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I know this is an important novel historically being the first 'bildungsroman' and Goethe is acknowledged as a classic writer but god this was dull. Probably not helped by being a contemporary translation by Thomas Carlyle which is very old fashioned in style and difficult to read at length. Some parts were interested such as the description of the production of Hamlet which held the attention better than most of the rest.

The only reason I continued was because its a book. I've read the othe I know this is an important novel historically being the first 'bildungsroman' and Goethe is acknowledged as a classic writer but god this was dull. I've read the other Goethe on that list and didn't find them as totally boring as this one. This was a treasure. I loved this book as it relates to a secret society.

The theater and puppets make a great metaphor for what is to come. If you like books that explore the idea of a secret society and rituals you will like this book. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Considered as Goethe's first novel Sorrow of Werther was a novella , Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship won't easily come as a likable novel to modern readers. The Afterward explains why this is so very well. Being disillusioned and finding one's true self as bildunsroman I felt much likeness to Hesse's novels.

Reading a novel that was written about years ago Major theme in the novel is Chance? The limitations, of an entirely inner-oriented existence. Between an idealistic and a realistic Considered as Goethe's first novel Sorrow of Werther was a novella , Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship won't easily come as a likable novel to modern readers. Between an idealistic and a realistic purpose The most important thing is to recognize what is of one's own, what is one's own fruition. Must raindrops, or tears, fall if we are to experience true joy? A bright day is no different from a gray one if we observe it unmoved.

And what is it that moves us but the silent hope that the native desires of our hearts may not remain without objects to focus on? We are moved by the account of good deeds, the contemplation of harmonious objects, and as a result we feel that we are not completely adrift in this world, but are drawing nearer to some sort of destination toward which all that is deepest and best in us has long been impatiently tending.

Action is easy, thinking is hard: acting after thinking, uncomfortable. Every beginning is joyous, every threshold a point of expectation. The boy stares in wonder, impressions condition him, he learns in playing, seriousness takes him by surprise. Imitation is natural to us all, but what to imitate is not easily ascertained. Rarely is the best discerned, still more rarely appreciated. Height attracts us, not the steps upwards; with the mountaintop in our eyes we linger lovingly on the plain. Only a part of art can be taught, an artist needs the whole. Those who know only half of it, are always confused and talk a lot; those who have the whole, act and talk little, or long afterwards.

The former have no secrets and no strength, their teaching is like freshly baked bread, tasty and satisfying for one day; but flour cannot be sown and the fruits of the grain should not be ground.

Griem, Helmut

Words are good, but they are not the best. The best is not made clear by words. The spirit in which we act, is what is highest. Action can only be grasped by spirit and portrayed by spirit. No one knows what he is doing when he acts rightly, but we are always conscious of what is wrong. He who works only with signs, is a pedant, a hypocrite or a botcher.

Journal of Literary Theory

There are many such, and they get on well together. Their gossiping impedes the student, and their persistent mediocrity alarms those who are best. The teaching of a real artist opens up sense; for where words are lacking, action speaks. A true pupil learns how to unravel the unknown from the known, and thereby develops toward mastery. This is a rather long novel, my edition was p and the pages were large enough that a more typical volume could be pages or more. Probably too many pages, especially for someone whose intellectual style was typically full of brief bursts of certain taken-up ideas.

That still shows here on account of the variety: We begin with a love story, have two paternal narratives Mignon and Felix , a full company of actors and actresses with individual character arcs, a tangential novella, many poems, discussions of Hamlet, depictions of various courtly and artistic societies, etc. The translation I had came off sort of wooden which is to be expected of a year old translation of Goethe's prose, which here must be full of etiquette and popular intellectualism - but in general the scenes are mostly just characters talking to one another or thinking about their lives.

And although there is definitely great substance to the way these are presented, it's almost too atomistic and too generally scientific in the sense that most of the time Goethe is trying to display psychological or artistic phenomena to even be called a novel.

