Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg – Master of Aphorism

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg – Master of Aphorism

On July 1, 1742, German scientist, satirist and Anglophile Georg Christoph Lichtenberg was born. He is remembered best for his posthumously published notebooks, which he himself called Sudelbücher, a description modeled on the English bookkeeping term “scrapbooks”, and his aphorisms. A book is a mirror: if an ape looks into it an apostle is hardly likely to look out. We have no words for speaking of wisdom to the stupid. He who understands…
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Wilhelm von Humboldt and the Reform of Prussia’s Education System

Wilhelm von Humboldt and the Reform of Prussia’s Education System

On June 22, 1767, Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt was born. He was a Prussian philosopher, government functionary, diplomat, and founder of the University of Berlin. He is especially remembered as a linguist who made important contributions to the philosophy of language and to the theory and practice of education. In particular, he is widely recognized as having been the architect of the Prussian education system which was used as a…
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August Wilhelm Iffland and the Iffland Ring

August Wilhelm Iffland and the Iffland Ring

On April 19, 1759, German actor and dramatic author August Wilhelm Iffland was born. He was the most important actor of his age and is best remembered for playing the main part of Franz Moor in Friedrich Schiller‘s ‘The Robbers‘.[6] And there is this ring, the Iffland-Ring, which bears Iffland‘s likeness, and is borne by the most important German-speaking actor, as decided by his predecessor. When I first heard the story of the…
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Dreams, Travelling, and Humoresques – The Literary Life of Jean Paul

Dreams, Travelling, and Humoresques – The Literary Life of Jean Paul

On March 21, 1762, German Romantic author Johann Paul Friedrich Richter was born, better known as Jean Paul. Jean Paul is best known for his humorous novels and stories. In terms of literary history, his work stands between the epochs of Classicism and Romanticism. “Memory is the only paradise out of which we cannot be driven away.” — Jean Paul’s Geist; oder Chrestomathie, Vierter Theil [4th part], Weimar/Leipzig, 1816 Youth and Education…
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Herrad of Landsberg and the Garden of Delights

Herrad of Landsberg and the Garden of Delights

Herrad of Landsberg was a 12th-century Alsatian nun and abbess of Hohenburg Abbey in the Vosges mountains. She is known as the author of the pictorial encyclopedia Hortus Deliciarum (The Garden of Delights). Abbess of Hohenburg Abbey It is assumed that Herrad of Landsberg was born around 1130. Hohenburg Abbey, also known as Mont St Odile, was run by Abbess Relinda, a nun sent from the Benedictine monastery of Bergen in Bavaria.…
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The Phantastic Travels of Adelbert von Chamisso

The Phantastic Travels of Adelbert von Chamisso

On January 30, 1781, German poet and naturalist of French Origin Adelbert von Chamisso was born. Some of his lyrics, ballads, and romances rank among the finest in German literature. He took part in Captain Kotzebue‘s Russian polar expedition (1815-18) and his 1835 published account of it ranges among the classics of travel. In the same way as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, one of Germany‘s best known poets,[4] Adelbert von Chamisso was as well a scientist…
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Achim von Arnim – Forerunner of German Romanticism

Achim von Arnim – Forerunner of German Romanticism

On January 26, 1781, German poet and novelist Carl Joachim Friedrich Ludwig Achim von Arnim was born. Together with Clemens Brentano and Joseph von Eichendorff, von Arnim was a leading figure of German Romanticism. “Let the youth create and be joyful, let them build a house of lilies and roses as long as lilies and roses are in bloom.” — Achim von Arnim Family Background and Early Life Achim von Arnim’s father was…
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Felix Mendelssohn – Child Prodigy of the Romantic Era

Felix Mendelssohn – Child Prodigy of the Romantic Era

On November 4, 1847, the German composer, pianist, and organist of the Romantic era Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy passed away. He is regarded as one of the most important Romantic musicians and, as a conductor, set new standards that continue to shape conducting to this day. “People usually complain that music is so ambiguous, and what they are supposed to think when they hear it is so unclear, while words are understood by…
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Finally, Goethe Got Married – The Story of Christiane Vulpius

Finally, Goethe Got Married – The Story of Christiane Vulpius

On October 19, 1806, the famous German writer, artist, and politician, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,[1] finally got married with his mistress Christiane Vulpius after having lived together quasi-maritally since 1788, to the scandal of the ladies of Weimar and the vexation of Bettine von Arnim.[2] Christiane Vulpius’ Family Background Christiane Vulpius came from a poor family. Her father Johann Friedrich Vulpius, official archivist in Weimar, i.e. file copyist, had studied law for several…
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Goethe’s Most Famous Poem – Wanderers Nachtlied

Goethe’s Most Famous Poem – Wanderers Nachtlied

On September 6, 1780, the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote with a pencil on the wall of a wooden cabin on the Kickelhahn mountain in Ilmenau, Thuringia the poem ‘Wanderers Nachtlied‘.   Über allen Gipfeln Ist Ruh,   In allen Wipfeln Spürest du   Kaum einen Hauch;   Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde.  Warte nur, balde  Ruhest du auch. This poem called ‘Über allen Gipfeln‘ depicts the second poem after ‘Der du vom Himmel…
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