completion of this product”. For Nicholas Boyle, the correspondence about Wilhelm Meister in 1795/96 was the climax in the intellectual relationship between Goethe and Schiller.

They also ran joint journalistic projects. Schiller hardly took part in Goethe's short-lived art magazine Propylaen ; However, this published numerous works in the Horen and the Muses Almanach, also edited by Schiller . The Muses Almanac for the year 1797 brought a collection of jointly composed mocking verses, the Xenien . In the Muses Almanac of the following year, the most famous ballads of both authors appeared, such as Goethe's The Sorcerer's Apprentice , The Treasure Digger , The Bride of Corinth , The God and the Bajadere as well as Schiller's The Diver , The Cranes of Ibykus , The Ring of Polycrates , The Glove and Knight Toggenburg .

In December 1799, Schiller and his family of four moved to Weimar, initially in a rented apartment that Charlotte von Kalb had previously lived in; In 1802 he bought his own house on the esplanade . In Weimar, parties were formed that challenged the two "Dioscurs" to be compared. The successful playwright August von Kotzebue , who had settled in Weimar, tried to drive a wedge between the two with a magnificent 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 Real Privy Councilor with the honorary title of Excellence .

The news of Schiller's death on May 9, 1805 threw Goethe into a state of numbness. He stayed away from the funeral. He wrote to his musician friend Carl Friedrich Zelter that he had lost a friend and with him "half of my existence". For Rüdiger Safranski, the death of Schiller 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 , it was with him that the formative period of Weimar Classicism ended.

The late Goethe (1805-1832)

Goethe saw Schiller's death in 1805 as a decisive loss. At this time he also suffered from various diseases ( facial rose or facial erysipelas 1801, kidney colic, heart attacks). He also found the political situation with the looming war with Napoleon Bonaparte worrying . In his mind, Goethe saw himself wandering through Germany with his Duke, begging and seeking asylum . Nonetheless, his last decades were marked by considerable productivity and strong love experiences. Friedrich Riemer (who had been his son's educator since 1805) soon became indispensable as secretary .

Late works and color theory

Goethe's living mask , cast by Carl Gottlieb Weisser in 1807, exhibited in Thorvaldsen's Museum

Safranski sees the direct aftermath of Schiller's death that Goethe resumed work on Faust ; Added to this was external pressure from the publisher Cotta. The new eight-volume complete edition from 1808 was to contain the first complete version of the first part of Faust .

His marriage to Christiane did not prevent Goethe from showing an amorous affection for Minna Herzlieb , the eighteen-year-old foster daughter of the bookseller Frommann in Jena, as early as 1807 . Safranski speaks of a “little infatuation” that Goethe declared as a “replacement” for the “painful loss of Schiller”. An echo of the inner experiences of this time can be found in his last novel, Die Wahlverwandschaften (1809). It is characteristic of Goethe how he combines poetry and natural research in this work. In contemporary chemistry, the term “ elective affinities ” of the elements was used, which Goethe adopted to address the “naturalness of attraction that cannot be finally controlled by reason” between two couples.

In 1810 Goethe published the lavishly furnished color theory in two volumes and one volume with picture tables . He had dealt with her for nearly twenty years. According to Safranski, the repeated studies of color (in the form of experiments, observations, reflections and literary studies) served Goethe to flee from external turbulence and inner unrest; so he had noted his observations during the campaign in France and during the siege of Mainz. The response to the publication was low and made Goethe resentful. Friends showed respect, but the scientific world hardly noticed them. The literary world accepted it as a superfluous digression at a time of violent political upheaval.

In January 1811, Goethe began to write a major autobiography, which was later titled Out of My Life. Received poetry and truth . He was helped by Bettina Brentano , who kept records of his mother's stories about Goethe's childhood and youth. Bettina visited Goethe in Weimar in 1811. After an argument between her and Christiane, Goethe broke up with her. The first three parts of the autobiography appeared between 1811 and 1814. The fourth part did not appear until after his death in 1833. The original conception was an educational history of the poet stylized as a metamorphosis with the emphasis on the “naturalness of aesthetic and poetic abilities and talents”. A crisis while working on the third part made it seem inappropriate to him. In their place he put the demonic as a "cipher [...] of the overpowering natural and historical context".

Encounters with Napoleon and Beethoven

Napoleon's decree of October 12, 1808 on the appointment of Knights of the Legion of Honor for Goethe, Wieland , Goethe's doctor Stark and the lawyer Vogel
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, oil painting by Gerhard von Kügelgen , 1810. The representative painting shows the poet with the shoulder strap of the French Legion of Honor and the star of the Russian Order of Saint Anne, 1st class.
Goethe 1811 (pastel drawing by Louise Seidler )

Napoleon had a personal fascination for Goethe until the end of his life. For him Napoleon was "one of the most productive people [...] who have ever lived". “His life was the stride 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 Prince's Congress for a private audience, where Napoleon spoke to him in appreciation of his Werther . A second meeting (again together with Wieland) took place in Weimar on the occasion of a court ball on October 6th. Afterwards he and Wieland were appointed knights of the Legion of Honor . Tsar Alexander I , who was also present at the Prince's Congress, awarded both of them the Order of Annen . To the annoyance of his contemporaries and also of Duke Carl August, Goethe proudly carried the legionary cross, even at the time of the patriotic awakening against Napoleonic rule in German lands. In 1813 he said in a conversation: “Just shake your chains; the man is too big for you, you will not break it. ”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 5th ) with 18 six-line stanzas. When Goethe held the ode in his hands, he was so impressed by it that he immediately started translating it, preserving its high, solemn tone.

Goethe met Beethoven in 1812 in the Bohemian spa town of Teplitz . At this time Beethoven had already set various verses and songs of Goethe to music and composed the overture to the tragedy Egmont on behalf of the Vienna Court Theater in 1809/10 . It is considered a homage to Goethe's playwright as the epitome of heroic people. Beethoven had sent the score to Goethe with great respect. Goethe was impressed by the new acquaintance; Several encounters took place in Teplitz, where Beethoven also played for him on the piano. On the evening of the first meeting he wrote to his wife: “I have never seen an artist more summarized, more energetic, more intimate”. He wrote to Zelter: “I am amazed at his talent; but he is unfortunately quite untamed personality, which although has not wrong when she finds the world detestable, but making them more sure, either for themselves or for others enjoyment richer. "No less critical of the Beethoven after meeting his publisher Härtel over : "Göthe likes the air at court too much - more than a poet should." Although a few letters were exchanged between the two of them, they remained polite.

Friendships with Zelter and Boisserée

Goethe cultivated many friendships during his long life. The private letter served as the most important communication medium for friendship. In the last decades of his life he made 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 through his publisher . Goethe thanked him with the words "that I would hardly have thought the music would have such heartfelt tones". They first met in February 1802, but they had already contacted each other by letter in 1799. The extensive correspondence with almost 900 letters lasted until Goethe's death. In this old friendship, Goethe felt that Zelter, whose music sounded more agreeable to his ears than the "roar" of Ludwig van Beethoven, was well understood, not only in matters of music.

What his friendship with Zelter meant to him for his understanding of music, he owed Sulpiz Boisserée for his experience 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 permanent correspondence and a lifelong friendship that enriched him with new art experiences over the next few years. After a trip to the Rhine and Main region with a visit to the Boisséereschen painting collection in Heidelberg, they were reflected in the travel report on art and antiquity in the Rhine and Mayn regions from 1816. During the trip in 1814, Goethe got caught up in the hustle and bustle of the traditional Sankt-Rochus-Fest zu Bingen, which fascinated him like the Roman Carnival once and which he lovingly described as a folk festival.

West-east divan

Goethe kept his distance from the patriotic uprising against French rule. He took refuge in the Orient by studying Arabic and Persian, he read the Koran and enthusiastically received the verses of the Persian poet Hafiz in the new translation of the divan from the 14th century published by Cotta . They put him in a “creative elation”, which he later referred to Eckermann as “a repeated puberty”: he wrote numerous poems in the light and playful tone of Hafez within a short time. Hendrik Birus , 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 Maing area. In Wiesbaden he met the Frankfurt banker and promoter of the theater Johann Jakob von Willemer - known to him 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 in Marianne as a young girl and lived with her as a cohabitant . While Goethe was still there, and possibly on his advice, the two married in a hurry. Sixty-five year old Goethe fell in love with Marianne. She became his muse and partner in the poetry of the West-Eastern Divan . Between them a “lyric chant” and a “literary role-play of love” ensued, which they continued the following year with a renewed visit lasting several weeks. The poems written in the Frankfurt Weeks were mainly included in the book Suleika . In 1850 Marianne revealed to Herman Grimm that some of the love poems included in this collection were from her. Heinrich Heine found the praising words for the collection of poems in his work The Romantic School : “Goethe put the most intoxicating enjoyment of life here in verses, and these are so light, so happy, so breathy, so ethereal that one wonders how something like that in German language was possible ".

On his journey in 1815, Goethe saw his homeland for the last time. When he set off for the planned cure in Baden-Baden in July 1816 and wanted to pay another visit to the Willemers, the carriage collapsed behind Weimar, whereupon Goethe broke off the trip. From then on he refrained from visiting Marianne and did not write to her for a while. He left the west-east divan unfinished for a while, only completing it in 1818.

Death of Christianes, work processing, writings on nature

“Minister of State von Goethe” receives the Grand Cross of the Weimar House Order for “pleasing services to prince and country”. Front page of the Weimar weekly newspaper from February 6, 1816

Goethe's wife Christiane died in June 1816 after a long illness. Just as in other cases of death and illness in his vicinity he sought distraction at work or dealt with his own illness, he also withdrew when Christiane died. He was not present either on her deathbed or at her funeral. Goethe consistently avoided the sight of dying or dead people who were close to him. Johanna Schopenhauer told a friend that it was his way "to let any pain let off steam in silence and only to show his friends again in full composure". After Christiane's death it became more lonely around him in the big house at Frauenplan. The visit of Charlotte Buff, widowed Kestner, to Weimar in September 1816 did nothing to lighten his mood. His son married Ottilie von Pogwisch in 1817 , who from then on looked after Goethe as daughter-in-law. In 1817 Goethe was relieved of the management of the court theater. 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 on December 12, 1815, the new circumstances brought Goethe the title of Minister of State .

Goethe organized his writings and manuscripts. The diaries and long-lying notes served him to process the Italian trip . At times he delved into ancient Greek myths and Orphic poetry . This was reflected in five stamps that first appeared in the journal Zur Morphologie in 1817 , summarized under the heading Urworte. Orphic . They were related to his endeavors to recognize the laws of life in the form of the primordial plant and primordial phenomena. 1821 was followed by the one-volume first version of Wilhelm Meister's Travels , consisted essentially of a collection partly previously published novels.

It was during these years that the history of my botanical studies emerged (1817), and by 1824 the series on natural science in general included thoughts on morphology, geology and mineralogy, among others. Here you can also find the representation of the morphology of the plants in the form of an elegy , which he had already written for his lover around 1790. During this time he was also in contact with the forest scientist Heinrich Cotta , whom he 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 became life-threatening, probably from a heart attack . After his recovery he appeared to some to be even more spiritually active than before.

Marienbad Elegy

The motto of the Marienbad Elegy in Goethe's fair copy: "And when man falls silent in his torment / God gave me to tell what I suffer."

In the summer he left for Marienbad with great expectation to see 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 met again in Marienbad and spent sociable hours together. At the third meeting the seventy-four year old asked seriously for the hand of nineteen year old Ulrike. He had asked his friend, Grand Duke Carl August, to be the courtier. Ulrike politely declined. While still in the coach that brought him back to Weimar over several stops (Karlsbad, Eger), he wrote the Marienbad Elegy , a lyrical masterpiece and "the most important, the most personally intimate and therefore most loved poem of his age" in the judgment of Stefan Zweig that a chapter of its historical miniatures its genesis moments of humanity devoted.

The last few years

Goethe dictates to the scribe John in his study . Oil painting by Johann Joseph Schmeller , 1834
"Goethe House" in Ilmenau
The dead, wreathed with laurels , Goethe on his deathbed on March 26, 1832. Lifelike pencil drawing by Friedrich Preller the Elder .

After that, his life “belonged to work alone”. He resumed work on the second part of Faust . He hardly wrote himself anymore, but dictated. In this way, he was not only able to cope with an extensive correspondence, but also to entrust his knowledge and wisdom to the young poet Johann Peter Eckermann, who was devoted to him, in extensive conversations .