Certainly it rambles on and on for hundreds of pages without any substantive efforts to do anything, and while there is an amusing sense of serenity about it, I'm hesitant to say it's anything more than a thinly strung-together mediation on society and the nature of artist's development to be anything particularly loveable, especially when it can be at times rather tedious due to both its length and the lack of dynamicism. Of course there is much to be said in its favor, but probably it should be presented solely as: A slightly too-long book of essays on art and psychology which are demonstrated through characters, which mostly rearticulate the ideas already present in Goethe's other works.

Those with a vested interest in Goethe for some reason or another should find some interest in it, along with the modest amount of pleasure it offers in itself. I had no pangs of conscience for speed-reading to keep up with a syllabus and, honestly, conserve mental space. Goethe crowds eight episodes or narratives — one for each of eight books — with details, encounters, and histories that perhaps showcase his inventiveness, but certainly take too long in the telling. Am I misconstruing the bildungsroman by expecting a decent degree of interiority and a convincing representation of personality, and personhood?

Apprenticeship was not quite as good as I was hoping, but thank God it was not an epistolary novel. As the so-called founding text of the Bildungsroman, the book the first in a series if you don't count the abandoned and long-lost manuscript for Theatrical Calling, much of which was incorporated into Apprenticeship, as its own volume deals with Wilhelm Meister's self-realization not only in his apprenticeship in the theater, but in varying aspects of the human experience.

It was not a bad book. It was good enough, but keep in mind I'm no translation nerd I could not help but feel that the translation was a bit simplified and reductive to say nothing of the countless comma splices. My ugly edition was published as an entry for some old book club, and part of me wonders if priority was given more to the presentation despite the ugliness of the chambray cloth in which the book is bound over the translation.

Wilhelm Meister Apprenticeship and Travels by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (2 star ratings)

Also, I cruised through this especially fast as I was eager to start Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Invisible Allies in preparation to then read his Gulag Archipelago. This might be one constituent aspect of my relative disinterest in the book, although it might be more owing to the fact that Germany's Goethe, in my opinion - and perhaps it's unfair to arbitrarily pit two national treasures against one another for no reason, but I can't shake the association - is outmatched by Balzac at least in their capability to write a compelling story.

Goethe started writing Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship when he was 21 and finished it at the age of So while describing the development of protagonist's character, I believe he was also describing his own journey. Goethe was a literary celebrity at the age of 25 and his works like this one and Young Werther's Sorrrows at this early age shows that he was nothing less than a genius. Contrasting with Emile Zola's realism, the novel is a typical example of the Romantic genre, in that sense th Goethe started writing Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship when he was 21 and finished it at the age of Contrasting with Emile Zola's realism, the novel is a typical example of the Romantic genre, in that sense there are similarities between Dicken's David Copperfield.

Arthur Schopenhauer called this novel "one of the four greatest novels ever written". In the novel, there are many philosophical discussions touching everything from "lifestyles of merchants vs. There are several characters in the novel and to connect every loose end the author introduced forced parts in the plot.

Nevertheless it does not fail to convey the emotions of the human experience any less than a realistic novel. I am glad I read this masterpiece and it is worth the time invested. Wilhelm, as most of Goethes main characters, feels a lot of things very intensely and talks about them a lot. The children are kind of only seen and heard when relevant to the plot. Le Coincidence, the musical. Need some knowledge of Hamlet to follow the middling chapters. Not really convinced I like this Wilhelm guy.

Felt bored in the most part at the beginning, but suddenly the story changed direction. Don't know where our experience will bring us to. Like Saul, who looked for his father' donkey but won the whole kingdom.


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An amazing insight into the German social and cultural life at the end of the 18th century. The book has a good balance between a good story, interesting character development and fascinating philosophy on life, love and art. I liked it but it is difficult to keep track of all the characters and facts that come up during the story. It definitely deserves a second reading to appreciate it. Life as a work of art. May 22, James Violand rated it did not like it Recommends it for: no one! Shelves: own. I like Goethe but I hate this work!

