Summary of "Lotte in Weimar" copied from GoodReads

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Jan de Vries

Mar 21, 2022, 9:54:43 PM3/21/22
to Lotte in Weimar; book discussion
Forty years after their youthful association, Lotte Kestner, real-life heroine of Goethe's famous novel The Sorrows of Werther, makes a pilgrimage to Weimer to see Goethe. Upon her arrival, Lotte, to her surprise, is greeted as a celebrity and taken up into Goethe's set.

Thomas Mann, fascinated with the concept of genius and with the richness of German culture, found in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe the embodiment of the German culture hero. Mann's novelistic biography of Goethe was first published in English in 1940. Lotte in Weimar is a vivid dual portrait—a complex study of Goethe and of Lotte, the still-vivacious woman who in her youth was the model for Charlotte in Goethe's widely-read The Sorrows of Young Werther. Lotte's thoughts, as she anticipates meeting Goethe again after forty years, and her conversations with those in Weimar who knew the great man, allow Mann to assess Goethe's genius from many points of view.
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