For the collection, sifting through and order of the literary results of his entire life in the preparation of the Cotta edition of the last hand, Goethe could rely on a staff of employees: in addition to the scribe and copyist Johann August Friedrich John , the lawyer Johann Christian Schuchard, Goethe's papers archived and compiled extensive registers, as well as Johann Heinrich Meyer , responsible for the text revision of Goethe's art-historical writings, and the prince educator Frédéric Soret , who dedicated himself to the publication of scientific writings. The librarian and writer Friedrich Wilhelm Riemer had also rejoined the staff after a brief quarrel over the upbringing of Goethe's son. Eckermann, whom Goethe took into his trust and recognized with recognition and praise, has been at its head since 1824. Although he devoted all of his labor to Goethe, he was poorly rewarded. He also had to make a living by teaching English to educational travelers. In his will, Goethe designated him as the editor of his posthumous works.

In 1828 Goethe's friend and patron, Grand Duke Carl August, died in November 1830, his son August . In the same year he finished the second part of Faust . It was a work in which the most important thing to him for years was becoming, formally a stage play, actually hardly playable on the stage, more of a fantastic sheet of pictures, ambiguous like many of his poems. Finally, he joined the controversy of the two paleontologists Georges Cuvier and Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire ( catastrophism vs. continuous development of species ). He was interested in geology and evolution, as was the rainbow , which he had never been able to explain using his theory of colors. The question of how plants grow also persisted.

In August 1831, Goethe went again to the Thuringian Forest, where he had once received his first scientific suggestions, and he went to Ilmenau. 51 years after he wrote his best-known poem Wandrers Nachtlied ("Over all peaks is peace ...") on a wooden wall in the hunting lodge "Goethehäuschen" on the Kickelhahn near Ilmenau , he visited this place again in 1831 shortly before his last birthday.

Goethe died on March 22, 1832, presumably of a heart attack . It is controversial whether his surviving last words “More light!” Are authentic. They were communicated by his family doctor, Carl Vogel , who, however, was not in the death room at the moment. Four days later he was buried in the Weimar Princely Crypt.

Goethe's uniqueness

Goethe's biographers have often drawn attention to the uniqueness and close interweaving of Goethe's life and work. Rüdiger Safranski put this in a nutshell in the subtitle of his biography - Artwork of Life . Georg Simmel centered his Goethe monograph from 1913 on the exemplary intellectual existence of Goethe with the embodiment of an unmistakable individuality. The George student Friedrich Gundolf dedicated his monograph from 1916 to the “representation of Goethe's entire figure, the greatest unit in which the German spirit has embodied”, and in which “life and work” appear only as different “attributes of one and the same substance”. The word “Olympian” came up during Goethe's lifetime. In his extensive Goethe study , the psychoanalyst Kurt R. Eissler speaks of a "creative genius" with less flowery and outlines his incredibly broad scope and activity:

“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"

To assume a coherent world view in Goethe would be wrong; it is more appropriate to speak of his understanding of the world. He has acquired knowledge in the fields of philosophy, theology and natural science to a scope and breadth like no poet of his time, but he did not combine this knowledge into one system. Nonetheless, 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 of the word,” he confessed in his essay Influence of Modern Philosophy (1820). In doing so he showed his aversion to conceptual abstractions, in the sphere of which he was not comfortable. However, the findings and insights adopted from the most diverse areas of knowledge fertilized and enriched almost everything he wrote.

For understanding his philosophical, scientific and artistic thinking, "intuition" and "objective thinking" are revealing key terms. He countered Immanuel Kant's Critique of Reason with the demand for a critique of the senses . Goethe insisted on gaining knowledge through intuition and reflection, including about "primordial phenomena" such as the "primordial plant ". For him, "intuition" meant the empirical reference to phenomena through observation and experiment; in this he followed the inductionist method of Francis Bacon . "Objective thinking" is the phrase coined on Goethe by the Leipzig psychiatry professor Heinroth , which Goethe gratefully took up in his essay Significant Supporting 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 “ability to look, feel and think in a plastic way”. Andreas Bruno Wachsmuth , the long-standing President of the Goethe Society, called it “a thirst for learning about things” .

Understanding of nature

Hemp plant, part of Goethe's herbarium

The Goethe researcher Dieter Borchmeyer is of the opinion that Goethe dedicated most of his life to natural science. In any case, Goethe's entire life was characterized by an intensive contact with nature, whereby his approach was twofold: feeling and experiencing as an artist, looking and analyzing as a scholar and natural scientist. For Goethe, nature in its infinite facets was impossible to grasp as a whole: It “has no system; it has, it is life and a consequence from an unknown center to an unrecognizable border. 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 raised "nature as an area of ​​experience and knowledge to the highest educational concern of man".

Since the Strasbourg years and initiated by Herder, Goethe assigned nature a central value in his life. While it was first under the influence of Rousseau , Klopstock and Ossian, the experience and feeling of nature that touched him, from 1780 in Weimar an increasing interest in natural research and natural sciences developed. The philosopher Alfred Schmidt calls it the "step taken from a feeling for nature to a knowledge of nature". As a nature-observing scholar, Goethe researched in many disciplines: morphology , geology , mineralogy , optics , botany , zoology , anatomy , meteorology . As he said in retrospect to Eckermann, he was concerned with "objects that surrounded me earthly and that could be perceived directly by the senses".

His key terms included metamorphosis and type on the one hand, polarity and intensification on the other. He understood metamorphosis as a gradual change in form within the limits set by the respective type (“ original plant ”, “original animal”). The change takes place in a continuous process of attraction and repulsion (polarity), which leads to an increase towards higher things.

In pantheistic thoughts, nature and God identical to think is natural and religious understanding Goethe linked.

Understanding of religion

Apart from a brief phase of approximation to pietistic beliefs, which culminated in Goethe's convalescence from a serious illness in the years 1768–1770, he remained critical of the Christian religion. Early on he had told his friend theologian Johann Caspar Lavater in a reply in 1782 that he was “not a counter-Christian, not a non-crystal, but a decided non-crystal”. The Goethe researcher Werner Keller summarizes Goethe's reservations about Christianity in three points: "The symbolism of the cross was a nuisance for Goethe, 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 pagan [...] in general in Germany". In his consistently optimistic view of human nature, he could not accept the dogmas of original sin and eternal damnation. His "world piety" (a term used by Goethe from Wilhelm Meister's years of travel) brought him into opposition to all world-despising religions; he refused anything supernatural. In his great Sturm-und-Drang - Ode Prometheus , Goethe's religious rebellion found its strongest poetic expression. Nicholas Boyle sees in her Goethe's "explicit and angry rejection of the God of the Pietists and the mendacious consolation of their Savior". If the second stanza of the role poem says "I know nothing poorer / under the sun than you gods", then the Promethean revolt intensifies at the end of the seven- stanza ode to the defiant challenge of Zeus , whom Prometheus hurled at: "Here I sit, form People / In my image / A gender that is the same to me / To suffer, to cry, / To enjoy and to be happy / And not to respect yours / Like me. "

Although Goethe dealt intensively with Christianity, Judaism and Islam and their relevant texts, he turned against every revelation religion and against the idea of ​​a personal creator God. The individual must find the divine in himself and not follow an external revelation to the word. He opposed the revelation with the view. Navid Kermani speaks of a “religiosity of direct intuition and all-human experience” that gets by “without speculation and almost without belief”. "Nature has neither a core nor a shell / everything is it all at once," says Goethe's poem, however. The physicist. from 1820, with which he emphasized that nature shows its essence in shape at the same time. To Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi's writing against Spinoza in 1785, he replied to his friend 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 hold fast and more firmly to the worship of the atheist [...] and leave everything to you, what your religion is called".

Goethe found the foundations of truth in his studies of nature. Again and again he confessed himself as a pantheist in the philosophical tradition of Spinoza and as a polytheist in the tradition of classical antiquity.

"We are pantheists in natural research, polytheists in poetry, morally monotheists."

- maxims and reflections

To a traveler, reports Dorothea Schlegel , Goethe explained that he was "an atheist in natural history and philosophy, a pagan in art and a Christian in terms of feeling".

The Bible and the Koran, with which he had occupied himself at the time of the poetry on the West-Eastern Divan , were for him "poetic history books, here and there interspersed with wisdom, but also with time-bound follies". He saw religion teachers and poets as “natural opponents” and rivals: “The religious teachers want to 'suppress', 'put aside', 'render harmless'.” He found iconography and the, detached from dogmas 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 representation of the ancient gods and demigods, the temples and sanctuaries, while he hated the cross and the depiction of tortured bodies.

“I can take a lot. Most arduous things / I tolerate with calm courage, as a god gives me. / Few, however, as poison and snake as I dislike, / Four: smoke of tobacco, bedbugs and garlic and cross. "

- Venetian epigrams 66

Goethe treated Islam with respect, but not without criticism. In the notes and treatises for a better understanding of the West-Eastern Divan , he criticized that Mohammed had "thrown a gloomy religious cover over his tribe"; to this he counted the negative image of women, the prohibition of 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 crouches and is inclined to be dominated". The whole history of the church is a “mishmash of error and violence”. On the other hand, with sympathy and profound humor, he described the traditional Sankt-Rochus-Fest zu Bingen - similar to his earlier description of the "Roman Carnival" (1789) - as a cheerful folk festival in which life is affirmed as good and beautiful and everyone 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 from Goethe's point of view it was superfluous for the intellectual elite, because: “Whoever has science and art / also has religion; / whoever does not have those two has religion. "

On the other hand, the idea of rebirth was no stranger to him. However, his belief in immortality was not based on religious, but rather philosophical premises , such as Leibniz's concept of the indestructible monad or Aristotelian entelechy . From the idea of ​​the activity he developed the thesis in conversation with Eckermann that nature is obliged “if I work restlessly to my end [...] to instruct me in another form of existence, if the current one my spirit cannot endure ".

Aesthetic self-image

As a reviewer of the Frankfurt scholar Ads , led by his Darmstadt friend Johann Heinrich Merck , Goethe dealt with the aesthetics of the then influential Johann Georg Sulzer in his Sturm und Drang period . In his early aesthetics, Goethe contrasted the traditional aesthetic principle that art is an imitation of nature with genius , which in its creative expression creates itself like nature. Poetry is an expression of unbridled nature and Shakespeare its creative power personified.

Goethe's view of art developed during his trip to Italy; it was closely associated with the name Johann Joachim Winckelmann and the classicist builder Andrea Palladio . In Winckelmann's classicism he recognized the art truth that was valid for him, as already formulated using Shakespeare's example: it is not simply imitated, but enhanced nature. He later paid tribute to Winckelmann with the publication of letters and sketches in the compilation 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 his work On the Imitation of Beauty (1788), gained great importance. According to Goethe, this writing emerged from conversations between him and Moritz in Rome. She postulated that the work of art did not serve any external purpose and that the artist was not to be of service to anyone, but was on the same level as 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 looked after by a patron without serving his purposes.

In contrast to Schiller, he refused to understand poetic works as the creation 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 demonstrated in 'Faust', on the meager string of a single continuous idea want! ”This is followed by Goethe's statement recorded in the same conversation:“ The more incommensurable and incomprehensible a poetic production, the better ”. Also Denis Diderot's view that art should convey a faithful reproduction of nature, he refused. He insisted on the distinction between nature and art. According to him, nature “organizes a living, indifferent being, the artist a dead one but an important one, nature a real one, the artist an apparent one. To the works of nature the beholder must first add significance, feeling, thoughts, effect, effect on the mind itself, in the work of art he wants and must find everything. "Art, as Karl Otto Conrady sums up, is reserved for a decisive more, that sets it apart from nature. The artist adds something to nature that is not her own.

In his work On naive and sentimental poetry - a very important "poetry-typological treatise" for the "self-definition of the Weimar Classic" - Schiller had characterized Goethe as a naive poet and placed him in an ancestral line 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-reflexively directed towards 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 on December 9, 1797, he doubted that he could "write a true tragedy". His dramas and novels usually end tragically with renunciation, such as the novel Wilhelm Meister's Wanderjahre with the telling subtitle Die Renagenden . In the elective affinities he designed (in the person of Ottilie) the theme of renunciation in the ascetic and sacred; he led this novel to a tragic end.

