Literary Birthday – 28 August – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born 28 August 1749, and died 22 March 1832.


  1. As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
  2. Patriotism ruins history.
  3. Everyone believes in his youth that the world really began with him, and that all merely exist for his sake.
  4. There is strong shadow where there is much light.
  5. All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again.
  6. Common sense is the genius of humanity.
  7. Nothing is more terrible than to see ignorance in action.
  8. We can’t form our children on our own concepts; we must take them and love them as God gives them to us.
  9. Investigate what is, and not what pleases.
  10. Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.
  11. Instruction does much, but encouragement everything.
  12. Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, artist, and politician. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. He is the author of Faust.

Source for Image,_gemalt_von_Angelica_Kauffmann_1787.JPG

Angelica Kauffmann, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 28th August 2013