The Sorrows of Young Werther

The Sorrows of Young Werther

4.5 22
by Johann Wolfgang Goethe

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 - 22 March 1832) was a German writer,artist, and politician. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and color; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary…  See more details below


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 - 22 March 1832) was a German writer,artist, and politician. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and color; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, and over 10,000 letters written by him are extant, as are nearly 3,000 drawings.

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CreateSpace Publishing
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6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.20(d)

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The Sorrows Of Young Werther 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
J.W. Von Goethe's the sorrows of young werther is a prime example of classic romantic poetry. Anyone with compassion or Passion of any kind will certainly enjoy this piece.
JohnZelazny More than 1 year ago
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.
Francesca_frolicking More than 1 year ago
Anyone with a heart will love Werther. I did not(could not)put down the book, once I began reading it. Some moments are so thrilling and others so heart breaking... I hope more people could discover and enjoy this story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't even know where to start. This book is so well written that you no longer feel like a reader but a part of Werther. All the way through the book I felt as Goethe intendended me too. This was an amezing experience... I walked around for two days hardly saying a word after I finished it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When Werther meets Lotte, she is already unattainable, so readers will never know if his drive came from its intangibility. Yet, Goethe feeds the idea that Werther's life became Lotte because he finally found 'something to live for.' When a lover possesses both, it can only be excitingly dangerous, and unshakeable. Expectations have screwed up everyone's lives at one time or another; only here, I believe the passionate Romantic can not be ultimately understood unless the reader has also felt that the sun only shines when a certain someone is around. So, wrestle and escape it all with Kawika.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book, Goethe is a master. Definitely worth studyig to understand the romanticism of the period, even though Goethe later disowned the book. Highly recommended.
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theokester More than 1 year ago
I went into this book knowing virtually nothing about it. I remembered a vague reference to it from reading Frankenstein last year (the monster discovers and reads this book and relates strongly to Werther) but beyond that, and the general "sorrow" of the central character, I hopped in blind. The book is written in epistolary style with each letter being sent from Werther to his friend Wilhelm (a couple of the letters seemed addressed to his brother as well?). We never read any responses written to Werther but can sometimes infer the reactions from Wilhelm. Still, the core of the story is told in Werther's letters themselves. Because of the epistolary style, the narrative is a little 'jumpy' as it skips over time in between letters.sometimes a day or two, sometimes weeks or more. Some of the letters are very lengthy and pour out large segments of plot and action. Others are very short segments of exclamation or emotion. Sometimes even the longer letters don't advance the "plot" so much as provide insight into the thoughts and emotions of Werther. The presentation of love versus obsession is very interesting here and is very well done. You get a very good sense of the turmoil that Werther's going through.of the pain he's feeling as well as the desire he has but cannot fulfill. After reading the book, I looked up some info on it and found that it is actually fairly autobiographical. Apparently Goethe fell in love with his own Lotte who refused him and married another. He was obsessed for some time and found it hard to work or concentrate. There was a quote I read where Goethe indicates that he actually used Werther (and particularly the ending) to save himself [Goethe]. The story itself is intriguing though not particularly entrancing. It's really the presentation of the mental anguish of Werther that makes this noteworthy to me. Getting into his head and participating in the psychology of obsessive love was really interesting. A lot of his language was actually very romantic and, had it been spent on someone more receptive, could have been very powerful in enhancing a romantic relationship. Parts of the read were a bit slow, but overall, it was a good read. **** 4.5 out of 5 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WTVCrimeDawg More than 1 year ago
