Goethe, Romanticism and the Anglo-American Crit – Romanticism on the Net – Érudit
Adam Kirsch on “The Essential Goethe” and the German author of “Faust” His religious beliefs, his love affairs, his relationships with other writers, . poet and playwright Friedrich Schiller, Goethe's friend and collaborator. Goethe favored small city-states with an integrated and free market between Owing to the family relationship of its ruling house with Russia's Fichte, Schelling, Schiller, Humboldt, and the brothers Schlegel. As highly as Germans revered Goethe as a national hero, they have not heeded his advice. This paper questions the traditional German view that Goethe () was a characterised by Abrams: the relationship between the human subject and the . Classicism practiced by Goethe and Schiller, while also being differentiated in which Wilhelm's friend, the Abbé, offers him some advice: “Wir wollen der.
With a few characteristic strokes Goethe drew the archetypal plant, as it appeared to him, on a piece of paper. Goethe saw the spirit in nature.
For him that which the spirit grasps intuitively was as real as what is sensible; for him nature embraces the spirit. Schiller's true greatness as a man shows itself in the way in which he tried to discover the foundation on which Goethe's spirit was based. He wished to find the right standpoint. In unenvious recognition of all that thus came towards him, Schiller began the friendship which was to unite the two.
The letter which Schiller wrote to Goethe after he had sunk himself in Goethe's method of creation, the letter of 24th Augustis one of the finest of human documents. You seek for the necessary in nature, but you seek it along the harder path from which all weaker forces would shrink. You take all nature as a whole in order to illuminate a part; and in the totality of their appearances you seek the basis of explanation for the individual. There is no deeper psychological characterisation of Goethe.
And so it remained till Schiller's death. Their friendship was impregnable, though envy and ill-will used the lowest means to separate them. They worked together in such a way that the advice of the one always had a fruitful influence on the other. That is how the Greeks created. An artist who longs for a return to nature, after being torn from her, creates sentimentally. That is the quality of modern art.
There is something grand in the way in which these two conceived of art. An old doctrine which still lives in eastern wisdom, of the transitoriness of all appearance, of the veil of Maya, finds expression here. Only he lives in reality who rises above illusion to the region of the spirit. The highest reality is not external. In every way these two men were forced to inner activity. And so these two sought their deeds in the sphere of the beautiful, of the work of art.
They aimed at a reflection of higher reality, of nature within nature, in life by means of beautiful appearance.
Full text of "Correspondence between Schiller and Goethe, from to "
His discovery of the intermaxillary bone was a result of his study with Jena anatomist Justus Christian Loder Increasingly fascinated by botany, he studied the pharmacological uses of plants under August Karl Batsch at the University of Jena, and began an extensive collection of his own.
He has alternately been received as a universal man of learning whose methods and intuitions have contributed positively to many aspects of scientific discourse, or else denounced as a dilettante incapable of understanding the figures— Linnaeus and Isaac Newton—against whom his work is a feeble attempt to revolt.
Positivists of the early twentieth century virtually ignored him. Plants were classified according to their relation to each other into species, genera, and kingdom. The problem for Goethe was two-fold. Although effective as an organizational schema, it failed to distinguish organic from inorganic natural objects.
And by concentrating only on the external characteristics of the plant, it ignored the inner development and transformation characteristic of living things generally. Goethe felt that the exposition of living objects required the same account of inner nature as it did for the account of the inner unity of a person.
But whereas their versions dealt with the generation and corruption of living beings, Goethe sought the common limitations imposed on organic beings by external nature.
But he only fully lays out the position as an account of the form and transformation of organisms in the Zur Morphologie.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749—1832)
In the plant, for example, this determination of each individual member by the whole arises insofar as every organ is built according to the same basic form. As he wrote to Herder on May 17, Any way you look at it, the plant is always only leaf, so inseparably joined with the future germ that one cannot think the one without the other.
Through the careful study of natural objects in terms of their development, and in fact only in virtue of it, we are able to intuit morphologically the underlying pattern of what the organic object is and must become. The morphological method is thus a combination of careful empirical observation and a deeper intuition into the idea that guides the pattern of changes over time as an organism interacts with its environment.
While the visible transformations are apparent naturalistically, the inner laws by which they are necessary are not. To do that, the scientist needs to describe the progressive modification of a single part of an object as its modification over time relates to the whole of which it is the part. Polarity between a freely creative impulse and an objectively structuring law is what allows the productive restraint of pure creativity and at the same time the playfulness and innovation of formal rules.
