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Goethe: Life as a Work of Art Paperback – 4 Dec 2018

4.0 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1631494895 ISBN-10: 1631494899 Edition: 1st

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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

About the Author

Rüdiger Safranski is a German philosopher and writer, and the author of biographies of Friedrich Schiller, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Martin Heidegger. He lives in Berlin.

David Dollenmayer lives in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and translates German fiction and nonfiction.

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