Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Lotte in Weimar: The Beloved Returns” as Want to Read:
Lotte in Weimar: The Beloved Returns
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Lotte in Weimar: The Beloved Returns

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  653 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Forty years after their youthful association, Lotte Kestner, real-life heroine of Goethe's famous novel The Sorrows of Werther, makes a pilgrimage to Weimer to see Goethe. Upon her arrival, Lotte, to her surprise, is greeted as a celebrity and taken up into Goethe's set.

Thomas Mann, fascinated with the concept of genius and with the richness of German culture, found in Joh
Paperback, 475 pages
Published November 12th 1990 by University of California Press (first published 1939)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Lotte in Weimar, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Lotte in Weimar

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jonathan Ashleigh
Apr 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: recent
Because of my infatuation with The Sorrows of Young Werther, I had high hopes for this fictitious depiction of historical possibilities. But it was long-winded and I can’t imagine how anyone could have stayed interested. The Sorrows of Young Mike is a much better option if you are looking to read deeper into something that pertains to Werther.
Andrei Tamaş
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mă obişnuisem cu "volubilitatea aristocratică" a lui Mann după Muntele vrăjit şi după Doctor Faustus, adevărate capodopere ale literaturii universale. Naraţiunii din Lotte la Weimar îi lipseşte însă acel ceva care contrasta sobrietatea aproape ştiinţifică din cele două opere mai sus amintite: patosul. Dacă în Muntele vrăjit dialectica dintre iezuitul Leo Naphta şi progresistul Ludovico Settembrini scuză orice neajuns ce i s-ar fi putut reproşa romanului şi dacă în Doctor Faustus mediul obscur an ...more
Bogdan Raț
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, particulary to Goethe's fans
The first characteristic of this book wich you will remark is its refinement, a refinement wich made Thomas Mann famous with Buddenbrooks, but to a whole new level this time (no wonder since there are 38 years between these two beautiful works): it's more than charming. The society back then was charming: elegance, manners, language, everything...

After a while, and you'd be right to believe so, you would have the impression that this will only turn out to be an afternoon full of "conversations",
Scott Robinson
Jan 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Only a novelist as self-possessed as Mann could adequately tackle the monumental subject of Goethe. Indeed it seems that, with a work as unique in style as this, Mann was attempting to make yet another stride toward the same vast stylistic breadth as Goethe's own oeuvre of verse.

The premise is so simple, yet the philosophic scope so wide and rich. Whether such a reunion between Goethe and the inspiration for his The Sorrows of Young Werther ever occurred or not, the reader will insist: "This is
William Dearth
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: germanic
This is a very special book. If you are an admirer of both Thomas Mann and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, arguably the greatest literary giant in German history, you will capture rare insight of both men.

