Wednesday, October 24, 2012

54. Wilhelm Meister Lehrjahre

Wilhelm Meister Lehrjahre
Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
Johanne Wolfgang von Goethe
1795
Around 600 pages












For the first time in my life, I haven't felt like reading lately.  I have no idea why.  I don't think this book deserves all the blame, but it certainly deserves some of it.

We really haven't gotten a lot of German literature but I absolutely loved Sorrows of a Young Werther, mostly because it was unapologetically depressing.  I can be weird like that.  But this book, written by the same author, began on a slightly nauseating note.  The main character, Wilhelm, is in love with an actress and so visits her after her performance so they can play with a bunch of puppets he brought.  Their love and her beauty was just described in such a sentimental way that it made me put the book down for over a week.  This probably has more to do with the fact that I am single and couples make me want to puke, but for now, I will blame it on the style.

The novel goes on to describe the lessons Wilhelm learns and his fascination with Shakespeare (whose plays got translated into German in this time period).  It just felt so cheesy.  I don't think this would bother me as much if I hadn't been expecting something better from Goethe.  Usually, around this time of year I am reading gory horror novels. Sigh.

You disappointed me Goethe.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Pronounced Yo-han von Volfgang Gerte.  I pronounced it incorrectly several times to different people, including an English professor.

One of the first bildungsroman books.  WHAT???  It means coming of age literature.




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