Goethe, partial guide to Italian Journey

Northern Italy

Brenner Pass: clouds affected by mountains (31-2)
Goethe reads his unfinished work to his friends, outlines his projects (34-5)
Feels at home, happy, near Trento (39)
At Lake Garda (41 ff)
Malcesine castle incident: Goethe challenged why he draws ruined tower; overcomes them with picturesque description (44 ff); ironic over his troubles (48)
Italian time keeping: oddities of (58-9, diagram 61)
On Palladio - above his time (64)
Venice, account of (77 ff.)


Naples: arrives in city; takes up residence - cold (184-5)
In company visits some of Campi Phlegraei, very brief summary (188)
Vesuvius, first visit (188-9)
Sees ship sail for for Palermo, melodramatic! (190)
Vesuvius, second visit - mountain quite active (192-194)
Pompeii visit; evidence of their love of art (198-9)
Easy-going character of Neopolitans (199)
Pompeii, second visit (203-204)
Lady Hamilton described (208)
Takes on Kniep as companion (212), who is to draw for him on journeys (217)
Vesuvius visit during eruption (214-5)
Paestum (218)
Visits Kniep: beauty of view, woman; thoughts of primal plant (219-20)
Sicily journey decided on; whether it will teach him how to live (221)


Voyage to Palermo, G. revising his play Tasso (224-6)
Gate of Palermo, no cross-piece (226)
Monte Pellegrino visit (233)
Meditates in public gardens, resolves to read Homer (235-6);
primal plant (258-9)
Palagonia, visit to monsters (237-242)
Monreale: road up, monastery (242)
Refers to Magna Graecia (244)
Sicily is the clue to Italy (246)
Feast of Rosalia (257)
Leaves Palermo (259)
At Segesta (261)
Riedesel, Travels through Sicily (1773 in English) (262, 269)
Girgenti (265)
-- View from Theron (268)
Enna (276)
Catania (280)
Etna: climb up as far as Monte Rosso (284-5)
Taormina; view from amphitheatre (286)
Outline of Nausicaa (288-9)
Messina, city partly destroyed by earthquake of 1783 (291)
Goethe notes he is travelling incognito (300)
Departs Messina; reflections on exaggeration in art; on history (302)
Voyage back, nearly shipwrecked at Capri (304-07)

Naples, again (309)

Homer: naturalness of compared with modern writing; landscape he has seen illuminates Homer (310)
Labour and activity in Naples compared with the north (320-1)
Naples: colourful (323)
Vesuvius: night view of eruption (328)
Neri (313-4; 333-341)

Goethe 1749-1832

1765 he went to Leipzig to study law
1770-71 he completed his law studies at Strasbourg, made acquaintance of Herder
Götz von Berlichingen (1773) (Sturm und Drang period)
Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (1774, tr. The Sorrows of Young Werther)
1775 to Weimar, became Minister of State

Travels in Italy (1786-88)
His father, Johann Caspar Goethe had made visit to Italy in 1739-40, wrote a large book about it (unpublished); urged his son to go (died 1780).
Goethe resisted going; in 1775 was on his way, when intercepted at Heidelberg by messenger from Weimer

Die italienische Reise (1816, 1817, 1829), based on letters he wrote from Italy
-- important influence on later German writers: Eichendorff, Platen, Heine; Goethe's account foundational.
Influence of art historian Winckelmann: History of Ancient Art (1764).

1786 Sept 3 leaves for Italy
    Via Verona, Venice, Bologna, Florence
    Oct 28 arrives Rome
1787 Feb 22 leaves Rome for Naples
    April 2 arrives Palermo
    May 14 returns to Naples
    June 6 returns to Rome
1788 April 22 leaves Rome after 10 months
    June 18th arrives back at Weimar

Egmont (1788)
Römische Elegien (1788)
Torquato Tasso (1789)
Hermann und Dorothea (1797)
Iphigenie auf Tauris (1787)

Die Wahlverwandtschaften (1809, tr. Elective Affinities)
Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre (1796-1829)
Faust (Part 1, 1808)
Zur Farbenlehre (1810)
Westöstlicher Diwan (1819)

Document created January 25th 2005