He starts by zeroing in on Goethe’s vanity. “Goethe has more than once been described as ‘the perfect man’…. But a man whose career was glorious without intermission, decade after decade, must sorely try our patience.” He enumerates: “he was never injudicious, never lazy, always in the best form—and always in love with some lady or another just so much as was good for the development of his art, but never more than that by a tittle.” Of course this is unfair, but the irreverence is tonic.
Friday, September 22, 2017
… Essay Daily: Take One Daily and Call Me Every Morning: ADVENT 12/1, Phillip Lopate on A Little-Known Gem by Max Beerbohm. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)