The only problem with the book is that as a prerequisite, one certainly must be familiar with Goethe's "The Sorrows of Young Werther" for this book to really be appreciated. Mann's conception and writing is first rate as always. One could probably enjoy reading this without knowledge of Werther, bu
Alexa Stark
Apr 27, 2015 added it
Shelves: unfinished
არ ვიცი შეიძლება სხვისთვის საინტერესოა მაგრამ ....
გაგრძელება არ შემეძლო უბრალოდ.
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sehr schön konstruiert und ausgesprochen amüsant (vor allem, wenn man Goethe nicht besonders mag...). Thomas Mann führt den Goethe-Kult und die überspannten Romatiker vor und zeichnet dabei ein interessantes Bild der Zeit. Besonders gefallen hat mir, wie er in Lottes Persönlichkeit ihre Existenz als "Werther's Lotte" und als bodenständige Frau mit einem individuellen, vom literarischen Kult der auf ihr basierten Figur losgelösten Ehe- und Familienleben verbindet. Die Charaktere des Romans bleibe ...more
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it
A bit tedious at times but mostly because I felt like I should know more about some of the characters prior to this reading. I'm not smart enough or informed enough for this book as real life people are mentioned like I should know their personal biographies. I'm sure if I knew more about Goethe, and his circle, this story would have been interesting on many more levels than it was for me. But, none the less, I found it interesting on the surface levels that I could embrace. The basis of the sto ...more
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Well I read it in Japanese translation. One of two books I read in 2010 over which I lingered the longest(the other being Schild's Ladder by Greg Egan). Its audacity of structure, depth and breadth of knowledge on Goethe, and gentle sense of irony were all eye-opening. I mean who else, writing on Goethe, has the guts to show the great man get so aroused by his own fantasies that he starts to masterbate(this, if my interpretation of the scene is correct in the translation). Such a rewarding book ...more
Cooper Renner
Less a novel than a work of social and literary criticism in the guise of fiction, this is a masterly work, but not a masterpiece like Magic Mountain. Much of the book resembles a Platonic dialogue, though there is often less dialogue as such than long expositions and narrative by one character told to another who mostly listens. The "incident" around which the novel revolves is the visit of "Lotte" of "Sorrows of Young Werther" to Weimar where the book's author Goethe has long lived.
Jacques le fataliste et son maître
Un capolavoro di ironia, questo ritratto della società e in particolare dell’intellettualità che si raccoglie attorno al vecchio Goethe come attorno a un monumento nazionale.
Coraggioso e affascinante il capitolo in cui Mann ci conduce all’inseguimento dei pensieri di Goethe, mettendoli in scena in un monologo interiore (o pseudo tale).
Ioana Crețu
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
„Realitatea e o operă a renunțării.”
Steve Gordon
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
"There it is, the faith of our youth; we never, at bottom, relinquish it; never, however old we grow, do we tire of reconfirming its truth, of reassuring ourselves that we are still the same, that growing old is but a physical, outward phenomenon and naught can avail to alter that innermost, foolish self of ours which we have carried about so long."
If you are a big Werther fan, then this will delight you. I enjoyed the straight forward storytelling of Lotte's arrival more than Goethe's stream of
Harm ten Napel
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Het ontbreekt me aan tijd en waarschijnlijk ook kwalificaties voor een uitgebreide kritiek, daarom opteer ik voor een veilige maximum score van vijf sterren, waarin toch ook weer een zekere lafheid doorschemert.
Sandra Matteotti
Besuch bei Goethe

"Mit der ordinären Post von Gotha trafen an diesem Tage, morgens kurz nach 8 Uhr, drei Frauenzimmer vor dem renommierten Hause am Markte ein, denen auf den ersten Blick – und auch auf den zweiten noch – nichts Sonderliches anzumerken gewesen war."

