Hot Best Seller

I dolori del giovane Werther

Availability: Ready to download

In forma di romanzo epistolare, il giovane Werther racconta all'amico Guglielmo il suo sfortunato amore per Lotte, già promessa sposa di Alberto, arido, ma di buoni sentimenti, di cui peraltro è amico. Dopo aver strappato l'unico bacio all'amata, tormentato dalla gelosia, rinuncerà ad un lungo viaggio per un finale tragico, tipicamente romantico. Il tono è semplice e puro c In forma di romanzo epistolare, il giovane Werther racconta all'amico Guglielmo il suo sfortunato amore per Lotte, già promessa sposa di Alberto, arido, ma di buoni sentimenti, di cui peraltro è amico. Dopo aver strappato l'unico bacio all'amata, tormentato dalla gelosia, rinuncerà ad un lungo viaggio per un finale tragico, tipicamente romantico. Il tono è semplice e puro come le passioni che sono rappresentate, ed i temi essenziali sono: l'amore sublimato ed unico conforto al deludente presente e la natura, portatrice di serenità e consolatrice.


Compare

In forma di romanzo epistolare, il giovane Werther racconta all'amico Guglielmo il suo sfortunato amore per Lotte, già promessa sposa di Alberto, arido, ma di buoni sentimenti, di cui peraltro è amico. Dopo aver strappato l'unico bacio all'amata, tormentato dalla gelosia, rinuncerà ad un lungo viaggio per un finale tragico, tipicamente romantico. Il tono è semplice e puro c In forma di romanzo epistolare, il giovane Werther racconta all'amico Guglielmo il suo sfortunato amore per Lotte, già promessa sposa di Alberto, arido, ma di buoni sentimenti, di cui peraltro è amico. Dopo aver strappato l'unico bacio all'amata, tormentato dalla gelosia, rinuncerà ad un lungo viaggio per un finale tragico, tipicamente romantico. Il tono è semplice e puro come le passioni che sono rappresentate, ed i temi essenziali sono: l'amore sublimato ed unico conforto al deludente presente e la natura, portatrice di serenità e consolatrice.

30 review for I dolori del giovane Werther

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hans

    This is s dangerous book. For anyone who has suffered from that unrequited love that burns like a fever will be able to relate uncannily well with this book. Unfortunately the ending is such that it inspired many people to use it like a template for their own lives when faced with a similar situation. While finishing up this book I wondered whether Goethe was ever aware or thought about the painful actions his book inspired. This is a fictionalized autobiography of Goethe's own experience of bei This is s dangerous book. For anyone who has suffered from that unrequited love that burns like a fever will be able to relate uncannily well with this book. Unfortunately the ending is such that it inspired many people to use it like a template for their own lives when faced with a similar situation. While finishing up this book I wondered whether Goethe was ever aware or thought about the painful actions his book inspired. This is a fictionalized autobiography of Goethe's own experience of being in love with a woman he could never have. The experience was obviously very painful for him. His writing style has powerful clarity that can easily pull you into the story causing you to ache with the main character and laugh at the same time. To me this was an example of the dark-side of romanticism. The main character, Werther, was so obsessed and fixated on Charlotta (the woman he loves) that it was as if he wasn't even seeing her anymore. What he was in love with was an idea, not actually her, he was in love with his own ideal of her. This is the grand delusion that romantics feed themselves and they do it to such excess that their behavior seems pitiable. I would only recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand what obsession with another human being looks like. This mindset is as unhealthy as attaining the object, and I say object because that is what the idealized Charlotta became, would likely only reveal his delusion. Romanticism is an example of looking for a personal messiah in love. Someone who we can pin all of our hopes and dreams on to pull us out of the human condition we find ourselves stuck in. A quest for transcendence through the love of another. But placing that responsibility on the shoulders of someone else will always disappoint and rightly so. We can not give to another what only we can do for ourselves. I would only cautiously recommend this book. Realists could handle it, but dreamers beware.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Casey

    I couldn't help but imagine young Werther as a high school, tweeting about all his troubles to the ether. So, without further ado, I present to you: The Tweets of Young Werther. This is the kind of book that high school teachers should be making self-absorbed teenagers read. They can totally relate, both to the intense feelings of emotion and the complete conviction that no one in the world has ever felt the same way before. I couldn't relate that well, because really Werther just needs to man up I couldn't help but imagine young Werther as a high school, tweeting about all his troubles to the ether. So, without further ado, I present to you: The Tweets of Young Werther. This is the kind of book that high school teachers should be making self-absorbed teenagers read. They can totally relate, both to the intense feelings of emotion and the complete conviction that no one in the world has ever felt the same way before. I couldn't relate that well, because really Werther just needs to man up and bang someone else, but I still (inexplicably) liked this book. Actually, my affection is explicable: we're talking about Goethe, after all. I should really step away from photoshop and get back to work.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thackeray wrote this very glib verse synopsis of the tale: Werther had a love for Charlotte Such as words could never utter; Would you know how first he met her? She was cutting bread and butter. Charlotte was a married lady, And a moral man was Werther, And, for all the wealth of Indies, Would do nothing for to hurt her. So he sighed and pined and ogled, And his passion boiled and bubbled, Till he blew his silly brains out, And no more was by it troubled. Charlotte, having seen his body Borne before h Thackeray wrote this very glib verse synopsis of the tale: Werther had a love for Charlotte Such as words could never utter; Would you know how first he met her? She was cutting bread and butter. Charlotte was a married lady, And a moral man was Werther, And, for all the wealth of Indies, Would do nothing for to hurt her. So he sighed and pined and ogled, And his passion boiled and bubbled, Till he blew his silly brains out, And no more was by it troubled. Charlotte, having seen his body Borne before her on a shutter, Like a well-conducted person, Went on cutting bread and butter.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Fionnuala

    It’s taken me well over a year to get through the saga of Young Werther’s love for his Lotte even though it’s quite a short little book. I plead mitigating circumstances. I had no thought of reading this novel until I came across a pair of characters called Goethe and Lotte in Christine Brooke-Rose’s Textermination, and checked out their real-life story. The trail led to a fictional version of the same story in Young Werther. I was tempted to try reading Young Werther in his own language so I bo It’s taken me well over a year to get through the saga of Young Werther’s love for his Lotte even though it’s quite a short little book. I plead mitigating circumstances. I had no thought of reading this novel until I came across a pair of characters called Goethe and Lotte in Christine Brooke-Rose’s Textermination, and checked out their real-life story. The trail led to a fictional version of the same story in Young Werther. I was tempted to try reading Young Werther in his own language so I bought a parallel text and set about deciphering Die Leiden while meanwhile continuing to decipher Brooke-Rose’s prose. I love challenges. Die Leiden is written mostly in the form of letters from Werther to his friend Wilhelm. The first lines of the first letter had a lovely rhythm and were full of short and recognisable words: Wie froh bin ich, daß ich weg bin! Bester Freund, was ist das Herz des Menchen! (How glad I am to have come away! Best of friends, what the human heart is like!) I read a bit further, pleased with my efforts, until I came to a line about two sisters, one of whom Werther seemed to be involved with. Or was he dallying with both at the same time, the young scamp? I was confused and switched to the English version but somehow lost interest in Werther when he then began to dally with Lotte, who was already engaged, excusing himself thus: I treat my heart like a sick child; I let it have anything it wants. Fast forward to last week and a decision to clear my currently-reading shelf with no further Zaudern und Zagen (shilly-shallying). I picked up Werther again and this time his sorrows somehow suited me better. Before I knew it, I was leafing through his letters, immer geschwinder (faster and faster) like water thundering through a gigantic gorge into a deep dark lake. Werther, like many young people of the 1770s, was awed by the spectacle of nature and continually pondering man’s punyness in relation to the landscape. (view spoiler)[ Engraving of a cataract by Goethe (hide spoiler)] When Werther is not being awed by glowing sunsets or wild storms, he is tormented by thoughts of his beloved Lotte who meantime has married her fiancé. When the blue frock-coat and matching yellow waistcoat he was wearing the day he met her are finally worn out, he has another made exactly the same so that he can continue to be reminded of her. He treasures ribbons and trinkets that she has touched and dreams of her constantly. Such are the sorrows of young Werther. (view spoiler)[Goethe sees no alternative for Werther but to kill him off in the end, modelling his suicide on that of an aquaintance of his youth. (hide spoiler)] Goethe had a real Lotte in his life, Charlotte Buff, whom he met in 1772 when he was twenty-three and she was nineteen and already engaged. Apparently her fiancé offered to stand down in favour of Goethe, but G remembered he had an urgent journey to make just about then and Lotte eventually married her fiancé. Goethe may have shared some of Werther’s sorrows over Lotte but he quickly found comfort in the arms of another (married) lady; there were a series of married ladies in his life, it seems. Lotte went in search of him in Weimar many years later when they were both in their sixties and she a widow. Her journey was not a success. Thomas Mann wrote about this period in their lives in his novel Lotte in Weimar: The Beloved Returns. It might well have been called The Sorrows of Lotte.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rowena

    "I have been intoxicated more than once, my passions have never been far off insanity." Although I have some sympathy for unrequited love, it was hard for me to understand Werther. My feelings toward him went back and forth between sympathy and frustration. At times I admired his love, at other times I found it to be very obsessive. Yes, he was sensitive and romantic, but the woman of his dreams did not lead him on in any way so I did find the way he behaved quite incomprehensible. This was my f "I have been intoxicated more than once, my passions have never been far off insanity." Although I have some sympathy for unrequited love, it was hard for me to understand Werther. My feelings toward him went back and forth between sympathy and frustration. At times I admired his love, at other times I found it to be very obsessive. Yes, he was sensitive and romantic, but the woman of his dreams did not lead him on in any way so I did find the way he behaved quite incomprehensible. This was my first Goethe and it won't be my last.I love how he writes, and I enjoyed his philosophical musings, and his meditations on life, love, religion, people, etc. He made some interesting points although some of them did seem to come from an elitist's point of view.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Parthiban Sekar

    I would not be mistaken if I think that many of us would have just eschewed this book by just seeing the first few words of the title. SORROW: the very word instigates a sense of a confused horror in us. Sorrow is one of the emotions which every great men cannot escape in their lives, as Dostoevsky says. Sorrow brings a state of helplessness from which the unfortunate weak ones cannot free themselves. Though the events of this story can be considered as unfortunate for our Werther but it can be I would not be mistaken if I think that many of us would have just eschewed this book by just seeing the first few words of the title. SORROW: the very word instigates a sense of a confused horror in us. Sorrow is one of the emotions which every great men cannot escape in their lives, as Dostoevsky says. Sorrow brings a state of helplessness from which the unfortunate weak ones cannot free themselves. Though the events of this story can be considered as unfortunate for our Werther but it can be also accepted that Werther is not a weak one, at least in common sense. The mere idea of reading letters brings a happy amusement to most of us. But what if those letters brim with sorrow? Through this brilliant epistolary novel, Goethe makes us read the most compelling letters of sorrowful experience of Werther in his young age. “I am proud of my heart alone, it is the sole source of everything, all our strength, happiness and misery. All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own” Werther is not the one who despises living or humans; but he is one of those great men who loves the simplicity of the common man; a kind hearted man who weeps for the unfortunate of his fellow men, even for those who are unfamiliar to him. He values everyone equally and respects everyone’s emotions; He even scorns at one’s indifference and apathy. But what befalls him later is something inexorable! “It's true that nothing in this world makes us so necessary to others as the affection we have for them.” Young Werther falls in love with irresistible Lotte! But Lotte is to be married to Albert, another gentleman with whom Werther makes an in-good-terms friendship. While the marriage between L and A seems to last, the friendship between W and A is enfeebled by the unconventional ideas of Werther. “Is this the destiny of man? Is he only happy before he has acquired his reason or after he has lost it?” Love that all he needs and that is widely believed to conquer us and set us free from material contaminations, he felt, is purloined from his lady-love. Stricken with sorrow, he walks endlessly in search of himself, for which Sorrow also alienates individuals from the rest. But wherever he goes, in some way or the other, the memory of his lady-love wakes him up from his somber sojourn. How can the bright figures and brilliant landscapes amuse a prisoner of life? (view spoiler)[ I don’t think that I really have to tell what might have happened to Werther. “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. ” - Albert Camus ” Suicide is something with which most of us disagree, without even weighing the events which might have burdened the victim to the extent to make him or her think that this is the only last resort one could hope for. Does this story offer an alternate view on the subject? I think, YES. There is no argument of success or failure of Geothe’s attempt on this subject: but a compelling alternate view. “The suffering may be moral or physical; and in my opinion it is just as absurd to call a man a coward who destroys himself, as to call a man a coward who dies of a malignant fever.” (hide spoiler)]

  7. 5 out of 5

    Renée

    Most beautiful book I've ever read. Goethe's style and prose is incredible. I'm not sure how well it translates to English, having read it in Dutch and German, but I'm sure there are many competant translators out there. Anyone who's not read this is really, really missing out as it's of an unequalled beauty.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Luís C.

    Wolfgang Goethe when he wrote The Sufferings of the Young Werther did not believe that his novel would be so successful. In German Literature, before the novel, there was still no romanesque work at Werther's height. All the romances that preceded him, which dealt with cards, were mostly neutral or cold. They emphasized more those who wrote to the narrator than the narrator himself. In Werther, for the first time, one sees a first-person narrator, an outstanding self. Werther suffers for love an Wolfgang Goethe when he wrote The Sufferings of the Young Werther did not believe that his novel would be so successful. In German Literature, before the novel, there was still no romanesque work at Werther's height. All the romances that preceded him, which dealt with cards, were mostly neutral or cold. They emphasized more those who wrote to the narrator than the narrator himself. In Werther, for the first time, one sees a first-person narrator, an outstanding self. Werther suffers for love and counts through letters his feelings. It is a small but rather dense novel, with a plot full of strong scenes and human questions. Worth it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    J.L. Sutton

    No doubt there were shimmers of brilliance in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774); however, for such a short book, it took me a long time to complete it. At one level, it's not difficult to relate to Werther and the pain he experiences (he is in love with a woman who is unavailable, i.e. already married). Still, experiencing this pain (and wallowing with Werther in his anguish) is not enough to move the narrative forward.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bee

    It's definately a masterpiece of its age, but I can't count how many times throughout the book I wanted to shake Werther by the arm or better so, slap him it the face. The characters are just unbelievablly stupid. I know that the times were different, but still they should know better. And the fact that the book caused a lot of people to commit suicide doesn't help at all. I can't believe Goethe wasted his talent on such a wortless novel.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nidhi Singh

    I am proud of my heart alone, it is the sole source of everything, all our strength, happiness and misery. All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own. If one doesn’t drown oneself in its indulgent water, sorrow can deepen, can humanize and connect a person to humanity. Werther realizes this idea at different levels of self-indulgence, self-destruction and emotional dissipation. He is dreamy, sensitive, emotional, vulnerable, very romantic, made for love, t I am proud of my heart alone, it is the sole source of everything, all our strength, happiness and misery. All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own. If one doesn’t drown oneself in its indulgent water, sorrow can deepen, can humanize and connect a person to humanity. Werther realizes this idea at different levels of self-indulgence, self-destruction and emotional dissipation. He is dreamy, sensitive, emotional, vulnerable, very romantic, made for love, to the cost of dissolution of the self. Such sensitivity in fact renders him extremely vulnerable, weakened by the power of his own emotions, because the world as constituted is not especially kind to the sensitive nature. Such a nature in this sense is not made for the world and has to be somewhat artificially (but nevertheless necessarily) re-trained for adaptation to it. A misfit has to be turned into something of a workable fit. But for Werther, a painful detour towards self destruction comes naturally in the course of living than the simulation of a personality that is not true for him. Sometimes I don't understand how another can love her, is allowed to love her, since I love her so completely myself, so intensely, so fully, grasp nothing, know nothing, have nothing but her. Werther’s sentimentality is obsessive and even morbid at times. The grief is intense and so over involving that someone just might need a moment to disconnect from the atmosphere of such melancholic dankness. The prose over spills with painful lovelorn sentiments that ooze from his heart. But then this pain is as real and as acutely felt. Werther with all his vulnerabilities, his idealism, his belief in the utmost goodness of human nature and his disdain for worldly ambition is not really made for this world. He is that sentimental loner who lives in the images of art and literature. He poetizes nature, intersperses it with memories of love, separation, melancholy, nostalgia and transient happiness that speckle the mountains, the stream, the trees, the wind and the snow. Fragments of his being that are scattered all through. Nature stimulates him, mirrors his passions, and embraces the immensity of his grief. It is the only place he truly belongs to. One realizes how hard it must have really been for him. It makes his tale a sorrowful litany of all those hopeless wanderers tormented by their own passionate nature, who want a escape from the grim impassiveness of this world they live in. An ode to all sentimental misfits, hopeless romantics, caged by their passions, incapacitated by their longings, falling apart at the seams of a world which harbors antipathy or at most a polite indifference towards them.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Edward

    The Sorrows of Young Werther is a beautiful and emotionally accurate depiction of romantic love: its consuming nature, and the devastation it has the potential to inflict. As a novel it is striking (especially for its time) in the way it subverts the traditional format, by connecting an epistolary structure with an overarching narrative from an unnamed "editor". The language is so wonderfully romantic and personal, one really is made to feel as Werther felt throughout his ordeal. I especially lov The Sorrows of Young Werther is a beautiful and emotionally accurate depiction of romantic love: its consuming nature, and the devastation it has the potential to inflict. As a novel it is striking (especially for its time) in the way it subverts the traditional format, by connecting an epistolary structure with an overarching narrative from an unnamed "editor". The language is so wonderfully romantic and personal, one really is made to feel as Werther felt throughout his ordeal. I especially loved the novel for its examination of romantic love as an almost diseased state of being: one that consumes and transforms, causing the overwhelming focus of one's life to be directed at the object of love, and all future concerns to hinge upon the question of reciprocation. This virulent nature is epitomised in the following passage, in which Werther discusses with his rival Albert the consuming power of despair: Woe to him who could look on and say, "Foolish girl! Had she waited, had she let time have its effect, despair would surely have abated, and surely someone else would have come forward to comfort her." Just as if one should say, "What a fool to die of fever! Had he waited until his powers had recovered, his life forces improved, the tumult of his blood abated, then all would have gone well, and he would be alive today!" Certainly this was not the first time in history that sorrow caused by unrequited love was likened to physical illness, but the acknowledgement that it can consume with such inevitability, beyond the control of will alone, is striking in its likeness to modern notions of depression and mental illness. For me, this examination raised intriguing questions around free will and the nature of the mind: to what extent are we in control of ourselves, when a simple thing like love can transform us so? What fascinates me is the reduction of such complex and powerful thoughts and emotions to the modern, almost binary perspective, where some thoughts may be considered normal and well, and other entire categories of thought are considered malignant and requiring treatment. Werther may have suffered from mental illness by modern definitions, but had he sought treatment for his condition and overcome it, would this somehow have diminished the love he felt for Lotte, and thereby also have reduced a very real part of himself? Here the distinction between the two types of illnesses compared in Werther's quote becomes apparent: unlike the fever, Werther's illness arose from himself - it was a result of his own genuine thoughts and desires, and its treatment would imply at some level a loss of agency, even a loss of self. This is not to say that I am a Romantic about such matters - I don't believe that avoidable suffering and loss should be endured (where treatment exists it should be sought). Werther's fate is not to be idealised. But philosophically speaking, what fertile ground this is for exploration!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Florencia

