Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany’s great poet, novelist, philosopher, playwright, and scientist, wrote: Es ist nichts schrecklicher als eine tätige Unwissenheit. (There is nothing more terrible than ignorance in action.)
Those oft-quoted words by Goethe sum up the guiding principle of this Web site. We try to help visitors to Germany and the other German-speaking countries avoid ignorance in action. To read more about the purpose and content of this site, please see the Introduction. For more about Goethe, read on...
|Das Goethe-Haus in Weimar, Germany. Photo © Hyde Flippo|
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is a giant in German and world literature. In fact, he coined the term Weltliteratur and spoke Greek, Latin, French, English, and Italian. Aside from its quality, the sheer volume of work during his 82-year lifetime is impressive. Among other works, Goethe wrote a worldwide, best-selling novel (Die Leiden des Jungen Werthers, 1774), volumes of poetry, and several dramas, including his masterwork: Faust — a massive two-volume drama that was not entirely finished by the time of the poet’s death. Goethe also dabbled in painting and science (Farbenlehre/Theory of Color), although his greatest achievements by far were in literature.
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