With his coining of the word “ world literature ”, the late Goethe opposed the particular national literature with a “general world literature” which “belongs neither to the people nor to the nobility, neither to the king nor to the peasant” but is “common property of humanity”. In his literary production, including translations from the most important European languages, Goethe demonstrated the range of his aesthetic access to the literatures of Europe, the Near and Far East and Classical Antiquity in an impressive way. The poetry cycles West-Eastern Divan and Chinese-German Times of the Day and Seasons testify to the reception of Persian and Chinese poetry . Goethe was in correspondence with European writers, for example with the Scottish essayist and author of The Life von Schiller (1825), Thomas Carlyle , with 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 cultural history Italian 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. ( About Germany. 1813), Madame de Staël , who had paid a visit to Weimar in 1803, was unspoken because her work had accelerated the world literary process that was taking place in Goethe's time.

In an interview with Eckermann he postulated : "National literature does not want to say much now, the epoch of world literature is high and everyone must work now to accelerate this epoch." During his last years he wrote about more recent German literature Hardly found worthy of a mention, he read “ Balzac , Stendhal , Hugo from France , Scott and Byron from England , and Manzoni from Italy ”.

plant

Goethe's artistic work is diverse. The most important place is the literary work. 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 encompasses and permeates his views on nature and religion and his aesthetic understanding.

Poetry

From his youth to old age Goethe was a poet. With his poems he shaped the literary epochs of Sturm und Drangs and the Weimar Classic . A large part of his poetry achieved international recognition and is part of the most important part 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 on their own, 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 astonishing 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-line lines , in addition to verses with high linguistic and metaphorical complexity, simple sayings, in addition to strict and antiquated meters, song-like or mocking stanzas as well as rhymed poems in free rhythms . With his lyrical oeuvre, Goethe “actually created the German-language poem” and left models by which almost all subsequent poets measured themselves.

In his lyrical production, Goethe made all the forms of this literary genre known from (old and new) world literature his own with metrical virtuosity. His poetic expressiveness became as natural "as eating and breathing". When compiling his poems, he seldom proceeded chronologically, but rather according to criteria of thematic coherence , whereby the individual poems complement each other, but could also contradict each other. This poses major problems for Goethe research when it comes to the publication of his lyrical work in critical complete editions. One structure that has proven influential and easily accessible is that of Erich Trunz in the Hamburg edition . The two volumes edited by Trunz are divided into the first volume, Poems and Epics I , in a slightly chronological order: early poems , Sturm und Drang , poems of the first man's years. The time of the classic. Retirement works . The second volume, Poems and Epics II. Contains the west-eastern divan and the verses Reineke Fuchs. Hermann and Dorothea and Achilleis .

Epic

The epic work of Goethe, like the dramatic, includes almost all forms of epic literature: the animal fable ( Reineke Fuchs ), the verse epic ( Hermann and Dorothea ), the novella ( novella ), the novel ( Die Wahlverwandschaften , Wilhelm Meister's teaching and years of traveling) 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 letter novel . But he radicalized this genre by not depicting correspondence between characters in a novel, but instead writing a monological epistolary novel. He confesses in poetry and truth that it was with the novel that 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 veritable "Werther fashion". You dressed like him (blue frock coat, yellow trousers, brown boots), talked and wrote like him. There were also numerous suicidal imitators for whom Werther's suicide served as a model (see Werther Effect ). It owed its early European reputation to this novel, which in 1800 was accessible in most European languages. 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 of Wilhelm Meister's apprenticeship was seen by the romantics as an epochal event and “ paradigm of the romantic novel” (Novalis), and by the realistic narrators as the “prelude to the history of the educational and development novel ” in the German-speaking area. In particular, the realistic storytellers such as Karl Immermann , Gottfried Keller and Adalbert Stifter , and later Wilhelm Raabe and Theodor Fontane , it served as a paradigm for the poetic reproduction of real reality. On the other hand, the late work of Wilhelm Meister's Wanderjahre appears to be an “ultra-modern work of art” which “offers the reader a variety of reception options” due to its open form, with the tendency to dispense with the content of a central hero and omniscient narrator . The forerunner of Wilhelm Meister's theatrical broadcast - a fragmentary "Urmeister" - published posthumously (1911) is still closer to Sturm und Drang 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 the elective affinities as his “best book”. In a kind of experimental arrangement, he brings two couples together, whose natural fate he shapes according to the model of chemical forces of attraction and repulsion, underlining their regularity in the relationships between the two couples. The story of the novel is determined by an ambivalence between moral forms of life and enigmatic passions. The novel is reminiscent of Goethe's first novel, the 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 on a larger scale that Goethe, according to his personal testimony, “worked on the presentation of a radical idea”. The work opened the series of European marriage (break) novels: Flaubert's Madame Bovary , Tolstoy's Anna Karenina , Fontane's Effi Briest . It has been criticized as immoral, despite the fact that the author only lets the adultery take place in thought.

The Italian journey Goethe published decades after his journey. It is not a travel book in the usual sense, but a self-portrayal in the encounter with the south, a piece of autobiography. It was first printed in 1816–1817 as the “second section” of his autobiography From My Life, the “first section” of which contained poetry and truth . Goethe's Italian travel journal, which he sent to Charlotte von Stein in loose series, and the letters to her and Herder at the time served as the basis for Goethe. It was not until 1829 that the work appeared under the title Italian Journey with a second part: “Second Roman stay”. In it, edited original letters alternate with reports written later.

With Poetry and Truth , Goethe set about writing a great autobiography in the first decade of the 19th century. Its original conception was an educational history of the poet stylized as a metamorphosis. While working on the third part he got into a crisis with this interpretation model; he replaced it with the category of the “demonic”, with which he sought to grasp the uncontrollable nature of an overpowering natural and historical context. The presentation did not go beyond the description of childhood, youth, studies and first literary successes.

Drama

Between his youth and 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 classical repertoire of German theaters today . Although his plays encompass the entire range of theatrical forms - shepherd play , farce , swank , comedy , heroic drama , tragedy - the classical dramas and tragedies form the focus of his dramatic production. Three of his plays became milestones in German dramatic literature.

With the Sturm und Drang drama Götz von Berlichingen with the iron hand , Goethe achieved his breakthrough as a dramatist; it made him famous overnight. Contemporaries saw in him "something of Shakespeare's spirit", yes in Goethe the "German Shakespeare". In addition to the “ Götz quote ”, the exclamation “It is a pleasure to see a great man”, coined for the main character, was reflected in the proverbial vocabulary of Germans. Another historical drama, the Egmont , is also organized around a single dominant character, also in a substitute role for the author, who saw his works as “fragments of a large denomination”.

The drama Iphigenie auf Tauris is considered exemplary for Goethe's classicism . Goethe himself described it to Schiller as "very demonized human". Friedrich Gundolf even saw in him the "Gospel of German humanity par excellence". The final version of the original prose version (1787) was written in blank verse, as was the Torquato Tasso , the “first purely artistic drama in world literature”, which was completed at the same time .

The Faust tragedy, on which Goethe worked for more than sixty years, is described by the Faust expert and publisher of the volume with the Faust seals in the Frankfurt edition, Albrecht Schöne , as the "sum of his poetry". With Faust , Goethe took up a Renaissance material about man's hubris and pointed it to 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 in one and the same work [... ] before no other dramatic poet has dared ”. After the founding of the empire , Faust was transfigured into a “national myth”, the “ incarnation of German nature and German sense of mission”. Newer interpretations push back the traditional optimism of interpretation of the "Faustian" with its role model for the restless urge for perfection and instead refer to the "ban on rest" and the "compulsion to move" in the modern character of the "global player Faust".

Goethe rejected Johann Christoph Gottsched's theater theory, 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 dramas in Strasbourg , the unity of place, action and time demanded by Gottsched, according to Aristotle , appeared to him as a striker and a pushover, "dungeon-like fearful" and "annoying shackles of our imagination". With Götz von Berlichingen's account of his life, he came across a material 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 went “out of the usual dramatic joints” of the “traditional Aristotelian standard rules” in the first part; in the second part the "signs of disintegration cannot be overlooked". The later dramas after Götz came - under Lessing's influence - closer to the bourgeois drama ( Stella , Clavigo ) and classical forms, the latter most clearly in Iphigenia, in which the unity of place (grove in front of Diana's temple) and time is preserved .

Writings on art and literature

Beginning with his youthful works, Goethe spoke out on questions of art and literature throughout his life. It started with two “prose hymns” from the early 1770s: the speech on Shakespeare's Day (1771) and the hymn to the Strasbourg Cathedral and its builder Erwin von Steinbach with the writing Von deutscher Baukunst (1772). At a late 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 exemplified artistic autonomy with its own internal legality. In between there were numerous works on art and literary theory, such as the essay On Laocoon published in the first volume of his journal Propylaea in 1798 and the translation of the autobiography of the Italian Renaissance artist Leben des Benvenuto Cellini (1803), as well as the collective work Winckelmann and his century edited by him . In letters and essays (1805) with his sketches about the person and work of Winckelmann, as well as numerous essays on European and non-European literature, which confirmed Goethe's idea of ​​an emerging world literature .

Letters

According to Nicholas Boyle's judgment, Goethe was “one of the greatest letter writers in the world” and for him the letter was “the most natural literary form”. Around 12,000 letters from him and 20,000 to him have survived. The significant correspondence between Goethe and Schiller alone comprises 1015 letters. He sent about one and a half thousand letters to Charlotte von Stein.

drawings

The solfatara by Pozzuoli , washed ink drawing by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1787

Goethe drew throughout his life, “preferably with pencil, charcoal, chalk and colored ink”, and some early etchings have survived. His preferred subjects were portraits of heads, theater 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 from 1786–1788. In Rome, his fellow artists taught him perspective painting and drawing and motivated him to study human anatomy. So he acquired anatomy knowledge from the famous surgeon Lobstein . But he also recognized his limits in this profession.

Scientific writings

Ginkgo biloba ; Goethe made a separate fair copy of this poem - with the addition of two dried ginkgo leaves - in 1815; First version under Gingo biloba .
Color circle to symbolize the human spiritual and spiritual life, watercolored pen drawing by Goethe, 1809

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 healthy senses, is the largest and most precise physical apparatus there can be; and that is the greatest misfortune of modern physics, that one has separated the experiments, as it were, from humans and only wants to recognize nature in what artificial instruments show, indeed what it can achieve, thereby restricting and proving. "

- Johann Wolfgang Goethe : Wilhelm Meister's wandering years.

He endeavored to recognize nature in its overall context with the inclusion of humans. The abstraction that science began to make use of at that time was viewed with suspicion by Goethe because of the associated isolation of objects from the viewer. His procedure cannot be reconciled with modern, exact natural science, however: "He [...] has not exceeded the realm of the immediate sensory impression and the immediate spiritual perception in the direction of an abstract, mathematically verifiable, nonsensual legality," ( Karl Robert Mandelkow ) stated the physicist Hermann von Helmholtz in 1853.

Goethe's preoccupation with natural science found its way into his poetry in many ways, for example in Faust and in the poems Die Metamorphose der Pflanzen and Gingo biloba . Faust , who occupied Goethe all his life, registered for the philosopher Alfred Schmidt how "the sequence of rock layers, the stages of his knowledge of nature".

Goethe imagined living nature to be in constant change. In botany, for example, he first tried to trace the different types of plants back to a common basic form, the “ original plant ”, from which all species should have developed. He later turned his attention to the individual plant, believing that he recognized that the parts of the flower and the fruit were ultimately remodeled leaves. He published the results of his observations in the text attempt to explain the metamorphosis of plants (1790). In anatomy , Goethe succeeded in 1784, together with the anatomy professor Justus Christian Loder , to his great delight in the (supposed) discovery of the intermaxillary bone in the human embryo . The intermaxillary bone, known in other mammals at the time, grows together with the adjacent upper jawbone 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 his existence in a human fetus to the Académie Royale des Sciences . Its evidence in humans was at that time an important indicator of its kinship with animals, which many scientists denied.

His color theory (published in 1810) held Goethe for his scientific masterpiece and defended the theses expressed herein stubbornly against numerous critics. In old age he said that he valued this work more than that of his poetry. With the theory of colors , Goethe opposed Isaac Newton's , who had proven that white light is composed 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 can also be explained with Newton's theory. The core of color theory was soon rejected by the professional world, but it exerted a great influence on contemporary and subsequent painters, above all Philipp Otto Runge . In addition, Goethe thus 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 natural science".

In geology , Goethe was primarily concerned with building up a mineral collection that had grown to 17,800 stones when he died. He wanted to gain general insights into the material composition of the earth and the history of the earth through the individual knowledge of the 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 for chemistry at a German university.

