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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe is most well known for his epic poem Faust (1808), based on the legend popularized by Christopher Marlowe’s play Doctor Faustus. The poem depicts a young scholar who, frustrated by the limits to his education, power, and enjoyment of life, engages the assistance of the devil at the cost of his soul. In Faust, Goethe draws extensively from Christian, medieval, and classical sources, complicating the original legend’s dichotomous struggle between good and evil and questioning what constitutes ultimate human fulfillment. Goethe had a profound impact on later literary movements, including Romanticism and expressionism, and made important contributions to philosophical and naturalist schools of thought.

  • (1976) Faust

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

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Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life (1788–1805), Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. They frequently discussed issues concerning aesthetics, and Schiller encouraged Goethe to finish works he left as sketches. This relationship and these discussions led to a period now referred to as Weimar Classicism. They also worked together on Xenien, a collection of short satirical poems in which both Schiller and Goethe challenge opponents to their philosophical vision.

  • (1804) Wilhelm Tell (William Tell)

“On the mountains there is freedom! The world is perfect everywhere, save where man comes with his torment.”

Hermann Karl Hesse

Hermann Hesse, (born July 2, 1877, Calw, Germany—died August 9, 1962, Montagnola, Switzerland), German novelist and poet who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. The main theme of his work is the individual’s efforts to break out of the established modes of civilization so as to find an essential spirit and identity.

  • (1919) Demian (published under the pen name Emil Sinclair)

  • (1922) Siddhartha

  • (1943) The Glass Bead Game

“Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest.”

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