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Goethe: Life as a Work of Art by [Safranski, Rüdiger]
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Goethe: Life as a Work of Art 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Length: 684 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

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

Safranski's biography could change the British neglect--and sometimes fear --of Goethe. It is a handsome volume, beautifully translated by the American scholar, David Dollenmayer who has also elegantly translated the many Goethe quotations in the book...[It is] my hope that this book might restore Goethe to that high position he so richly deserves.--Nicholas Jacobs

Product Description

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Economist and Kirkus Reviews


This “splendid biography” (Wall Street Journal) of Goethe presents his life and work as an essential touchstone for the modern age.


A masterful intellectual portrait, Goethe: Life as a Work of Art is celebrated as the seminal twenty-first-century biography of the writer considered to be the Shakespeare of German literature. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832), a remarkably prolific poet, playwright, novelist, and—as Rüdiger Safranksi emphasizes—a statesman and naturalist, first awakened not only a burgeoning German nation but the European continent with his electrifying novel The Sorrows of Young Werther. Safranski has scoured Goethe’s entire oeuvre, relying exclusively on primary sources, including his correspondence with contemporaries, to produce a “fresh and authentic” (Economist) portrait of the avatar of the Romantic era. Skillfully blending “artistic analysis with swift, sharp renderings” of the great political and intellectual figures Goethe encountered, “[Safranski’s] portrait of the prolific genius leaves the reader with lasting awe, even envy” of a monumental legacy (The New Yorker). As Safranski ultimately shows, Goethe’s greatest creation, even in comparison to his masterpiece Faust, was his own life.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5044 KB
  • Print Length: 684 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0871404907
  • Publisher: Liveright; 1 edition (16 May 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01HDSU0FQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #242,606 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews
Kevin Shau
5.0 out of 5 starsHuman Greatness as a Creative Force
18 May 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
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R. James Tobin
4.0 out of 5 starsPoetry, love, and service
5 September 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
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13 people found this helpful
C. M Mills
5.0 out of 5 starsGoethe: Life as a Work of Art is an erudite and detailed account of the life and works of the great literary giant
28 January 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
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5 people found this helpful