Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Die Leiden des Jungen Werthers [The Sorrows of Young Werther] (2276 words)


Goethe's first novel was published when he was twenty-five: Die Leiden des jungen Werthers [The Sorrows of Young Werther, 1774; final version 1787]. The text caused a sensation at the height of the Sturm und Drang [Storm and Stress] period that was to inspire a flood of imitations and emulations in all literary genres in Germany and abroad, including the worlds of fashion (Werther's dress of blue coat and yellow trousers), perfume (eau de Werther), porcelain, and opera (Jules Massenet's Werther, 1892) well into the twentieth century. Among the reasons for Werther becoming a bestseller of the times is its portrayal of an essentially …

Citation: Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "Die Leiden des Jungen Werthers". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 June 2004 [, accessed 15 July 2020.]

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