Goethe wrote Faust II and Wilhelm Meister’s Journeyman Years over a period of decades. Both works thematize the beginning of the 19th century as an epochal shift marking the end of century-old traditions and the advent of modernity. Especially the Journeyman Years, the novel of Goethe’s old age, shows how ‘the new’ was manifested as the universal utilitarization of all areas of reality. This study interprets the novel as medium of reflection that integrates the knowledge of the present and past, in order to present it in the protagonists’ actions and experience as a means of ‘beholding understanding’.
Günter Saße, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg.
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