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The Sorrows of Young Werther by [Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von]
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The Sorrows of Young Werther Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 111 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), a towering figure in German literature, was the author of "The Sorrows of Young Werther, Faust, Italian Journey, The Theory of Colours" (MIT Press edition, 1970), and many other works.

Product Details

  • File Size: 282 KB
  • Print Length: 111 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1507768125
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: May 12, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0082XMJYW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
How can anyone, especially a surly bully like me, presume to review one of the great monuments of European literature, one of the most influential pieces of fiction ever written? And what's worse, I didn't read this edition or even this translation! I dug out my forty-year-old German edition to re-read on a trip to Germany. If you can't read German, I strongly suggest looking at other reviews for guidance about the best translation, because this IS a book you ought to read and perhaps re-read, even if you find it mawkish and/or depressing. It's about a supremely narcissitic young puppy who falls foolishly in love with a maiden already pledged to a 'worthy' man; the puppy behaves atrociously and suffers himself into a suicidal depression. It's said the dozens of ardent puppies all over Europe were so enamoured of his romantic grief that the suicide rate rose appreciably.

So be it. Reading Werther again in my 'senescence' is like finding an old love note from a high school crush, a note never actually sent, in a yellowed volume of poetry; it's above all a poignant embarassment. Werther is an insufferable elitist, a shallower trifler than his creator, for which all German literature can be eternally grateful. In other words, if Werther is read as Goethe's self-portrayal, then Herr Goethe still had a lot to learn about himself when he wrote it. What made Werther potent, what makes the book still worth reading, is the 'sensibility' it espoused: the romantic perception of nature expressed in startlingly simple and resonant language; the emphasis on aesthetic affect as the hallmark of the truly deep soul; the commitment to self-realization outside any and all conventions of propriety.

Whether that Goethean revolution of affect was a blessing or a curse to the following generations is far too large a question to trifle with in this picayune reviewing format.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book served its purpose; I enjoyed reading it. However, I ordered the wrong edition for my purposes, but that was my fault. Perhaps be a little more clear on who the translator is for the book, especially for books with many different translations.
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Format: Paperback
If you want to know why Goethe became so famous - well, read this book, because this is the small novel that created his fame throughout Europe within just a few months. It describes his love affair with Lotte, the fiancee of a burocrate. Thomas Mann wrote later a novel (Lotte in Weimar) in which he describes the meeting of Lotte and Goethe 44 years later. Both these books are masterpieces.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Before I was halfway through this book I had already connected with it on a deep level. I didn’t know what was going to happen in the end but I knew Goethe was telling my story and the opposite of my story at the same time. Ten years later I published my first novel, The Sorrows of Young Mike, which is a parody of this great tale. I can only be grateful to Goethe and encourage everyone to read The Sorrows of Young Werther. Also, if you like it enough or even if you hate it — you should check out my parody.
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