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228 Book Reviews Klopstock's popular ode from Goethe's youth, "An Fanny" (1748), that promises a nearly identical reunion after death. At any rate, it is conceptually difficult to believe, considering the entire corpus of Goethe's works and even despite the hyperbole of some of his characters, that he ever would have seriously envisioned such a mad, destructive reunion as a conclusion to a novel or drama. Perhaps only a haunted figure like Heinrich von Kleist could pull off something like this as he did in Penthesilea. But by the time Goethe writes Die Wahlverwandtschaften, he himself has no stomach for enthusiasts nor for their Romantic excesses as he clearly demonstrates later in Faust II. However, in spite of such shortcomings, which are comparatively inconsequential in light of the whole production, Reusch has put together a credible and refreshingly new interpretation of Goethe's work. Her excellent scholarship shows in the dogged search for every motif that may underline her study such as the fascinating discussion in chapter 4.6 on the repetition of names. Some may find it easy to quibble about what she has or has not done in this book, but for the interested Goethe scholar, there are many more valuable nuts to crack in this study than we have time to explore here, and the careful reader will gain much from perusing them on his or her own. California Lutheran University Walter K. Stewart Michael Jaeger, Fausts Kolonie: Goethes kritische Phänomenologie der Moderne. Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann, 2004.668 pp. Michael Jaeger's Habilitationsschrift begins with that moment in late summer of 1830 when Goethe understands the July revolution in Paris as an earthquake and feverish paroxysm and declares it to be the "größte Denkübung" of his late life. It ends its argument with the conclusion: "Fausts Drama illustriert infolgedessen die Umkehrung des Emanzipationsprozesses der philosophischen Aufklärung: Der tragische Protagonist verliert sich, getrieben von blinden Leidenschaften, immer hoffnungsloser in der weltlosen Hölle der Subjektivität. Schließlich verschwindet sein Bewusstsein im Gefängnis der paranoiden Zwangsvorstellungen" (499). In between, this voluminous and important study develops and supports the thesis that Goethe gives to his hero Faust "die Physiognomie eines Repräsentanten und darüber hinaus eines archetypischen Agenten der Krise." Jaeger states: "Das Drama des ungeduldigen Strebens Fausts soll im folgenden, insbesondere im Blick auf die 1831 fertiggestellten Partien der Tragödie, als literarischer Ausdruck der Goetheschen Krisenphänomenologie gelesen werden" (24-25). Beyond that, he sees Faust acting in the role of the modern crisis agent already in the Faust-Fragment of 1790: "Bereits die Verse, die Goethe nach der Rückkehr aus Italien in das Drama eingetragen hatte, spiegeln das Erschrecken des Dichters über die 'Tragödie von 1790' wider" (24). The subsequent "Ideengeschichtlicher Epilog" and a selective review of "Positionen der Forschung" leave no doubt that Jaeger sees himself firmly in the anti-perfectibilistic camp of Faust interpretation. It also identifies Karl Löwith's Von Hegel zu Nietzsche: Der revolutionäre Bruch im Denken des 19Jahrhunderts (1941) as the dominant source of the intellectual history of his argument. That argument closes in on Faust from a number of different directions.After a survey of the themes of Goethe's crisis phenomenology (mechanization, Goethe Yearbook 229 increasing velocity of life, dilettantism in all realms, Saint-Simonism, and the return of religious warfare in a secularized revolutionary form, to name only a few) in chapter one, Jaeger analyzes the related autobiographical efforts of Campagne in Frankreich/Belagerung von Mainz and Italienische Reise in chapters two and three before zeroing in on the post-1830 scenes oÃ- Faust II in acts 4 and 5 to argue the heart of his thesis. In the fifth chapter, finally, Jaeger considers Goethe's reception and practice of the "Eudämonie- und Kairoslehre" of antiquity, which he sees as the value system that Goethe posits as the opposite of and bulwark against Faust's modernity, and that Faust, in turn, negates in his "utopisches Fortschrittsdenken der Moderne." Jaeger's argument is rich, enormously learned, and almost invariably interestingly argued and eloquently presented. The first three chapters convincingly make the case...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1940-9087
Print ISSN
0734-3329
Pages
pp. 228-230
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-13
Open Access
No
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