Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (, 28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German writer, artist, and politician. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, and over 10,000 letters written by him are extant, as are nearly 3,000 drawings.

A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Carl August in 1782 after first taking up residence there in November of 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement, named for a play by his childhood friend Friedrich Maximilian Klinger. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe served as a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, and implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena. He also contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace, which in 1998 were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After returning from a tour of Italy in 1788, Goethe published his first major work of a scientific nature, the Metamorphosis of Plants. In 1791 he was charged with managing the theatre at Weimar, and in 1794 he began a friendship with the dramatist, historian, and philosopher Friedrich Schiller, whose plays he premiered until Schiller's death in 1805. During this period Goethe published his second novel, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, the verse epic Hermann and Dorothea, and, in 1808, the first part of his most celebrated drama, Faust. His conversations and various common undertakings throughout the 1790s with Schiller, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Johann Gottfried Herder, Alexander von Humboldt, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and August and Friedrich Schlegel have, in later years, been collectively termed Weimar Classicism.

Arthur Schopenhauer cited Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship as one of the four greatest novels ever written and Ralph Waldo Emerson selected Goethe, along with Plato, Napoleon, and William Shakespeare, as one of six "representative men" in his work of the same name. Goethe's comments and observations form the basis of several biographical works, most notably Johann Peter Eckermann's Conversations with Goethe. There are frequent references to Goethe's various sayings and maxims throughout the course of Friedrich Nietzsche's work and there are numerous allusions to Goethe in the novels of Hermann Hesse and Thomas Mann. Goethe's poems were set to music throughout the nineteenth century by a number of composers, including Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Hugo Wolf, and Gustav Mahler.

Read more about Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe:  Literary Work, Scientific Work, Eroticism, Religion and Politics, Influence

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... Book XI of his autobiography, Dichtung und Wahrheit ("Poetry and Truth"), Goethe wrote, almost in passing ...
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... Goethe had a great effect on the nineteenth century ... Goethe embodied many of the contending strands in art over the next century his work could be lushly emotional, and rigorously formal, brief and ... Goethe was also a cultural force, who argued that the organic nature of the land moulded the people and their customs—an argument that has recurred ever since ...

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    Neither a work of nature nor one of art we get to know when they have been finished; we must surprise them in the process of being created so as to understand them to some degree.
    —Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749–1832)

    Everything in science depends on what one calls an aperçu, on becoming aware of what is at the bottom of the phenomena. Such becoming aware is infinitely fertile.
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749–1832)

    Microscopes and telescopes really confuse our minds.
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749–1832)

    You can put up with everything in this world except not with a long stretch of beautiful days.
    —Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749–1832)

    When young one is confident to be able to build palaces for mankind, but when the time comes one has one’s hands full just to be able to remove their trash.
    —Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749–1832)

    National literature does not mean much these days; now is the age of world literature, and every one must contribute to hasten the arrival of that age.
    —Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749–1832)

    Our modern wars make many unhappy while they last and make no one happy when they are finished.
    —Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749–1832)