Goethe quotes

Goethe (freedom quote)
A woman (2011) holding up the famous Goethe quote on freedom, from Elective Affinities (P2:C5), at the Occupy Wall Street protests (Zuccotti Park, New York, Sep 28.
In Hmolpedia, Goethe quotes refers to some of the noted quotations by German polymath Johann Goethe, some of which are listed below.
“From the power that binds all beings, that man frees himself who overcomes himself.”
— Johann Goethe (c.1800), Geheimnisse (Ѻ)
“The works of Lavoisier and his associates operated upon many of us at that time like the Sun's rising after a night of moonshine: but Chemistry is now betrothed to the Mathematics, and is in consequence grown somewhat shy of her former admirers.”
— Johann Goethe (c.1816), “Correspondence with Luke Howard”, Continental Journey (Ѻ)
“The world admires wealth and velocity—these are the things for which everyone strives. Railroads, the post, steamboats, and all possible modes of communication are the means by which the world overeducates itself and freezes itself in mediocrity. We will be, with a few others, the last of an epoch that does not promise to return any time soon.”
— Johann Goethe (1825), “Letter to Carl Zelter” (Ѻ)

“Mathematics has the completely false reputation of yielding infallible conclusions. Its infallibility is nothing but identity. Two times two is four, but it is just two times two, and that is what we call four for short. But four is nothing new at all. And thus it goes on and on in its conclusions, except that in the higher formulas the identities fades out of sight.”
— Johann Goethe (c.1820); see: Goethe and mathematics (Ѻ)

“Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.”
— Johann Goethe (c.1820), Wilhelm Meister's Lehrjahre (Apprenticeship) (1786-1830), Book V, Ch. 1 (Ѻ)

“Only a person who has himself experienced the impact of a fertile idea will understand what passionate activity is stirred in our minds, what enthusiasm we feel, when we glimpse in advance and in its totality something which is later to emerge in greater and greater detail in the manner suggested by its early development. Thus, the reader must surely agree, having been captured and driven by such an idea, I was bound to be occupied with it, if not exclusively, nevertheless during the rest of my life.”
— Johann Goethe (1831), reflection of his 1786-87 visit to a public garden in Palermo, Sicily (Ѻ)

“Of all discoveries and opinions, none may have exerted a greater effect on the human spirit than the doctrine of Copernicus. The world had scarcely become known as round and complete in itself when it was asked to waive the tremendous privilege of being the center of the universe. Never, perhaps, was a greater demand made on mankind for by this admission so many things vanished in mist and smoke! What became of our Eden, our world of innocence, piety and poetry; the testimony of the senses; the conviction of a poetic religious faith? No wonder his contemporaries did not wish to let all this go and offered every possible resistance to a doctrine which in its converts authorized and demanded a freedom of view and greatness of thought so far unknown, indeed not even dreamed of.”
— Johann Goethe (c.1820) (Ѻ)

Elective Affinities
See main: Elective Affinities (Quotes)
The following are quotes from Elective Affinities (1809):

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
("Niemand ist mehr Sklave, als der sich für frei hält, ohne es zu sein.")
— Goethe (1809) Elective Affinities (P2:C5) [3]

“Nothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at.”
— Goethe (1809) Elective Affinities (P2:C4) [6]

Reality | Non-reality
The following are reality themed quotes:

“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.”
— Goethe (c.1815)

“Few people have the imagination for reality.”
— Goethe (c.1815) (Ѻ)

Newly added
The following are newly added Goethe quotes:

“If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that.”
— Goethe (c.1815) (Ѻ)

The following is a growing list of relevant Goethe quotes:

“The modern age has a false sense of superiority because it relies on the mass of knowledge that it can use, but what is important is the extent to which knowledge is organized and mastered.”
— Goethe (1810), Source (Ѻ)

“The human has an unstoppable drive, at least to try, to detect the inmost force, which binds the world, and guides its course.”
— Goethe (c.1830), quote from Faust [1]

“If one does not know what went on for the last three thousand years, he or she remains ignorant, merely surviving from day-to-day.”
— Goethe (c.1830)

“A person who does not know the history of the last 3,000 years wanders in the darkness of ignorance, unable to make sense of the reality around him.”
— Goethe (c.1830) (Ѻ)

“The history of science is science itself.”
— Goethe (1810) Theory of Colors [2]

“A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself; it is a child of solitude.”
— Goethe (c.1810)

“Only by joy and sorrow does a person know anything about themselves and their destiny. They learn what to do and what to avoid.”
— Goethe (c.1810)

“The first and last thing which is required of genius is the love of truth.”
— Goethe (c.1810) [4]

“He who is firm in will moulds the world to himself.”
— Goethe (c.1810)

“Every animal is an end in itself.”
— Johann Goethe (1819), Athroismos (poem); cited by Arthur Lovejoy (1933) in The Great Chain of Being (pg. 189)

“A little passion, is the only thing which can render a watering place supportable; without it, one dies of ennui.
Johann Goethe (1831), conversation (Ѻ) with Johann Eckermann, Jul 20 [7]

The following are quotes sometimes attributed to Goethe:

“What does not kill me makes me stronger.”
Goethe (original): “What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.” (source?)
Nietzsche (paraphrased): “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” (Twilight of the Idols 1888)

Praise | Tribute
The following are quotes on or about Goethe:

Goethe was raised to the rank of Shakespeare.”
Henry Adams (1907), The Education of Henry Adams

“Words like 'great' and 'genius' could aptly be used for but a select number of artistsfor Michelangelo or say Shakespeare. In the United States, the works of these great artists have been incorporated into popular culture as the epitome of visual and linguistic beauty. By contrast, on these shores, Goethe's works remain largely unread and rarely discussed except among college students, most of whom develop a healthy dose of amnesia shortly after graduation.”
— Daniel Spiro (2005), “Remember to Live! The Philosophy of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe” [5]

See also
Adams quotes

1. (a) Quote from Bayard Taylor’s translation of Faust.
(b) Pogany, Peter. (2006). Rethinking the World (pg. 21). iUniverse.
2. Goethe, Johann. (1810). Theory of Colors (pg. xxiv). Publisher.
3. Goethe, Johann. (1853). Goethe's Opinions on the World, Mankind, Literature, Science and Art, (translated by Otto Wenckstern) (pg. 3). John W. Parker and Son.
4. Klopsch, Louis. (1896). Many Thoughts of Many Minds (106). Publisher.
5. (a) Spiro, Daniel. (2005). “Remember to Live! The Philosophy of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe”, talk at the Washington, D.C., Spinoza Society, Goethe-Institute, Sep 7.
(b) Goethe, Johann. (1796). Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship (quote: “Remember to Live!”, pg. 331). Publisher.
(c) Daniel Spiro (about) – TheAegisPress.com.
6. Elective Affinities (quotes) – GoodReads.com.
7. Goethe, Johann, Eckermann, Johann, Soret, Frederic, Oxenford, John. (1901). Conversations with Eckermann: Being Appreciations and Criticisms on Many Subjects (elective affinities, 5+ pgs). M.W. Dunne.

TDics icon ns

More pages