Home > Uncategorized > Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: I have not a warlike nature nor warlike tastes

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: I have not a warlike nature nor warlike tastes

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

German writers on peace and war

Goethe: “O wisdom, thou speakest as a dove!”

Goethe: Withdraw hands from your swords

====

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Cited by Georg Brandes in his Main Currents in Nineteenth Century Literature
Translator unidentified

The bodies of his fallen countrymen did not inspire the poet with odes….

Such instances as these give us some impression of the attitude of aloofness which Goethe as a poet maintained towards the events of his day. But we must not overlook the fine side of his refusal to write patriotic war-songs during the struggle with Napoleon. “Would it be like me to sit in my room and write war-songs? In the night bivouacs, when we could hear the horses of the enemy’s outpost neighing, then I might possibly have done it. But it was not my life, that, and not my affair; it was Theodor Körner’s. Therefore his war-songs become him well. I have not a warlike nature nor warlike tastes, and war-songs would have been a mask very unbecoming to me. I have never been artificial in my poetry.”

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: