Catherine's Reviews > The Sorrows of Young Werther

The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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's review
Apr 25, 08

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Read in April, 2008

When The Sorrows came out it got the reputation of having inspired a number of copy-cat suicides (not true), but I've wondered for awhile what I would find inspiring in it. Werther sees so much in people, in nature, but his obsession with feeling, his infatuation with the sublime, his complete impatience with the everyday is totally exhausting. You could say it's depressing, but what really makes it a tough read is the sensitivity of Goethe's feeling for the soul state of someone working himself into a dangerous mental frenzy. I can't imagine writing such a thing. Just to read it in small doses is more than enough time spent in and around such thoughts.

But surely a worthy investigation, and full of tempting insights.
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