By Bernhard Kuhn
Bernhard Kuhn's learn uncovers a basic connection among the autobiographies and clinical writings of Rousseau, Goethe, and Thoreau that refutes the now entrenched thesis of the 'two cultures.' As he examines those 3 consultant writers, Kuhn unearths the medical personality of autobiographical writing whereas demonstrating the autobiographical nature of typical technological know-how. An unfolding drama emerges, during which Romantic interval writers are noticeable holding what glossy tradition is set to wreck aside.
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Additional info for Autobiography and Natural Science in the Age of Romanticism: Rousseau, Goethe, Thoreau
31 Happier, if you wish, although reckless, If my feeble talents would ﬁnd the art of pleasing; If, by chance32 saved from public hisses, My verses could be approved by people with taste, Tell me upon what subjects my muse will exert itself. Every poet is a liar and the profession excuses him; He knows how to make, by pompous words, a rich fop Into a new Maecenas, a pillar of the State. But I, who am little acquainted with the customs of France, I, proud republican who wounds arrogance, I disdain the support of the impertinent rich man, If it is necessary to beg while crawling before him, And know how to give applause only to you, to true merit: Mad33 vanity disgusts and irritates me.
The lively persuasion that dictated my writings gave them a warmth that sometimes was able to take the place of force of reasoning; exalted me, so to speak, above myself by the sublimity of my subject, I was like those lawyers, more famous than eloquent, who are taken for great orators because they plead great cases, or rather like those evangelical preachers who preach artlessly but who move because they are moved. What makes the majority of modern books so cold along with so much wit, is that the authors do not believe anything they say, and do not even care about making others believe it.
What use to her is it to seek in this solitude To ﬂee the dazzle of this world and its uneasiness If, even in this wilderness destined for peace Fate, relentless to harm her, still gives her The horrible proximity of a frightful Prosecutor Nourished by ink and bile, whose terrible claw Is a hundred times more feared by his sad neighbors Than the cruel Hussar by the poor Bavarian. But this is to burden you too much with the account of our troubles: Deign to pardon me, friend, for these empty complaints; The last good left to the unfortunate is To see their woes pitied by generous hearts.
Autobiography and Natural Science in the Age of Romanticism: Rousseau, Goethe, Thoreau by Bernhard Kuhn
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