By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The passing ideas Goethe jotted down in the course of his lengthy, diversified, and stressful existence -- fortunately preserved on theater courses, traveling playing cards, draft manuscripts, and debts -- exhibit him to be the final actual "Renaissance guy" of Europe. even though hired as a privy councillor on the Duke of Weimar's court docket, he additionally painted; directed performs; conducted study within the classics, anatomy, botany, and optics; and nonetheless found time to provide masterpieces in each literary style. His 1,413 maxims and reflections exhibit not just a few of his private techniques on paintings, ethics, literature, and usual technology but in addition his fast reactions to books, likelihood encounters, and his administrative paintings. With freshness and immediacy, Maxims and Reflections vividly evokes Goethe the guy and the genius. Read more...
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Additional info for Maxims and reflections
128. He who is afraid of ideas in the end also lacks concepts. 129. We rightly describe as our masters those from whom we can go on learning. Not everyone from whom we learn deserves this title. 130. All that is lyrical must be very reasonable as a totality, and in its detail a little bit unreasonable. 131. There is something in your general make-up which is rather like the sea, to which we give a variety of names – and in the end it’s all just salt water. 132. The saying has it that conceited self-praise stinks; that may well be true, but the public has no nose for the kind of smell that goes with unjust censure by outsiders.
192. Where concern is lost, memory fares likewise. 193. The world is a bell that is cracked: it clatters, but does not ring out clearly. 194. One must put up kindly with the pressing overtures of young dilettantes: with age they become the truest votaries of art and of the master. 195. When people really deteriorate, their only contribution is malicious joy in the misfortune of others. 196. Intelligent people are always the best encyclopaedia. 197. There are people who never make mistakes because they never have sensible projects.
196. Intelligent people are always the best encyclopaedia. 197. There are people who never make mistakes because they never have sensible projects. 198. Knowing my attitude to myself and to the world outside me is what I call truth. And so everyone can have his own truth and yet it remains the self-same truth. 199. What is particular is eternally defeated by what is general; the general has eternally to fit in with the particular. 200. No one can control what is really creative, and everybody just has to let it go its own way.