That Koselleck has an inspiring essay on Goethe

If Hegel could understand the entirety of world history as the phenomenology of a spirit ever on its way to itself, then Goethe completed this work for himself by excluding world history… He never expected general history to be responsible for his self-formation [Bildung].

How to be outside of one’s time. It’s like yesterday how I was contemplating what pure contemplation might be like on the Med.

A few minutes ago I actually happened to shake some old Greek guy’s hand. I mentioned to him that I love to study the ancient Greeks and he looked at me like this 🤨

I think that’s part of it. Goethe was one of those types that translated a Greek play himself. Sounds like a fun activity now that I think about it. Isn’t it unimaginable for “renaissance man” to be an ideal in the US? Who even encourages such a thing here?

I love to read the praise of great men

He stored up three thousand years of the myths and stories of world cultures so as to recall them in a variety of ways: hermeneutically, metaphorically, ironically, sarcastically or mockingly, didactically, daringly or hubristically, defiantly or gently and tolerantly, at any rate, so as to recast them in his works.

Consider that whenever neech spoke of aristocracy it was probably Goethe who was foremost in his mind. He was a formal member of the nobility, being granted the status at age 33. He lived through the French Revolution and was opposed to it, and met Napoleon personally, who was an ADMIRER of his! He made a concerted effort to challenge Newton on the theory of colors. He might as well be unknown in the English-speaking world. I can’t recall finding one sustained “praise” of him.

You ever hear about this side too?

How does a statesman have time for this? Anyway this reminds me I’ve been meaning to give you a glance at Scruton’s musicology. If you read some of these aestheticians you will be convinced right off the bat that art is nothing “subjective”.

Who knows what ressentiment is responsible for Goethe’s obscurity in Serfworld.

Neechfreeks will find this study of interest in this context. How Faust influenced the Zarathustra. Besides these “side hobbies” I’ve mentioned, Goethe is known primarily as a poet. It’s somewhat palpable that there was a decline from Goethe to Nietzsche- the former was more of a “total human being”, whereas the latter was more lopsided as (ironically) depicted in Zarathustra here (and this idea itself of fragmented people he ganked from Hölderlin). Goethe is closer to the ideal of “the renaissance man” even though compared to today’s standards Nietzsche also is such a one.

I always think of him in this painting

He was a contemporary of our Founders and sometimes I wish he wrote our constitution instead, or at least helped. Were any of those slobs polymaths? If you want to go with Franklin, most of what he said was so cliche. It’s not a land of thinkers and poets now because it wasn’t founded by thinkers and poets. It’s never too late to try again.

Oh man, I just discovered there’s a book on this

The revolution that is going on in me is that which has taken place in every artist who has studied Nature long and diligently and now seeks the remains of the great spirit of antiquity; his soul wells up, he feels a transfiguration of himself from within, a feeling of freer life, higher existence, lightness and grace.

Wow, what a surprise- it’s from 1941. I hope you realize what I’m hinting at when I say that.

No one would be shocked if this were true either

Trevalyan’s account of Goethe’s fascination with the Greeks, his striving to master their culture, his vision of Hellenic man, is judged not to have been supplanted by any later work in English.


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