Synopses & Reviews
The Essential Goethe
is the most comprehensive and representative one-volume collection of Goethe's writings ever published in English. It provides English-language readers easier access than ever before to the widest range of work by one of the greatest writers in world history. Goethe's work as playwright, poet, novelist, and autobiographer is fully represented. In addition to the works for which he is most famous, including Faust Part I
and the lyric poems, the volume features important literary works that are rarely published in English--including the dramas Egmont
, Iphigenia in Tauris
, and Torquato Tasso
and the bildungsroman Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
, a foundational work in the history of the novel. The volume also offers a selection of Goethe's essays on the arts, philosophy, and science, which give access to the thought of a polymath unrivalled in the modern world. Primarily drawn from Princeton's authoritative twelve-volume Goethe edition, the translations are highly readable and reliable modern versions by scholars of Goethe. The volume also features an extensive introduction to Goethe's life and works by volume editor Matthew Bell.
- Selected poems
- Four complete dramas: Faust Part I, Egmont, Iphigenia in Tauris, and Torquato Tasso
- The complete novel Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
- A selection from the travel journal Italian Journey
- Selected essays on art and literature
- Selected essays on philosophy and science
- An extensive introduction to Goethe's life and works
- A chronology of Goethe's life and times
- A note on the texts and translations
"Born in 1749, Goethe was a lawyer, minister of state, public intellectual, scientist, and even the producer of Mozart's CosÃ¬ fan tutte for the Weimar court. As this massive collection of previously published translations demonstrates, his influence on European ideas cannot be overestimated. Goethe, who wrote poetry, plays, novels, and essays, was a titanic literary figure in his day , and he has influenced authors as diverse as Mary Shelley and Thomas Mann. This anthology collects dramas such as 'Egmont,' 'Faust,' and 'Iphigenia in Tauris,' as well as 'Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship,' Goethe's long bildungsroman. 'Italian Journey,' his travel memoir, and the selected essays reflect Goethe's shift from romanticism to classicism, under the influence of the great scholar and historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann. Goethe's reflections on botany, color, and weather reveal a broad, inquiring, and multivalent mind. The volume's greatest puzzle is the omission of The Sorrows of Young Werther, which brought him worldwide fame and recognition when it was published in 1774. This collection will have great appeal for serious readers and scholars, and Bell and Princeton should be commended for the quality of the enterprise. The meticulously prepared edition brims with Goethe's radiant insights and reflects his stunning virtuosity, confirming again his paramount position in European letters. (Dec.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Description for this book, The Essential Goethe, will be forthcoming.
About the Author
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was one of the greatest artists of the German Romantic period. Matthew Bell is professor of German and comparative literature at King's College London. His books include Goethe's Naturalistic Anthropology and Melancholia: The Western Malady.