Aug 28, 2011

Goethe Google Doodle

The great German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is honored with Google Doodle today on www.google.de.






Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749  – 22 March 1832) was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath. He is considered the supreme genius of modern German literature. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science. His Faust has been called the greatest long poem of modern European literature. His other well-known literary works include his numerous poems, the Bildungsroman Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, and the epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther.






His family


Goethe's father, Johann Caspar Goethe (Frankfurt am Main, Hessen, 29 July 1710 – Frankfurt, 25 May 1782), lived with his family in a large house in Frankfurt, then an Imperial Free City of the Holy Roman Empire.






38-year-old Johann Caspar married Goethe's mother, Catharina Elisabeth Goethe when she was 17






Catharina Elisabeth was the daughter of the Schultheiß (mayor) of Frankfurt Johann Wolfgang Textor (Frankfurt, 11 December 1693 – Frankfurt, 6 February 1771) and wife Anna Margaretha Lindheimer (Wetzlar, 23 July 1711 – Frankfurt, 18 April 1783, a descendant of Lucas Cranach the Elder and Henry III, Landgrave of Hesse-Marburg). 






All their children, except for Goethe and his sister, Cornelia Friederike Christiana, who was born in 1750, died at early ages.


His early years


The father and private tutors gave Goethe lessons in all the common subjects of their time, especially languages (Latin, Greek, French, Italian, English and Hebrew). Goethe also received lessons in dancing, riding and fencing. Johann Caspar, feeling frustrated in his own ambitions, was determined that his children should have all those advantages that he had no.


His great passion was drawing. Goethe quickly became interested in literature; Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock and Homer were among his early favourites. He had a lively devotion to theatre as well and was greatly fascinated by puppet shows that were annually arranged in his home; a familiar theme in Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeshi.


He also took great pleasure in reading from the great works about history and religion.


Educatian and early career






Goethe studied law in Leipzig from 1765 to 1768. He detested learning age-old judicial rules by heart, preferring instead to attend the poetry lessons of Christian Fürchtegott Gellert. In Leipzig, Goethe fell in love with Käthchen Schönkopf and wrote cheerful verses about her in the Rococo genre. In 1770, he anonymously released Annette, his first collection of poems.


In 1770 Goethe left Frankfurt in order to finish his studies in Strasbourg. He met Johann Gottfried Herder. The two became close friends, and crucially to Goethe's intellectual development, it was Herder who kindled his interest in Shakespeare, Ossian and in the notion of Volkspoesie (folk poetry).


At the end of August 1771, Goethe was certified as a licensee in Frankfurt. He wanted to make the jurisdiction progressively more humane. In his first cases, he proceeded too vigorously, was reprimanded and lost the position. This prematurely terminated his career as a lawyer after only a few months.


Goethe also pursued literary plans again and this time his father did not have anything against it, and even helped. Goethe obtained a copy of the biography of a noble highwayman from the German Peasants' War. In a couple of weeks the biography was reworked into a colourful drama. Entitled Götz von Berlichingen.






In 1774 he wrote the book which would bring him worldwide fame, The Sorrows of Young Werther. The outer shape of the work's plot is widely taken over from what Goethe experienced during his Wetzlar time with Charlotte Buff (1753–1828) and her fiancé, Johann Christian Kestner (1741–1800), as well as from the suicide of the author's friend Karl Wilhelm Jerusalem (1747–1772); in it, Goethe made a desperate passion of what was in reality a hearty and relaxed friendship. Despite the immense success of Werther, it did not bring Goethe much financial gain because copyright law at the time were essentially nonexistent.






Early years in Weimar


In 1775, Goethe was invited, on the strength of his fame as the author of The Sorrows of Young Werther, to the court of Carl August, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, who would become Grand Duke in 1815. Goethe thus went to live in Weimar, where he remained for the rest of his life and where, over the course of many years, he held a succession of offices, becoming the Duke's chief adviser. 


In 1776, Goethe formed a close relationship to Charlotte von Stein, an older, married woman. The intimate bond with Frau von Stein lasted for ten years, after which Goethe abruptly left for Italy without giving his companion any notice. She was emotionally distraught at the time, but they were eventually reconciled.


Goethe was ennobled in 1782 (this being indicated by the "von" in his name).


Italian journey






Goethe's journey to the Italian peninsula from 1786 to 1788 was of great significance in his aesthetical and philosophical development. His father had made a similar journey during his own youth, and his example was a major motivating factor for Goethe to make the trip. More importantly, however, the work of Johann Joachim Winckelmann had provoked a general renewed interest in the classical art of ancient Greece and Rome.


Weimar



In late 1792, Goethe took part in the battle of Valmy against revolutionary France, assisting Duke Carl August of Saxe-Weimar during the failed invasion of France. Again during the Siege of Mainz he assisted Carl August as a military observer. His written account of these events can be found within his Complete Works.


In 1794 Friedrich Schiller wrote to Goethe offering friendship. They had previously had only a mutually wary relationship ever since first becoming acquainted in 1788. This collaborative friendship lasted until Schiller's death in 1805.






In 1806, Goethe was living in Weimar with his mistress Christiane Vulpius, the sister of Christian A Vulpius, and their son Julius August Walter von Goethe. On 13 October, Napoleon's army invaded the town. The French "spoon guards," the least-disciplined soldiers, occupied Goethe's house.






The next day, Goethe legitimized their eighteen year relationship by marrying Christiane in a quiet marriage service at the court chapel. They already had several children together by this time, including their son, Julius August Walter von Goethe (25 December 1789 — 28 October 1830), whose wife, Ottilie von Pogwisch (31 October 1796 – 26 October 1872), cared for the elder Goethe until his death in 1832. The younger couple had three children: Walther, Freiherr von Goethe (9 April 1818 — 15 April 1885), Wolfgang, Freiherr von Goethe (18 September 1820 – 20 January 1883) and Alma von Goethe (29 October 1827 — 29 September 1844). Christiane von Goethe died in 1816.



After 1793, Goethe devoted his endeavours primarily to literature. By 1820, Goethe was on amiable terms with Kaspar Maria von Sternberg. In 1823, having recovered from a near fatal heart illness, Goethe fell in love with Ulrike von Levetzow whom he wanted to marry, but because of the opposition of her mother he never proposed. Their last meeting in Carlsbad on 5 September 1823 inspired him to the famous Marienbad Elegy which he considered one of his finest works.


In 1832, Goethe died in Weimar. He is buried in the Ducal Vault at Weimar's Historical Cemetery.







Goethe was one of the key figures of German literature and the movement of Weimar Classicism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This movement coincides with Enlightenment, Sentimentalism (Empfindsamkeit), Sturm und Drang and Romanticism. The author of the scientific text Theory of Colours, his influential ideas on plant and animal morphology and homology were extended and developed by 19th century naturalists including Charles Darwin. He also served at length as the Privy Councilor of the duchy of Saxe-Weimar.

In politics Goethe was conservative. At the time of the French Revolution, he thought the enthusiasm of the students and professors to be a perversion of their energy and remained skeptical of the ability of the masses to govern.

Likewise, he "did not oppose the War of Liberation waged by the German states against Napoleon, but remained aloof from the patriotic efforts to unite the various parts of Germany into one nation; he advocated instead the maintenance of small principalities ruled by benevolent despots."

Goethe's influence spread across Europe, and for the next century his works were a major source of inspiration in music, drama, poetry and philosophy. (Wikipedia)

No comments:

Post a Comment

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Blogroll