But rather than a fanciful application of an aesthetic doctrine to the nature, Goethe believed that the creativity great artists, insofar as they are great, was a reflection of the purposiveness of nature. As with a plant, the creative forces of life must be guided, trained, and restricted, so that in place of something wild and ungainly can stand a balanced structure which achieves, in both organic nature and in the work of art, its full intensification in beauty.
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The early drafts of Torquato Tasso begun in the sfor example, reveal its protagonist as a veritable force of nature, pouring out torrential feelings upon a conservative and repressed external world. By the time of the published version inthe Sturm und Drang character of Tasso is polarized against the aristocratically reposed and reasonable character of Antonio. Only in conjunction with Antonio can Tasso come into classical fullness and perfection.
As the interplay of polarities in nature is the principle of natural wholeness, so is it the principle of equipoise in the classical drama. Only from the polarized tension does his drive to self-formation achieve intensification and eventually classical perfection.
I take no pride in it At the same time, it was the source of perhaps his greatest disappointment. Like his work on morphology, his theory of colors fell on mostly deaf ears.
Thus, while Goethe esteems Newton as a redoubtable genius, his issue is with those half-witted apologists who effectively corrupted that very same edifice they fought to defend. The refraction of pure white light projected at a prism produces the seven individual colors. Pragmatically, this allowed Newton to quantify the angular bending of light beams and to predict which colors would be produced at a given frequency. That frequency could be calculated simply by accounting for the distance between the light source and the prism and again the distance from the prism to the surface upon which the color was projected.
But by reducing the thing itself to its perceptible qualities, the Newtonians had made a grave methodological mistake. The derivative colors produced by the prismatic experiments are identified with the spectrum that appears in the natural world. But since the light has been artificially manipulated to fit the constraints of the experiment, there is no prima facie reason to think that natural light would feature the same qualities.Marriage & Relationship Advice : How to Maintain a Good Relationship
Effects we can perceive, and a complete history of those effects would, in fact, sufficiently define the nature of the thing itself. The colors are acts of lights; its active and passive modifications: A light beam is no static thing with a substantial ontological status, but an oppositional tension that we perceive only relationally. Through careful observation of their interplay alone do we apprehend color. Color arises from the polarity of light and darkness. Darkness is not the absence of light, as both Newton and most contemporary theorists believe, but its essential antipode, and thereby an integral part of color.
Through a series of experiments on his thesis that color is really the interplay of light and dark, Goethe discovered a peculiarity that seemed to confute the Newtonian system. If Newton is right that color is the result of dividing pure light, then there should be only one possible order to the spectrum, according to the frequency of the divided light.
But there are clearly two ways to produce a color spectrum: Something bright, seen through something turbid, appears yellow. If the turbidity of the medium gradually increases, then what had appeared as yellow passes over into yellowish-red and eventually into bright-red as its frequency proportionally decreases. Something dark, seen through something turbid, appears blue; with a decreasing turbity, it appears violet.
The color produced also depends upon the color of the material on which the light or shadow is cast. If a white light is projected above a dark boundary, the light extends a blue-violet edge into the dark area. A shadow projected above a light boundary, on the other hand, yields a red-yellow edge.
It is united, because the municipal travel documents of a resident of Weimar are accepted everywhere on a par with the passports of the citizens of her mighty foreign neighbors. With regard to the German states, there is no longer any talk of domestic and foreign lands. Further, Germany is united in the areas of weights and measures, trade and migration, and a hundred similar things which I neither can nor wish to mention. Would that today's Brussels bureaucrats understood this!
The single EU market has given the 15 member states the open borders--to people, goods and capital--that Goethe praised in Free trade and migration are a reality.
But what is not needed is a "large capital city" or a federal state to regulate, or further complicate, life. Goethe recognized that the genius of the people lay with the people, and not with the bureaucrats. He told Eckermann that "what makes Germany great is her admirable popular culture, which has penetrated all parts of the Empire evenly.
The Politics of Johann Wolfgang Goethe | Mises Institute
And is it not the many different princely residences from whence this culture springs and which are its bearers and curators? Just assume that for centuries only the two capitals of Vienna and Berlin had existed in Germany or even only a single one. Then I wonder what would have happened to the German culture and the widespread prosperity that goes hand in hand with culture. Yet, would they remain what they are if they were to lose their independence and be incorporated as provincial cities into one great German Empire?
I have reason to doubt this. Nor have most people in Europe paid heed to his warnings on the dangers of political centralization.