Elective Affinities Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
Elective Affinities Elective Affinities by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
7,038 ratings, 3.73 average rating, 352 reviews
Open Preview
Elective Affinities Quotes Showing 1-30 of 30
Niemand ist mehr Sklave, als der sich für frei hält, ohne es zu sein.

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free”
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“There is nothing in which people more betray their character than in what they find to laugh at.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“We lay aside letters never to read them again, and at last destroy them out of discretion, and so disappears the most beautiful, the most immediate breath of life, irrecoverably for ourselves and for others.”
Johann Goethe, Elective Affinities
“Artists and artisans both demonstrate with perfect clarity that a person is least able to appropriate for himself those things which are most peculiarly his. His works leave him as birds do the best in which they were hatched.

In this respect an architect's fate is the strangest of all. How often he employs his whole intellect and warmth of feeling in the creation of rooms from which he must exclude himself. Royal halls owe their splendor to him, and he may not share in the enjoyment of their finest effects. In temples he draws the line between himself and the holy of holies; the steps he built to ceremonies that lift up the heady, he may no longer climb; just as the goldsmith worships only from afar the monstrance which he wrought in the fire and set with jewels. With the keys of the palace the architect hands over all it's comforts to the wealthy man, and has not the least part in them. Surely in this way art must little by little grow away from the artist, if the work, like a child provided for, no longer teaches back to touch its father.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“But there are times," said Charlotte, "when it is necessary and an act of friendship to write nothing rather than not to write.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“Fortunately a human being can comprehend only a certain degree of unhappiness; anything beyond it destroys him or leaves him cold. There are situations in which fear and hope become one and the same, cancel one another out, and lose themselves in a dark insensateness. How else could we know the people we love best to be in continual danger and yet go on with our daily lives as usual?”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
tags: fear, life, love
“Even people who are entirely strange and indifferent to one another will exchange confidences if they live together for a while, and a certain intimacy is bound to develop.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“Oh, I envy you!" he cried. "You are still nourished by yesterday's alms, but yesterday's happiness no longer nourishes me.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“It is such an agreeable feeling to be busy with something one is only half-competent to do that nobody should criticize the dilettante for taking up an art he will never learn, or blame the artist who leaves the territory of his own art for the pleasure of trying himself in a neighbouring one.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“We would not say very much in company if we realized how often we misunderstand what others say.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“No one can walk beneath palm trees with impunity, and ideas are sure to change in a land where elephants and tigers are at home.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
tags: tigers
“Few people are capable of concerning themselves with the most recent past. Either the present holds us violently captive, or we lose ourselves in the distant past and strive with might and main to recall and restore what is irrevocably lost.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“O viață fără iubire, fără vecinătatea celui iubit nu e decât o comédie à tiroirs, o proastă comedie cu sertărașe. Le tragi afară unul după altul și le împingi iarăși la loc, trecând în grabă la celălalt. Tot ce se petrece, fie chiar bun și însemnat, abia dacă se înlănțuie. Trebuie pretutindeni s-o iei de la început și ai vrea pretutindeni să termini.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“So all in their different fashions pursued their daily lives, thoughtfully or not; everything seemed to be following is usual course, as is the way in monstrously strange circumstances when everything is at stake: we go on with our lives as though nothing were the matter.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
tags: life
“We are never content with portraits of people we know. For that reason I have always felt sorry for portrait painters. We rarely ask the impossible of anyone, but of them we do. They are required to get everybody's relationship with the subject, everybody's affection or dislike, into the picture; and not merely represent their own view of a person but what everybody else's might be too.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“How many new discoveries does not a person make when on some high point he ascends but a single story higher.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities [Illustrated]
“Schönheit ist überall ein gar willkommener Gast.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“He remarked as much to Charlotte on his return, and she was inclined to agree with him. 'As life draws us along,' she replied, 'we think we are acting of our own volition, ourselves choosing what we shall do and what we shall enjoy; but when we look more closely we see they are only the intentions and inclinations of the age which we are being compelled to comply with.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“And thus the lovers lie side by side. Peace hovers about their abode, smiling angelic figures (with whom too they have affinity) look down upon them from the vault above, and what a happy moment it will be when one day they awaken again together.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“Wir haben nicht verschuldet, unglücklich zu werden; aber auch nicht verdient, zusammen glücklich zu sein.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe: Die Wahlverwandtschaften. Erläuterungen und Dokumente.
“He no longer derives any pleasure from the work: he wants everything finished now, at once. And for whom? The paths are to be levelled so that Ottilie can walk in comfort, the seats in place so that Ottilie can rest. On the new pavilion too he does what work he can: it is to be got ready for Ottilie's birthday. Eduard's intentions are, like his actions, no longer ruled by moderation. The consciousness of loving and of being loved drives him beyond all bounds. His rooms, his surroundings have all changed, they all look different. He no longer knows his own house. Ottilie's presence consumes everything: he is utterly lost in her, he thinks of nothing else but only her, the voice of conscience no longer reaches him; everything in his nature that had been restrained, held back, now bursts forth, his whole being flows out towards Ottilie.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“Very often, when she had shut herself in her room for the night, Ottilie would kneel in front of the open chest and look at her birthday presents. She had touched none of them. Very often she would hurry out of the house at daybreak, out of the place where she had formerly found all her happiness, into the open, into the country which had formerly had no attraction for her. She would even want to get off the land itself, she would leap into the boat and row to the middle of the great lake, and there she would take out a travel-book and let herself be rocked by the waves and read and dream herself into a far country; and there she would always discover her friend, he would tell her she had always been close to his heart, she would tell him he had always been close to hers.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“She could not help recalling the bustling which had attended Eduard's celebration of her own birthday, she could not help thinking of the newly erected pavilion under whose roof they had promised themselves so much pleasure. The fireworks exploded again before her eyes and in her ears; the lonelier she was, the more she lived in imagination; yet the more she lived in imagination, the more alone she felt. She leaned upon his arm no more, and had no hope of ever being able to lean on it again.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“The year is dying. The wind blows across the stubble and finds there is nothing left for it to shake. Only the red berries on their slender trees still seem to want to remind us of something merrier and the beat of the thresher awakens in us the thought of how much life and nourishment lies hidden in the cut-down ear of corn.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“Există, fără îndoială, și pe uscat naufragii.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“Am comis amândoi o nebunie, de care îmi dau seama prea bine. Acela care, la o anumită vârstă, vrea să realizeze vechi dorințe și speranțe din tinerețe, se înșală totdeauna, căci fiecare deceniu al omului își are fericirea proprie, speranțele și perspectivele proprii. Vai de omul pe care împrejurările sau iluziile îl fac să anticipeze sau să se întoarcă la trecut. Am comis o nebunie; trebuie ea oare prelungită pe toată viața?”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“E s'abituava a disfarsi di tutto, per non aver più niente da perdere.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities
“Amiamo tanto guardare al futuro perché desideriamo volgere a nostro favore, con desideri silenziosi, l'incertezza che in esso si muove.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities