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p. 453. Classical art and world literaturelocked

  • Ritchie Robertson

Abstract

‘Classical art and world literature’ shows that Goethe’s knowledge of art and literature was wide-ranging and explains that, in both, he came to believe that the works produced by the ancient Greeks formed a standard that could never be surpassed. In art, he explored the classical tradition that descended via the Renaissance to the neoclassicism of the 18th century. In literature, his taste was much wider. He read easily in French, Italian, English, Latin, and Greek, and in his later life he eagerly read translations of Asian texts—novels from China, epics and plays from India, and the Arabic and Persian poetry that would inspire his great lyrical collection, the West-östlicher Divan (West-Eastern Divan).

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