August 28, 1749 – the birthday of the famous German writer and novelist – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, or simply Goethe.
In the literary culture of the German-speaking countries, he has achieved such a dominant position that, since the end of the 18th century, his writings have been described as “classical.”
Although Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German poet, novelist, and philosopher, he began writing poetry in English from an early age.
Goethe was multi-talented. In addition to writing, he was also a statesman, polymath, pictorial artist, theoretical physicist, and biologist. His first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), created the prototype of the romantic hero.
To describe his life and events in one blog post is utterly impossible. Instead, we will mention a few of his most important works.
Tragic play, although more appropriately it should be defined as a tragicomedy, despite the very title of the work. It was published in two parts. This is Goethe’s most famous work. Goethe finished the second part just before his death in 1832.
- The Sorrows of Young Werther
Goethe’s first-ever novel. Published in 1774.
- Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship
Published in 1795-96. A novel of self-realization greatly admired by the Romantics.
- Elective Affinities
Published in 1809. This is supposed to be the first work to model human relationships as chemical reactions or chemical processes since the aphorism of the classical Greek philosopher Empedocles: “people who love each other mix like water and wine; people who hate each other segregate like water and oil.”.
- Italian Journey
As Goethe traveled to Venice, Rome, Naples, and Sicily, he wrote many letters, which he later used as the basis for Italian Journey.
- East-West Divan
A collection of lyrical poems. It was inspired by the Persian poet Hafez.
- Hermann und Dorothea
An epic poem, an idyll, written between 1796 and 1797.