A fresh and perceptive new biography of Germany's greatest poet, whose life and times are a mirror for our own
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is often remembered only as a figure of literary genius, author of The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust. Yet Goethe was driven by much more than the desire for literary success: he wanted (much the same as us) to live life well.
In Love, Life, Goethe, John Armstrong tells the dramatic life story of this great poet—a representative man akin to Wordsworth in England or Emerson in America. In so doing, he subtly and imaginatively explores the ways that we can learn from Goethe, whether in love, suffering, friendship, or family. At the center of the project is the human yearning for happiness: In an imperfect world, how can we live well with what we have, and accept what we haven’t? From our lives at home, to our attitude toward money and the politicians we choose, Armstrong explores the main themes of our lives through the life of Goethe, and helps us learn how to live.
|Publisher:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
John Armstrong’s books include Move Closer: An Intimate Philosophy of Art. Previously the director of the Aesthetics Programme at the University of London, he is currently a research fellow in the philosophy of art at the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a magesterial work. John Armstrong shows us Goethe as the engaged intellectual whose discourse served the community as much as it did the arts. He shows us the great man's daily life, his capacity for friendship, his immense energy and thirst for aesthetic exploration. As the ancients entered the lists against Plato, Goethe took the great architect Andrea Palladio as his model to be overtaken, then surpassed. Goethe's bringing together of art, ideas, romance and civic engagement gives the book an old fashioned Plutarchian quality that is now met with but rarely among biographers. The book is a benediction. Andrew King