Had Meister come first, Goethe would have remained unknown. This is the incomprehensible writing of a young man impressed with his ability as expressed by earlier critics. No one edited this work. How does a birch wood in a field evolve into a plateau from I like Goethe but I hate this work! How does a birch wood in a field evolve into a plateau from which a perilous climb takes place? There is no reference to any passage of time: the reader is incredulous at the conclusion of a long series of events that they all occurred in a few months; it takes a full day to troop to a castle and a full week to return to the start.

A theme abruptly ends for no reason. Characters and crucial issues are inexplicably dropped. The main character acts against expected human behavior: a young Meister begins a business trip for his father and immediately violates his trust placed by joining a troop of mendicant actors! A sudden and inexplicable cult-like ritual only lends to confusion. I expect better things from him. This is horrible! First Edition and First Printing with full number line More information about this seller Contact this seller 5. Condition: New. Seller Inventory ZZN. More information about this seller Contact this seller 6.

Published by London Bloomsbury About this Item: London Bloomsbury, Paperback has been read, block edges worn from handling, spine faintly creased, else clean and tight. Excellent review of Sixties and Seventies Hollywood movies and the men who made them. Catalogue: Film and TV. Keywords: Spielberg, Scorsese, Coppola, Friedkin. More information about this seller Contact this seller 7. Published by Bloomsbury About this Item: Bloomsbury, Condition: Buone. More information about this seller Contact this seller 8.

From: lachlan Silverton, Australia. No Jacket. Hollywood in the 70s. More information about this seller Contact this seller 9. From: Cosmo Books Shropshire. First Edition. Available Now. Size: Quantity Available: 1. Inventory No: B A seller you can rely on. Seller Inventory B More information about this seller Contact this seller BGHV0 signs of little wear on the cover.

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Lieb trifft Goethe (Event+Theater)

Pappband mit Schutzumschlag. Gebundene Ausgabe. Condition: Wie neu.

Illustrierter Hardcoverband in neuwertigem Zustand. Wie auch immer, eines ist sicher: Das Buch liest sich spannend wie ein Krimi. Wer wissen will, wer mit wem, wann und warum ins Bett gegangen ist und wie viele Drogen dabei im Spiel gewesen sind, ist mit Biskinds Buch bestens bedient. Trouble in Wonderland besser bedient. Published by Bloomsbury, United Kingdom About this Item: Bloomsbury, United Kingdom, Later Edition.

Size: Octavo standard book size. Text body is clean, and free from previous owner annotation, underlining and highlighting. Binding is tight, covers and spine fully intact. Previous owner's signature in ink. Edges browned slightly. Shipped Weight: Under 1 kilogram. Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request. Inventory No: RB Seller Inventory RB Published by Bloomsbury Publishing, It is a strange experience to read this text in , and I would lie if I said that I enjoyed it: The text is excessively long, and - this is of course unfair criticism though - the fact that I already knew that Goethe would throw around all the tropes he himself invented didn't help either.

Many passages could qualify as kitsch, and some characters are mere plot devices the best exception here is clearly Mignon, a child Wilhelm buys! So all in all, I acknowledge the importance of this text and I am aware hat knowing it will sharpen my perspective when reading other novels of the genre, but finishing "Wilhelm Meister" was a chore.

View all 6 comments. Though I started reading this work mostly as a sort of historical document, I found that it has more to offer than just that. Other parts of the book can be more longwinded, particularly those dealing with e. The sections and layers of the book that are influenced by freemasonry are a lot more intriguing. While, in the end, Wilhelm Meister successfully concludes his apprenticeship, I suppose it can be said that it is up to the individual reader to make a similar achievement.

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The bildungsroman is generally considered to have been created by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the 18th century with his novels Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship and The Sorrows of Young Werther. The main theme of this genre is seeing the protagonist mature from childhood into adulthood, and usually endure a series of challenges and obstacles along the way.