Writing down conversations

For Goethe research , the extensive writings of Johann Peter Eckermann's conversations with Goethe in the last years of his life , those of Goethe's conversations with the Chancellor Friedrich von Müller and the communications about Goethe by Friedrich Wilhelm Riemer are of considerable importance for the understanding of 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. The chancellor von Müller, who was a friend of Goethe and appointed as his executor, first wrote down a conversation with Goethe in 1808 . In the following years further interview reports followed, first in his diary, then worked out on separate sheets. Two memorial speeches on Goethe, published during his lifetime in 1832, revealed the wealth of his Goethe notes, which, however, were only published from the estate in 1870. Friedrich Wilhelm Riemer, a language universalist and librarian in Weimar, served Goethe for three decades, first as tutor of his son August, then as clerk and secretary. Immediately after Goethe's death he published his correspondence with Zelter and contributed to the major editions of the works. His Mittheilungen first appeared in two volumes in 1841.

Translations

Goethe was a diligent and versatile translator. He has 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 re-translated the Song of Solomon from the Bible .

Honors

Goethe received various orders and awards. Napoleon Bonaparte presented him with the Knight's Cross of the French Legion of Honor (Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur) on October 14, 1808 . Napoleon commented on the encounter with the legendary saying “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 at the University of Moscow . On October 15, 1808, he received the Russian Order of St. Anna 1st Class from Tsar Alexander I. In 1815, Emperor Franz I awarded Goethe the Austrian-Imperial Leopold Order . On January 30, 1816, Goethe received the Grand Cross of the House Order of the White Falcon (also House Order of Vigilance), which had been revived by Grand Duke Carl August von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach . He received the award for his official work as a Real Privy Councilor 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 Honor. On his 78th birthday, August 28, 1827, he received his last medal, the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown . King Ludwig I of Bavaria came in person to the award ceremony.

Goethe had a pragmatic relationship with orders. He said to the portrait painter Moritz Daniel Oppenheim in May 1827: “A title and an order hold off some puff in the crowd…” The asteroid of the middle main belt (3047) Goethe was named after him.

progeny

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and his wife Christiane had five children. Only August , the first born, (* December 25, 1789, † October 27, 1830) reached adulthood. One child was born dead, the others all died very early, 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 two years before his father in Rome. After his death, his wife Ottilie von Goethe gave birth to another child (not from August) named Anna Sibylle, who died after a year. Their children remained unmarried, so that the direct line of descendants of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe died out in 1885. His sister Cornelia had two children (nieces of Goethe), whose descendants (line Nicolovius) 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 bequeathed Goethe's archive to Grand Duchess Sophie personally, and the collections and property to the state of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach .

reception

The reception of Goethe as an author "who has influenced all areas of life like no other worldwide and has left his formative traces" is extraordinarily diverse and goes far beyond the literary-artistic significance of his work.

Reception during lifetime at home and abroad

With Götz von Berlichingen (first printed in 1773, first performed in 1774), Goethe achieved a resounding success with literarily educated audiences even before the premiere in the Berlin Comedy House . For Nicholas Boyle he was "from now on and for the rest of his long life a public figure, and very soon he was seen as the most prominent representative of a movement" which in the 19th century was called Sturm und Drang . Goethe reached the height of his popularity at the age of twenty-five with the Werther novel. The work found access to all readership classes and triggered a broad debate, as it dealt with “central religious, ideological and socio-political problems” that called the “principles of the bourgeois order of life” into question.

German literary historians usually divide Goethe's poetry into three periods: Sturm und Drang , Weimar Classicism and Alterswerk, while from outside Germany the "Age of Goethe" is seen as a unit and part of the "Age of European Romanticism ". As an opponent of romantic poetry, Goethe was and still is in German literary criticism - his phrase “the healthy is classic, the sick is romantic” is one of the most frequently cited. This 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 breaking the classical conventions of French origin with romantic ideas and innovative poetic practices.

The perception of Goethe by contemporary German romantics was ambivalent. On the one hand, he was the “intellectual focus” of the Jena Romantics, who glorified him as the “true governor of the poetic spirit on earth” ( Novalis ) and his poetry as “the dawn of real 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 vaunted 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 work The Romantic School : On the one hand, he celebrated him as an Olympian and “absolute poet”, who achieved everything he wrote as a “rounded work of art” 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 with the center of Weimar and Goethe as an exemplary figure, even as the “greatest German poet”. Only then Weimar was also outside Germany the epitome of German literature and "only then the pilgrimages of intellectuals from all over Europe to the Frauenplan next one, only then it came to the international exchange processes with names like Manzoni , Carlyle or Walter Scott connected are". Towards the end of his life, Goethe felt less accepted by his German contemporaries than by foreign contemporaries with whom he had entered into an exchange and who published articles about his works.

Change in the image of Goethe

After the poet's death until the founding of the empire, the 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, 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 impact formed a "field of tension between negation and apotheosis ". The Weimar friends of art and Goethe's collaborators - the three testamentary administrators of Goethe's estate (Eckermann, Riemer , Chancellor Friedrich Müller ) and others from the immediate vicinity - founded the first "Goethe Association" immediately after Goethe's death and put their estate editions and -Documentations "the first foundation of a Goethe philology". Heinrich Heine and Ludwig Börne's critical appropriation of Goethe opposed their veneration of Goethe. Both criticized his “artistic comfort”, which was concerned with peace and order, in a time of political restoration , but in fundamental contrast to the bitter “Goethe-hater” Börne, Heine valued Goethe's poetry as the highest. For Young Germany , Goethe stood in the shadow of Schiller, whose revolutionary tendencies fit better with the period of Vormärz than Goethe's politically conservative stance.

A Christian opposition, both from the Catholic and the Protestant side, formed against Goethe's life and work, with the elective affinities and Faust in particular coming into the crosshairs of criticism. With "undisguised sharpness", various combat pamphlets by church supporters were directed against the cult of the classic and Goethe that emerged in the last third of the 19th century. The Jesuit Alexander Baumgartner wrote an extensive account of Goethe, in which he did characterize Goethe as a “brilliantly gifted” poet, but castigated his “immoral” way of life, “carefree lust for life and indulgence”: “In the midst of a Christian society he is open to paganism known and just as openly arranged his life according to its principles. "

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, partial view of the Goethe-Schiller monument in Weimar, erected in 1856/57 by Ernst Rietschel

After Goethe had been part of the reading canon in German schools since the 1860s, he was gradually declared the genius of the new empire after the establishment of the empire in 1871. The Goethe lectures by Herman Grimm from 1874/75 were exemplary for this. According to him, Goethe "had an effect on the spiritual atmosphere of Germany [...] like a telluric event that increased our climatic warmth by so and so many degrees on average". - “Goethe's prose has gradually become the exemplary mode of expression for all subjects of intellectual life. Through Schelling it penetrated philosophy, through Savigny into jurisprudence , through Alexander von Humboldt into the natural sciences, through Wilhelm von Humboldt into philological scholarship. "

A flood of Goethe editions and Goethe secondary literature appeared. Since 1885 the Goethe Society has been dedicated to researching and disseminating Goethe's work; Its members included the leaders of society at home and abroad, including the German imperial couple.

The shift of interest from Goethe's work to “the work of art of his well-managed, moving and rich life, and yet held together in a harmonious unity”, behind which the poetic production threatened to disappear in the general consciousness, was characteristic of the Goethe cult of the empire. The writer Wilhelm Raabe wrote in 1880: "Goethe is not given to the German nation because of poetry, etc., but that they get to know a whole, full person from his life from beginning to end." From the study of Goethe's life, perceived as exemplary one hoped for advice and benefits for one's own lifestyle. However, there were also voices that emphasized the empty content of the Goethe cult in parts of the population. Gottfried Keller remarked in 1884: "Every conversation is dominated by the consecrated name, every new publication about Goethe applauded - but he himself no longer reads, which is why one no longer knows the works, the knowledge no longer develops." 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 over the last seventy years!"

In the Weimar Republic , Goethe was invoked as the spiritual basis of the new state. In 1919, the later Reich President Friedrich Ebert announced that the task now was to make the change, “from imperialism to idealism, from world power to spiritual greatness. [...] We have to treat the great social problems in the same spirit in which Goethe grasped them in the second part of Faust and in Wilhelm Meister's Wanderjahren ”. The “Spirit of Weimar” was set as a counterpoint to the “Spirit of Potsdam”, which was believed to have been overcome. However, this confession had no practical effect. The political left criticized the genius cult around Goethe with the "nature reserve" Weimar ( Egon Erwin Kisch ). Bertolt Brecht replied in a radio conversation: The classics died in the war. However, there were also important writers, such as Hermann Hesse , Thomas Mann and Hugo von Hofmannsthal , who opposed the left-wing classic scolding with a positive image of Goethe. Hermann Hesse asked in 1932: "Was he really, as the naive Marxists who have not read him believe, just a hero of the bourgeoisie, the co-creator of a subaltern, short-term ideology that has long since faded away?"

In contrast to Schiller, Kleist and Hölderlin , the National Socialist cultural policy found it difficult to co-opt Goethe for its goals. Alfred Rosenberg had declared in 1930 in his book The Myth of the 20th Century that Goethe was not useful for the coming “times of bitter struggles”, “because he hated the violence of a type-building idea and he was not a dictatorship in both life and poetry Wanted to acknowledge thought ”. At the same time, there has been no lack of attempts to claim Goethe's support for the ideology of the Nazi regime, for example in writings such as Goethe's Sendung im Third Reich (August Raabe, 1934) or Goethe in the light of the 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 source of quotations (especially Mephisto's saying: “Blood is a very special juice ”) and Faust as a“ leading figure of the new National Socialist type of person ”.

In the two German states after 1945, Goethe experienced a renaissance . He now appeared as a representative of a better, humanistic Germany that seemed to have carried over the 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 primarily by Georg Lukács . The poet was now declared an ally of the French Revolution and pioneer of the revolution of 1848/1849 , his Faust as the “productive force for the establishment of a socialist society”. In the Federal Republic of Germany , on the other hand, the traditional image of Goethe was tied to, that is, a poet elevated to a myth, "who emerged from the barbarism of the past twelve years of Nazi rule seemingly undamaged and untouchable". From the end of the 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 emerged through more objective approaches and a social-historical analysis perspective. With his positive image of Goethe and Classics, Peter Hacks was an exception in GDR literature during the 1970s.

Influence on literature and music

Goethe's influence on the later German-speaking poets and writers is omnipresent, so that only a few authors can be named here who dealt with him and his work in particular.

The poets and writers of the Romantic period took up the emotional exuberance of Sturm und Drang . Franz Grillparzer referred to Goethe as his role model and shared with him, in addition to certain stylistic customs, the aversion to political radicalism of any kind. Friedrich Nietzsche revered Goethe all his life and felt himself to be his successor, especially in his skeptical attitude towards Germany and Christianity. Hugo von Hofmannsthal found: "Goethe can replace a whole culture as the basis of education" and "Goethe's sayings in prose are perhaps more educated today than all German universities". He wrote numerous essays on Goethe's work. Thomas Mann had a deep sympathy for Goethe. He felt akin to him not only in his role as a poet, but also in a whole range of traits and habits. Thomas Mann wrote numerous essays and essays on Goethe and gave the central speeches for the Goethe anniversary celebrations in 1932 and 1949. In his novel Lotte in Weimar he brings the poet to life, and in the novel Doctor Faustus he revisits the subject of Faust. Hermann Hesse , who repeatedly dealt with Goethe and, in a scene in his Steppenwolf, opposed a falsification of the Goethe image, confessed: “Among all German poets, Goethe is the one to whom I owe the most, the one who preoccupies me, pressures me, and encourages me , has forced successor or opposition. ” Ulrich Plenzdorf transferred the Werther events to the GDR in the 1970s in his novel The New Sorrows of Young W. Peter Hacks made Goethe's relationship with 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 dramolet In Goethe's Hand. Martin Walser made scenes from the 19th century Johann Peter Eckermann the main character and portrayed him in his delicate relationship with Goethe. Goethe's last love for Ulrike von Levetzow in Marienbad was used by Walser as the material for his novel A loving man . In Thomas Bernhard's story, Goethe schtirbt , the figure Goethe calls himself a “lamester of German literature”, who also ruined the careers of numerous poets (Kleist, Hölderlin).