I heard about this book after taking a Literature and Science class at college in which two of the assigned books were Elective Affinities by Goethe and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Honestly, I was a little disappointed with The Sorrows of Young Werther after reading the two aforementioned books and hearing so many positives about Werther. I admit that Romanticism is not my favorite style, although I do consider Frankenstein to be one of my favorite books. Frankly, Werther is a bit of a "drama king" for me, and his overreactions seemed silly and overdramatized, especially when he was criticized about his work. Even so, Goethe is an excellent writer and Werther is a classic from the Romantic Age. It's also interesting to see why the monster in Frankenstein got so worked up after reading this book. Overall, it's an interesting book and worth a read, especially considering the price, length, and writing style. It's an intellectually stimulating read as well.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I always find it sad that more people do not read Goethe for pleasure alone. Yes, he was a 'scholarly' writer but his works, although profound, are written in an easily understandable style. I think too many people have been needlessly scared off by Goethe's monumental intelligence and his philosophy. This is too bad. His books revolve around themes that are universal, subjects to which all of us can relate: romantic love, nature, God, beauty. Eighteenth-century German literature was propelled by a revolution in romanticism, and writers such as Goethe celebrated their most cherished ideals in as ornate and eloquent a manner as possible. While the tendency of American and British writers to ignore the sublime and the romantic in favor of stark realism does have its place, that does not mean that the sublime and the romantic should be casually tossed aside. The Sorrows of Young Werther is not Goethe at this best (you need to read Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship for that) but it the best introduction to Goethe anyone could find and a lovely novella in its own right. The Sorrows of Young Werther opens more amazingly than any book I have ever read and it is not overstating things a bit to say that Goethe gives us something profound and beautiful on each and every page. The Sorrows of Young Werther is comprised, for the most part, of letters written by a hopelessly romantic young man named Werther to a friend named Wilhelm. These letters not only detail Werther's doomed love for the beautiful Charlotte, they also contain the most beautiful meditations on just about everything important in life: love, beauty, nature, philosophy, art, religion. In Werther, Goethe clearly shows us the problems inherent in loving and idealizing something a bit too much. I think many readers will have a problem with the character of Werther. He is simply too romantic to be real. And then there will be those who will wonder how a man who is capable of uttering the most gorgeous and flowing words about beauty, art and nature can fall so hopelessly in love with one woman that he seems to forget all else that he holds dear. Well, Werther, in the best romantic tradition, has invested all the emotion he feels for art, beauty, religion, etc. in Charlotte. Once readers realize this, I think the ending of this novella will make sense to them. Yes, Werther is an extreme but once you come to understand him, he does make perfect sense. As I said, this isn't Goethe at this best or his most sublime or even, believe it not, his most romantic, but this is certainly the best place to begin if you are just beginning your study of this monumental author or of German romanticism in general.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Goethe strove for universality in understanding and affirmation, amenability to experience of whatever kind, reckless realism, reverence for everything factual. A spirit thus emancipated stands in the midst of the universe with a joyful and trusting fatalism, in the faith that only what is separate and individual may be rejected, that in the totality everything is redeemed and affirmed-he no longer denies...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being a history major in college I found the book interesting, but I was more interested in Werther's fascination with nature than with Lotte. His unique ability to notice the beauty and truth of nature made the book more interesting. It's not a very good read I often found myself zoning off and had to reread a few sentences just to find I didn't miss anything.
Kay_Fair More than 1 year ago
The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Goethe is a book I must have been side-stepping for years. It seems like someone I know would have recommended it to me at some point as a "you need to read this... it's so you" suggestion. But alas, I'm left to wonder where this story has been all my life. The basics: Boy meets Girl. Boy can't have Girl. Boy kills Self. Sure, I'm over-simplifying a bit, but that's the basic gist. As with all truly touching books, the plot is fairly basic at its core and the details are therefore allowed to emerge to the forefront and push you along in a tremendously heart-breaking way. (complete review at whatrefuge.blogspot)
songcatchers More than 1 year ago
The Sorrows of Young Werther is a beautiful piece of tragic literature. It's written mostly as a series of letters from Werther to his friend Wilhelm detailing his love of Lotte and how that leads to his eventual suicide. Right from the get go Werther knows of the impending marriage between Lotte and Albert but he can't control his emotions and the love he feels for Lotte. And when he meets Albert, who is a genuinely nice guy, he can't help but like him. The letters go from being full of excitement and elation at the beginning of his acquaintance with Lotte to slowly turning very dark as Werther slips further and further into depression. Deep depression. In fact, his emotions go to such extremes throughout the book, I'd say poor Werther is manic depressive with his thoughts of suicide and murder. He says towards the end of the book, "One of us three must go, so let it be me!" He's had thoughts of killing Albert and even Lotte herself but can't bring himself to harm either of them. So he takes himself out of the equation in hopes that Lotte and Albert can live happily ever after. The Sorrows of Young Werther is beautifully written but very sad. It's heartbreaking to read as poor Werther's euphoric happiness slides slowly to despair. He says a couple of days after his first introduction to Lotte, "My days are as happy as any God sets aside for his saints; and, whatever the future may have in store for me, I cannot claim I have not enjoyed the pleasures in life, the very purest of pleasures."