47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
A Little Novel that Caused a Huge Sensation,
This review is from: The Sorrows of Young Werther (Classics) (Paperback)
We tend to think of our era as unique when we descry the impact that the media has on our young people's behavior. Well the same thing happened 200 years ago when this book was first published. Impressionable young readers who identified so completely with Werther went out and committed suicide by the droves.
Werther is the prototypical Romantic male, who "feels" more deeply than the rest of humanity. Unlike Heathcliffe, who settles on revenge as an answer to his thwarted designs, Werther takes it out on himself. Of course, there's a great deal of self-destruction at work in Heathcliffe's persona too.
I would recommend this to a reader who is just getting to know Goethe. I read it when I was about eighteen and it definitely struck a nerve with me at that time. It made me want to read everything by Goethe I could find in translation.
Read it, and if you like it, as I am sure you will, go on to Goethe's two great Romantic novels, Elective Affinities and Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship. I found in my earlier readings that I never went wrong with Penguin Classics translations. They're normally all top-notch, whether Greek, Latin, French, German, Russian, etc. PS: If you're a young reader, please don't take Werther too much to heart. It's only a novel, ok?
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Initial post: 18 Jul 2011 11:29:42 BDT
Aww how nice and considerate of you. I'm buying the book right now. Since you were so nice in writing this review I'll recommend you the song which made me want to read Goethe's Werther. It's called "Three is an Orgy, Four is Forever" and it is by Ordo Rosarius Equilibrium.
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