Friday, March 30, 2012

Goethe skating in Frankfurt

Just before Goethe began to work on The Sorrows of Young Werther, he invited his mother and Her friends to watch him skate on a frozen river. His mother wore a long fur cloak trimmed with gold. Goethe demanded the garment, put it on, and skated away - leaving Her astonished and bewildered. There has been a couple of engravings made picturing the scene.
"It is most remarkable that the greatest German poet, one week before he set out to write his greatest novel, felt the impulse on the spur of the moment to exhibit himself to his mother and a large crow dressed in a conspicuous piece of female clothing."
(K.R. Eissler)
Considering Goethe's masochistic relationship with Anna Elisabeth Schönemann just one year later, we can, I believe, reject all psychoanalytic explanations of the incident and consider it as a pure act of masochistic exhibition. Have you notice that lovely Girl (in Masoch's favorite costume) throwing snowball at Goethe on the first picture? Such lovely detail is explaining the whole story beyond any doubt...

No comments:

Post a Comment