Many poems of Goethe were - of composers and composers especially of the 19th century - set to music, which the poet the development of the art song promoted, although he called it. Through-composed song by Franz Schubert refused categorically. Nevertheless, with 52 Goethe settings, Schubert was the most productive of the musical Goethe interpreters. 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 , personally acquainted with Goethe, set the ballad The First Walpurgis Night to music . In 1822, Fanny Hensel also met Goethe after she complained that there were not enough poems that could be easily set to music. Thereupon Goethe, who had a high opinion of her as a pianist and composer, dedicated his poem When I was in a quiet soul to her . She then put the poem in notes. In addition to Robert and Clara Schumann , Hugo Wolf also left Goethe settings. Robert Schumann not only set scenes from Goethe's Faust , but also poetry texts from Wilhelm Meister's apprenticeship years as well as a requiem for Mignon . 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, with the musical presentation, in addition to the tried and tested genre of the piano song, often in new formations and recitation forms. Of Gustav Mahler , the "most powerful and most important" Goethe setting whose "charisma should not be underestimated on the music of the Second Viennese School to Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Anton Webern's" dates: The large-scale Symphony No. 8 ( "Symphony of a Thousand" ) culminates in a setting of the mountain gorge scene by Faust II (1910). Throughout his life, Richard Strauss also regularly set poems by Goethe to music. 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 Nicolaus A. Huber as the basis for Praise the Granite for soprano and chamber ensemble (1999). Text excerpts from Goethe's letters, along with poems such as Gretchen am Spinnrade, form the basis of Goethe's music (2000) by the Swiss composer Rudolf Kelterborn . The Roman elegies by Giselher Klebe (1952), which are characterized by the strict twelve-tone technique, are also noteworthy insofar as the vocal part is performed not 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 from different origins in the cycle of his Goethe songs (2004/07). Aribert Reimann composed a scene for soprano and piano with the title It was a look that tore me to ruin. Second monologue of Stella from the play of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (published 2014). Jörg Widmann does not want his musical implementation of Wanderer's Nachtlied for soprano and instrumental ensemble (1999) to be understood either as “text transport” or “toning” in the conventional sense. Rather, "after listening in and listening in, 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 respected researchers such as Alexander von Humboldt , the chemist Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner and the doctor Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland , who was his family doctor from 1783 to 1793 . In the specialist literature, his writings, above all the theory of colors, were discussed controversially from the start; With the advancement of the natural sciences, Goethe's theories were largely regarded as obsolete. It experienced a temporary renaissance from 1859, the year Charles Darwin's work On the Origin of Species was published . Goethe's assumption of a constant change in the living world and the traceability of organic forms to a common original form now led to the fact that he was considered a pioneer of evolutionary theories .

From 1883 to 1897 Rudolf Steiner published Goethe's scientific writings. He recognized in Goethe's holistic cognitive process an alternative to the contemporary materialistic-mechanical conception of nature, thoughts which he incorporated as Goetheanism into the anthroposophy he later founded . Since then, Goethe's holistic, human-inclusive method of knowledge of nature - although its results no longer corresponded to the state of science in the narrower sense - has always gained relevance when in the public discourse for alternatives to the mechanistic worldview of modern natural science and its mechanization aimed at de-soulling was searched. At the beginning of the 20th century by the racist writer Houston Stewart Chamberlain and again since the 1980s as part of the New Age movement .

According to Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker , Goethe did not succeed in “converting natural science to a better understanding of its own being […]. We today's physicists are [...] students of Newton and not Goethe. But we know that this science is not absolute truth, but a certain methodical procedure. "

From August 28, 2019 to February 16, 2020, the Klassikstiftung Weimar organized the special exhibition The Adventure 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 lexicons and compendiums, yearbooks and guides dedicated to him can hardly be counted. In the following, some exemplary works are presented that analyze and interpret the phenomenon of Goethe in an overall view.

Early works of this kind include:

  • Herman Grimm : Goethe. Lectures held at the Kgl. 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, with his approach of "holistic" reliving of great artistic personalities and works, is a forerunner of the intellectual history of art and literature in the sense of Wilhelm Dilthey . To contemporary experts, he appeared more like an idiosyncratic essayist than 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, published several times and "received almost unanimously positive", comprises only 264 pages. With a “programmatic departure from the type of positivist biography” she processes Goethe's biographical data in order to present him as an exemplary spiritual existence and embodiment of an unmistakable individuality, which “is not just a point in the world, but a world itself”. Goethe also transferred this conception of individuality to his main characters, "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 with his almost 800-page work; Goethe appears to him as "the creative German par excellence". His publication sparked a hitherto unusually heated discussion in which well-known specialist colleagues took part. The magazine Euphorion devoted a special issue to the controversy surrounding the publication in 1921. The dispute was sparked by Gundolf's approach to intellectual history, which the representatives of historical-philological literary research perceived as the “most stark contrast” to Goethe philology. You described Gundolf as a "science artist".

The three monographs do not offer any direct points of contact for contemporary literary studies.

Two important works from the 1950s / 1960s enriched Goethe's reception with 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 the conditions under which the poetic and scientific work stands, although interpretation is the center of the work. For Karl Robert Mandelkow , this publication is “not only the most important attempt at an overall representation of the poet since Gundolf, but also the most representative achievement of Goethe research for the 1950s”. Staiger's impressive reception of Goethe withdrew his subject from the
    nihilistic mood of the time through his work-immanent interpretation , which worked with the means of the then new structure-analytical literature .
  • Richard Friedenthal : Goethe. His life and his time. (1st edition Piper, Munich 1963, 16th edition. 1989).
    With this almost 800 pages, "large-scale and meticulous work [...] Friedenthal achieved a worldwide success". With the biography he chose not an academic, but a novel-like form of representation or "intellectual reportage". Because Friedenthal outlines the historical-sociological-political environment, that is: the plight of the Weimar conditions under which Goethe produced his works, his work became a forerunner of the turn towards political literary interpretation that had been taking place in the Federal Republic since the mid-1960s and on the social history of literature ”. Among the weakest parts of the otherwise deserving biography Mandelkow counts those about the natural scientist Goethe, who characterized his morphology and color theory as wrong and ineffective.

Three works from the last two decades are worth highlighting:

  • 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 understands how to skillfully convey the scholarly knowledge of the philologist without the aid of a scientific apparatus. As the first Goethe biographer, he renounced an authoritative view of his subject "in favor of a method of representation that keeps the possibility of other, alternative interpretations open".
  • 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 German studies scholar at Cambridge University has embarked on a monumental biography of Goethe that is considered to be by far the most extensive since 1945. The first two volumes comprise 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. Artwork 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 “Goethe Lover's House Book” ( Lorenz Jäger ). Safranski shows at the same time that Goethe's “art of living” consisted of separating the spheres of poetry and political-administrative responsibility; both areas are presented in detail in the 750-page book.

Goethe as the 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 has its headquarters in Weimar, unites several thousand readers and scholars at home and abroad. After all, the poet gave his name to an entire literary epoch that encompassed Classical and Romanticism: the age of Goethe .

Monuments

Goethe monuments were erected worldwide. The first project in Frankfurt am Main, initiated in 1819, failed due to funding. Only in 1844 was the first Goethe monument of Ludwig Schwanthaler created and on the Goetheplatz erected. Goethe sculptures also adorn building facades, for example the main portal of the Semperoper in Dresden and the main portal of the St. Lamberti Church in Münster.

Films with Goethe as the main character

  • Goethe in Weimar. Documentation, 60 min., Script and direction: Gabriele Dinsenbacher , production: SWR , first broadcast: July 10, 1999, table of contents from press portal SWR-Südwestrundfunk (rep. February 23, 2007), accessed on September 16, 2009
  • Goethe - magician of passions. Docudrama, 60 min., Script and direction: Günther Klein , production: ifage Filmproduktion i. A. des ZDF , series: Giganten , first broadcast: April 9, 2007, table of contents on the homepage of the production company, accessed on May 8, 2017
  • All 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 on uni-weimar.de, accessed 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 Nordwestdeutsche Rundfunk in Hamburg produced a 35-part series of radio plays by Hans Egon Gerlach entitled Goethe tells his life . The first three parts were created in 1948 under the direction of Ludwig Cremer . All other 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.

Works (selection)

List of first editions at Wikisource

It was one of Goethe's particular peculiarities to leave the works he had begun for years, sometimes for decades, to subject already printed works to considerable reworking, and to put some finished works into print only after a long time. It is therefore sometimes very difficult to date the works according to the time they were created. The list is based on the (presumed) time of creation.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe at the age of 62 (after the painting by Luise Seidler, Weimar 1811)

Work editions:

  • Complete Works. Letters, diaries and conversations. Frankfurt edition in 40 volumes, including the official writings and drawings, with commentary and registers (the most complete current complete edition of Goethe's works). Deutscher Klassiker 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 according to the epochs 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 an editing collective under the direction of Siegfried Seidel et al. Aufbau-Verlag, 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 Weimar edition from 1887–1919. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-423-05911-7 .
  • Goethe's works. Complete last 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 Natural Scientists Leopoldina.) Complete edition with explanations by Dorothea Kuhn, Wolf von Engelhardt and Irmgard Müller. Weimar 1947 ff., ISBN 3-7400-0024-4 . (online) ( Memento from February 19, 2001 in the Internet Archive )

Dramas:

Novels and short stories:

Invitation card from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe to the Mecklenburg State Minister Leopold von Plessen for a reading by Hermann and Dorothea in the Cotta'schen Buchhandlung , 1814

Versepen:

Poems:

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, expanded in 1827
  • Trilogy of Passion, published in 1827.
  • Sino-German times of the day and seasons, published 1830.

Transfers:

  • Diderot's attempt at painting. Translated and accompanied by notes by Goethe, published 1799.
  • Life of Benvenuto Cellini , Florentine goldsmith and sculptor, written by himself. Translated and edited with an appendix by Goethe, published 1803.
  • Rameau's nephew . A dialogue from Diderot. Translated from the manuscript and accompanied by comments by Goethe, published in 1805.
Details, maxims and reflections: Title page of the first compilation

Records and aphorisms:

  • Details, maxims and reflections, 1833 (published posthumously)

Aesthetic Fonts:

Scientific writings:

Autobiographical prose:

Collections of letters:

Conversations:

Secondary literature

Overviews / bibliographies:

Lexicons and reference works:

Introductions:

Life and work:

Life and work in the picture:

Stages of life:

Natural history and science:

politics
  • Rüdiger Scholz: Goethe and the execution of Johanna Höhn. Child murders and child murderers 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 a statesman . Musterschmidt, Göttingen et al. 1976, ISBN 3-7881-0091-5 .
  • Ekkehart Krippendorff : How the great play with the people - An experiment on Goethe's politics. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1988, ISBN 3-518-11486-7 .
  • Wolfgang Rothe: The political Goethe. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1998, ISBN 3-525-01220-9 .
  • W. Daniel Wilson : The Goethe taboo - protest and human rights in classical Weimar. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-423-30710-2 .

Music:

  • Hermann Abert: Goethe and Music. Engelhorn, Stuttgart 1922; Reprint of the original edition from 1903: European Literature Publishing House , Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-86267-571-5 , and: Dearbooks 2013, ISBN 3-95455-485-2 .
  • Barbara Mühlenhoff: Goethe and Music - A Musical Résumé. Lambert Schneider, Darmstadt 2011, ISBN 978-3-650-40116-8 .
  • Hanns Stahmer: Goethe's ways to music. Hannsens, Neustadt am Rübenberge 2016, ISBN 978-3-945207-11-6 .

Visual arts:

Psychological aspects:

  • 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 Goethe case - 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 perspective . Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1999, ISBN 3-8260-1660-2 .
  • Rainer M. Holm-Hadulla: Passion. Goethe's way to creativity. A psychobiography. 3rd, extended edition, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2019, ISBN 978-3-525-40669-4 .

Further basic literature:

  • Michael Botor: Conversations with Goethe. Studies on the function and history of a biographical genre (= Kassel Studies - Literature, Culture, Media. Vol. 4). Carl Böschen, Siegen 1999, ISBN 3-932212-20-7 .
  • 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 external 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: Sham Criticism Utopia. To Goethe and Hegel . Edition text + kritik, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-88377-419-7 .

