Alfred Steer

photo neededIn human chemistry, Alfred Gilbert Steer (1913-2003), cited as “A.G. Steer, Jr.”, was an American Goethean scholar noted for []

Overview
In 1935, Steer published Goethe’s Social Philosophy: as Revealed in Campagne in Frankreich and Belagerung von Mainz, his most-widely-held book. [2]

In 1979, Steer, in his Goethe’s Science in the Structure of the Wanderjahre, the term wanderjahre meaning “years of travel”, begins to mention "elective affinities" in passing. [3]

In 1990, Steer, in his Goethe’s Elective Affinities: the Robe of Nessus, attempts to dissect Goethe's masterpiece Elective Affinities, with the aim of making the book more accessible and impactive to the English-speaking reader; the subtitle of which taking its name from Goethe’s famous comment on how people viewed his dangerous novella as the “Robe of Nessus”. [1] Steer here does some of the first work on human chemical reaction theory, as he conceived Goethe would have done his reactions. Steer also seems to be one of the first to point out that Ottilie as "D" derives from the German word for "little lady" as follows:

“The Captain then reduced the chemical process to an equation with letters: if compound AB comes into contact with compound CD, they may switch partners and end up in the new combination AC and BD. Here Eduard supplies the last and most ironic stage of anthropomorphizing by relating the letters to the people present: if A is Charlotte, then B is Eduard, C stands for the Captain, and D is the ‘Dämchen’ (little lady) Ottilie.”

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Education
In 1990, Steer was associated with the University of Georgia.

References
1. Steer, Alfred G. (1990). Goethe's Elective Affinities: the Robe of Nessus. Heidelberg: Carl Winter, Universitatsverlag.
2. Steer, Alfred G. (1935). Goethe’s Social Philosophy: as Revealed in Campagne in Frankreich and Belagerung von Mainz. Chapel Hill, University of Carolina Press.
3. Steer, Alfred G. (1979). Goethe’s Science in the Structure of the Wanderjahre (elective affinities, pgs. 1, 7, 66). University of Georgia Press.

External links
Steer, A.G. (Alfred Gilbert) (1913-) – WorldCat Identities.
Alfred Gilbert Steer Jr. (death notice) – OnlineAthens.com.

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