‘Goethe: Journeys of the Mind offers insight into what, in effect, was already Goethe’s post-classical transformation.’
Times Literary Supplement
‘Thanks to Gabrielle Bersier and Nancy and Peter Boerner, all readers, both the expert in the field and the layperson, can experience and enjoy—and will find rewarding—the journeys of Goethe’s mind.’
Goethe’s internationally influential writing has led to his popular image at the quintessential 18th-century tourist. In reality, he rarely left his homeland.
Instead, the majority of Goethe’s travels were intensive journeys of the mind, taken amid the written travelogues and eyewitness accounts of others. He never saw Vienna, Paris or London, and was essentially homebound during his final decades. Yet he was the ultimate armchair traveller, accruing comprehensive knowledge of places near and far through his reading.
Goethe: Journeys of the Mind examines what distinguishes Goethe from his peers, and how this great polymath came to understand cultures and places that he never saw with his own eyes.
GABRIELLE BERSIER, Professor Emerita of German Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (USA), is the author of Wege des Heilens. Goethes physiologische Autobiographie ‘Dichtung und Wahrheit’ (Koenigshausen & Neumann 2014), Goethes Raetselparodie der Romantik. Eine neue Lesart der ‘Wahlverwandtschaften’ (Niemeyer 1997), along with numerous articles and book chapters on Goethe’s relationship to contemporary literature, art and science.
NANCY BOERNER, Librarian Emerita for German, French, Italian Languages and Literatures and Classical Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington, is the translator of Peter Boerner’s biography of Goethe, first published in German in the Rowohlts Monographien series and subsequently in English in the Life and Times series (Haus, 2005 and 2015), and a number of articles.
PETER BOERNER was the curator of the Goethe Museum in Düsseldorf and later held professorships at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, SUNY-Buffalo and Indiana University. He edited the DTV paperback collection of Goethe’s works in 45 volumes, and published extensively in the fields of Germanic Studies and Comparative Literature. His biography of Goethe has been translated into seven languages other than English.