The hero of Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship dreams of a life in the theatre, as exotic to him as space travel might seem to us. When an act The bildungsroman is generally considered to have been created by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the 18th century with his novels Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship and The Sorrows of Young Werther. When an actress breaks his heart, he sets off with a touring company, encountering strange characters such as Mignon, an androgynous child, and a gloomy harp-playing minstrel whose songs Schubert set so beautifully.

Books – and anything else that interests me…

Goethe's writing is simple, elegant and uncluttered; the naturalism lures us into a story that gets odder by the page. While there are coincidences mount and things are muddled by a book-within-the-book that seems a complete digression I found this book appealing by its very strangeness.

It has been very influential and one writer hugely influenced by it, surely, was Franz Kafka. It remains for twenty-first century audiences to decide for themselves if it still has that appeal. Perhaps not the tightest ship of a novel, but certainly all its intellectual cannons were blasting the world to bits. Much in the same way as reading Balzac, Tolstoy, or Marx, one feels that he or she is spending a sliver of time in the mind of genius while journeying with Wilhelm.

I was particularly attracted by Goethe's expressions of Eastern philosophy I felt as though I was reading Lao Tzu and could certainly see the inspiration Herr Hesse must have found in o Perhaps not the tightest ship of a novel, but certainly all its intellectual cannons were blasting the world to bits. Scenes run on interminably, fleshed out in more detail tha Ben Jonson, observing that certain actors credited his rival, Shakespeare, with never blotting out a word of his writing, retorted "Would he had blotted out a thousand! Free download available at Project Gutenberg. I did not finish this.

It's extremely long and rather boring and I could just not bring myself to read further than 55 pages. Maybe one day. View 1 comment. A book which deals with Wilhelm Meister growing from a young man to an adult, on the way he meets obstacles and trials. He falls in love and picks up with various characters, both noble and poor.

Some of the characters are there as merely background but there is a central core through the book. Some seem childish, constantly causing problems whilst others appear wise beyond their years and are the voices of reason. Mignon, an old soul in a young body, and one of the best characters of the book.

M A book which deals with Wilhelm Meister growing from a young man to an adult, on the way he meets obstacles and trials. May have to track down the travels of Wilhelm Meister in order to find out what happened next. This book is a monster, starts out shallow but becomes enormous as it goes on. Intensely romantic, but full of German coldness. The characters are vivid, very real, and each exists consistent in his or her own world.

An endless stream of ideas on art and life. In which Goethe does Shakespeare fan-fiction at three different and intersecting levels, and where it's sometimes hard to figure out which is which. Usually when I want to give something 3. Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship is a different story.

Although it was generally a 3-star book, there were brief shining 4-star moments and characters! Unfortunately, Goethe and I apparently disagree about what constitutes a five-star rating, because the very characters and situations that intrigued me in the opening of the novel were those that Goethe's ending Usually when I want to give something 3.

Unfortunately, Goethe and I apparently disagree about what constitutes a five-star rating, because the very characters and situations that intrigued me in the opening of the novel were those that Goethe's ending undermined and wrote out. It packs a lot of potential, but it didn't follow through on the parts I was most interested in. Still: better than Tom Jones! I don't even want to know how many people in my department I would have to debate on that one I know this is an important novel historically being the first 'bildungsroman' and Goethe is acknowledged as a classic writer but god this was dull.

Probably not helped by being a contemporary translation by Thomas Carlyle which is very old fashioned in style and difficult to read at length. Some parts were interested such as the description of the production of Hamlet which held the attention better than most of the rest. The only reason I continued was because its a book. I've read the othe I know this is an important novel historically being the first 'bildungsroman' and Goethe is acknowledged as a classic writer but god this was dull. I've read the other Goethe on that list and didn't find them as totally boring as this one.

This was a treasure.

Translator's note

I loved this book as it relates to a secret society. The theater and puppets make a great metaphor for what is to come. If you like books that explore the idea of a secret society and rituals you will like this book. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Considered as Goethe's first novel Sorrow of Werther was a novella , Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship won't easily come as a likable novel to modern readers.

The Afterward explains why this is so very well. Being disillusioned and finding one's true self as bildunsroman I felt much likeness to Hesse's novels. Reading a novel that was written about years ago Major theme in the novel is Chance? The limitations, of an entirely inner-oriented existence. Between an idealistic and a realistic Considered as Goethe's first novel Sorrow of Werther was a novella , Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship won't easily come as a likable novel to modern readers.

Between an idealistic and a realistic purpose The most important thing is to recognize what is of one's own, what is one's own fruition. Must raindrops, or tears, fall if we are to experience true joy? A bright day is no different from a gray one if we observe it unmoved. And what is it that moves us but the silent hope that the native desires of our hearts may not remain without objects to focus on?

We are moved by the account of good deeds, the contemplation of harmonious objects, and as a result we feel that we are not completely adrift in this world, but are drawing nearer to some sort of destination toward which all that is deepest and best in us has long been impatiently tending. Action is easy, thinking is hard: acting after thinking, uncomfortable. Every beginning is joyous, every threshold a point of expectation. The boy stares in wonder, impressions condition him, he learns in playing, seriousness takes him by surprise. Imitation is natural to us all, but what to imitate is not easily ascertained.

Rarely is the best discerned, still more rarely appreciated. Height attracts us, not the steps upwards; with the mountaintop in our eyes we linger lovingly on the plain. Only a part of art can be taught, an artist needs the whole. Those who know only half of it, are always confused and talk a lot; those who have the whole, act and talk little, or long afterwards. The former have no secrets and no strength, their teaching is like freshly baked bread, tasty and satisfying for one day; but flour cannot be sown and the fruits of the grain should not be ground.

Words are good, but they are not the best. The best is not made clear by words. The spirit in which we act, is what is highest. Action can only be grasped by spirit and portrayed by spirit. No one knows what he is doing when he acts rightly, but we are always conscious of what is wrong. He who works only with signs, is a pedant, a hypocrite or a botcher. There are many such, and they get on well together. Their gossiping impedes the student, and their persistent mediocrity alarms those who are best.

The teaching of a real artist opens up sense; for where words are lacking, action speaks. A true pupil learns how to unravel the unknown from the known, and thereby develops toward mastery. This is a rather long novel, my edition was p and the pages were large enough that a more typical volume could be pages or more. Probably too many pages, especially for someone whose intellectual style was typically full of brief bursts of certain taken-up ideas. That still shows here on account of the variety: We begin with a love story, have two paternal narratives Mignon and Felix , a full company of actors and actresses with individual character arcs, a tangential novella, many poems, discussions of Hamlet, depictions of various courtly and artistic societies, etc.

The translation I had came off sort of wooden which is to be expected of a year old translation of Goethe's prose, which here must be full of etiquette and popular intellectualism - but in general the scenes are mostly just characters talking to one another or thinking about their lives. And although there is definitely great substance to the way these are presented, it's almost too atomistic and too generally scientific in the sense that most of the time Goethe is trying to display psychological or artistic phenomena to even be called a novel.

Certainly it rambles on and on for hundreds of pages without any substantive efforts to do anything, and while there is an amusing sense of serenity about it, I'm hesitant to say it's anything more than a thinly strung-together mediation on society and the nature of artist's development to be anything particularly loveable, especially when it can be at times rather tedious due to both its length and the lack of dynamicism. Of course there is much to be said in its favor, but probably it should be presented solely as: A slightly too-long book of essays on art and psychology which are demonstrated through characters, which mostly rearticulate the ideas already present in Goethe's other works.

Those with a vested interest in Goethe for some reason or another should find some interest in it, along with the modest amount of pleasure it offers in itself.