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Also in Vintage Classics. Also by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. See all books by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. About Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Before he was thirty, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had proven himself a master of the novel, drama, and lyric poetry. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Looking for More Great Reads? Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Read it Forward Read it first. Unbound Worlds Exploring the science fiction and fantasy universe. Stay in Touch Sign up. Most of The Sorrows of Young Werther is presented as a collection of letters written by Werther, a young artist of a sensitive and passionate temperament, to his friend Wilhelm.

These give an intimate account of his stay in the fictional village of Wahlheim based on Garbenheim, near Wetzlar , [ citation needed ] whose peasants have enchanted him with their simple ways. There he meets Charlotte, a beautiful young girl who takes care of her siblings after the death of their mother. Werther falls in love with Charlotte despite knowing beforehand that she is engaged to a man named Albert, eleven years her senior. Despite the pain it causes him, Werther spends the next few months cultivating a close friendship with them both.

He suffers great embarrassment when he forgetfully visits a friend and unexpectedly has to face there the weekly gathering of the entire aristocratic set. He is not tolerated and asked to leave since he is not a nobleman. He then returns to Wahlheim, where he suffers still more than before, partly because Charlotte and Albert are now married. Every day becomes a torturing reminder that Charlotte will never be able to requite his love. She, out of pity for her friend and respect for her husband, decides that Werther must not visit her so frequently. He visits her one final time, and they are both overcome with emotion after he recites to her a passage of his own translation of Ossian.

Even before that incident, Werther had hinted at the idea that one member of the love triangle — Charlotte, Albert or Werther himself — had to die to resolve the situation. Unable to hurt anyone else or seriously consider murder, Werther sees no other choice but to take his own life.


After composing a farewell letter to be found after his death, he writes to Albert asking for his two pistols, on the pretext that he is going "on a journey". Charlotte receives the request with great emotion and sends the pistols. Werther then shoots himself in the head, but does not die until twelve hours later. He is buried under a linden tree that he has mentioned frequently in his letters.

The funeral is not attended by any clergy, or by Albert or Charlotte.

The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | wesatimunogo.cf

The book ends with an intimation that Charlotte may die of a broken heart. Charlotte's life was despaired of," etc. Werther was one of Goethe's few works aligned with the aesthetic, social and philosophical ideals that pervaded the German proto- Romantic movement known as Sturm und Drang , before he and Friedrich von Schiller moved into Weimar Classicism.

The novel was published anonymously, and Goethe distanced himself from it in his later years, [2] regretting the fame it had brought him and the consequent attention to his own youthful love of Charlotte Buff , then already engaged to Johann Christian Kestner. He wrote Werther at the age of twenty-four, and yet this was all that some of his visitors in his old age knew him for. He even denounced the Romantic movement as "everything that is sick.

This quote does a variety of things; it observes that people are no different in any society if you take them at face value, and it also characterizes Young Werther as somewhat of a narcissist and a pessimist, perhaps? Calling mankind monotonous is a gross generalization that only the blase at heart could truly feel while heightening his own status as above the norm. Thus, the reader must soon understand that Werther, is not an ordinary man, not like the rest of the monotonous mankind. He is one afflicted with a narrow perspective and one that taints his perspective so that he sees everything through a specific filter.

YET, Werther soon finds someone worthy of his attention. As an aside, I've dated one man who said that he felt that if he was with someone who made him want to be a better man, then he knew that he really loved her and wanted to be with her. Sometimes it is a desperate act to love someone because you want to be a better person. Werther may fall into this category; wanting to love someone other than himself because he wants to be viewed as better than he is. If he could get the adoration that he wants from the person that he wants it from, maybe the world wouldn't be so monotonous after all.

And whats more to possess another person he could feel in control of his own life. And then, there is the confusion that comes with the intense love obsession. This novella is a great character study, a thorough investigation on what it is like to be in love with someone unattainable, and how easy it is for that switch to flip on and become a pathological obsession that turns itself back on the owner of the obsession hence the suicide. I think we all have the capacity to do many of the things that Werther does in this novella, but many people let's hope, most are somehow able to keep that switch turned off I did not go into great depth here, but these were just some meanderings that I came up with in response to the quotes I wrote down.

I wrote a few more down, but they were kind of long Anyway, I enjoyed the book for it's rich characterization and melodrama that I wish to convey at times in my own life, but refrain from so that I do not slip into a pathological mind-space. Jul 20, Vicky rated it really liked it Recommended to Vicky by: Barthes references it all the time in A Lover's Discourse. Werther falls in love with Lotte, but Lotte is engaged then married to Albert, and both Lotte and Albert are happy together.

Meanwhile Werther is this persistent sad third wheel who agonizes over his unrequited love and writes all these feelings down and sometimes it's like, "lol, dude. He kisses Lotte's hand and more than once dropped tears all over her hand. He is possessiv Werther falls in love with Lotte, but Lotte is engaged then married to Albert, and both Lotte and Albert are happy together. He is possessive and imagines that if he were Albert, he would be a jealous demon.

He is also a Virgo, like me, lol. He is pitiful but his experiences are very resonating at times, his arguments for suicide and titles and life achievement stuff "giving pompous names to their shabby occupations. I particularly hate yet enjoy reading the ultra cringy parts, when he commits terrible errors, such as: September 5 She had written a little note to her husband, who was in the country attending to some business.

Come back as soon as you can; I await you with the utmost joy.

The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [Full Audiobook]

Lotte's note was not sent; and I found it by chance in the evening. I read it and smiled; and she asked me why.

