Prometheus. Ich will nicht, sag es ihnen! Und kurz und gut, ich will nicht! Ihr Wille gegen meinen! Eins gegen eins, Mich dünkt, es hebt sich! Merkur. Deinem Vater Zeus das bringen? Deiner Mutter? Prometheus. Was Vater! Mutter! Weißt du, woher du kommst? Ich stand, als ich zum erstenmal bemerkte Die Füße stehn, Und reichte, da ich Diese Hände reichen fühlte, Und fand die achtend meiner Tritte, Die du nennst Vater, Mutter.
Goethe’s classic story of tormented love and destruction
Told through lyrical and impassioned letters to his friend Wilhelm, this novel follows the ardent young Werther to the German countryside, where he delves into artistic pursuits and basks in the simplicity of village life. But Werther’s tranquility is shattered when he meets the captivating Charlotte at a ball in a nearby town. Every bit his equal in temperament and intellectual interests, Charlotte quickly becomes Werther’s singular obsession. He falls inextricably in love despite her engagement to another man. Overtaken by his affection for Charlotte and unable to extricate himself from the unrequited love, Werther must make peace between his artistic temperament and the harsh realities of the world.
Among the first—and most notable—examples of Germany’s Sturm und Drang movement, The Sorrows of Young Werther was enormously influential upon its publication in 1774, creating a cult of personality around the tragic figure of Werther and causing a sensation in Europe’s literary community.
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Eduard and Charlotte are an aristocratic couple who live a harmonious but idle life in their estate. But the peace of their existence is thrown into chaos when two visitors - Eduard's friend the Captain and Charlotte's passionate young ward Ottilie - provoke unexpected attraction and forbidden love. Taking its title from the principle of elective affinities - the theory that certain chemicals are naturally drawn to one another - this is a penetrating study of marriage and adultery. Inspired by Goethe's own conflicting loyalties as he battled to maintain his relationship with his wife and control his feelings for a younger woman, Elective Affinities is one of the greatest works of the romance era: a rich exploration of love, conflict, and the inescapable force of fate.
Goethe’s masterpiece and perhaps the greatest work in German literature, Faust has made the legendary German alchemist one of the central myths of the Western world. Here indeed is a monumental Faust, an audacious man boldly wagering with the devil, Mephistopheles, that no magic, sensuality, experience, or knowledge can lead him to a moment he would wish to last forever. Here, in Faust, Part I, the tremendous versatility of Goethe’s genius creates some of the most beautiful passages in literature. Here too we experience Goethe’s characteristic humor, the excitement and eroticism of the witches’ Walpurgis Night, and the moving emotion of Gretchen’s tragic fate.
This authoritative edition, which offers Peter Salm’s wonderfully readable translation as well as the original German on facing pages, brings us Faust in a vital, rhythmic American idiom that carefully preserves the grandeur, integrity, and poetic immediacy of Goethe’s words.
Eduard—so nennen wir einen reichen Baron im besten Mannesalter—Eduard hatte in seiner Baumschule die schönste Stunde eines Aprilnachmittags zugebracht, um frisch erhaltene Pfropfreiser auf junge Stämme zu bringen. Sein Geschäft war eben vollendet; er legte die Gerätschaften in das Futteral zusammen und betrachtete seine Arbeit mit Vergnügen, als der Gärtner hinzutrat und sich an dem teilnehmenden Fleiße des Herrn ergetzte.
"Hast du meine Frau nicht gesehen?" fragte Eduard, indem er sich weiterzugehen anschickte. "Drüben in den neuen Anlagen",versetzte der Gärtner. "Die Mooshütte wird heute fertig, die sie an der Felswand, dem Schlosse gegenüber, gebaut hat. Alles ist recht schön geworden und muß Euer Gnaden gefallen.
Man hat einen vortrefflichen Anblick: unten das Dorf, ein wenig rechter Hand die Kirche, über deren Turmspitze man fast hinwegsieht, gegenüber das Schloß und die Gärten".
How happy I am that I am gone! My dear friend, what a thing is the heart of man! To leave you, from whom I have been inseparable, whom I love so dearly, and yet to feel happy! I know you will forgive me. Have not other attachments been specially appointed by fate to torment a head like mine? Poor Leonora! and yet I was not to blame. Was it my fault, that, whilst the peculiar charms of her sister afforded me an agreeable entertainment, a passion for me was engendered in her feeble heart? And yet am I wholly blameless? Did I not encourage her emotions? Did I not feel charmed at those truly genuine expressions of nature, which, though but little mirthful in reality, so often amused us? Did I not?but oh! what is man, that he dares so to accuse himself? My dear friend I promise you I will improve; I will no longer, as has ever been my habit, continue to ruminate on every petty vexation which fortune may dispense; I will enjoy the present, and the past shall be for me the past. No doubt you are right, my best of friends, there would be far less suffering amongst mankind, if men?and God knows why they are so fashioned?did not employ their imaginations so assiduously in recalling the memory of past sorrow, instead of bearing their present lot with equanimity. Be kind enough to inform my mother that I shall attend to her business to the best of my ability, and shall give her the earliest information about it. I have seen my aunt, and find that she is very far from being the disagreeable person our friends allege her to be. She is a lively, cheerful woman, with the best of hearts. I explained to her my mother's wrongs with regard to that part of her portion which has been withheld from her. She told me the motives and reasons of her own conduct, and the terms on which she is willing to give up the whole, and to do more than we have asked. In short, I cannot write further upon this subject at present; only assure my mother that all will go on well. And I have again observed, my dear friend, in this trifling affair, that misunderstandings and neglect occasion more mischief in the world than even malice and wickedness. At all events, the two latter are of less frequent occurrence. In other respects I am very well off here. Solitude in this terrestrial paradise is a genial balm to my mind, and the young spring cheers with its bounteous promises my oftentimes misgiving heart. Every tree, every bush, is full of flowers; and one might wish himself transformed into a butterfly, to float about in this ocean of perfume, and find his whole existence in it. The town itself is disagreeable; but then, all around, you find an inexpressible beauty of nature. This induced the late Count M to lay out a garden on one of the sloping hills which here intersect each other with the most charming variety, and form the most lovely valleys. The garden is simple; and it is easy to perceive, even upon your first entrance, that the plan was not designed by a scientific gardener, but by a man who wished to give himself up here to the enjoyment of his own sensitive heart. Many a tear have I already shed to the memory of its departed master in a summer-house which is now reduced to ruins, but was his favourite resort, and now is mine. I shall soon be master of the place. The gardener has become attached to me within the last few days, and he will lose nothing thereby.
'I have so much and my feeling for her devours everything, I have so much and without her everything is nothing.' The Sorrows of Young Werther propelled Goethe to instant fame when it first appeared in 1774. Goethe drew on his own unhappy experiences to tell the story of Werther, a young man tormented by his love for Lotte, a tender-hearted girl who is promised to someone else. Overwhelmed by his feelings, Werther begins to see only one way to escape from his anguish. Goethe's story of a sensitive young artist alienated from society channelled the Romantic sensibility of the day and led to a wave of imitations. Werther's searching introspection and the passionate intensity with which he bares his soul have an immediacy that is all the more powerful for being expressed in letters; charting the course of his emotions, they give added drama to the unfolding account. David Constantine's new translation captures the novel's lyric clarity, and his introduction and notes illuminate Goethe's achievement. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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