First edition of The Sorrows of Young Werther (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Possibly my love of window shopping translates into my love of surfing the WordPress theme showcase for new ways to present this blog. This design or “theme” is called Manifest, created by Jim Barraud. I was looking at a theme called Linen, and previewed it to see how this blog would appear in new dress. As I scrolled to the very bottom, I came across this:
A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.
Immediately, my conscience was pricked as I thought, how in the world did WordPress see through my heart, and expose me as a fraud? Don’t I write about tranquil settings, and don’t I think I’m quite epic? I previewed this and other themes until I had the foresight to google the above quotation. Quotation it was, an excerpt from Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther. So I spend yesterday on-line, at Bartleby.com, reading the book. It can be found here and in fact, since it is an epistolary novel, it can be delivered letter by letter in your email via this site, though there might be a fee. And should you want a soft or hard cover, a walk to the library or nearest bookstore will provide you.
Is it good? Oh, yes, it’s good. I read it in one sitting, nursing my cold, and compulsively following the story as the seasons changed with Werther on the computer screen. My first online read–would they all be this good.
As for my bout with Self? Well, that always exists, selfishly, at the seashore.
- Young Goethe (oup.com)
- Views from Goethe Institute (marveloushappenstance.wordpress.com)