“Our desires are presentiments of the abilities that lie within ourselves,” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said in his autobiography “From My Life: Poetry and Truth”
Fictional characters such as Faust, Werther and Egmont were not the only imprinting the literary colossus made in the history of literature. Goethe himself was one of the most impressive marks he made. His autobiography covers the first 26 years of his life, through which readers can imagine him in his later life. It is because his childhood and youth show the foundation of a grand man.
Goethe is said to be the most productive writer in the “paper era,” but Goethe was so much more than a writer. He was politician, scientist, painter and more. The stories of his youth in his autobiography makes readers feel close to the “universal genius” and look back on their lives.
“From My Life: Poetry and Truth” has been a model for numerous autobiographies. It is evident because I, a person from the Far East, was able to write about my life after translating the bulky autobiography 200 years later. I started to study Goethe more and more, and build small facilities such as “Goethe library for one person” in my village “Yeobaek Seowon.” Now I am planning to build a Goethe-themed village.
Weimar, a city where Goethe lived, has small population of 6,000. But it is a cultural capital of Germany; which people from across the world visit. I wanted to show our youth how it was possible, how great a person can be and how a great person fostered himself. Goethe’s youth in which he laid foundation of his life is so compelling that it led me to do something big such as building a “Goethe village.”