Subjetividade e experiência em Die Leiden des jungen Werthers e Wilhelm Meisters theatralische Sendung de J. W. Goethe / Subjectivity and Experience in Die Leiden des jungen Werthers and Wilhelm Meisters theatralische Sendung by J. W. Goethe


IBICT - Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia




The analysis developed in the present work deals with the peculiar way the young Goethe portrayed the experience of subjectivity as an issue which, in modern times, brings a whole set of dilemmas and contradictions within itself. The treatment of the author\ s participation in what is here called the modern discourse of subjectivity is developed, first off, through the identification of his critical appropriation of certain cultural codes contemporary to him (such as the Pietistic movement and the Empfindsamkeit), and, in a second moment, through a direct analysis of his two Sturm und Drang novels. The present analysis confronts, above all, certain categories that are traditionally employed by the German literary historiography with the ends of generalizing a single anthropological model supposedly shared by Sturm und Drang authors e.g., the model of the Genie and autonomous individual of an age of growing emphasis upon a bourgeois ideal of Bildung. Against this approach, my claim is that not only Goethe does not share the same enthusiasm held by his contemporaries toward individualism as a value in itself, as his two novelistic portrayals of it suggests the modern experience of the I as the potentially self-defining entity as an insufficient conceptual apparatus, a notion surrounded by deceitful metaphysical presuppositions which could and should be reconsidered. The well-known tragic case of Werther, the titanic subject to whom there could not be any space in the ordinary world, is exemplar of such an insufficiency, and the fact that Goethe continues dealing with the image of the self in search for his innermost core in his following novel, Wilhelm Meisters theatralische Sendung, is taken as a completion of his participation in the ongoing philosophical discourse of subjectivity of the late eighteenth century. These novels are taken, therefore, as two different moments even though they end up being somewhat complementary, or at least coherent in relation to each other of the Goethian access to this issue.


goethe goethe novel romance sturm und drang sturm und drang subjectivity subjetividade

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