“The old Eternal Genius who built the world has confided himself more to this man than to any other”, said Ralph Waldo Emerson about Goethe. It is an understatement when Walter Kaufmann says, “Nineteenth-century German philosophy consisted to a considerable extent in a series of efforts to assimilate the phenomenon of Goethe”, for these efforts were international.
Johann Wolfgang Goethe is no longer mentioned in the same breath as Dante, and Shakespeare (“Daunty, Gouty and Shopkeeper” is how they are referred to in Finnegans Wake). “Of all the strongest Western writers, Goethe now seems the least available to our sensibility”, writes Harold Bloom. Among the factors in the e…
Citation: Dye, Ellis. "Johann Wolfgang von Goethe". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 June 2006; last revised 10 January 2008. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1781, accessed 04 October 2023.]