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The Life of Goethe: A Critical Biography

ISBN: 978-0-631-16376-3
352 pages
October 1998, Wiley-Blackwell
The Life of Goethe: A Critical Biography (063116376X) cover image
Goethe established a major European reputation and profoundly influenced his contemporaries and literary successors, not least among them the British Romantic writers Coleridge, Scott, and Byron.

  • Offers a comprehensive one-volume study of a major European literary figure.
  • Deals in depth and detail with the totality of Goethe's output and activity.
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List of Plates.

Preface.

1. The Life.

2. The Lyric Poet.

3. The Dramatist.

4. The Novelist: Prose and Verse Narratives.

5. The Scientist.

Conclusion.

Notes.

Bibliography.

Index.

Index to Goethe's Works.
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John R. Williams is honorary Senior Lecturer in the Department of German at the University of St Andrews. He has published numerous scholarly articles on German literature and is the author of Goethe's 'Faust' (1987). In 1982 he was awarded a prize by the Theodor-Storm-Gesellschaft in an international competition for verse translation.
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  • Offers a comprehensive one-volume study of a major European literary figure.
  • Deals in depth and detail with the totality of Goethe's output and activity.
See More
"The Life of Goethe admirably fills a gap in Goethe studies. John Williams provides a patient and thorough life-story." Alain de Botton <!--end-->

"Williams's study of Goethe's life and letters is a welcome contribution to Goethe scholarship. By translating all German citations, quotations, and references into English, Williams makes Goethe accessible to the English-speaking audience. "The German Quarterly

"Details importantly formative or influential are mentioned. All examples of significant experience conveyed in his poetry are given in both German as originally written and in English translation. "Psychological Reports

"To attempt a critical biography of a writer of Goethe's stature is no mean task and John Williams has shown that he is more than equal to it. He has provided what must be one of the most scholarly and readable accounts in English of Goethe's life and massive achievement. The style is lively and energetic and the English translations of the Goethe quotations are always apt and remarkably close to the original. This is an excellent book, lucid and penetrating. Dr Williams is to be congratulated on this major contribution to Goethe scholarship and for the infectious way in which he communicates his knowledge of, and love for, his subject." Forum for Modern Language Studies

"Intended for Germanists and non-Germanists alike, John Williams's The Life of Goethe: A Critical Biography deserves to go straight to the top of undergraduate reading lists. As a critical survey, it is hard to see this being surpassed." Modern Language Review

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