Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Über den Granit [On Granite]

(920 words)
  • Kamaal Haque (Dickinson College )

“Über den Granit” a brief four-page treatise, is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s best-known geologic tract. Although not as prominent as his work on other scientific topics such as optics (Die Farbenlehre) and botany (Die Metamorphose der Pflanzen), Goethe’s geologic studies number nearly one hundred essays and drafts of essays, as well a rock collection that was widely regarded as one of the best three in Europe at the time. Within these studies, “Über den Granit” stands out. It is as much dithyrambic “hymn” (Karl Otto Conrady) to a type of stone as it is a work of scientific investigation.

When Goethe writes

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Haque, Kamaal. "Über den Granit". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2008
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]