Friedrich Schiller in Weimar, Germany.

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First published via Medium App.

On Goethe

“ On the 28th of August, 1749, at mid-day, as the clock struck twelve,
I came into the world, at Frankfurt on the Main. My horoscope was
propitious: The sun stood in the sign of the Virgin, and had culminated
for the day; Jupiter and Venus looked on him with a friendly eye,
and Mercury not adversely; while Saturn and Mars kept themselves
indifferent; the Moon alone, just full, exerted the power of her
reflection all the more, as she had then reached her planetary hour.
She opposed herself, therefore, to my birth, which could not be
accomplished until this hour was passed.

These lines were written by the German Shakespeare: Johann Wolfgang Goethe, born in Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany. He was only 22 years old, when he had already become famous all over Europe for his first novel The Sorrows of Young Werther.

In his later life Goethe became so known and famous all over Europe, that the small town of Weimar not far from Berlin became the secret capital of European Arts and Cultural discourse. Today The Goethe Haus and Schiller’s residence attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and a week in Weimar can become one of your highlights when visiting Germany and Europe. I prefer to visit in May or June, to enjoy the warm spring days and long nights with the brilliant sunlight, the sun still shining until 9 pm and even longer. What a difference compared with the southern hemisphere …


Denkmal in Weimar: Goethe & Schiller
Peter H Bloecker: In Weimar

When visiting the Goethe and the Schiller Homes in Weimar with my sister, I was fascinated how well organized and how informative these two museums have been prepared for the public. Do not miss going there and buy a few books in your language on Goethe and Schiller and their productive friendship.

More on Friedrich Schiller here …on

Schiller has become known worldwide because of his studies and dramas plus verses and his writings on IDEALISM, he might be called the father – not inventor – of German Idealism.

Ruediger Safranski has studied the lives of Goethe and Schiller and their time for years and published the best biographies I know about these two friends: Most of his books are available in many languages, and on Youtube there are a few interviews with the philosopher and writer Safranski – in German, highly recommended.

In 2014 he was awarded the Thomas Mann Prize.

Reading Schiller today?

Here the beginning of Anne Weber’s Schiller speech: Here comes Schiller, who can not be carried away?

Held in November 2021 at Marbach, Germany – Dazu via App – Hier kommt Schiller …

If the name Schiller is mentioned today, some respond with a tired smile. But how can one remain indifferent to his strength, especially that of his dramas? A look at Friedrich Schiller’s understanding of the world.

… Didn’t you read Schiller at all? Has he left you indifferent, or have you gone through the fire of his thoughts and dramatic imaginations? Did you remain numb like a rotten beam, or did you, at least sometimes, get vibrations? Look at this smooth, bleached paper, look at those black, rigid letters on it – hey, you little angular ink fellows, slept long enough, here comes Schiller, get moving, who is leading the dance?

Of course there are people who only smile tiredly when they hear the name Schiller. Those who feign an academic interest or allow themselves to be carried away into condescending half-praise, perhaps as a protest against an unpopular Schiller cult, of which, however, not much has been left lately. But how can you muster up so much detachment and reserve when it comes to Schiller? Anyone who reads it, who primarily reads his dramas and is not carried away, who does not feel this concentrated power, who does not see this tense arc tremble, can probably not be helped by me.

But at least as a trial he should step out of his high vantage point or from his stomped standpoint and take a look at the Mannheim theater, where the premiere of “The Robbers” took place on January 13, 1782: “The theater was like a madhouse, rolling eyes, clenched fists, stamping feet, hoarse screams in the auditorium!

Strangers fell sobbing into each other’s arms, women staggered to the door, on the verge of fainting. “

I grind my teeth while reading …

Listen to the full speech at Marbach in German via Youtube. (Starts at 24:00 min)

Nota Bene:

Ein neues Buch, die Biographie von Christoph Martin Wieland, einer der wichtigsten Schriftsteller des 18. Jahrhunderts und Wegbereiter der Weimarer Klassik: Jan Philipp Reemtsma leistet mit der ersten Biografie seit 70 Jahren eine literaturhistorische Großtat und verfolgt Wielands Spuren in Thüringen, wo er die Weichen für die moderne deutsche Literatur stellte. In hinreißender Art verdichtet Reemtsa dabei sein breites Wissen zu einem imposanten Buch … nicht nur fuer Germanisten!
(MDR Kultur Podcast).

More about the scholar Jan Philipp Reemtsma