Goethe: The Poet and the Age: Volume I: The Poetry of Desire (1749-1790)

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What will be left to say of Faust? In November Goethe joined the court of Carl August, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, and became the youngest of the three Privy Councillors; he was to stay there until his death in Why he remained has been a subject of debate.

It was not the satisfaction of being a big fish in a small pond, but rather the convenience, on balance, of being a respected presence in a modest but representative princely household. He got on well with the young Duke and, though their relations were not those between Falstaff and Prince Hal, they roistered together. He worked conscientiously for the duchy; and inwardly, if not always visibly, for himself.

Possibly, as Boyle proposes, he was in part motivated by the revulsion against the literary marketplace that many authors, including the most successful, experience at times. In Weimar he might achieve an equipoise between the practical and public life and the artistic and private; neither, by itself, was sufficient for this most active of men.

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There could be some connection with the project for reclaiming land from the sea late in Faust, Part Two. Charlotte von Stein was seven years his senior, and had had seven children, four of whom died in infancy. In other respects, the relationship was intimate and fervid; they read together, each taught the other, she smartened him up and smoothed his rough edges, she saw all his writing, he tutored her youngest son.

They were inseparable, except at nights. Once again, however, he had latched on to a woman who was sexually unavailable.

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All the same, he would have felt something. He promptly set up house with Christiane Vulpius: one of the Roman Elegies begins by exhorting the beloved not to have any regrets that she surrendered herself to him so swiftly. This rueful phrase, incidentally, was attributed to Goethe in a sketch made by the German painter Tischbein, showing the poet pushing aside one of the pillows on his double bed in Rome.

Goethe The Poet and the Age Volume I The Poetry of Desire 1749 1790 Goethe, the Poet of the Age

No doubt it would be coarse to suggest that what he lacked was a Faustina or a Christiane. He had stronger bones and more substantial flesh than his Tasso.


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Where Faust was concerned, it is as if Goethe felt that, should he once rest content with it, his soul would be forfeit. Navigation Home.

Goethe Vol 1 the Poetry of Desire 1749 1790 by Boyle Nicholas

Guide Books. Parallel Texts. Hall of Fame. Early Modern.

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Web Links. Prompted by Schiller , Goethe resumed work on his masterpiece Faust I which he had begun in Goethe was politically opposed to the French Revolution, although he rather liked Napoleon.

In his later years Goethe became a mentor to the writer Eckermann, who faithfully recorded their conversations. Goethe completed Faust II in shortly before his death.

Goethe. The Poet and the Age. Volume I The Poetry of Desire (1749-1790)

Each part is self contained:. Faust I Faust II Egmont Iphigenie auf Tauris Torquato Tasso Novels and Prose Fiction. Scientific Studies.