Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Dichtung und Wahrheit: Aus meinem Leben [Poetry and Truth: From My Life]

(2542 words)

Goethe’s Dichtung und Wahrheit: Aus meinem Leben, which covers the first twenty-five years of his life, ranks among the greatest of autobiographies. His purpose in writing it was is to sketch the personal background of his writings and to exhibit a continuity of personal identity that the fragmentary and occasional nature of his published works might otherwise lead the reader to doubt. The title Dichtung und Wahrheit, a coincidentia oppositorum or coincidence of opposites, is only imperfectly translated as “Poetry and Truth”. It confesses that every self-portrait imposes a false coherence on the jumble of history and is inevitably a “Fiktion”, although …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Dye, Ellis. "Dichtung und Wahrheit: Aus meinem Leben". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 July 2005
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]