Love, Life, Goethe: Lessons of the Imagination from the Great German Poet

Love Life Goethe Lessons of the Imagination from the Great German Poet A fresh and perceptive new biography of Germany s greatest poet whose life and times are a mirror for our own Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is often remembered only as a figure of literary genius autho

  • Title: Love, Life, Goethe: Lessons of the Imagination from the Great German Poet
  • Author: John Armstrong
  • ISBN: 9780374299682
  • Page: 490
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A fresh and perceptive new biography of Germany s greatest poet, whose life and times are a mirror for our own Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is often remembered only as a figure of literary genius, author of The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust Yet Goethe was driven by much than the desire for literary success he wanted much the same as us to live life well InA fresh and perceptive new biography of Germany s greatest poet, whose life and times are a mirror for our own Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is often remembered only as a figure of literary genius, author of The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust Yet Goethe was driven by much than the desire for literary success he wanted much the same as us to live life well In Love, Life, Goethe, John Armstrong tells the dramatic life story of this great poet a representative man akin to Wordsworth in England or Emerson in America In so doing, he subtly and imaginatively explores the ways that we can learn from Goethe, whether in love, suffering, friendship, or family At the center of the project is the human yearning for happiness In an imperfect world, how can we live well with what we have, and accept what we haven t From our lives at home, to our attitude toward money and the politicians we choose, Armstrong explores the main themes of our lives through the life of Goethe, and helps us learn how to live.

    One thought on “Love, Life, Goethe: Lessons of the Imagination from the Great German Poet”

    1. This is possibly my favourite book. It is beautifully written, the content is thoughtful and well researched, and it satisfies my yearning for an historical narrative within a modern context. I felt like I knew all the people that Armstrong wrote about. I have this on my bedside table and read a few random pages if I ever need to separate myself from the ordinary and become part of an uplifting and enlightening narrative.

    2. Simply inspiring. A good overview of his works and his life. To understand his infamous "Sorrows of Young Werther," (1774) a must read.

    3. An excellent take on the biography organized around the popular philosopher's concerns with applicable lessons for life. I'm given to assume that John Armstrong is a friend and imitator of Alain de Botton, so if you like that philosopher's books this will be equally pleasing. It dips into lit-crit only just enough to get a sense of Goethe's interests and artistic development. I was happy to be obsessed with this book for the 2 weeks that I read it. I disagree with a lot of the conclusions noneth [...]

    4. When I learned that the young Goethe on arriving at the Court at Weimar fell madly in love with a married woman and at her wishes vowed himself to celibacy and endured it for many years, I realised he was just as stupid as I was."Love is merely a madness", Good Old Shakespeare has Rosalind say in As You Like It. A dear old friend (not Shakespeare!!) bought me this quote as a magnet when we visited the new Globe Theatre in London Town a couple of years ago, because he knew I was "madly in love" , [...]

    5. Insightful and engaging narrative of the great life. Especially interesting for those of us who wonder how an artist should live in a world run by business. Goethe certainly lived an exceptional life and was quite willing to admit that fortune along with his talent made him the celebrity he was. Although the author glosses over this I personally noted, however, that two major weaknesses in his choices. His own son had a life which was filled with extremes, extremes which he had to admit were par [...]

    6. Everyone recognizes the name Goethe but no one knows how to pronounce. The ones who know how to pronounce Goethe mention Faust or Werther. Like Dahlberg, I survived Werther in that its dullness propelled me to create something bettet, updating the unspoken symptom. No one talks about Elective Affinities, Roman Elegies, the Italian Journal, or Wilhelm Meister. Something about Weimar. Life is bad but not that bad. And even if it is, there are lessons in Goethe on how to go about this. As for now y [...]

    7. What I enjoyed about the biography earlier has faded somewhat since I read Sons of Clovis and found the reading of Goethe to assert something more for poets and poetry than ham strung and forlorn drifters. The house and garden the life of a house holder also relates to the Mike Reynolds endevours, that is just hard work, trial and error. What Armstrong is saying here brings out more focus on these aspects rather than, as I used to try to do, trying to figure what Goethe was on about regarding op [...]

    8. This is probably my favorite type of biography, in which the writer tells you exactly why he or she is obsessed with this person, the "intimate" biography. Now who knew that a man who lived from 1749 to 1832 could be so relevant to now?! The way John Armstrong writes it, we are all in need of Goethe's insights.I go into this a little more here:soareyoutomythoughts.

    9. I absolutely loved this book. I read one chapter a day and treated it sort of like a devotional by just focusing on the main point of the chapter. The massive amount of research required to create this book was transformed into an enjoyable, highly readable, contemplative book on Goethe's philosophy and works.

    10. I love the author's discussion of Goethe's search for a balance between his inner life and his outer (creative) expression. I've written more on my blog.

    11. Was a big fan of The Sorrows of Young Werther Several years later, I decided to pick up this biography which was suggested to me by amazon I enjoyed the book from beginning to end

    12. reading for german class. good so far. Goethe was a dandy, a narcissist, a ego-mainiac and then he calmed down and invented modern german literature

    13. This book made me fall in love with Goethe all over again. It's an enthusiastic portrayal of this wonderfully talented poetd simply very decent human being.

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