Goethe: Life as a Work of Art

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Product Details

Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
6.1 X 1.6 X 9.1 inches | 1.55 pounds
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About the Author

Rüdiger Safranski studies German, philosophy, and history in Frankfurt and Berlin. He has worked in adult education and was co-publisher of the magazine Berliner Hefte. He is also the author of a widely acclaimed biography of E. T. A. Hoffman.
David B. Dollenmayer is Professor of German at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University and was a Fulbright fellow at the University of Munich. Dr. Dollenmayer has written on 20th century writers Alfred D�blin, Joseph Roth, Christa Wolf, and Ingeborg Bachmann. In addition, he is the author of THE BERLIN NOVELS OF ALFRED D�BLIN (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1988) and the translator of works by Michael Kleeberg, Anna Mitgutsch, Perikles Monioudis, and Moses Rosenkranz.


A learned and arguably definitive account...Scholars will welcome this intellectual biography, richly embellished by primary sources and aided by the strong Dollenmayer translation.
Safranski allows Goethe to speak for himself, gloriously and without inhibition, in this compulsively readable new biography of a man almost too multifaceted to be knowable. Goethe's audacity, his intellect, his sense of his own genius--not to mention his embrace of all the experiences the world could offer him--cohere into this marvelous portrait of a life lived to the fullest.--Celia Applegate, author of Bach in Berlin
The sheer pleasure and natural admiration with which Safranski tells the whole story is not just instructive. It's inspiring.--Felicitas von Lovenberg
Masterful . . . . A penetrating, engrossing biography of a literary giant.
Safranski sets out to show that Goethe was more than the sum of his works, outstanding though they were; in fact, he conceived his entire life as a work of art, with a beginning, a middle and an end. . . . A fresh and authentic-feeling read.
In this expansive biography, Safranski, a philosopher and historian, mixes narrative and commentary with the great poet's own words, from celebrated verse to obscure correspondence. Safranski's strength lies in his ability to blend artistic analysis with swift, sharp renderings of various artists, thinkers, pietists, lovers, and plundering solders who shaped Goethe. His portrait of the prolific genius leaves the reader with lasting awe, even envy.
Enthralling...Rüdiger Safranski makes the reader fall madly in love with Goethe again.--Ijoma Mangold