Bei den drei Frauenzimmern handelt es sich um Charlotte Kestner samt Tochter und Zofe. Unter dem Vorwand, ihre Schwester besuchen zu wollen, ist die in die Jahre gekommene Lotte nach Weimar gereist und lässt sich im Gasthof „Zum Elepha
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
long, hard to read sometimes, but rewarding. Not essential TM, but worth reading.
Mar 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Thomas Mann admired Goethe tremendously, wrote essays about him and gave lectures on this author. It is safe to say that Mann was fascinated by the author. This novel portrays Goethe as a difficult, irritating, selfish aging man who is devoted primarily to his own special interests and pursuits. The psychology of a man like this is plumbed with the acuity of the great writer that Mann was by the late nineteen-thirties. The character of Goethe is delineated through the perspectives of Lotte, Goet ...more
Peter Jakobs
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the very best books I ever read! Except of the final chapter it describes one day in Weimar when Charlotte Kestner, born Buff, arrived in Weimar to visit her sister - but actually to meet Goethe first time after 44 years when they had a unfulfilled love. Not any love - but the one which inspired Goethe to write his most famos novel: "Die Leiden des jungen Werther".
Beside this aspect there are a lot of statements in Goethe's thoughts which seem to be more Thomas Mann's own thoughts about a
Pedro Casserly
Carlota es una señora madura que ha alcanzado una fama equívoca; en su juventud inspiró a Goethe el personaje de la amada, en la novela El joven Werther. Después de muchos años vuelve a Weimar, donde vive el Maestro, y donde contra su voluntad es reverenciada; todos están pendientes de un reencuentro con el escritor. La novela se desarrolla a través de larguísimos monólogos, llenos de circunloquios y cortesías protocolares, que hace muy ardua la lectura de una historia que podría haber sido inte ...more
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Continuation of Goethe's Werther. As Goethe is processing the impossibility of his young love in his "Die Leiden des jungen Werther", this book is to be understood as the second part of the story some decades of life later. Outstanding reproduction of the mood of a time, full of carricatures in many levels. Even the longish and procedural mood, obsessed of details is reproduced from classicism very precise. ;) Nevertheless (and therefore): an excellent writing.
khatia nebulishvili
Aug 11, 2014 rated it liked it
„არა აქვს მნიშვენელობა, გიყვართ ან მოგწონთ თუ არა თომას მანი (თუმცა წარმოუდგენელია არ მოგწონდეთ,) მაგრამ შეუძლებელია ყველაზე კრიტიკულად განწყობილმა ადამიანმაც არ აღიაროს: როდესაც მი წიგნს კითხულობ, გჯერა, რომ ავტორმა ყველაფერი იცის- ყველა პერსონაჟის სხეულში ზის, ყველას გონებით ფიქრობს და ყველა მათგანის განცდასაც თავადაც განიცდის. ეს იმდენად ცხადია, რომ შიშიც გიპყრობს კითხვისას“
მაქს ფრიში
ტოჩნა რა!
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have yet to tackle Goethe full-on, but have always enjoyed Mann so picked it off the library shelf when I saw it. What really came through for me was the intricate portrayals of Lotte and Goethe, particularly that of an ageing lady still with a foot in her past glories -- far more sympathetic and real than Goethe. I'll need to come back to it again after more familiarity with Goethe's works.
Nov 24, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Verhaal van de Hofrätin Charlotte Kestner, geboren Buff, die op oudere leeftijd terugkeert naar Weimar. Door de butler Mager van het hotel waar ze verblijft wordt ze herkend als Lotte uit de Werther van Goethe. Wat volgt is een stoet van personen die haar willen zien en hun adoratie én beklag over Goethe bij haar komen doen. Saaie lectuur, echt voor Goethe-liefhebbers
Absolutely boring. I was the only one in my class who read it until the end. The others only read the first chapter and then based their homework on interpretations they borrowed from the local library or older students.
Cevat Sucu
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
(For the Turkish version, Can Yayinlari) Kitabın konusu dikkat çekici olmasına rağmen, anlatımda çok fazla tıkanıklık olması kitabı okurken neredeyse acı çekmenize neden olabiliyor.
Jan Langer
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Pretty boring
Posea Ioana
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Janis Williams
Picked And now there is a movie about Goethe and Lotte, but I still don't care...
May 19, 2013 added it
I could not read this book at this moment in time. I loved Magic Mountain so much and I guess I was expecting something similar. Will save this and try again.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I like to read this book
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Death in Rome
  • Das siebte Kreuz
  • Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
  • Der Untertan
  • The Guiltless
  • Cassandra: A Novel and Four Essays
  • Deutschland, ein Wintermärchen
  • Simplicissimus
  • Holderlin, Kleist, and Nietzsche: The Struggle with the Daemon
  • The Last World
  • The Lord Chandos Letter: And Other Writings
  • Irisches Tagebuch
  • Lenz
  • Little Man, What Now?
  • The Marquise of O— and Other Stories
  • Bluebeard
  • The Artificial Silk Girl
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intel
More about Thomas Mann...

Share This Book

“[Men] act in response to an outward situation, and on being presented with an opportunity to conform to a pattern. If the pattern gives licence to cruelty, so much the better. They take advantage of the licence so thoughtlessly, so thoroughly, that it becomes perfectly clear: the generality of mankind are only waiting for the chance, only waiting for outward circumstance to sanction brutality and allow them to be cruel and brutal to their heart's content.” 1 likes
“Когда прошлое и настоящее сливаются воедино, к чему издавна тяготела моя жизнь, настоящее облекается в тайну. В стихах это приобретает большую прелесть, в действительности же часто нас тревожит.” 0 likes
More quotes…