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Thread: How widely read is he?

  1. #1
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    How widely read is he?

    There was a time when Goethe was widely read, both in the German-speaking lands and also much further afield, too. For quite a long time (c. 1775- 1850 or longer) he was even a 'cult-figure' for many. He probably did more than anyone else to put German literature on the international map, so to speak.

    Has Goethe simply sunk to the status of a 'great name' in World Literature that nobody reads any more?

    It occurs to me that it may be of some significance that this seems to be the very first post on him.

    I'd be interested to hear if people have read any of his works and if so, what?

  2. #2
    Registered User Themis's Avatar
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    Goethe's works (the three most important are of course "Faust" (I and II) and "Urfaust" as well as "Die Leiden des jungen Werther")have to be read in Austrian schools. Some ignore the "Urfaust" because it's usually read in the last year at school and time's not something pupils have plenty of, then.

    Personally I also read Goethe's "Stella", "Götz von Berlichingen", "Iphigenie auf Tauris" and some of his poems.
    “I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”- Robert McCloskey

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    Many thanks for your response, Themis. I imagine that the some parts of "Faust II" are rather difficult at school.

  4. #4

    Goethe's Faust

    Hello,
    I happened to just started reading Faust. I'm enjoying it so far. I've read Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe so I thought I'd give the German Goethe a try. I enjoy reading German literature. Maybe if I have questions some one can answer them if they happen to recall certain parts of the book. I'm glad I found this forum.

  5. #5
    the pongest onions ever onions's Avatar
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    Goethe is wonderful! Always loved him as no one else. His Verter still remains my idol of lover. His "Faust" ...but let me talk about him in my theme.
    It is really interesting, how he , a great genius got married with a simple usual girl Khristiana who even did not understand him. Surely she didn't! But that once again shows his correct understanding of REAL things and right way of love and living the life.
    It seems to be onions become an occurance.

    A total nonsense. Why are you thinking?

  6. #6
    freaky geeky emily655321's Avatar
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    I read "Young Werther" (English translation) for my college course in Romantic Literature. I put it off until the last minute, then read the entire thing in one very long, sleepless night in the school library. I thought it was very good, and so I mean to read "Faust" sometime.

    *SPOILER! LOOK AWAY NOW*



    I thought Goethe painted an excellent picture of the "real" romantic anti-hero; Werther's death was ugly, humiliating, and needless—sharp contrast to the popular romantic notion of the "noble" suicide of a tortured soul. The end of the book was like waking up from a dream, to find that the music you imagined while asleep was actually the fire alarm going off. It was quite insightful, I thought.
    Last edited by emily655321; 02-17-2006 at 07:05 PM.
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    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    Thanks, Emily for the Spoiler warning - I ami planning on reading Young Werther soon (if that's what you were spoiling) and don't want much ruined about it.

    I started my studying Romatnic lit this year, and of course Goethe came across. I have read several of his poems and letters - I am going to read Faust as soon as I can find an edition I think will be good (any suggestions?)
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  8. #8
    I have started to read "Die Leiden des jungen Werther" , and I think its one of the worst books I've ever started to read , but on the other hand I read " Faust " and I think its one of the best books ever . I got different opinions about Goethe , but I will give Werther a second chance , so I 've signed me on this site www.the-sorrows-of-young-werther.com ( the same in German www.die-leiden-des-jungen-werther.de ) .
    " Apres nous le deluge "
    Madame Pompadour

    Das Publikum verwechselt leicht den, welcher im Trüben fischt, mit dem , welcher aus der Tiefe schöpft.
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  9. #9
    Registered User Gibran's Avatar
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    Hi,
    Goethe is read by very small group of people in China now, but it was quite popular in 1980's.

  10. #10
    dreamer genoveva's Avatar
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    I just picked up a book of his selected poetry translated by David Luke. I'm very excited to read it especially because I have only read excerpts of his stuff. I don't think I've read any of his completed pieces- not even Faust!

    Here's a nice epigram:

    "Whom shall you trust, honest friend? Let me tell you, for I know the answer:
    Trust life itself; it knows more than any teacher or book."

    and a poem:

    "Unbounded

    That you can never end, that makes you great,
    And to have no beginning is your fate.
    Your circling song is like the vault of stars,
    Its end is its beginning, and what was
    Before all things and after all shall be
    Moves in the midst of all for all to see.

    From you, true poet, fountain of delight,
    Wave upon wave flows, countless, infinite:
    Your lips for ever poised to kiss,
    Your soul outstreaming its sweet note,
    Your loving heart outpoured, your throat
    Thirsty for wine's deep mysteries.

    Let the world perish, Hafiz, so
    I vie with you, only with you!
    Let us be twin-born brothers, two
    That share our joy and share our woe!
    To love and drink as you would do:
    This is my pride and my life too.

    Now, song, with your own fire speak bolder,
    For you are newer, you are older."
    "I have so often dreamed of you that you become unreal." ~ Robert Desnos

  11. #11
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    hi!
    in germany we have to read faust at scholl. it is still very important and has to be read.
    90% der deutschen redewendungen stammen aus dem faust!!!!!

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    I never really liked him but I had to read few of his books:

    - Faust, both
    - Die Wahlverwandtschaften (The Affinities ? )
    - Werther
    - Wilhelm Meisters...

    he's early works are too much Sturm und Drang for my taste, the later ones too dry and boring. Even Faust-that stuff kills the joy of reading

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    And of course some poetry. Acctually that went much better. I like his style there.

  14. #14
    Registered User TEND's Avatar
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    Ahh, I'm halfway through Faust and absolutely in love with Goethe. He has such an eloquent and beautiful writing style, I get butterflies in my stomach everytime I read. Can anyone recommend some other works of Goethe worth reading?
    "Americans should know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls."
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    They have their worries, they’re counting the miles, they’re thinking about where to sleep tonight, how much money for gas, the weather, how they’ll get there—and all the time they’ll get there anyway, you see.
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  15. #15
    Ataraxia bazarov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEND
    Ahh, I'm halfway through Faust and absolutely in love with Goethe. He has such an eloquent and beautiful writing style, I get butterflies in my stomach everytime I read. Can anyone recommend some other works of Goethe worth reading?
    "Young Werther" is an excellent book.
    At thunder and tempest, At the world's coldheartedness,
    During times of heavy loss And when you're sad
    The greatest art on earth Is to seem uncomplicatedly gay.

    To get things clear, they have to firstly be very unclear. But if you get them too quickly, you probably got them wrong.
    If you need me urgent, send me a PM

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