Web links

Commons : Goethe  album with pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Goethe  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe  - sources and full texts

Texts:

General:

Aids:

Illustrations:

Remarks

  1. As the poet himself noted, it is an idealizing representation. As Stieler reports, Goethe said: “You show me how I could be. With this man in the picture I would like to have a word. He looks so beautiful that he could still have a wife. ”Quoted from: Jörn Göres, Emil Schaeffer (Ed.): Goethe. Its outward appearance. Literary and artistic documents from his contemporaries. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1999, p. 179.
  2. ^ According to Heinrich Düntzer: Goethe's family trees - a genealogical representation. Salzwasser, Paderborn 1894, pp. 93 ff. 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 spelled his name with oe, publications appeared throughout his life under the name Göthe.
  3. ^ Werner Plumpe: Economy, Consumption and Acquisition in Goethe's Parental Home . In: Vera Hierholzer and Sandra Richter (eds.): Goethe and money. The poet and the modern economy. Catalog of the exhibition in Frankfurt's Goethehaus / Free German Hochstift from September 14 to December 30, 2012 , p. 118.
  4. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, pp. 68, 87.
  5. 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 (American first publication) on Goethe , Kurt R. Eissler spoke of an “incestuous bond” to 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 carefully indicates a mutual incestuous desire in the Sixth Book of Poetry and Truth . zeno.org (accessed February 26, 2015).
  6. ^ Karl Otto Conrady : Goethe. Life and work. New edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-538-06638-8 , p. 328.
  7. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 73 f.
  8. Johann Wolfgang Goethe: From my life. Poetry and truth. First part, second book zeno.org (accessed January 14, 2015).
  9. ^ Karl Otto Conrady: Goethe. Life and work. New edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994, p. 328.
  10. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 74; Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-446-23581-6 , p. 32. Boyle speaks of "exceptionally talented", Safranski of "highly talented".
  11. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 74.
  12. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 83.
  13. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 87.
  14. Johann Wolfgang Goethe: From my life. Poetry and truth. Part Two, Book Six, p. 302 zeno.org (accessed January 14, 2015).
  15. 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.
  16. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 84.
  17. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 44.
  18. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 56.
  19. In Poetry and Truth , (second part, seventh book, p. 302 (Zeno)) he mentions such a trip to the cake baker Hendel, the host of the cake garden in Reudnitz, one of the so-called Kohldörfer, where he wrote a mocking poem and put it on the wall wrote.
  20. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 88.
  21. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 106.
  22. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 93.
  23. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 96.
  24. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 91.
  25. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 73.
  26. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 116.
  27. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 81.
  28. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 118.
  29. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 128 f.
  30. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 133.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 100 f.
  33. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 102.
  34. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer : crash course Goethe. Dumont, Cologne 2005, p. 35.
  35. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 120.
  36. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 119.
  37. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 156.
  38. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 123–128.
  39. Quoted from Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 160.
  40. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 162.
  41. Johann Wolfgang Goethe: From my life. Poetry and truth. Third part, thirteenth book zeno.org (accessed January 14, 2015).
  42. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 164.
  43. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 139.
  44. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 236.
  45. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life . Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 183.
  46. Arthur Henkel : Epilogue to Goethe: Wilhelm Meisters theatrical mission (= Fischer library of the hundred books ). Fischer Bücherei, Frankfurt am Main 1969, pp. 317–321, here p. 318 f.
  47. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 185.
  48. After the early death of her husband, Anna Amalia not only succeeded in ruling her duchy for 17 years with great prudence, but also in bringing artists and scientists to her “court of muses” and promoting them as best she could. She even appointed the poet Wieland , who was already known at the time , to be the tutor of her two sons.
  49. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 197.
  50. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 207.
  51. Klaus Seehafer : My life is a single adventure. Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Biography. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-351-02471-1 , p. 141.
  52. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 279.
  53. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, ISBN 3-407-32124-4 , p. 66.
  54. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 228.
  55. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 294 f.
  56. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenäum, Weinheim 1998, p. 72 f.See also Sandra Richter: Mensch und Markt. Why we fear competition and still need it. Murmann, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-86774-128-6 , p. 71.
  57. Quoted from Karl Otto Conrady : Goethe. Life and work. New edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994, p. 328.
  58. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 72 f.
  59. a b c Willy Flach : Official activity. 1958/61. In: Volker Wahl (ed.): Willy Flach (1903–1958). Contributions to archives, the history of the state of Thuringia and Goethe research. Böhlau, Weimar 2003, ISBN 978-3-7400-1205-2 , pp. 384-393, here p. 385.
  60. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, pp. 319 and 387.
  61. Gero von Wilpert: Goethe-Lexikon (= Kröner's pocket edition. Volume 407). Kröner, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-520-40701-9 , pp. 425-426.
  62. ^ 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 on until the trip to Italy. Deutscher Klassiker Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 978-3-618-60425-9 , pp. 815-854, here p. 837.
  63. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 73 f.
  64. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 391 f.
  65. Monsieur Göthé (accessed on October 17, 2020) Marko Kreutzmann: Between the class and the bourgeois world: Der Adel in Sachsen-Weimar , 2008, p. 7.
  66. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, pp. 73-78.
  67. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork 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.
  68. 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 enumerates the functions Goethe performed: “He is now Real Privy Councilor, President of the Chamber, President of the War College, supervisor of the building industry down to road construction, and also director des plaisirs, court poet, author of beautiful festivities, court operas, ballets, redoutes, 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 in worship. ”Quoted from Boyle p. 392.
  69. Ludwig Börne used the term “Fürsten di Despotendichter”, which was coined on Goethe. Cf. Gero von Wilpert: The 101 most important questions: Goethe. Beck, Munich 2007, p. 121 f.
  70. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: crash course Goethe. Dumont, Cologne 2005, p. 52.
  71. ^ W. Daniel Wilson : The Goethe taboo. Protest and human rights in classic Weimar. Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-423-30710-2 , pp. 47 ff., 76 ff. And 7 f.
  72. ^ 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 on until the trip to Italy. Deutscher Klassiker Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 978-3-618-60425-9 , pp. 815-854, here p. 838.
  73. Klaus Seehafer: My life is a single adventure. Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Biography. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 2000, p. 180.
  74. Helmut Koopmann : Goethe and Frau von Stein - story of a love. CH Beck, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-406-48652-5 , p. 254 ff.
  75. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 309. - How Goethe's contemporaries thought about the relationship can be deduced from Schiller's letter of August 12, 1787 to Körner: “They say that their dealings should be completely pure and impeccable” ( online ( Memento from April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive )).
  76. Kurt R. Eissler : Goethe. A psychoanalytic study 1775–1786. German paperback publisher. Volume 2. Munich 1987, ISBN 3-423-04457-8 , p. 1157.
  77. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 588.
  78. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 677.
  79. Wolfgang Frühwald : Goethe's wedding . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-458-19294-7 , p. 60.
  80. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 556 f.
  81. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 307-314.
  82. Klaus-Detlef Müller: The misery of the poet's existence: Goethe's "Torquato Tasso": In: Goethe-Jahrbuch. Volume 124, 2007, p. 198.
  83. a b Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 318.
  84. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, pp. 452, 471.
  85. Roberto Zapperi: The Incognito. Goethe's very different existence in Rome. Beck, Munich 1999, ISBN 978-3-406-60471-3 , p. 8 f.
  86. In this apartment, today Via del Corso 18, is the Casa di Goethe museum , which is primarily dedicated to Goethe's stays in Rome and Italy.
  87. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 480 f.
  88. Venetian epigrams, number 100g: "I love boys too, but I prefer girls / If I have had enough of them as a girl, she still serves me as a boy"
  89. Roberto Zapperi: The Incognito. Goethe's very different existence in Rome. CH Beck, Munich 1999, p. 133 ff.
  90. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 506. - Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 328.
  91. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 338–341.
  92. 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.
  93. ^ Sigrid Damm : Christiane and Goethe. A research . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-87763-020-0 , p. 117.
  94. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 663.
  95. ^ Sigrid Damm: Christiane and Goethe. A research . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1998, p. 121.
  96. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 355.
  97. ^ Sigrid Damm: Christiane and Goethe. A research . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1998, p. 142 f.
  98. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume II: 1790-1803. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, pp. 145 and 251.
  99. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume II: 1790-1803. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 111.
  100. Irma Margarethe Lengersdorff: Goethe's intention to marry from the year 1790. In: Goethe-Jahrbuch. New series, Volume 27, 1965, pp. 175–192.
  101. Wolfgang Frühwald: Goethe's wedding . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2007, pp. 35, 42, 60.
  102. ^ Alfred Schmidt : Nature. Entry in: Goethe Handbook. Volume 4/2: People, things, terms LZ. Metzler, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-476-01447-9 , p. 766.
  103. Johan Wolfgang von Goethe: Attempt to explain the metamorphosis of plants. Ettinger, Gotha 1790. ( digitized and full text in the German text archive )
  104. ^ Felix Sieglbauer : Goethe's concept of morphology. In: Academic Senate of the University of Innsbruck (ed.): Innsbruck University Almanach on the Goethe year 1949. Tyroliadruck, Innsbruck 1949, pp. 165–190.
  105. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, pp. 183–186.
  106. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 742.
  107. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, pp. 758 f., 768 f.
  108. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 188.
  109. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, pp. 756–766.
  110. See Goethezeit # French Revolution
  111. ^ Hans-Jürgen Schings : Not a friend of the revolution. The French Revolution in Goethe's field of vision. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 126, 2009, pp. 52 f., 56; To the Goethe quote: Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Significant support through a single, witty word. In: Theoretical Writings. zeno.org (accessed March 22, 2015).
  112. ^ Johann Peter Eckermann : Conversations with Goethe in the last years of his life. Conversation from January 4, 1824 in the Gutenberg-DE Insel project, Frankfurt am Main 1981.
  113. Quoted from Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 368.
  114. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 369.
  115. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 377.
  116. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 380 f.
  117. Erich Trunz: Commentary on Goethe's works . Hamburg edition Volume II: Poems and epics II. CH Beck, Munich 1981, p. 719.
  118. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 248 f.
  119. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 273.
  120. ^ Lesley Sharpe: Goethe and the Weimar theater. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 116.
  121. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume II: 1790-1803. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 444.
  122. ^ Lesley Sharpe: Goethe and the Weimar theater. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 121.
  123. ^ Lesley Sharpe: Goethe and the Weimar theater. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 126 f. - As Sharpe reports, the last straw ( the last straw ) for Goethe's resignation was a canine melodrama implemented by Karoline Jagemann with a poodle in the lead role. It was a melodrama by René Charles Guilbert de Pixérécourt , translated into German under the title The Dog of Aubry , against whose performance with the poodle Dragon Goethe protested and threatened to resign, which the Grand Duke promptly accepted.
  124. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Friedrich Schiller or The Invention of German Idealism. Hanser, Munich, ISBN 3-446-20548-9 , p. 103.
  125. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 389.
  126. Gesa von Essen: “an approach that did not take place”? The difficult beginnings of a poets' society. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 123, 2005, pp. 43–61, here: pp. 53 f. ( Digitized version )
  127. Rüdiger Safranski: "that there is no freedom in relation to the excellent but love". About the friendship between Schiller and Goethe. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 123, 2005, pp. 25–35, here: p. 27 ( digitized version ).
  128. Gesa von Essen: "an approach that did not take place"? The difficult beginnings of a poets' society. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 123, 2005, pp. 43–61, here: p. 50 f. ( Digital copy )
  129. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork 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 (digitized version )
  130. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 389.See also: Schiller's letter to Goethe of June 13, 1794.
  131. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 396.
  132. Correspondence between Schiller and Goethe - second volume. Goethe to Schiller, January 6, 1798 in the Gutenberg-DE project
  133. Erich Trunz: Commentary on Goethe: Poems . Anniversary edition hrgg. and commented by Erich Trunz. Beck, Munich 2007, p. 584.
  134. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume II: 1790-1803. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 339.
  135. ^ 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.
  136. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 405-407.
  137. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time. Volume II: 1790-1803. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 502.
  138. Muses Almanac for 1797 . Wikisource.
  139. Muses Almanac for 1798 . Wikisource.
  140. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 455 f.
  141. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 458 f., 465.
  142. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 463.
  143. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 461.
  144. Werner Neuhauser: The poet between ideal and reality. The sufferings of old Goethe. In: zm online. 19, 2006.
  145. At this time Goethe's medical advisor was the pioneer of romantic medicine and pioneer of modern psychiatry, Johann Christian Reil .
  146. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 468.
  147. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 467 f.
  148. Entry The Elective Affinities. In: Frank Rainer Max, Christine Ruhrberg (eds.): Reclams Romanlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-15-010474-2 , p. 341.
  149. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 488.
  150. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 497 f.
  151. Goethe couldn't forgive her for calling Christiane “thick blood sausage”. See Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 585.
  152. ^ Entry from my life. Poetry and truth. In: Frank Rainer Max, Christine Ruhrberg (eds.): Reclams Romanlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, p. 343.
  153. Gustav Seibt : Goethe and Napoleon. A historical encounter . Beck, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-406-57748-2 , p. 223.
  154. ^ Johann Peter Eckermann : Conversations with Goethe in the last years of his life. Conversation from March 11, 1828 in the Gutenberg-DE Insel project, Frankfurt am Main 1981.
  155. Augsburg Ordinaries Post newspaper, no. 266, Saturday, Nov. 5. Anno 1808, p.3, as digitized, .
  156. ^ Frank Deibel, Friedrich Gundelfinger : Goethe in conversation. Salzwasser, Paderborn 2012 [reprint from 1906], p. 168.
  157. 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
  158. ^ Alfred Brendel : Goethe, music and irony . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of November 20, 2020, p. 12.
  159. ^ Martin Geck: The meeting in Teplitz. In: The time. from July 14, 2012 Beethoven & Goethe: The meeting in Teplitz - Die Zeit online.
  160. ^ Martin Geck: The meeting in Teplitz. In: The time. from July 14, 2012 Beethoven & Goethe: The meeting in Teplitz - Die Zeit online.
  161. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 590.
  162. Edith Zehm: The "radical reproduction of poetic intentions": Goethe and Zelter. In: Goethezeitportal , sheet 1.
  163. ^ Letters between Goethe and Zelter in the years 1796 to 1832. Edited by Friedrich Wilhelm Riemer. 6 volumes. Duncker and Humblot, Berlin 1833–1834.
  164. ^ Karl Otto Conrady: Goethe. Life and work. New edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994, pp. 852 ff., 889 f.
  165. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life . Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 588 f.
  166. In the opening poem of the West-Eastern Divan it says: “North and West and South split up, / Thrones burst, empires tremble, / You flee in the pure East / Taste patriarchal air!” In his diaries and annuals he notes as a peculiarity of himself Course of action: “Just as something enormously threatening emerged in the political world, so I stubbornly threw myself on the remotest.” Zeno.org (accessed on March 31, 2015).
  167. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 546-548.
  168. Hendrik Birus: Commentary I. Overview comments. In: Johann Wolfgang Goethe: West-Eastern Divan. Volume I. Insel, Berlin 2010, p. 728.
  169. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 549–552, 561. Quotes from Safranski on pp. 552 and 561.
  170. ^ Entry Grimm, Herman. In: Walther Killy : Literature Lexicon. Authors and works of German language. Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag. Digital Library, p. 6.656 (Volume 4, p. 352). Volume 4, Bertelsmann. Digital library, p. 6.656 ().
  171. Heinrich Heine : Complete Works. Volume III : Writings on literature and politics I. With comments by Uwe Scheikert. 2nd Edition. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1992, p. 301.
  172. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 563.
  173. ^ Sigrid Damm: Christiane and Goethe. A research . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1998, pp. 501–508.
  174. Navid Kermani : God breathing. Goethe's religion. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 130, 2013, p. 24.
  175. Goethe tells his life. Compiled by Hans Egon Gerlach and Otto Herrmann based on Goethe's personal testimonies and the notes of his contemporaries. Fischer Bücherei, Frankfurt am Main 1956, p. 342.
  176. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 583 f.
  177. ^ Hans Jürgen Geerdts : Johann Wolfgang Goethe Reclam, Leipzig 1974.
  178. Goethe on the website of the Leopoldina Goethe as a member of the Leopoldina. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  179. Peter Uhrbach: Goethe's Fräulein in Böhmen , Sax-Verlag, Beucha 2009, pp. 59-79. ISBN 978-3-86729-050-0
  180. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 594-596.
  181. Stefan Zweig: Great moments of mankind. Twelve historical miniatures . S. Fischer, Frankfurt 1986, p. 127.
  182. Stefan Zweig: Great moments of mankind. Twelve historical miniatures . S. Fischer, Frankfurt 1986, p. 135.
  183. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 626 f.
  184. Klaus Seehafer: My life is a single adventure. Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Biography. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 2000, p. 458.
  185. Carl Vogel: Goethe's last illness […]. Along with a postscript by CW Hufeland. In: Journal der practical Heilkunde (1833). University of Giessen, 1961, accessed January 8, 2013 .
  186. Georg Simmel: Goethe. Klinghardt & Biermann, Leipzig 1913.
  187. ^ Friedrich Gundolf: Goethe. 1st edition. Bondi, Berlin 1916, p. 1.
  188. ^ According to Walter Benjamin ( Illuminations. Selected writings. TB edition. Suhrkamp. Frankfurt am Main 1977, p. 84) it was attributed to Jean Paul .
  189. Kurt R. Eissler: Goethe. A psychoanalytic study 1775–1786. Volume 1. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1987, p. 38.
  190. Kurt R. Eissler: Goethe. A psychoanalytic study 1775–1786. Volume 1. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1987, p. 36.
  191. ^ 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.
  192. The discourse between Goethe and Schiller about the primordial plant and about idea versus experience has been handed down at their first successful meeting in 1794; see Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 391–393.
  193. ^ Hugh Barr Nisbet: Religion and Philosophy. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 231.
  194. ^ Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Significant support through a single witty word. In: Theoretical Writings. zeno.org (accessed March 9, 2015).
  195. ^ Heinrich Heine: travel pictures. Second part. The North Sea. Third division . In: Düsseldorfer Heine edition, Volume 6: Letters from Berlin. About Poland. Travel pictures I / II (prose) . P. 148.
  196. Andreas Bruno Wachsmuth : United Zwienatur. Essays on Goethe's scientific thinking. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 1966, p. 14.
  197. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 183.
  198. Alfred Schmidt Nature. Entry in: Goethe Handbook. Volume 4/2: People, things, terms LZ. Metzler, Stuttgart 1998, p. 755 f.
  199. ^ Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Writings on morphology. Frankfurter Ausgabe, Volume 24. Deutscher Klassiker Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1987, p. 582.
  200. ^ Alfred Schmidt: Nature. Entry in: Goethe Manual. Volume 4/2: People, things, terms LZ. Metzler, Stuttgart 1998, p. 757.
  201. Andreas Bruno Wachsmuth: United Zwienatur. Essays on Goethe's scientific thinking. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 1966, p. 7.
  202. ^ A b Alfred Schmidt: Nature. Entry in: Goethe Manual. Volume 4/2: People, things, terms LZ. Metzler, Stuttgart 1998, p. 764.
  203. Quoted from Alfred Schmidt: Natur. Entry in: Goethe Manual. Volume 4/2: People, things, terms LZ. Metzler, Stuttgart 1998, p. 766.
  204. Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Explanations of the aphoristic essay "Die Natur" zeno.org (accessed on March 10, 2015).
  205. ^ Hugh Barr Nisbet: Religion and Philosophy. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, pp. 219 f.
  206. 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.
  207. Werner Keller : Age mysticism? The late Goethe and Christianity of his time. A fragment in the form of a sketch. Quoted from Wolfgang Frühwald: Goethe and Christianity. Notes on an ambivalent relationship. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 130, 2013, p. 47.
  208. Heinrich Heine: Complete Works. Volume III: Writings on literature and politics I. With comments by Uwe Scheikert. 2nd Edition. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1992, p. 295.
  209. ^ Hugh Barr Nisbet: Religion and Philosophy. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 220.
  210. ^ 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.
  211. ^ A b Hugh Barr Nisbet: Religion and Philosophy. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 221.
  212. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 196.
  213. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 566.
  214. Navid Kermani: God breathing. Goethe's religion. In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 130, 2013, p. 27.
  215. Goethe to Jacobi, June 9, 1785, quoted from Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 297.
  216. 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.
  217. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 534.
  218. Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Maxims and reflections: About literature and life. zeno.org (accessed January 20, 2015)
  219. Quoted from: Hans Dieter Betz: Antike und Christianentum. Collected articles IV. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1998, ISBN 3-16-147008-7 , p. 86.
  220. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 564.
  221. Katharina Mommsen : Goethe and the Arab world. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1988, p. 436.
  222. ^ Hugh Barr Nisbet: Religion and Philosophy. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 224.
  223. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 568.
  224. For this and other statements critical of religion see: Goethe und die Religion
  225. Cf. on this Hendrik Birus: Goethe - "a Muselmann"? In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 130, 2013, pp. 51-58.
  226. Katharina Mommsen: Goethe and the Arab world. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1988, p. 437.
  227. 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.
  228. Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Poems. Review: Zahme Zenien 9. zeno.org (accessed January 20, 2015)
  229. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life . Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 588 f .; Karl Heinz Weiers: Goethe's experiences at the Sankt-Rochus-Fest zu Bingen on August 16, 1814 and his later report on this festival , p. 16 [1] accessed on August 17, 2020
  230. Wolfgang Frühwald: Goethe and Christianity. Notes on an ambivalent relationship. In: Goethe Yearbook. Volume 130, 2013, p. 46.
  231. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time. Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 441.
  232. Goethe poems. edited and commented by Erich Trunz. (Anniversary edition based on the text from Volume 1 of the Hamburg edition) CH Beck, Munich 2007, p. 367.
  233. ^ Johann Peter Eckermann : Conversations with Goethe in the last years of his life. Conversation on February 4, 1829 in the Gutenberg-DE Insel project, Frankfurt am Main 1981.
  234. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 129–131.
  235. ^ Alfred Schmid: Nature. Entry in: Goethe Handbook. Volume 4/2: People, things, terms LZ. Metzler, Stuttgart 1998, p. 758 f.
  236. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portait of an era . Study edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 129.
  237. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 435.
  238. Karl Philipp Moritz claims the autonomy for the work of art as well as for the artist: "This is 'first there for himself, then only for our sake'." Entry autonomy. In: Ulrich Pfisterer (Hrsg.): Lexikon Kunstwissenschaft . Metzler, Stuttgart 2003, p. 31.
  239. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 359–361.
  240. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 577 f.
  241. ^ A b Johann Peter Eckermann : Conversations with Goethe in the last years of his life. Conversation on May 6, 1827 in the Gutenberg-DE Insel Verlag project, Frankfurt am Main 1981.
  242. From Goethe's commented translation Diderot's attempt on painting . Quoted from Karl Otto Conrady: Goethe. Life and work. New edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994, p. 699.
  243. ^ Karl Otto Conrady: Goethe. Life and work. New edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994, p. 699 f.
  244. Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 318.
  245. Friedrich Schiller : About naive and sentimental poetry. The sentimental poets in the Gutenberg-DE project
  246. Quoted from Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimarer Klassik. Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 532.
  247. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 531 f.
  248. a b Quoted from Hendrik Birus: Goethe's idea of ​​world literature. A historical visualization. In: Goethezeitportal , pp. 3 and 4.
  249. On Goethe's preoccupation with Chinese poetry and art, see the brief overview in Goethe's commentary . Poems, edited and commented on by Erich Trunz (anniversary edition based on the text of Volume 1 of the Hamburg edition), CH Beck, Munich 2007, pp. 774–776.
  250. ^ 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.
  251. ^ 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.
  252. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 648.
  253. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 7. Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 534.
  254. a b Bernd Witte: Preliminary remark, interpretations. In: Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Poems. Reclam, Stuttgart 2005, p. 5.
  255. John R. Williams: Goethe the Poet. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 42.
  256. John R. Williams: Goethe the Poet. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 43 f.
  257. Entry The Sorrows of Young Werther. In: Frank Rainer Max, Christine Ruhrberg (eds.): Reclams Romanlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, p. 335.
  258. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 152.
  259. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 208.
  260. Gustav Seibt: Goethe and Napoleon. A historical encounter . Beck, Munich 2008, pp. 131-135.
  261. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 345.
  262. ^ Entry of Wilhelm Meister's apprenticeship years. In: Frank Rainer Max, Christine Ruhrberg (eds.): Reclams Romanlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, p. 339.
  263. ^ Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 238.
  264. ^ Entry Wilhelm Meister's Wanderjahre. In: Frank Rainer Max, Christine Ruhrberg (eds.): Reclams Romanlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, p. 346.
