Johann Wolfgang von Goethe quotes

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Birthdate: 28. August 1749
Date of death: 22. March 1832
Other names: Johann W. von Goethe, Goethe, Иоганн Вольфганг фон Гёте, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Zitat

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His works include: four novels; epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; and treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him have survived.

A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August, in 1782 after taking up residence in Weimar in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther . He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe became a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, and implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena. He also contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace.Goethe's first major scientific work, the Metamorphosis of Plants, was published after he returned from a 1788 tour of Italy. In 1791 he was made managing director of the theatre at Weimar, and in 1794 he began a friendship with the dramatist, historian, and philosopher Friedrich Schiller, whose plays he premiered until Schiller's death in 1805. During this period Goethe published his second novel, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship; the verse epic Hermann and Dorothea, and, in 1808, the first part of his most celebrated drama, Faust. His conversations and various shared undertakings throughout the 1790s with Schiller, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Johann Gottfried Herder, Alexander von Humboldt, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and August and Friedrich Schlegel have come to be collectively termed Weimar Classicism.

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer named Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship one of the four greatest novels ever written, while the American philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson selected Goethe as one of six "representative men" in his work of the same name . Goethe's comments and observations form the basis of several biographical works, notably Johann Peter Eckermann's Conversations with Goethe . Wikipedia

Works

Faust
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Elective Affinities
Elective Affinities
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Roman Elegies
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Iphigenia in Tauris
Iphigenia in Tauris
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Das Göttliche
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Torquato Tasso
Torquato Tasso
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Götz von Berlichingen
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Claudine von Villa Bella
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Wer nie sein Brot mit Tränen aß
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Italian Journey
Italian Journey
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Clavigo
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Hermann and Dorothea
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Der Erlkönig
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Erinnerung
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Wanderer's Nightsong
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

„Behaviour is a mirror in which everyone shows his image.“

—  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Maxim 39, trans. Stopp
Variant translation: A man's manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait.
Maxims and Reflections (1833)

„Men who give way easily to tears are good. I have nothing to do with those who hearts are dry and who eyes are dry!“

—  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, book Elective Affinities

Tränenreiche Männer sind gut. Verlasse mich jeder, der trocknen Herzens, trockner Augen ist!
Bk. I, Ch. 18, R. J. Hollingdale, trans. (1971), p. 147
Elective Affinities (1809)

„He who does not speak foreign languages knows nothing about his own.“

—  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiß nichts von seiner eigenen.
Maxim 91
Maxims and Reflections (1833)

„Who rides, so late, through night and wind?
It is the father with his child.“

—  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Der Erlkönig

Der Erlkönig (1782)
Context: Who rides, so late, through night and wind?
It is the father with his child.
He holds the boy in the crook of his arm
He holds him safe, he keeps him warm.

„It is the most foolish of all errors for young people of good intelligence to imagine that they will forfeit their originality if they acknowledge truth already acknowledged by others.“

—  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Der thörigste von allen Irrthümern ist, wenn junge gute Köpfe glauben, ihre Originalität zu verlieren, indem sie das Wahre anerkennen, was von andern schon anerkannt worden.
Maxim 254, trans. Stopp
Maxims and Reflections (1833)

„The spirits that I summoned up
I now can't rid myself of.“

—  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Der Zauberlehrling (The Sorcerer's Apprentice) (1797)

„Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.“

—  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Attributed to Goethe by popular British novelist Marie Corelli in her essay "The Spirit of Work" as published in The Queen's Christmas carol : an anthology of poems, stories, essays, drawings and music / by British authors, artists and composers in 1905 by The Daily Mail of London.
Attributed to Goethe by William Hutchinson Murray, in his book The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (1951), this has been shown to be a misattribution at "German Myth 12: The Famous 'Goethe' Quotation", Answer.com http://german.about.com/library/blgermyth12.htm and "Popular Quotes: Commitment", Goethe Society of North America http://www.goethesociety.org/pages/quotescom.html
Misattributed
Variant: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

„Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others,
And in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own.“

—  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Distichs" in The Poems of Goethe (1853) as translated in the original metres by Edgar Alfred Bowring
Context: Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others,
And in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own.
Not in the morning alone, not only at mid-day he charmeth;
Even at setting, the sun is still the same glorious planet.

„Though you're a whole world, Rome, still, without Love,
The world isn't the world, and Rome can't be Rome.“

—  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, book Roman Elegies

Elegy 1
Roman Elegies (1789)
Context: I'm gazing at church and palace, ruin and column,
Like a serious man making sensible use of a journey,
But soon it will happen, and all will be one vast temple,
Love's temple, receiving its new initiate.
Though you're a whole world, Rome, still, without Love,
The world isn't the world, and Rome can't be Rome.

„Who science has and art
He has religion too
Who neither of them owns
Religion is his due.“

—  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wer Wissenschaft und Kunst besitzt, / Hat auch Religion / Wer jene beiden nicht besitzt / Der habe Religion
As quoted in Jost Lemmerich's "Science and Conscience: The Life of James Franck" (2011), p. 261.
Variant translation: "The man who science has and art, He also has religion. But he who is devoid of both, He surely needs religion." (as quoted in "Homilies of science" by Paul Carus (1892) and The Open Court, Weekly Journal, Vol. II (1887).
Wilhelm Meister's Lehrjahre (Apprenticeship) (1786–1830)

„Life teaches us to be less harsh with ourselves and with others.“

—  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Iphigenia in Tauris

Act IV, sc. iv
Iphigenie auf Tauris (1787)

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