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One of the towering figures of world literature, Goethe has never held quite as prominent a place in the English-speaking world as he deserves. This collection of his four major works, together with a selection of his finest letters and poems, shows that he is not only one of the very greatest European writers: he is also accessible, entertaining, and contemporary.
The Sorr ...more
The Sorr ...more
Hardcover, 1180 pages
Published May 30th 2000 by Everyman's Library
(first published September 23rd 1999)
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My Goodness, but Werther is an annoying little twit. I read this in a half-assed way in college, and it popped up in my consciousness again when I was reading about the Romantic period in literature. Apparently, this book made a huge splash when it was published and translated into English and French, etc. Young men across the continent developed 'Werther fever', developed obsessive feelings about the book, dressed like the main character, even duplicated his actions in the book to the point of ...more
I actually feel guilty for not liking this volume more. It was all right. When Russian writers mention Werther, I know what they mean. Faust actually had me in stitches near the start (and they call some of these other writers sexist?? Read the poodle bit.) but it turned trippy towards the middle, and meandered more than I liked. The Travels simply did not appeal to me in the least; I was bored to the point of skipping ahead, something I almost never do. One gem, in the poems at the back of my c ...more
Just regarding Werther, the four or five pages of Ossian translations were a trial, undermining the climax with which they were intertwined, but the conclusion was very strong--vivid, hold-no-punches kind of stuff given the time period--and you can readily see how it prefigures Romanticism in general.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer. George Eliot called him "Germany's greatest man of letters... and the last true polymath to walk the earth." Goethe's works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, theology, humanism, and science. Goethe's magnum opus, lauded as one of the peaks of world literature, is the two-part drama Faust. Goethe's other well-known literary works include h ...moreMore about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe...