Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Category: Philosophy
Preliminary note The outstanding feature of the remarkable "Conversations with Eckermann" is this, that the compilation furnishes an altogether unique record of the working of Goethe's mature mind. For Goethe's age at the period when the "Conversations" begin is seventy-three, and eighty-two when they end. John Peter Eckermann published his work in 1836. In 1848 appeared an additional portion. Eckermann, born at Winsen, in Hanover, was the son of a woollen draper. He received an excellent education, and studied art, under Ramber, in Hanover, but soon became enamoured of poetry through the influence of K├Ârner and of Goethe. He became ...
Category: Arts & Literature
Preliminary note The correspondence of Goethe with his friends, especially his voluminous letters to his friend Zelter, will always be resorted to by readers who wish for intimate knowledge of the innermost processes of the great poet's mind. Zelter was himself an extraordinary man. By trade he was a stonemason, but he became a skilled musical amateur, and a most versatile and entertaining critic. To him fell the remarkable distinction of becoming the tutor of that musical genius, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, while he also acquired the glory of being "the restorer of Bach to the Germans." Like Eckermann, the other ...
Category: Arts & Literature
Preliminary note As "Werther" and "Wilhelm Meister" belong to the earlier and to the middle periods of Goethe's literary activity, so the following selections fall naturally into the last division of his life. The death of Schiller in 1805 had given a blow to his affections which even his warm relationship with other friends could not replace, and hereafter he begins to concentrate more and more upon himself to the completion of those works which he had had in mind and preparation through so many years, the greatest of which was to be the "Faust." In "Poetry and Truth from ...