Johann’s Birthday


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(1749 – 1832)—Reprinted from Lapham’s Quarterly

Having returned to Frankfurt from Leipzig University in 1768, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe began studying the alchemical writings of Paracelsus and Basil Valentine and performing experiments in his own laboratory. The poet, statesman, playwright, novelist, and scientist began his masterwork Faust around 1771, publishing Faust: A Fragment in 1790 and Faust: Part One eighteen years after that.

We have a book of Goethe’s poetry here. It’s in the TBR pile, where it is likely to remain for the rest of my life at the least. Although I do reference it upon occasion, flipping through it to find something of interest. That is done in an easy frame of mind. Not the mad passionate one of the search for the perfect—in a book where you know it will be.