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Autobiography of Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Book Overview: 

Johann Goethe was a literary celebrity by the age of 25 and 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 lived in Germany from 1749-1832. This period corresponds to the same time as the Seven Years' War, and the French and American Revolutions (1754-1815). Goethe was a member of the Sturm und Drang literary movement. This group of writers believed that literature should shock the audience in order to produce extreme emotions as a counterbalance to the rationalist movement which promoted detachment in the sciences. This is the first part of his autobiography, which he called Truth and Fiction or Truth and Poetry depending on the translator. Goethe wrote poems, such as, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, as well as plays, novels and some scientific works. He wrote the play Faust. He was an Anti-Enlightenment writer. Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) assisted with the 1839 English translation of Johann Peter Eckermann's Conversations with Goethe in the Last Years of his Life.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I clearly saw in those three ladies the sylphides of my dream, and recognized the colors of the apples, I conceived that I had no cause to detain them. I should have liked better to lay hold of the pretty little maiden if I had not but too well remembered the blow she had given me in my dream. Hitherto she had remained quite quiet with her mandolin; but, when her mistresses had ceased, they commanded her to perform some pleasant little piece. Scarcely had she jingled off some dance-tune, in a most exciting manner, than she sprang up: I did the same. She played and danced; I was hurried on to accompany her steps; and we executed a kind of little ballet, with which the ladies seemed satisfied; for, as soon as we had done, they commanded the little girl to refresh me with something nice till supper should come in. I had indeed forgotten that there was any thing in the world beyond this paradise. Alerte led me back immediately into the passage by which I had entered. On one s. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is a very honest person trying to make sense of the world and the sometimes impressive nature and really thinking about it (loves to write).

رغم ميلي إلى السيرة الذاتية , كانت لي تجربة مختلفة مع هذا الكتاب , فلم يكن الكاتب يسرد وقائع حياته بشكل فارغ , بل كان يحرص على ان تحمل كل واقعة مما اختاره لنا , معنى ..
المعنى , حيث نفقده في كثير من الأعمال , عندما تتكرر الأحداث في روتين إنساني خانق .. يختفي .. بعكس هنا .

Libro inmenso, pero al mismo tiempo difícil. No porque sea de lenguaje complicado, sino por su minuciosidad, la importancia que da a las pequeñas cosas. En cierto modo me recuerda a El Mundo de Ayer, de Zweig

Maravillosa autobiografía.
Me encantó conocer la infancia y adolescencia de este grandioso escritor, poeta y científico alemán.
Pasear con él por Frankfurt, Leipzig, Estrasburgo, Weimar y otros lugares y ciudades fue interesante.
Me encanta recorrer otras épocas a través de personajes que han dejado h

Okay, den dritten Stern gibt es aus Respekt für unseren größten Dichter und Denker. Denn eigentlich ist das hier ebenso weitschweifig wie fade. Und das liegt nicht nur daran, dass man seinerzeit etwas mehr zum Fabulieren neigte. Verglichen mit den Memoiren Casanovas ist der mangelnde Witz und die Un

Die erste Hälfte fand ich sehr spannend und inspirierend. Goethes Leben ist Beispiel und Vorbild, etwas, woran man sich hochziehen kann, selbst, wenn man eine etwas andere Stoßrichtung hat.

Da ich noch mit keiner Biographie über Goethe vertraut bin, vermag ich nicht zu sagen, wo die Grenzen von Wahrh

A tough read. Very tough. a) incredibly long, b) difficult to tell what is Dichtung and what is Wahrheit, c) oh my god the tangents. Like, yay, Goethe summarizes the bible. Goethe tells you about Shakespeare etc. etc.
Very helpful for literary history, very difficult to read.

I like it....

...especially the Goethe's descriptions of his early years in Frankfurt. The city becomes a character in the early parts of the bio. Enjoy!

Poetry and Truth, it says in the English translation.

Goethe chose “Dichtung und Wahrheit” as the title for his original autobiography, and it would never have occurred to me to translate the word ”Dichtung” with “poetry” in this context. It means fiction, or literature in general as well, and his id

I read this in German, and as you can see it took me an age! While this isn't Goethe's greatest book, it is certainly a moving and informative one. I found the first and fourth parts particularly affecting. The first part describes his childhood in Frankfurt, in wonderful detail, weaving together st

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