1 The Department of Aestethics and Culture - Interdisciplinary Aesthetic Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 School of Communication and Culture - Aesthetics and Culture, School of Communication and Culture, Arts, Aarhus University3 School of Communication and Culture - Aesthetics and Culture, School of Communication and Culture, Arts, Aarhus University
Om selvbestemmelse og historieskrivning hos GoetheSelf-determination and writing of history in Goethe's work
The article deals with Goethe and the French revolution. Contrary to the usual description of Goethe's attitude towards the revolution as distant and reluctant it investigates the significance of the revolution in some of his literary works from the 1790'es, primarily the novella cycle Conversations of German Refugees (1795) and the Bildungsroman Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (1795-96). In his writings Goethe explored some of the crucial questions of the revolution, especially the possibility of self-determination and the relationship between individual and general history. The article shows that Goethe's use of literary genres (epic, novel, novella, drama and others) can be understood as experiments with various ways of conceiving subjectivity and history - and thereby also ways of dealing with the revolution and modernity in general.