Texas Tech University


Publication Date: 1853 Goethe succeeded in attracting, as no German had done before him, the attention of Europe. Once more it was the gospel that the world belongs to the strong, which lay beneath the surface of this romance. The crowning achievement of Goethe's literary life was the completion of Faust. The poem had accompanied him from early manhood to the end and was the repository for the fullest “confession” of his life; it is the poetic epitome of his experience…Faust finally triumphs over the powers of evil. There lies a philosophy of life, a ripe wisdom born of experience, such as no European poet had given to the world since the renaissance. Goethe was the last of those universal minds which have been able to compass all domains of human activity and knowledge; for he stood on the brink of an era of rapidly expanding knowledge which has made forever impossible the universality of interest and sympathy which distinguished him… As a moralist and a guide to the conduct of life – it is difficult even still to get beyond the maxims of practical wisdom he scattered so liberally through his writings… Napoleon's often cited words, uttered after the meetings at Erfurst: Voila Homme! Of all modern men, Goethe is the most universal type of genius. “To think is easy, to act is hard, but the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking.”” #0153
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