    I read this book in high school. So, I don't remember much of it, except the crying. I loved the story, I could relate to many of his thoughts about unrequited love and its tragic consequences, and feeling like it was the end of the world because I wasn't with that special someone and, well. High school: Maths and lovesickness. I cried quite a bit while reading this book, Bambi's-mother-shooting kind of tears. I probably wouldn't react that way now, I'd just think about how much easier it would I read this book in high school. So, I don't remember much of it, except the crying. I loved the story, I could relate to many of his thoughts about unrequited love and its tragic consequences, and feeling like it was the end of the world because I wasn't with that special someone and, well. High school: Maths and lovesickness. I cried quite a bit while reading this book, Bambi's-mother-shooting kind of tears. I probably wouldn't react that way now, I'd just think about how much easier it would be to move out and try to meet somebody else (or not) than crying a river and (view spoiler)[trying to kill yourself. (hide spoiler)] I'd have to re-read it to find out. However, despite that particular part of the plot, it was beautifully and carefully written. Goethe described one of the most profound and dangerous kinds of pain in a delicate and graceful manner. His prose is brilliant, powerful. Besides love, and lack of love, pain and whatnot, there are passages like: "Oh! you people of sound understandings," I replied, smiling, "are ever ready to exclaim 'Extravagance, and madness, and intoxication!' You moral men are so calm and so subdued! You abhor the drunken man, and detest the extravagant; you pass by, like the Levite, and thank God, like the Pharisee, that you are not like one of them. I have been more than once intoxicated, my passions have always bordered on extravagance: I am not ashamed to confess it; for I have learned, by my own experience, that all extraordinary men, who have accomplished great and astonishing actions, have ever been decried by the world as drunken or insane. And in private life, too, is it not intolerable that no one can undertake the execution of a noble or generous deed, without giving rise to the exclamation that the doer is intoxicated or mad? Shame upon you, ye sages!" So, what you can get out of this really helpful review is that: a) I cried. b) Goethe's writing is beautiful. Aug 17, 13 * Also on my blog.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Perry

    Sturm and Drang: Self-Destruction, a Tragedy of Temperament Mostly epistolary, this short novel thrusts the reader into the province of Young Werther's psyche by manner of his letters, which are replete with verbal ejaculations, disconnected sentences and fervid flights of fancy, as he moves from summit to summit to deepening valleys. The three main characters are Lotte, Werther and Albert, who is Lotte's older fiance' then husband. The men are nearly diametrically opposed: the latter is older, se Sturm and Drang: Self-Destruction, a Tragedy of Temperament Mostly epistolary, this short novel thrusts the reader into the province of Young Werther's psyche by manner of his letters, which are replete with verbal ejaculations, disconnected sentences and fervid flights of fancy, as he moves from summit to summit to deepening valleys. The three main characters are Lotte, Werther and Albert, who is Lotte's older fiance' then husband. The men are nearly diametrically opposed: the latter is older, sensible, established, whereas Werther is immature, idealistic and unstable. Werther believes that no other female in the world exists for him than the first beautiful woman who agrees to dance with him. He simply must have her or his life is not worth living. So the narcissistic twit tries to lay a world of grief upon Lotte's doorstep. Lotte seemed she might have taken to the lad because he allured her sentimental side, and they shared a measure of passion of which Albert was wanting. On the other hand, Lotte's tranquil demeanor and assumption of her late mother's duties in raising her younger siblings gave her the sensibility to realize Werther was highly unsuitable as a mate given his incurably romantic, effusive and erratic personality traits. This was probably the first notable novel of a tragedy arising from an internal struggle with one's own feelings or emotions. It is a tragedy of temperament, rather than one caused by circumstances beyond one's control. Indeed, I'd argue that this dude would have pulled his plug over his first major setback in life. Werther's struggle is inside. The outside circumstances furnish the cause for his revealing this internal strife. He epitomizes a soul endeavoring for absolutes and straining for unconditional love, propelled by a raging river that clutches one's existence, continually mutating life into a sequence of severe intrinsic episodes. Because Werther's existence is cored on his emotions and he has no objective counterbalance or outflow into other activities, each emotion adds a centrifugal pull until his life spins into a self-destructive vortex. It is ironic that the novel provoked a wave of suicides by young males across Europe because it emerges as more of an indictment of the perils of undisciplined passions than any kind of provocation to imitate Werther. Goethe wrote The Sufferings of Young Werther in his 25th year and it was the beginning and end of his involvement in the "Sturm and Drang" (storm and stress) movement, given that he saw Werther's soul as the inexorable result of the unchecked emotional storms lauded by the movement, many of whose writers' careers ended in suicide or lunacy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Clare

    I picked this up with some trepidation, assuming that it would be full of stolid German angst and that I would give up after a couple of pages. However, it's a perfect psychological portrait! I loved it. Werther isn't an entirely sympathetic character (he has the odd Kevin the Teenager moment) but you are entirely drawn into his world and feel the same responses as him very keenly. It's only upon finishing that you realise how Goethe has managed to completely draw you into the concerns and belie I picked this up with some trepidation, assuming that it would be full of stolid German angst and that I would give up after a couple of pages. However, it's a perfect psychological portrait! I loved it. Werther isn't an entirely sympathetic character (he has the odd Kevin the Teenager moment) but you are entirely drawn into his world and feel the same responses as him very keenly. It's only upon finishing that you realise how Goethe has managed to completely draw you into the concerns and beliefs of one character in such an extraordinary way. It's packed with beautiful descriptions of his surroundings and the countryside. Usually I hate long descriptive passages (as a philistine I often think they detract from the story) but these are perfectly balanced with the character portraits of the various protagonists. It's beautiful writing of the highest order (even in translation) and a perfect example of how obsession can ultimately lead to personal emptiness. Even if none of the above convinces - apparently Napoleon was a huge fan. He read it seven times. Note on the translation - I read Elizabeth Mayer and Louise Bogan's version in the Everyman selected works which comes highly recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Khashayar Mohammadi

    It breaks my heart to speak ill of a book written by Goethe; but when one thinks of the countless men and women who have read this book throughout the years, weeping tears of compassion for Werther and men of his elk, it no longer comes as a surprise how misogyny and domestic violence still haunts our women to this day.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    “The Sorrows of Young Werther, is better known, mainly because it represented such an enormous milestone in literary history; the first German international best-seller, it is said to have started a craze for suicide among young people emulating its hero. But in English it remains a book more famous than read." Werther is an artist, a poet, a lover. He is love struck, love sick even. He is overwhelmed by his passion and emotions, which is expressed to us in the form of letters to his dear friend “The Sorrows of Young Werther, is better known, mainly because it represented such an enormous milestone in literary history; the first German international best-seller, it is said to have started a craze for suicide among young people emulating its hero. But in English it remains a book more famous than read." Werther is an artist, a poet, a lover. He is love struck, love sick even. He is overwhelmed by his passion and emotions, which is expressed to us in the form of letters to his dear friend Wilhelm. I felt this novel was written like a poem, the language is too beautiful to call it mere prose. This is a tragic and dramatic story, the very powerful ending is desperately sad. What surprised me most was for a book written so long ago, it was first published in 1774 it was very readable and relatable. Once again my Sunday-short-novel has been a winner, (although I needed extra time to finish it) 5*

  18. 4 out of 5

    David Gallagher

    "The things I know, anyone can know - but my heart is mine and mine alone." This has got to be one of my all-time favorite books. Haunting, devastating, soul-stirring, a fist to the stomach. All the tragedy of true love in a Goethe masterpiece. The descriptive majesty of the book is beyond comprehension. A truly amazing book, one that I am happy to have read in my lifetime and one I would suggest to everyone, especially those who have loved someone more than themselves.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Manybooks

    Granted and truth be told, the general thematics, as well as the writing, the stylistics of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Die Leiden des jungen Werther are evocative and tragically beautiful, a novel of intensity of feeling, of all encompassing anguish, the tragedy of unrequited, or perhaps more to the point, impossible, unasked for love (and for the 18th century, almost palpably modern, presenting both psychological and neurological allusions and musings that are well beyond its historic time, a Granted and truth be told, the general thematics, as well as the writing, the stylistics of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Die Leiden des jungen Werther are evocative and tragically beautiful, a novel of intensity of feeling, of all encompassing anguish, the tragedy of unrequited, or perhaps more to the point, impossible, unasked for love (and for the 18th century, almost palpably modern, presenting both psychological and neurological allusions and musings that are well beyond its historic time, and often truly 20th century in feel and scope). And the main protagonist, young Werther, is shown by Goethe and through Goethe's exquisite, nuanced word building as absolutely and utterly how he is, as well as how he is generally perceived by society (including his nearest and dearest), with both the likeable and the unlikable, problematic traits of Werther's personality, his inner and outer selves (his psyches) portrayed with equal emotion, with equal sensitivity. But all that being said, and even though Die Leiden des jungen Werther often absolutely shines with brilliance and is well deserving of being labeled a classic of German literature, I personally simply just DO NOT LIKE Goethe's Werther as a character, as a person. He is obsessive, self involved to the extreme, with a sense of entitlement that uncomfortably reminds of narcissistic stalker types of personages (for as much as some readers might indeed adore Werther or at least Goethe's literary achievement that is Werther, he basically continually seeks Lotte's company, stalking her, trying to foist his love on her, even when it becomes abundantly clear without a doubt that Lotte is not only engaged to Albert, but indeed also and actually happily so). And although one might perhaps attempt to consider it somewhat of a blessing disguise that when Werther finally once and for all does realise that he cannot ever have Lotte for himself, for his lover, that he "only" commits suicide and does not engage in what we would now label as murder/suicide, his final act of self destruction is nevertheless especially traumatic and massively devastating to and for Lotte, who is for a while also rumoured to be close to self harm, so saddened is she by, so responsible does she feel for Werther's suicide. The beauty and haunting qualities of Die Leiden des jungen Werther thus simply cannot in my opinion mask the fact that as an individual, that as a person, the main protagonist is perhaps depressed, but ultimately and first and foremost a totally self entitled, eternally whining and clamouring egomaniac who somehow thinks that the world, that society (even whilst claiming to despise it), that Lotte herself somehow should revolve around him and for his benefit, his desires (and when Werther realises that this is not the case, he reacts not only petulantly and immaturely, but with deadly self harm, not only removing himself from society, from the world, but also and quite deliberately, in my opinion, hurting those nearest and dearest to him with and by his final act). Now I truly do think that if Goethe (if the author) had not made his Werther commit suicide, while I might still have felt somewhat impatient with Werther as a character (mostly because throughout the course of the novel, he does tediously declaim and continue to declaim poetry like a lovestruck schoolboy, which repetition have the tendency to become more and more monotonous as Die Leiden des jungen Werther progresses), I also very likely would have felt much more empathy and even sympathy for Werther, for his unrequited, impossible passion for Lotte. However, with the ending, with Werther's suicide and the sadness this causes especially for and to Lotte, most of my sympathy is for her (as while I might to a point understand Werther's sadness and despair at the fact that Lotte is engaged to someone else, is in love with someone else, I cannot in any way support or condone his actions, his violence, even if it was violence mostly towards himself, at least physically speaking). Still recommended as a classic of German literature, a beautifully and evocatively conceptualised, devastating psychological portrait of depression and egomania, although with the caveat that some if not many readers might well react as I have with regard to Werther, finding him immature, selfishly demanding and frustrating to the extreme (and I do apologise to those readers who absolutely love Die Leiden des jungen Werther and see in Goethe's portrait of him the epitome of misunderstood youth, but I for one, have never had much if any patience with Werther).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dean

    Well, I didn't expect to be blown away reading this classic novel by Goethe.. But I've been pleasantly surprised!! I must say that my expectations has been surpassed to the uttermost.. And honestly spoken friends, if it not were for my good friend and buddy at goodreads Tracey, and also for the great reviews and awesome ratings I never would have chosen this one for reading!! And yet, I'm so happy to have done so.. "The Sorrows of Young Werther" is the first novel written by Goethe, and it became imm Well, I didn't expect to be blown away reading this classic novel by Goethe.. But I've been pleasantly surprised!! I must say that my expectations has been surpassed to the uttermost.. And honestly spoken friends, if it not were for my good friend and buddy at goodreads Tracey, and also for the great reviews and awesome ratings I never would have chosen this one for reading!! And yet, I'm so happy to have done so.. "The Sorrows of Young Werther" is the first novel written by Goethe, and it became immediately after his publication a huge success!! Even so much, that the Duke of Saxe-Weimar Karl August, did ennobled him after such an awesome and fantastic success. "The Sorrows of Young Werther" made of Goethe the literary celebrity throughout Europe in his time.. It is written as an epistolary novel and presented as a collection of letters written by Werther (a young artist) to his friend Wilhelm!! Werther meets Charlotte, a beautiful and young girl and falls in love with her.. Although knowing very well that she is engaged and so his love and affection will have no future!! He spent much time with her, and after a short absence returns and finds Charlotte married!! And here we go, friends.. please fasten tight the emotional belts.. Werther suffers from such an agony and pain, that it's threatening even his life!! let me say that although we have here before us a deep dramatic and romantic tale, by no means this is all what we get for the bargain!! In the course of my readings it has struck me how much truth and insight about the meaning of life, the universe, the human sufferings, the meaning of sufferings, the value of love and the destiny of we human beings, Gothe has put in an excellent and awesome way in his story and dialogues!! Then also I want to say, that what I did experience as a great surprise was, that although this novel was written hundreds of years ago, it is readable so easily like a contemporary work!! Yes, for me this was a great surprise which I didn't expect at all and it did stunned me.. Beautiful written like poetry, it has successful captured the enduring eternal spirit of truthfulness and sacrificial love.. By no means will it fail to enchant the reader and raptured him to mysterious places never known before!! I recommend this literary classic gem to all book lovers as a real treat, and indeed something to be savored.. Happy readings Dean;)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    This is a loosely autobiographical epistolary novel. The majority, but not all the letters, are from the Werther to his friend Wilhelm over a period of several months. It is considered one of the most important novels of the Sturm and Drang literary movement of German literature that later developed into the period of full-blown Romantic literature. It is worth reading for this itself; the only way to get a sense of the period’s prose style is to test it. I am glad to have tried it, to get a sen This is a loosely autobiographical epistolary novel. The majority, but not all the letters, are from the Werther to his friend Wilhelm over a period of several months. It is considered one of the most important novels of the Sturm and Drang literary movement of German literature that later developed into the period of full-blown Romantic literature. It is worth reading for this itself; the only way to get a sense of the period’s prose style is to test it. I am glad to have tried it, to get a sense of the period’s writing style. This is why I gave the book three stars. The writing is florid. Do I like the writing style? No, not really, but in all honesty, by the book’s end, I was caught up in both the prose style and the story. I needed to know how it would end and I wanted to see the words Goethe employed to bring it to an end. The prose style is intimately tied to the plot. They flow into each other, they mesh into each other, they fit each other amazingly well. You sit back and view it as a creative piece of art. Werther is obsessively attracted to Charlotte. Charlotte is engaged and then does marry Albert. At first all three are friends. As Werther’s obsession grows, it becomes overpowering. Werther is lovelorn, and I mean lovelorn in a big way. Nothing in life interests him other than Charlotte. His love for her absorbs him to the exclusion of everything else in his life. I can tell you this is a tale about unrequited love, and it is, but to fully grasp his obsession, one must read the lines. Only in this way does one fully grasp the extent of his love, the craziness of it, the overpowering magnitude of it and ultimately its destructive power. The story line is melodramatic. It is syrupy. Its inherent exaggeration makes it unrealistic, bordering on the absurd. I should not like it, but I did. All aspects of it fit together. It works. It becomes a unique sparkling gem. When this book came out, so many were caught up by it that lovelorn men joined in on the fad of committing suicide dressed in the same style of clothes Werther wore. “I am proud of my heart alone, it is the sole source of everything, all our strength, happiness and misery.” Leighton Pugh narrates the audiobook. He dramatizes, but his reading does fit the text. In parts he sobs. It is not hard to follow, so I am willing to give the narration three stars, but not more than that.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I was surprised how much I enjoyed this, Goethe’s semi-autobiographical tale of a young man’s unrequited love that ends in his suicide. Written in 1774 when Goethe was 24, it was essentially the world’s first best seller. What drew me to it, along with favorable reviews by GR friends, is my curiosity and ignorance of Goethe as an important figure in cultural history. From reading Holmes’ “Age of Wonder” and Wulf’s “The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World”, I got some apprecia I was surprised how much I enjoyed this, Goethe’s semi-autobiographical tale of a young man’s unrequited love that ends in his suicide. Written in 1774 when Goethe was 24, it was essentially the world’s first best seller. What drew me to it, along with favorable reviews by GR friends, is my curiosity and ignorance of Goethe as an important figure in cultural history. From reading Holmes’ “Age of Wonder” and Wulf’s “The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World”, I got some appreciation of his life as a person and his potent blend of science and romanticism. From Wikipedia, I learn how he wrote this while a young lawyer and how its popularity helped spawn the Romantic movement as a counter to the excess rationalism of the Enlightenment. I understand little about the complexity of these big historical trends, so I didn’t expect much from this as something seminal. I expected to be disappointed with an overwrought melodrama and mushy lyricism. What I got was a nice balance of emotional engagement in Werther’s growing love for Charlotte and universal wisdom in his analytic portrayal of his obsessed condition in letters to his friend, Wilhelm. Werther develops a wholesome friendship with Charlotte, whom he admires for taking up the care of her younger siblings after the death of her mother. His growing affection is challenged by her engagement to Albert, whom Wether is magnanimous enough to befriend. His innocent walks and playful encounters with her soon become all he can think about. He is grateful for the meaning she brings to his life and all his senses, but recognizes the obsession as like a disease process. He regrets the pain that he brings her when he can no longer hide his condition from her. Somehow she doesn’t catch on when, after they are married, he asks her to loan him Albert’s pistols. Though the plot of the tale likely inspired many tormented lovers to seek the pathway of suicide as a noble choice, Goethe is documented as disparaging such a notion as “sick.” The philosophy embedded in the tale speaks to me, especially the life of the passions over emptiness of logic and drudgery of most work. Does not man lack the force at the very point where he needs it most? And when he soars upward in joy, or sinks down in suffering, is not checked in both, is he not returned again to the dull, cold sphere of awareness, just when he was longing to lose himself in the fullness of the infinite. The connection to nature that he feels I found to be eloquently expressed here: When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God! O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! The core of Romanticism in valuing the life of the individual mind almost more than reality itself is especially well expressed here: That the life of man is but a dream, many a man has surmised heretofore; and I, too, am everywhere pursued by this feeling. When I consider the narrow limits within which our active and inquiring faculties are confined; when I see how all our energies are wasted in providing for mere necessities, which again have no further end than to prolong a wretched existence; and then that all our satisfaction concerning certain subjects of investigation ends in nothing better than a passive resignation, whilst we amuse ourselves painting our prison-walls with bright figures and brilliant landscapes, — when I consider all this, Wilhelm, I am silent. I examine my own being, and find there a world, but a world rather of imagination and dim desires, than of distinctness and living power. Then everything swims before my senses, and I smile and dream while pursuing my way through the world. I enjoyed this short, satisfying read in audiobook format, as available for free from LibriVox.

  23. 4 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Werther was in love with Lotte. She was already engaged. Werther persisted. Lotte married her fiance, Albert. Werther killed himself. THE END. That in essence is what this classic unrequited love story is all about. Originally written in German and first published in 1774, this book is an important novel of the Sturm und Drang period in German literature. Sturm und Drang is that period in Germany in 1760s to 1780s when extreme emotions as expression became popular in reaction to restrictions impo Werther was in love with Lotte. She was already engaged. Werther persisted. Lotte married her fiance, Albert. Werther killed himself. THE END. That in essence is what this classic unrequited love story is all about. Originally written in German and first published in 1774, this book is an important novel of the Sturm und Drang period in German literature. Sturm und Drang is that period in Germany in 1760s to 1780s when extreme emotions as expression became popular in reaction to restrictions imposed in literature and music during the Age of Enlightenment. This age was the era in Western philosophy where reason (and not emotion) was advocated as the primary source and legitimacy of authority (Source: Wiki). Due to this novel, Mr. Goethe became one of the first international literary celebrities. He was like a rebel opposing the trend. What a smart guy! No wonder this book is included in the 501 Must Read Books and 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (in all the versions: 2006, 2008 and 2010). Though with a simple flimsy plot, it was written at the right time. If I were on my teens, I could have rated this book 5 stars. I am not saying that I am past my romantic years. I can still be amorous and I know I still have my charm (duh). However, killing myself for somebody because of love is or was or will always be pathetic. Why? Mr. Goethe, the smart celebrity, gave a hint with this line spoken by Lotte on the night prior to Werther's suicide (page 108): "Think calmly, Werther," she said, "for just one moment. Don't you see that you are deceiving and ruining yourself on purpose? Why me, Werther? Why me of all people, who belongs to another? Why? I fear ... I fear that it is just the impossibility of possessing me that makes your desire for me so fascinating." That's right. In the story, Werther is a rich kid. He has his own servant and maid. He doles out money to poor children. He does whatever he wants and he does not work. He is bored. Takes fancy on a beautiful lady, the eldest of 6 kids who are all recently orphaned because their mother died (father died ahead of the mother). He likes being with children as he is also childlike in so many ways. Lotte only likes his serenity and reliability (page 111) and does not feel other kind of attraction to him. If Werther were a Filipino living in one of the slums, he would not have killed himself. If he were a good-looking as Villar (when he was young), he would court a rich girl, go into real estate, have a political career and run for president. Well, try again in 2016, hmmm better not. But I still like this book. Who are we to be cynical about love? Young people can be too passionate about their feelings and it is part of being young. It must be the raging hormones. They have the right to be stupid and senseless. It will only be later, when they look back and smile on their stupidity. But all of us have gone through that, right?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pradnya K.

    After a long time, I closed a book with tearful eyes.. ************ Dear Werther, It's been centuries since you've gone but even now we have peasants around who kill their lovers' love or youngsters who kill themselves for the sake of their love. I don't know which killing is worst, the former one kills two lives including one's own and yet suffer while the later one kills one life and numerous dreams of his loved ones. I feel both are equally wretched, to quit before you learn your lesson is never After a long time, I closed a book with tearful eyes.. ************ Dear Werther, It's been centuries since you've gone but even now we have peasants around who kill their lovers' love or youngsters who kill themselves for the sake of their love. I don't know which killing is worst, the former one kills two lives including one's own and yet suffer while the later one kills one life and numerous dreams of his loved ones. I feel both are equally wretched, to quit before you learn your lesson is never acceptable, especially in the school of life. But who I'm to judge? I started reading your letters and wished if I have had a friend like you. I have read few letters which have shaped my life. Alas! They weren't addressed to me. But nonetheless, heartfelt letters leave their impact on whoever read them and can relate them. And so did yours. It's tragic the way they ended but the flow of your emotions was grappling. They gushed, roared, flew joyously, sprinkled happy moments of sunshine, played, meditated and constantly marveled me about the heart-your heart-which you so profoundly loved. “I am proud of my heart alone, it is the sole source of everything, all our strength, happiness and misery. All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own” I wish you should have loved it a bit more, you should have paid attention to its symptoms when you called it a sick child and advised strong, bitter medicines than letting have its own whims. " I treat my heart like a sick child and gratify its every fancy.” For a wise brain and a sensitive heart is rarity in the world. Since I see you the lucky one to have bestowed with both gifts your responsibility to preserve them is crucial. What wise things you said time to time in your letters! "A dim vastness is spread before our souls; the perceptions of our mind are as obscure as those of our vision... But alas! when we have attained our object, when the distant 'there' becomes the present 'here,' all is changed; we are as poor and circumscribed as ever, and our souls still languish for unattainable happiness.” “I am amazed to see how deliberately I have entangled myself step by step. To have seen my position so clearly, and yet to have acted so like a child!” What encouragement you're in them! “When a nation which has long groaned under the intolerable yoke of a tyrant rises at last and throws off its chains, do you call that weakness? The man who, to rescue his house from the flames, finds his physical strength redoubled, so that he lifts burdens with ease which in the absence of excitement he could scarcely move; he who under the rage of an insult attacks and puts to flight half a score of his enemies,—are such persons to be called weak? My good friend, if resistance be strength, how can the highest degree of resistance be a weakness?” "When any distress or terror surprises us in the midst of our amusements, it naturally makes a deeper impression than at other times, either because the contrast makes us more keenly susceptible, or rather perhaps because our senses are then more open to impressions, and the shock is consequently stronger.” I feel bad when distinguished readers call it a 'sad story of unrequited love'. In my views they fail to see your wisdom. They fail to see the innocent, sensitive, tender heart who's pure and untamed. Such heart is worshipper of the beauty in life, is full of sympathy and capable of infinite joy. But like oceans attract to the full moon, it has great affinity towards sadness and sufferings. It often drowns in those high tides of emotions. Emotions I call them coz they're fleeting. Everyone comes out of them someday. Losing your permanence to the ephemeral is a grave mistake. If only you could have that single support than Charlotte, any other person who was bit more important to you, I feel your conscience would have listened to it, you'd paid your dues to your parents and loved ones. But the wisdom is lonely. Shallowness of common men is detested by it, hypocrisy of society is ridiculed by it. ”Nothing is more dangerous than solitude.” I read of other sad Werthers and I wish if I could send them my message, if I could make them see the happy days which would eventually come if they widen their perspective a bit and take a look at their families who, however failed him, have brought him up before he became capable of loving so intensely. I wish many things. I wish people be kind to each other. I wish they empathize with their neighbors. I wish when someone is bogged down others should come to prop them up. I wish the sages be there to guide the ones who're lost. I wish humanity do prosper with humankind. How wishful thinking, I wonder. Then I pray, a little more strength for every sensitive heart, a little more kindness to the shallow ones and little more wisdom for myself- to see the unjust, unhappy, mortal, gruesome world unwaveringly like I see the innocent kids, the glory and beauty, the warmth and humanity.

  25. 4 out of 5

    John Zelazny

    Before I was halfway through this book I had already connected with it on a deep level. I didn’t know what was going to happen in the end but I knew Goethe was telling my story and the opposite of my story at the same time. Ten years later I published my first novel, The Sorrows of Young Mike, which is a parody of this great tale. I can only be grateful to Goethe and encourage everyone to read The Sorrows of Young Werther. Also, if you liked it enough or even because you hated it — you should ch Before I was halfway through this book I had already connected with it on a deep level. I didn’t know what was going to happen in the end but I knew Goethe was telling my story and the opposite of my story at the same time. Ten years later I published my first novel, The Sorrows of Young Mike, which is a parody of this great tale. I can only be grateful to Goethe and encourage everyone to read The Sorrows of Young Werther. Also, if you liked it enough or even because you hated it — you should check out my parody, The Sorrows of Young Mike.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Duane

    This is Goethe's Romeo and Juliet. This is Goethe's masterpiece. It's a tragedy and a love story all rolled together and it's hard to say which description is more accurate. Yes it's an unrequited love, a one way passion of the heart and mind. But isn't that the nature of most love affairs? By today's standards it would be considered an obsession, and maybe it was in 18th century Germany as well. But there is no denying Werther's love. His love for Charlotte was the gift of his heart. "......a wh This is Goethe's Romeo and Juliet. This is Goethe's masterpiece. It's a tragedy and a love story all rolled together and it's hard to say which description is more accurate. Yes it's an unrequited love, a one way passion of the heart and mind. But isn't that the nature of most love affairs? By today's standards it would be considered an obsession, and maybe it was in 18th century Germany as well. But there is no denying Werther's love. His love for Charlotte was the gift of his heart. "......a whole eternity could not extinguish the living flame which was yesterday kindled by your lips, and which now burns within me. She loves me! These arms have encircled her waist, these lips have trembled upon hers. She is mine! Yes, Charlotte, you are mine forever".

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Goethe's breakthrough hit haunted him all his life. Poor guy: it's embarrassing. It's about a young guy around Goethe's age (24), whose name more or less rhymes with Goethe, who falls hopelessly in love with a married woman, like Goethe did, and then mopes about quoting poetry like this:It is night; I am alone, forlorn on the hill of storms.Goethe is inventing emo here, and let he who has not written shitty poetry in his or her youth cast the first stone. (Here he's quoting an imaginary author nam Goethe's breakthrough hit haunted him all his life. Poor guy: it's embarrassing. It's about a young guy around Goethe's age (24), whose name more or less rhymes with Goethe, who falls hopelessly in love with a married woman, like Goethe did, and then mopes about quoting poetry like this:It is night; I am alone, forlorn on the hill of storms.Goethe is inventing emo here, and let he who has not written shitty poetry in his or her youth cast the first stone. (Here he's quoting an imaginary author named Ossian, so this is Goethe's poetry but not Werther's.) I can't even begin to tell you how lucky we all are that you've never heard some of the stuff I came up with back in the day. Charlotte Buff, Goethe's own Lotte The thing about Werther is that this book could have been written yesterday. Goethe does a bang-up job of describing the hopeless angst of young love, and the embarrassing excesses that go along with it. Angst is timeless.Alas, this void! This dreadful void that I feel in my breast! - I often think: If you could press her to your heart just once, just once, the entire void would be filled.Right? This is some Romeo & Juliet shit here, and I kinda love it. Bummer for Goethe that he wrote the epic Faust but all his life people were like "Lol, that's that emo guy who got dumped." But it's kindof a great book. Okay fine, you know what, here's the first song I ever wrote. I was 13.All alone After eight What to do? Masturbate!And then I just yelled "Whackin' off!" a bunch of times. It was called "Whackin' Off." With hindsight, that's honestly way less embarrassing than Young Werther. Translation I read the Corngold translation, which comes with an awful but apt Twilightish cover. It reads well.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shovelmonkey1

    Oh Werther, Werther, Werther. Someone got a little bit fixated didn't they? Taking a leaf straight out of Shakespeare's lover-lorn rule book (see Ophelia as example number one of a tragedy waiting to happen) Werther turns loving friendship into a full blown stalker obsession. Here's a handy Werther style guide to obsession; 1. Meet a friendly young lady. 2. Be forewarned that she is already betrothed to another, and then pay no heed. 3. Write, think and talk about nothing else apart from the object Oh Werther, Werther, Werther. Someone got a little bit fixated didn't they? Taking a leaf straight out of Shakespeare's lover-lorn rule book (see Ophelia as example number one of a tragedy waiting to happen) Werther turns loving friendship into a full blown stalker obsession. Here's a handy Werther style guide to obsession; 1. Meet a friendly young lady. 2. Be forewarned that she is already betrothed to another, and then pay no heed. 3. Write, think and talk about nothing else apart from the object of your amour. 4. Consider murdering your loved ones fiance 5. Find a shady corner to carry out further obsessing 6. Run away to join the army (unsuccessfully) 7. Make dramatic overtures about ending it all I suspect Werther is a curiously individual example of amorous obsession for the late 18th century, mainly because he is a man. At this time women were generally supposed to be more inclined to this kind of romantic pining. Men on the other hand were billed as stoic, detatched and generally got whichever girl they wanted. When women were thought to be driven mad for "wont of love", much like Werther in this book, it was thought to be some kind of brain fever brought on by an excess of emotion. In reality most of them were driven mad by the sexual frustration caused by the rules set in place by society at the time. So I guess the question is, was Werther really such an ardent romantic or do his letters just express pent up sexual frustration couched in more socially acceptable terms?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Edward

    Introduction --The Sorrows of Young Werther Notes

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Ashleigh

    If you only read one translation of "The Sorrows of Youn Werther," it should be this one. I've read them all, but this is the only one that I translated myself.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.