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Essays of three decades
The Cross a couple of centuries later, that was the Revolution. But the real, geuninely great talent gets its greatest pleasure from the doing. When he dwells upon the conflict between the needs of the people and the learning forced upon them by the ruling classes, he has in mind the fact that the elemen- tary schools are an outgrowth of the higher ones. This man, then, who lived in Weimar from 1812 to 1905, and whose life was otherwise no doubt uneventful enough, might boast of having enjoyed one extraordinary privilege: the personal ac- quaintance of both Goethe and Tolstoy, the. Leap like a madman out of bed. When I speak of Goethe the man of letters, I use the term simply as the common designa- tion for the life on earth of the poet, preferring the everyday, moderate, and objective phrase to the more high-flown one with all Its implications.
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In age it degenerated, as it had in the elder, into downright pedantry and collectors whimsies. At fifteen I wore round my neck, in- stead of the usual cross, a medallion with his picture. Another great German and shaper of German destiny comes to mind here- Luthers view of music as an instrument of education was very like Goethes. I will not attempt to translate these for you. Much honour is done to youth by this poem and the greatness it achieved. The anti- hberal rebound is more than plain, it is palpable. And all German substance that rose out of the bourgeois into the intellec- tual all that is smilingly at home in the family house in Frankfurt, One can apply to the figure of this great man and. Wahrhafug, die Vermchtungy Vemeinend fangt ste essays of three decades cm; Dock ihren scharfen Besen Strengt sie vergebens an: Ihr setd gar nicht gewesen!
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When I was eighteen, he says, Germany was just eighteen too a man could do something. Die thoricht gnug ihr voiles Herz nicht ivahrten, Dem Pobel ihr Gefuhl, ihr Schauen ojfenbarten. May one call that self-satisfaction, that awestruck sense of plenitude, of copious abundance, which pervades the conscious- ness of the darling of the gods Goethe all his hfe had set his face against the affectation that might condemn such a feeling. Again, devotion in the face of failure is no more noble than humility in the face of success; and nothing but defeatism could shake our faith in the rightness and sanctity of a spiritual attitude whose craving for freedom. It is, as a matter of fact, right and necessary. For here we have a human task performed which really belongs to the poet in his quality of man of letters. He who as a boy had seen Mozart as a grey old man, on entering an evening company turns neither right nor left but goes straight up to the young philosopher, whose doctors thesis on the Fourfold Root. In the prose scene: Grey day, a field, taken bodity out of the Urfaust and put un- changed into the fragment as well as the finished poem, Faust, after the repulsive distractions of the Blocksburg and the Walpurgis- nacht. No bathers yet They await the midday warmth to wade out into the ebbing tide, little flutters and shrieks escaping them as they begin their pert yet fearful toying with the vast. But he him- self never got free of the negaaon and neutrality of the elemental character. Such is the society that admires Hans Worsts genius and expects so much of him. OF THE bourgeois AGE 69 Driven by the spirit of France in our troublous days, as aforetime By the spirit of Luther oppressed, quiet culture retreats. Together to our latest breath!
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At the same time he uses the dramatic form to defend himself. Paused You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition. Which is greater Which is more aristocratic I shall not answer either of these. It would be hard to say whether the real grounds of the quarrel 6 goethes career AAN OF letters were the incorrect family relations at the Frauenplan or the prob- lematic work of art. Thus did Heine speak of the age of Goethe, an asthetic age, an epoch of art, an objective-ironic point of view.
