Review of a New Biography of Gnostic Saint Wolfgang von Goethe

The New York Times Book Review ran a highly critical review this Summer of a new biography of Gnostic Saint Wolfgang von Goethe Life as a Work of Art by Rüdiger Safranski translated by David Dollenmayer. Among the notable criticisms by the writer Michael Hofman is that the work mainly lists his numerous achievements without giving the reader a sense of the man behind them, his motivations, dreams, emotional life. But LORDY, just the list of achievements alone is pretty dazzling. As noted in the review:

“When the young duke reeled him in, the barely older Goethe performed the duties of a cabinet minister. He built roads. He oversaw mines. He was put in charge of a theater. He shrank the deficit. He was someone at court. He put Weimar on the map. He met Napoleon, he met Beethoven. He corresponded with Wilhelm von Humboldt. He helped Schiller run a literary magazine. ”

The review itself does a good job of summarizing his many achievements and also sign posts some of the recommended works about this remarkable man including the first two volumes of a projected 3,000 word trilogy Nicholas Boyle. Read the review here:

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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