Goethe in European Romanticism

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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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,


, 1801]. For several generations, both domestic and foreign admirers and detractors agreed with Madame de Staël’s statement: “He [Goethe]…

2963 words

Citation: Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "Goethe in European Romanticism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 September 2010 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=13886, accessed 17 April 2024.]

13886 Goethe in European Romanticism 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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