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p. 242. Naturelocked

  • Ritchie Robertson


For Goethe, humanity formed part of a greater unity, that of Nature. Nature was also something to be experienced in the most direct, immediate way. ‘Nature’ looks closely at the poem Auf dem See, to appreciate how Goethe’s language expresses his sensuous apprehension of Nature. Goethe saw Nature as a sensuous maternal presence, but above all, dynamic—constantly in motion, both creative and destructive. Goethe was fascinated by anatomy, botany, mineralogy, and geology and devoted as much or more time to studying the natural world as he did to literature. Despite his problematic scientific method, Goethe’s empirical studies of botany, colour perception, and other subjects provided much valuable material for later generations.

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