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But such phrases, clearly, are meant more correctively than absolutely; they are self-critical comments, meant to redress the balance of his German and Protestant aristocratism tend- encies, then, sentimental leanings, of the same kind as the radical and pacifistic. The liberal criti- cism of Russia admitted that it was Russian to the core, that it presented the soul of the Russian people, in its whole range and variety, in all its lofty simplicity, with a sheer creative. He essays of three decades spoke like a German. I have given you a brief account of these almost unknown lit- erary curiosities, in order to dimlay their family likeness with the poetic composition so higlily favoured by fate, which grew up between them, in the same soil and possessing originally the same traits. This is precisely the symbohsm of the poetic ego, which needs only to express itself fully to loosen the tongue of the multitude not that It does this with intention, or with any sort of claim, or. He was at the height of his hterary success; serene and un- troubled, he could encounter the complexities of his younger colleague with the calmness of a man who lived on good terms with himself. The young will not listen any more. Richard Wagner and the Ring" (1937) was given as a lecture at the University of Zurich on the occasion of a performance of the entire Ring des Nibelimgs cycle at the Zurich Stadttheater. But the languages here are modem languages. VI 2, date of release for loan or before the date last stamped. Long after that, in 1883 at about the same date that Tolstoy posed for an artist friend, sitting at his table and wrm he reads aloud to another friend and admirer, the one-time ofiS- 102 goethe AND tolstoy cer Tchertkov.
But God and nature are not all the world: there is the human, the humane, as well, and Spinozas conception of essays of three decades humanity is Chris- tian, in so far as he defines the phenomenon man as the becoming- consctous. Here he is turning against Peter the Great, who created these official classes and gave them their orientation toward liberalism and the west, Tolstoy educational ideas are all extreme anti-Petrinic, anti-western, anti-progressivc. 32 goethe'S faust Des Denkens Faden ist zerrissen, Mir ekelt lange vor allem Wtssen. Toleration, in- dulgence, is always, in our human experience, associated with mild- ness, with benevolent feeling toward man and the universe, so far as I know, it is a product of love. For the farce is, truly, a crazy piece of business, an enterprise risky m the extreme, and like The Wan- dering Jew containing passages only fit for private circulation. For they were not sentimental, scarcely had they occasion to yearn for nature, they themselves were nature. Unity is achieved, the continuity of that astonishing family of intellects which one calls Russian literature is preserved in this litde piece of historical evidence. But what Mephisto says springs just as much from Goethes own nature and feelings as does his apologia for life. Dont be a cymbal-tinkling ass! A drunken peasant, in his excess of feeling, wanted to embrace Tolstoy. OF THE bourgeois AGE 77 The reasonable magic, the childlike-godlike charm of Goethes way of writing, cannot be more precisely, if also not less sympa- thetically characterized than in tnese words of Novalis.
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My workshop here surpasses any I know. He looked so very fine and proud. In the essays of three decades scene in the witches kitchen, written in Rome, Faust, before he drinks the magic draught, beholds in the magic mirror Woman in all the splendour of her supreme loveliness, and enraptured sees in that recumbent form the. A few subjects, so nghriy to love them, to hang on them, to turn them over and over, to be- come one with them that makes the poet, the artist the man. But when all is said, and whatever the chronological affinity of these two great men, they cannot be called contemporaries. It is even uncertain, for instance, and is de- liberately left uncertain, whether this is actually the Devil or only a devil, only a representative of the infernal powers ein Teil von jener Kraft) or the Evil One himself in person. But m this other form it is a wrestling with an extended ego I mean the nation an insistence upon self-discipline and self-control, a pedagogic identification with the outside world, which may, of course, look like aloofness and the coldly. N0.4 733, this book should be returoed on below.
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The stress he laid on good eating and drinking, his annoyance and depression when he found himself neglected in this particular, belong to this amusing side of middle-class traits; for instance the fact that Zelter regularly provided him with the. Mankind needs clarity and cheer, it needs to turn to those epochs of art and literature in which superior human beings achieved a finished culture and then, serene within themselves, were able to pour essays of three decades out the blessings of that culture upon others. He bade it farewell. And here that price- less story is in place about the fun Goethe made of that same Bentham, the English economist and utilitarian, and of his radi- goethe AS representative 84 calism. We would almost accept it as metaphysical evidence for the goodness of a thing if a capital piece of writing were done in its name. 1 think so, myself, simply because it lies in the nature of the thing, because Schiller did not in the least need, to keep him fruitful, the meed of praise, love, in- spiration, which he bestowed upon Goethe. They were that for Goethe. If that IS only said in order to excuse him for not being able to seduce the poor child by his own efforts, but needing the powers of hell to help him to do it, then we must. But Goethes 120 goethe AND tolstoy attitude toward the conception of freedom is at all times cautious, not only in the political field, but consistently, fundamentally, and in every connection.
We are told that a better companion could not be conceived. Klcists Amphitryon' was written in 1926 and first published in the same year in the Neue Rundschau. If they had begun to read a book together, it must be finished, however boring; in all things he obstinately insisted on the finishing of the once begun, even when it had turned out not only inconvenient but futile. He learned more than that. Wilhelm Metster m partic- ular shows how the tendency to autobiography, to confession and self-portrayal, becomes impersonal, turns outward and becomes socialized, even statesmanly, and finds pedagogic expression. This plan has been followed as far as possible in the remaining essays, but in a few cases it has seemed better to give the original German in the text and a literal English version in an appendfac. Truly everything that he himself wrote had long been known and ac- cepted by common consent as world literature by no means only what was influenced by the Mediterranean tradition and classic models minted by a humanistic spirit. By a peculiar method, which no one would guess, I had already made good progress in knowledge of the human frame; and this was during my theatrical career. I call that an utterance above and beyond the bourgeois.
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Merely educating others, on the assumption of the perfectness of ones own ego, is shee r goethes career AAN OF letters 50 pedantry. Both are works of resignation, of German and schoolmasterish renunciation of all the advantages of barbarism. For essays of three decades the Enlightened, who on earth tnrmer strebend sich bemuht is received on high by the youthful saved, who sing:,6o goethe AND tolstoy Wir imrden fruh entfemt Von Lebechoren; Dock dieser hat gelemt, Er wird uns lehren. (I get my fun out of it too.) Goethe, in Faust, has depicted love as a regular devils holiday: the high intuition whose concluson and consummation Me- phisto indicates with an obscene gesture. For Goe- thes pietism IS of course nothing else than his modernity. Does it not find ex- pression in his pantheism, which is only the objectivation of his feeling, in such wise that his own utter surrender gives him to know the divine not as something from without, but as irradiating him through and through? Not merely by solemn celebration of their own renown can the bourgeoisie show itself worthy of its great sons. War ich guter Junge, nicht so selig In der oden Nacht? Yes, Tolstoy was in Weimar!
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Goethes faust 41 So hearken now, if thou hast never heard; The human hearings very keen, And glorious deeds can follow one clear word. 'He sat, his head on his hands; the wind blew the silver hair of his beard through his fingers. It rejoices m the ances- tral virtues, and smiles at the ancestral faihngs, as at things of the past. But this same literary world, whose comic side he well knew, is praised by him in another place, with far happier w ords. In a Paralipomenon Faust says to Mephistopheles: So bore denn, loenn du es niemals hdrtest: Die Menschheit hat ein fern Gehor, Em r ernes Wort erreget schone Taten.
It is the fashion, Goethe tells feckermann, alu ays to want to finish, to take no great pleasure in performance. He IS not the sort for occasion writing. If what we call happiness consists in harmony, clarity, unity with oneself, in the consciousness of a positive, confident, decisive turn of mmd, if, in short, it is peace resident in the soul, then obviously happiness. Gabst mir die herrliche Natur zum Konigreich, Kraft, sie zu fuhlen, zu gentessen. We should do wrong to read into such utterances any mirit of temporizing or any attitude of the middle of the road. In his essay on naive and sentimental poetry he speaks of the realist who proves himself to be a friend of man, without having such a very high opinion of men and humanity; and, on the other. You will recall that in the Westostliche Diavan he selected for himself as the lover of Marianne-Zuleika the name of Hatem (the most richly giving and receiving one). The clas- sic I call the healthy, the romantic the diseased. It is either too strong, considering the word moquani' which he uses, or else that word is a good deal too weak which is more likely. And much later on, in the second part of the tragedy, when Faust dies, he shrugs his.shoulders at the angels word. Even the genius most en- dowed by nature is never natural in the philistine sense; that is to say, normal, healthy, and according to rule. What historical arment can be brought for the assertion that Russian schools must be like those in the rest of Europe The people, he says, need education, and every human being seeks it uncon- sciously.