GOETHE, Pattern of Genius by Monroe Stearns

GOETHE, Pattern of Genius

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Why write about Goethe for kids? How write about Goethe for kids? the likely answer--don't write about Goethe for kids. In focusing on ""the fulfillment of the emotional and physical needs"" of his subject, Mr. Stearns is not wrong, but his style makes the unsuitable intolerable. A sample from the introduction--Goethe ""found a harmony between the world of solid fact and the realm of glorious imagination""--and the first chanter heading--""A Genius Is Born to Suffer."" And 'so he does, through a long succession of slights and quarrels with his father and especially unconsummated romances, so that when he finally gets to bed with a woman, the reader is prepared to share his happiness: '""and when they rested from their love-making, Goethe would softly tap out the measures of his verses on Faustina's marble-smooth back."" What makes this all seem worse than it is, is the author's constant attitudinizing; nothing happens but that he must judge, interpret and psychoanalyze, with special scorn for ""bourgeois morality,"" ""bourgeois stodginess,"" ""bourgeois attitudes."" A pretentious and puerile book.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1967
Publisher: Watts