  265. ^ Entry Wilhelm Meister's theatrical broadcast. In: Frank Rainer Max, Christine Ruhrberg (eds.): Reclams Romanlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, p. 335 f.
  266. ^ Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 238.
  267. Passed on by Heinrich Laube , quoted here from: Walter Benjamin: Goethes Wahlverwandschaften. In: Ders .: Illuminations. Selected Writings. TB edition. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1977, p. 101.
  268. ^ Dieter Borchmeyer: Weimar Classic. Portrait of an Era. Updated new edition. Beltz Athenaeum, Weinheim 1998, p. 529.
  269. Thomas Mann: To Goethe's Elective Affinities. In: Ders .: Writings and speeches on literature, art and philosophy. First volume. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1968, p. 243.
  270. ^ Epilogue to Goethe: Italian Journey . (Anniversary edition based on the text from Volume 11 of the Hamburg edition) CH Beck, Munich 2007, pp. 574–578.
  271. Entry: From my life. Poetry and truth. In: Frank Rainer Max, Christine Ruhrberg (eds.): Reclams Romanlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, p. 343.
  272. Kindler's New Literature Lexicon . Volume 6, p. 472.
  273. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time. Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 175.
  274. ^ 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.
  275. Correspondence between Schiller and Goethe - second volume. Goethe to Schiller, January 19, 1802 in the Gutenberg-DE project
  276. ^ Friedrich Gundolf : Goethe . Bondi, Berlin 1918, p. 318.
  277. Dieter Borchmeyer: Commentary on Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Dramas 1776–1790. Frankfurt edition 1st department, volume 5, Deutscher Klassiker Verlag, Frankfurt an Mein 1988, p. 1416.
  278. Albrecht Schöne : Preliminary remarks on Goethe's Faust poem. In: Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Faust. Comments . Deutscher Klassiker Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1999, p. 11.
  279. Hans Robert Jauß : Aesthetic experience and literary hermeneutics . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1991, ISBN 3-518-28555-6 , p. 513 f.
  280. Heinrich Heine: Complete Works. Volume III : Writings on literature and politics I. With comments by Uwe Scheikert. 2nd Edition. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1992, p. 299.
  281. ^ Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Aesthetics. Volume II. Structure, Berlin 1955, p. 574.
  282. Albrecht Schöne: Preliminary remarks on Goethe's Faust poem. In: Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Faust. Comments. Deutscher Klassiker-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1999, p. 37 f.
  283. Exemplary: Michael Jaeger: Global Player Faust or The Disappearance of the Present. On Goethe's topicality. 2nd Edition. Siedler, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-937989-34-1 .
  284. Quoted from Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 99. See original: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Zum Schäkespears Tag, online at Wikisource .
  285. Otto Mann: History of the German Drama (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 296). Kröner, Stuttgart 1960, DNB 453202950 , p. 205.
  286. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 144.
  287. Albrecht Schöne: Preliminary remarks on Goethe's Faust poem. In: Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Faust. Comments. Deutscher Klassiker-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1999, p. 44.
  288. Otto Mann: History of the German Drama. Kröner, Stuttgart 1960, pp. 211 and 225.
  289. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 143,
  290. Joseph Bossi on Leonard's da Vinci Last Supper at Mayland . In: About art and antiquity . First volume, 3rd issue, March 1818.
  291. ^ Entry Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) . In: Andreas Beyer, Ernst Osterkamp (Ed.): Goethe Handbook . Supplements, Volume 3: Art . Metzler, Stuttgart 2011, pp. 509-511, here 510.
  292. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, pp. 7, 108.
  293. ^ Weimar Classic Foundation: Goethe-Schiller correspondence
  294. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 203.
  295. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 84 f.
  296. Volker Hesse: Auxiology and anatomy in Goethe: greater than the contemporaries. In: Deutsches Ärzteblatt. Volume 95, Issue 34-35, 1998, pp. A 2038 (B 1725, C 1621).
  297. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe. Artwork of life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 339.
  298. ^ Wilhelm Meister's years of wandering in the Gutenberg-DE project
  299. ^ 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: Ueber Goethe's scientific work ).
  300. Attempt to explain the metamorphosis of plants in the Gutenberg-DE project, ISBN 3-927795-32-1 .
  301. Klaus Seehafer: My life is a single adventure. Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Biography. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 1998, p. 180.
  302. Manfred Wenzel, Mihaela Zaharia: 1776, 1781–1788: Natural history contribution to Lavater's Physiognomic Fragments - attempt from the comparative theory of bones that the interbone of the upper jaw is common to humans with other animals - work on the intermaxillary bone - studies in Italy: evolution and Epigenesis. In: Manfred Wenzel (ed.): Goethe manual. Supplements. Volume 2: Natural Sciences. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2012, ISBN 978-3-476-01983-7 , pp. 10–18, here p. 11.
  303. ^ Rüdiger Safranski: Goethe - Artwork of Life. Biography. Hanser, Munich 2013, p. 299.
  304. ^ Karl Otto Conrady: Goethe. Life and work. New edition in one volume. Artemis & Winkler, Munich 1994, p. 841.
  305. Helga W. Kraft: Goethe's color theory and the fairy tale . Color Magic or Science? In: Monika Schausten (ed.): The colors of imagined worlds. On the cultural history of its coding in literature and art from the Middle Ages to the present. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-05-005081-2 , p. 92.
  306. ^ Johann Peter Eckermann: Conversations with Goethe. Text and comment. Deutscher Klassiker Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1999. TB edition 2011, ISBN 978-3-618-68050-5 .
  307. ^ Friedrich von Müller: Conversations with Goethe. CH Beck, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-406-08497-4 .
  308. Friedrich Wilhelm Riemer: Communications about Goethe. 2 volumes. 1841. Information about Goethe; published by Arthur Pollmer (1921) based on the edition from 1841 and the handwritten estate
  309. ^ Renate Grumach:  Müller, Friedrich von (Adel 1807). In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 18, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-428-00199-0 , pp. 375-377 ( digitized version ).
  310. ^ Goethe's conversations with Chancellor Friedrich von Müller. Published by CAH Burckhardt. Cotta, Stuttgart 1870 ( digitized version )
  311. The Song of Solomon. In the transfer of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe .
  312. ^ Intelligence Journal of the General. Literature newspaper num. 157 of October 9, 1805, page 1304 , accessed January 4, 2020.
  313. ^ Weimarisches Wochenblatt , number 2, February 6, 1816 ( online ).
  314. Eckhard Ullrich: Goethe and his orders .
  315. Gero von Wilpert : The 101 most important questions: Goethe. Beck, Munich 2007, p. 122.
  316. ^ Lutz D. Schmadel: Dictionary of Minor Planet Names. Fifth Revised and Enlarged Edition. 5., revised and enlarged edition. Berlin et al. 2003, p. 186.
  317. Steffi Böttiger: I have to stay in the invisible. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung April 7, 2018, p. 18.
  318. ^ 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.
  319. Nicholas Boyle: Goethe. The poet in his time . Volume I: 1749-1790. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 176.
  320. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany. Reception story of a classic. Volume I: 1773-1918. Beck, Munich 1980, p. 41.
  321. ^ Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 233.
  322. Wolfgang von Goethe, Maximen und Reflexionen: About literature and life. zeno.org (accessed January 20, 2015)
  323. ^ Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 233.
  324. ^ Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 237.
  325. Quoted from Dieter Borchmeyer: Goethe (1749–1832). In: Goethezeitportal. Listed on December 15, 2003.
  326. ^ Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 236.
  327. Heinrich Heine: Complete Works. Volume III : Writings on literature and politics I. With comments 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, p. 236 f.
  328. ^ Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 244.
  329. ^ Gerhard R. Kaiser: Mme de Staël "De l'Allemagne" and Goethe's reflections on "world literature". In: Goethe yearbook. Volume 128, 2011, p. 235.
  330. ^ 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.
  331. ^ Gerhard Hoffmeister: Reception in Germany and abroad. In: Lesley Sharpe (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, p. 232.
  332. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume I: 1773-1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 85.
  333. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume I: 1773-1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 88 f.
  334. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume I: 1773-1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, pp. 104 f., 110 ff.
  335. Referred to and quoted from Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume I: 1773-1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 170 f.
  336. From this extremely deep perspective, the laurel wreath that Goethe is holding in his right hand seems to frame his head.
  337. Wolfgang Leppmann: Goethe and the Germans. From the fame of a poet. Kohlhammer, 1962, p. 169 ff.
  338. Herman Grimm: Goethe. Lectures held at the Kgl. University of Berlin. First volume. Wilhelm Hertz, Berlin 1877, pp. 2 and 4.
  339. David Friedrich Strauss - Quoted from Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume I: 1773-1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 262.
  340. Constantin Bauer, Hans Martin Schultz (ed.): Raabe memorial book for the 90th birthday of the poet. Hermann Klemm, Berlin-Grunewald 1921, p. 139.
  341. Quoted from Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume I: 1773-1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 230.
  342. Quoted from Dieter Borchmeyer: "Poetry of the Future"? Goethe the over-German, in the picture of Nietzsche. In: Goethezeitportal , p. 1.
  343. Quoted from Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 9.
  344. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 11 f.
  345. Hermann Hesse : Thanks to Goethe. Reflections, reviews, letters. Insel, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-458-33950-7 , p. 118.
  346. Quoted from Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany. Reception story of a classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1989, p. 78.
  347. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany. Reception story of a classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1989, p. 81.
  348. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany. Reception story of a classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1989, pp. 190, 213 f.
  349. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany. Reception story of a classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1989, p. 135.
  350. The French Germanist Pierre Bertaux gave the impetus for Martin Walser's lecture Hölderlin (1970) and Peter Weiss' play Hölderlin (1971) with his book Hölderlin and the French Revolution (1969 ).
  351. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany. Reception story of a classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1989, p. 238 f.
  352. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany. Reception story of a classic. Volume II: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1989, p. 232.
  353. Wolfgang Leppmann: Goethe and the Germans. From the fame of a poet. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1962, p. 206.
  354. ^ Hugo von Hofmannsthal : Book of Friends. Edited by Ernst Zinn with references . Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1965, pp. 68 and 78.
  355. Hermann Hesse: Thanks to Goethe. Reflections, reviews, letters. Insel, Berlin 1999, p. 9.
  356. Thomas Bernhard: Goethe schtirbt. In: The time . March 19, 1982.
  357. Fanny Hensel: Job - An important, a beautiful work (PDF).
  358. 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.
  359. 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.
  360. Heinrich Arnold, Werner Köhler et al. (Ed.): The chemist Doebereiner and his minister Goethe - A reception study. In: Vitalprinzip Akademie. Festival of the Academy of Non-Profit Science in Erfurt for the 450th anniversary of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. Erfurt 2008, pp. 211–232. ( Secondary edition )
  361. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume 1: 1773-1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 187.
  362. 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.
  363. ^ Adventure of Reason: Goethe and the Natural Sciences around 1800
  364. Kristin Knebel, Gisela Maul, Thomas Schmuck (ed.): Adventure of reason. Goethe and the natural sciences around 1800.Sandstein , Dresden 2019, ISBN 978-3-95498-486-2 .
  365. ^ Entry Grimm, Herman. In: Walther Killy Literature Lexicon . Authors and works of German language. Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag. Digital Library, pp. 6.656-6.658 (Volume 4, p. 352).
  366. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume 1: 1773-1918. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 272.
  367. Georg Simmel: Goethe. Klinkhardt & Biermann, Leipzig 1913, pp. 157 and 161.
  368. Wolfgang Höppner: On the controversy surrounding Friedrich Gundolf's “Goethe”. '' In: Ralf Klausnitzer, Carlos Spoerhase (Ed.): '' Controversies in literary theory / literary theory in the controversy. '' Peter Lang, Bern 2007, ISBN 978- 3-03911-247-0 , pp. 186 and 195 f.
  369. Emil Staiger: Goethe. Volume I: 1749-1786. 5th edition. Artemis & Winkler, Zurich, p. 8.
  370. Staiger, Emil. In: Walther Killy Literature Lexicon . Authors and works of German language. Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag. Digital Library, p. 18.846 (Volume 11, p. 137).
  371. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume 2: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 172.
  372. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume 2: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 172 f.
  373. ^ Entry Friedenthal, Richard. In: Walther Killy: Literature Lexicon. Authors and works of German language. Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag. Digital Library, p. 5.510 (Volume 4, p. 16).
  374. Thomas Halbe: Goethe's greatness without legend. (Review) In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. dated October 3, 1963.
  375. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume 2: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 67.
  376. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume 2: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 177 f.
  377. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Goethe in Germany: Reception history of a classic. Volume 2: 1919-1982. CH Beck, Munich 1980, p. 272.
  378. ^ Hans-Christof Kraus : Review of Volume 1 in: Historische Zeitschrift . Volume 265, 1997, p. 790.
  379. Lorenz Jäger: The urbanized Olympian (review). In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. dated August 30, 2013.
  380. Dirk Appelbaum: The monument. Goethe and Schiller as a double statue in Weimar. Wasmuth, Tübingen 1993, ISBN 3-8030-0402-2 , p. 12 f.
  381. Goethe's drawings can be called up using the search term “Goethe” in the “Artist” field, images relating to Goethe using the search term “Goethe” in the “Subject” field.
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on March 7, 2015 in this version .