Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Novelle [Novella]

(3025 words)

Goethe first considered a composition on the subject of what later became his Novelle as an epic poem, along the lines of Hermann und Dorothea, and in 1797 drafted a sketch that has not survived. The working title “Die Jagd” (“The Hunt”) might have been richly ambiguous, but, as Goethe may have felt, misleading. Schiller encouraged him, but Wilhelm von Humboldt spoke disparagingly of the project, which Goethe did not take up again for another nineteen years, his interest then having perhaps been rekindled by his reading of James Fenimore Cooper’s The Pioneers; or The Sources of the Susquehanna in the summer of 1826. (In Cooper’s novel the predator that is killed to protect a lady i…

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Dye, Ellis. "Novelle". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 February 2012
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]