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Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  1,149 ratings  ·  33 reviews
"Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship" affords a distinct view of Goethe's matured genius, his manner of thought and favorite subjects -- more so, perhaps, than any of his other works. Nor is it Goethe alone whom it portrays; the prevailing taste of Germany of the day is likewise indicated by it. Since the year 1795, when it first appeared at Berlin, numerous editions of "Meis ...more
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Aegypan (first published 1795)
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Leah I think his book following in 1821 "Wilhelm Meister's Travels" is more personal and based on his life, the novel "Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship" is…moreI think his book following in 1821 "Wilhelm Meister's Travels" is more personal and based on his life, the novel "Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship" is just fiction. Although maybe some parts of his life influenced parts of the book.(less)
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K.D. Absolutely
Feb 15, 2013 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2012)
My second Goethe book. Not as melodramatic as his first book, The Sorrows of Young Werther (3 stars) but more comprehensive and seems more real. You see, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German novelist and since I have not been to Germany and my only idea of Germany are from the books that I've read particularly around WWII, I always find it interesting to read about this country during the 17th-19th centuries. Then what's the better way of knowing how the people in one country live ...more
Éponine
AVVERTENZA
Questa recensione è stata scritta tre anni fa, quando ho dovuto leggere per la scuola 'Wilhelm Meister, gli anni dell'apprendistato'. E' stata una lettura estiva un po' pesante e il mio commento non sarà dei più elogiativi, ma il mio scopo è solo fare dell'ironia e non criticare chi ama Goethe o quest'opera! ;)

Questo romanzo ha come protagonista Wilhelm, un giovane che potrebbe sembrare come tutti gli altri, se non fosse per la sua straordinaria capacità di iniziare un discorso e porta
...more
Þróndr
To which degree does Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, the prototypical Bildungsroman, speak to us today? Maybe first of all as a counterweight to the fragmented “postmodern condition”. Though I started reading this work mostly as a sort of historical document, I found that it has more to offer than just that. It’s a fairly easy read; I never quite got used to the stylized and archaic language though – and especially in those parts that focuses on the inner state of the protagonist. On the ot ...more
Bücherfresser
"… und endlich hatte ich es durch, Daily Soap lässt grüßen!"

Inhalt:
Die Geschichte handelt von den Lehrjahren des Wilhelm, der aus einem gutbürgerlichen Hause stammt und sich dennoch, trotz der Unbehage seines Vaters, immer weiter zu dem Theater hingezogen fühlt, obwohl man zu jener Zeit kaum damit um die Runden kommen konnte. Es gibt immer wieder Höhen und Tiefen in Wilhelms Leben und dies in allen Sparten des Lebens, denn weder bleibt er lange an einem Ort, noch bei dem gleichen Theater oder ei
...more
Anthony Land

Ben Jonson, observing that certain actors credited his rival, Shakespeare, with never blotting out a word of his writing, retorted "Would he had blotted out a thousand!" Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, from a modern perspective,would benefit from easily ten times that many deletions.

Clearly this is not a novel for current tastes, and prolixity is only one of its barriers to contemporary readership. Another is its somnambulistic pacing. Scenes run on interminably, fleshed out in more detail tha

...more
James
The bildungsroman is generally considered to have been created by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the 18th century with his novels Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship and The Sorrows of Young Werther. The main theme of this genre is seeing the protagonist mature from childhood into adulthood, and usually endure a series of challenges and obstacles along the way. The hero of Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship dreams of a life in the theatre, as exotic to him as space travel might seem to us. When an act ...more
Deanne
A book which deals with Wilhelm Meister growing from a young man to an adult, on the way he meets obstacles and trials. He falls in love and picks up with various characters, both noble and poor.
Some of the characters are there as merely background but there is a central core through the book. Some seem childish, constantly causing problems whilst others appear wise beyond their years and are the voices of reason. Mignon, an old soul in a young body, and one of the best characters of the book. M
...more
Esteban Gordon
Perhaps not the tightest ship of a novel, but certainly all its intellectual cannons were blasting the world to bits. Much in the same way as reading Balzac, Tolstoy, or Marx, one feels that he or she is spending a sliver of time in the mind of genius while journeying with Wilhelm. I was particularly attracted by Goethe's expressions of Eastern philosophy... especially in the Indenture. I felt as though I was reading Lao Tzu and could certainly see the inspiration Herr Hesse must have found in o ...more
Leah
Nur etwas für Theaterbegeisterte oder eingelesene Fans!

"Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre" hätte sich auch gut "Goethes Lobhymnen auf Shakespeare" nennen können, denn das Buch handelt die meiste Zeit von einer ausführlichen Analyse und Interpretation des Stückes Hamlet. Dabei trifft man auf Wilhelm, ein gefühlstrotteliges, verwöhntes Sensibelchen, nach dem der Roman benannt ist, das bald dem Elternhaus entflieht und sich einer Schauspieltruppe anschließt. Es folgen endlose, gestelzte Dialoge, Seiten üb
...more
Diabolika
Mi spiace Wolfgang, ma questo libro non è proprio degno di te.

Considerato il primo romanzo di formazione, presenta due insuperabili difetti. Il primo è che il personaggio non si forma, non cresce, non matura. Tutte le avventure e disavventure che Wilhelm vive lo lasciano immutato nella sua idiota serenità. Intraprendendo un lungo viaggio dovrebbe cercare sé stesso, ma non succede: Wilhelm non si pone mai una domanda, non entra mai in crisi (se non la “romantica” crisi iniziale), non cerca mai di
...more
Cosmic Arcata
This was a treasure. I loved this book as it relates to a secret society. The theater and puppets make a great metaphor for what is to come. If you like books that explore the idea of a secret society and rituals you will like this book.
Samuel Boer
Simply outstanding. Arthur Schopenhauer claimed that this was one of the greatest novels ever written, and he has a point. I highlighted many memorable passages from this book and filled it up with multicolored post-it notes so I could find the quotes at quick reference. Proof of Goethe's genius. Practically every page has something worth quoting, and the plot as a whole is masterfully constructed. Highly recommended for the artistic types out there!
Philip Lane
I found this rather confusing and didn't really understand what Wilhellm had actually learnt during his period of apprenticeship. He is rather sidetracked from business interests by an enthusiasm for the theatre and one actress in particular. He then takes to writing and eventually performing with a group of strolling players. He becomes enamoured of other women and Shakespeare and adopts a couple of waifs and strays. The ending leaves us without any real indication of his future course - will h ...more
Gustl
"Romanzo di formazione" per eccellenza, anche se il percorso formativo intrapreso dal giovane Wilhelm Meister e il conseguente risultato finale, non dipenderà esclusivamente da lui, ma da avvenimenti dettati e plasmati da una inquietante regia "occulta".
Candace
Usually when I want to give something 3.5 stars it's a holistic judgment -- I more than "liked" it, but I didn't quite "really like" it. Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship is a different story. Although it was generally a 3-star book, there were brief shining 4-star moments and characters! Unfortunately, Goethe and I apparently disagree about what constitutes a five-star rating, because the very characters and situations that intrigued me in the opening of the novel were those that Goethe's ending ...more
Erjon 7
a masterpiece novel!I mean all those intellectual words from those characters are just gold.A must read for everyone that cares for theirs education and inner growing.A book that you must have in your shelf.
kate
I would never recommend this to anyone, but having had to read it for class, I don't regret it. At times painfully earnest, at other times borderline hilarious... typical. Germans.

I have the Carlyle translation, which I think is supposed to be the best. The story's about the same in both, but the narration is more ornate and circuitous in the Carlyle, which is supposedly truer to the original (or so says my professor).
Cedric
Ein-Satz-Review

Ein verwöhnter Spiessersohn will Schauspieler werden, scheitert ständig, wird derweil ununterbrochen von einer skurrilen Bruderschaft beobachtet, von ihnen verarscht und findet am Ende, begleitet durch die stete Auflösung, dass jeder mit jedem verwandt gewesen sei, heraus, dass die grossen Probleme, in die er geraten ist, zu seinem grössten Wohl geschehen sein sollen.
Colin
Like most eighteenth-century novels, it takes a little while for this book to grow on you. when it does, you find yourself in the unenviable position of despising and taking a perverse interest in its protagonist. Basically the same sentiment you feel for Goethe's Werther, or Rousseau in his Confessions. Sometimes I wonder why I read these books
Craig
Pretty straightforward read. Known as the standard from which other works of the Bildungsroman type originate. Goethe's writing style is naturalistic and to the point. The plot does delve into some oddities or peculiar settings and occurences, but is pretty much vanilla through most of the novel.
Jacques le fataliste et son maître
Tutto il mondo e tutto Goethe concentrati in questo romanzo. Forse un po’ troppo per un povero lettore. Credo però che meriti lo sforzo: si potrebbe essere ripagati da una crescita personale parallela a quella messa in scena nell’opera!
Amanda
Enjoyable, but definitely seems to get off course as far as plot goes a couple of times. Also overly sentimental in portions which is a turn-off for me personally.
kate
Long, lacking art, needs editing. Not sure what, if anything Wilhelm actually learned at the end but his friends were all assholes.
Chris
The first 2/3 of the book wasn't too interesting. But it really picked up at the end. Might be better as a re-read.
Sam
Goethe, der alte Schwerenöter, hätte heutzutage ebenso gut das Skript für GZSZ verfassen können.
Melanie
The Bildungsroman to beat. Way more fun to read than I expected.
Luiz
a book with a lot of possibilities....I love Mignon!
Sternchen
geistreich und witzig.
eines der wichtigsten Bücher
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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 ...more
More about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe...
Faust: First Part The Sorrows of Young Werther Faust Elective Affinities Faust, Part Two

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“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.” 2682 likes
“I wish the stage were as narrow as the wire of a tighrope dancer so that no incompetent would dare step upon it.” 14 likes
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