Say Hello to History: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe & Weimar Classicism

Sometimes things from school stick...most of the time they don't. In college I took a History through Music class, and for some reason Weimar Classicism stuck. This cultural and literary movement in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century was basically an explosion of art, music, philosophy and poetry in Europe...pretty much all of the things that the weirdos in Williamsburg claim to be awesome at. At the forefront of this movement was this dude named Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:
Handsome fella, no? He was a writer...a playwright, a poet, a novelist - and a philosopher...oh, and a scientist. Faust, one of Goethe's plays, was written in two parts. Here's an excerpt from the first part that I think truly speaks to everybody with art in their hearts...any kind of art:

"What you don't feel, you will not grasp by art,  
Unless it wells out of your soul  
And with sheer pleasure takes control,  
Compelling every listener's heart.  
But sit - and sit, and patch and knead,  
Cook a ragout, reheat your hashes,  
Blow at the sparks and try to breed  
A fire out of piles of ashes!  
Children and apes may think it great,  
If that should titillate your gum,  
But from heart to heart you will never create.  
If from your heart it does not come."

...if that doesn't make you smile I don't know what will :)

1 comment:

Veronika said...

You wrote about Faust. I heart you so much now!