From the 1770s until the waning decades of Romanticism, Goethe (1749-1832) held a dominant position in the Republic of Letters. In Germany, young aspiring artists vied for Goethe’s encouragement and – even if they were rejected or neglected – worshipped him from a distance: “Darf ich nennen, was uns alle verband? Ein Dichter [Goethe] hatte uns alle geweckt; der Geist seiner Werke war der Mittelpunkt geworden, in dem wir uns selbst und einander wiederfanden” [“May I say what united all of us? One poet had roused us; the spirit of his works had become the center in which we found ourselves and each other”, Clemens Brentano, Godwi, 1801]. For several generations, both domestic and foreign admirers and detractors agreed …
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Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "Goethe in European Romanticism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 September 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=13886, accessed 17 August 2017.]