sábado, 3 de enero de 2015

The Sorrows of Young Werther - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


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'd probably wouldn't react that way now, I'd just think about how much easier is to move out and try to meet somebody else (or not) than crying a river and trying to kill yourself. 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 kind of pain, in a most 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.

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