The Sorrows of Young Werther

I do have favorite parts, too: July 26 Many times I have made up my mind not to see her so often. If one could only stick to one's resolutions! Every day I succumb to temptation, and then promise myself most solemnly that I shall stay away tomorrow for once; but when tomorrow comes, I again find some irresistible reason to go, and, before I know it, I am with her.

Either she has said the night before, "You will come tomorrow, won't you? Or she has given me some errand, and I think it is proper to bring her the answer in person; or the day is so very lovely that I walk to Wahlheim, and, when I am there, it is only half an hour to her! My grandmother knew a fairy tale about the Magnetic Mountain. Ships which sailed too close to it were suddenly deprived of all their iron; all the nails flew toward the mountain, and the poor sailors were shipwrecked among the collapsing planks.

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If I rated this book based on Werther, I would give it one star. But I should try not to judge a book by its character s. I think I like this novel. What can I say but that I loved it? All because of unrequited love. The writing is at times poetic and at times confused, but always clear to the re This story. The writing is at times poetic and at times confused, but always clear to the reader. But it makes me angry that Albert does not seem as delighted as he — hoped — as I — thought to be, if — I am not fond of dashes, but it is the only way of expressing myself here — and I think I make myself sufficiently clear.

Now, unrelated to my review, I want to ask everyone who reads this to help me identify a story within the story. It was either The Arabian Nights: Can anyone help a girl out here? Here's my favorite funny line from this book: I don't think I really agree.

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  6. Goethe was Werther's age when he wrote it. It's like the way you base a character on yourself as both a fantasy and a nightmare: I think Janet Malcolm said a version of this in one of her books I read recently: So I don't think Goethe really meant for us to take Werther as a full goober. But I think he did feel a little disgusted with him. But I feel like I did think, from time to time, "Werther, you dork. I didn't trust myself not to lose interest and give up on it often I'm not so good at keeping my attention focused on a 'literary classic' of a certain oldness level , so I listened to it as a free audiobook from the website Librivox.

    But I didn't trust myself not to miss big chunks while listening only, so I also read along in the book. But they were two different translations. I was really suprised that it was easy for me to absorb both pieces of information at once -- visual and audio were giving me different, similar sentences with usually the same information, but sometimes structure and word choice varied quite a lot.

    Felt weirdly like I was 'triangulating' the German at the middle point between these two info sources inside my brain. First time I ever read something that way. Told an English PhD acquaintance about this weird method, and he said, "yes of course, I do that all the time," hahaha.

    What a marvelous book, it contained not one but two amazing stories that have me appreciating the lyric style and touching writing of Goethe. Goethe's choice in writing Werther through a series of letters is both personal and powerful -- for the most part, we as readers are not told what exactly Werther thinks but rather what he feels. It's no wonder that the resultant effects were A Goethe's rise to literary stardom and B the suicides of people following the book's publishing.

    It is a hauntin What a marvelous book, it contained not one but two amazing stories that have me appreciating the lyric style and touching writing of Goethe. It is a haunting tale that inspires in me so many tremendous emotions! Novella too was a pleasure -- it remains realistic and serious, yet a certain magic pervades it all. In my opinion, it was because Goethe artfully captured the relationship of man to nature, and nature to religion in meaningful ways. Definitely a new favorite, what a pleasure!

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    8. This is one of those books I was "supposed" to read in college as an English major, but I just now got around to it. I like the translation because the language is clear and concise. However, the character of Young Werther is almost too much to bear. The young dilettante has no meaningful job or ambition. All he does is pine after Lotte, a woman engaged and then married to another man. The boy lives in his emotions and cannot see past his selfish desires. I suppose it is a great example of roman This is one of those books I was "supposed" to read in college as an English major, but I just now got around to it.

      I suppose it is a great example of romantic literature because it is based on the heart and not the mind, but you are rooting for the main character to just kill himself already. Two books in this book: The Sorrows and Novella. Powerful emotions and lovely imagery. Apparently, inspired many people to suicide. Novella, an idyll, telling of various qualities of man and nature; especially the peace and naivete of the natural world that is corrupted by human views that though well intended, ultimately see nature as more cruel and cynical than it really is.

      This moral is taught by a child singing a poem, reminiscent Two books in this book: This moral is taught by a child singing a poem, reminiscent of Blake's "Songs of Innocence. The book was ridiculous No wonder the movement died along with Goethe. It was a pretty easy read, it was just absolutely silly. The main character, Werther, is an artist and falls for a girl who is engaged to another.

      His story is told through the letters that he writes to a friend, William. If I were William, I would have told him to stop being such a pansy. At least I can now say that I've read a work by Goethe. Apr 16, Victoria rated it really liked it. Not the book I expected: It's somewhat unsettling to reflect that the book's readers seem to have taken the situation recounted more seriously than the author did. Now to re-read Lotte in Weimar , which will mean a lot more.

      This love story was written by a young 23 Goethe. It reminded me of the Romeo and Juliet story. All victims of young love. Werther falls in love with a young woman who is engaged to a young man who leaves to serve in the military. She marries the young soldier and Werther, instead of leaving, stays and tries to quietly love her in his mind. He becomes despondent and dramatically kills himself, unable to handle the emotional crisis.

      This story was later staged as an opera, "Werther. I read this over the summer as I was watching different performances of the opera, and listening to various recordings. The deeper I submerged in the story the more interesting the opera became. For me the two are inseparable, so I suppose most people aren't interested in this novella any longer, the current suicide rate notwithstanding.


      Some things never seem to change. Jun 23, Danny rated it it was ok Shelves: So much flowery, mindless romanticism that I wanted to go on a drinking binge when I finished to cleanse the mental palate. I wanted to beat up Werther.