1. Introduction
  2. Sources
  3. Poetics
  4. Work
  5. Conclusion
  6. Notes
  7. Works Cited and Further Reading


In Goethe’s late statements on poetics, aesthetics, and society, the category of the ‘collective’ is found again and again, but it has not yet become a canonical term in Goethe philology.1 Indeed, only recent studies emphasize the heuristic potential of the concept for the understanding and analysis not only of Goethe’s literary work, but also of his activities as a scientist and publisher.2 The impetus for these approaches was Albrecht Schöne’s groundbreaking commentary on Faust, in which the collective assumes a key hermeneutic role. Schöne emphasizes above all the sprawling intertextuality of Faust, both implicitly and explicitly marked. In his view, the reader of the tragedy is confronted with an “abundance of world” such as “no other work of modern literature has absorbed” (FA I.7/2:29).

Goethe himself reflects on the collective, either explicitly or through paraphrasing, in an essay on a copperplate engraving by Titian, in his review of a study by the alchemist and glassmaker Johannes Kunckel (1630–1703), as well as in his remarks on Georg Friedrich Händel (1685–1759) and Johann Caspar Lavater (1741–1801).3 Particularly momentous, however, was a conversation with the Swiss numismatist and scholar Frédéric Soret (1795–1865) on February 17, 1832, barely a month before Goethe’s death, in which he professed a collective outline of his life’s work:

Was habe ich denn gemacht? Ich sammelte und benutzte alles was mir vor Augen, vor Ohren, vor die Sinne kam. Zu meinen Werken haben Tausende von Einzelwesen das ihrige beigetragen, Toren und Weise, geistreiche Leute und Dummköpfe, Kinder, Männer und Greise, sie alle kamen und brachten mir ihre Gedanken, ihr Können, ihre Erfahrungen, ihr Leben und ihr Sein; so erntete ich oft, was andere gesäet; mein Lebenswerk ist das eines Kollektivwesens, und dies Werk trägt den Namen Goethe.4
What have I done? I have collected and turned to account all that I have seen, heard, observed:—I have put in requisition the works of nature and man. Every one of my writings has been furnished to me by a thousand different persons, a thousand different things—the learned and the ignorant, the wise and the foolish, infancy and age, have come in turn—generally without having the least suspicion of it—to bring me the offering of their thoughts, their faculties, their experience: often they have sowed the harvest I have reaped; my work is that of an aggregation of beings taken from the whole of nature;it bears the name of Goethe.5

It is crucial to begin with what Goethe does not refer to with these sentences, namely, the phenomenon of collective authorship.6 Goethe focuses instead on other aspects. His statement contains, in aperçu-like condensation, at least six fundamental statements about the writer, his literary practice, and his work.

First, Goethe describes the poet as an adaptive person who possesses the outstanding ability to productively process all that he “had seen and heard.” Secondly, this poetological figure of thought implies a model of literary productivity: the “genius” absorbs the entire reality of life in order to let it enter his work, but in a transformed way (“reap what others had sown for me”). The third characteristic of this approach is that it is both egalitarian and universal: the “thousand different persons” and “thousand different things” that the genius encounters—whether of a personal, representational or spiritual nature, whether extraordinary or commonplace, whether old or young—are absorbed by the “collective being,” and thus by his work. This idea suggests, fourthly, that the author is endowed with an unspecified representative validity: he speaks for the many who have become part of himself and thus of his work. The aspect of embodiment is, fifth, decisive: The “ability,” the “experiences,” the “life” that these “thousand […] persons” bring with them, all these individual elements become parts of an organic entity (i.e., of a “collective being”), which furthermore realizes itself in a concrete person (“Goethe”).  This implies, sixth and finally, a model of processual self-cultivation, of Bildung, in the Goethean sense of the term.

It is already clear from these remarks that Goethe’s late self-description is far too rich in its implications to be accepted without comment as a definitive summation of his life’s work. Yet it is precisely this reading of Goethe’s sentence that is usually favored; scholars have generally disregarded the fact that the concept of the ‘collective’ is not only based on concretely determinable sources, but also stands in a specific poetological and literary context.


The passage quoted above, which begins in German with the rhetorical question, “Was habe ich denn gemacht?” (What have I done?), has a longer prelude, which Soret also documents. In this prelude, Goethe reveals the sources of his reflections, i.e., the biography Souvenirs sur Mirabeau et les deux premières assemblées législatives (1832; Recollections of Mirabeau, and of the Two First Legislative Assemblies of France), written by the Geneva-born writer and politician Étienne Dumont (1759–1829), Soret’s great-uncle, who at times maintained very close contact with Count Mirabeau (1749–1791). In his conversation, Goethe pays particular attention to the critical reception of the book in France:

Die Franzosen wollen nun einmal in Mirabeau ihren Herkules sehen und haben damit sicher auch ganz recht, aber sie vergessen, daß ein Koloß aus Teilen besteht, daß Herkules selbst ein Kollektivbegriff ist. Das größte Genie käme nicht weit, wenn es alles nur aus sich selbst schöpfen wollte! Was wäre denn das Genie, wenn ihm die Gabe fehlte, alles zu benutzen, was ihm auffällt, hier den Marmor, dort das Erz für seine Ruhmeshalle zu nehmen? Wenn man mir nicht bestätigte, Mirabeau habe die guten Gedanken der Männer aus seiner nächsten Umgebung sich anzueignen verstanden, käme mir die ganze Geschichte von seinem beherrschenden Einfluß sehr unsicher vor. Ein junger Maler, und sei sein Talent noch so ursprünglich und wäre er überzeugt, alles nur kraft seiner eigenen Phantasie zu schaffen, kann, wenn er wirklich ein Genie ist, dieses Zimmer nicht betreten und die Bilder an diesen Wänden nicht sehen, ohne als ein ganz anderer, als er vordem war, und mit einem viel reicheren Ideenschatz von hier wieder fortzugehen. (FA 2.11:521)
The French want that Mirabeau should be their Hercules. And they are right:—but a Hercules must be abundantly supplied with food. They forget, good people, that this colossus is composed of parts;—that this demi-god is a collective being. The greatest genius will never be much worth if he pretends to draw exclusively from his own resources. What is genius, but the faculty of seizing and turning to account every thing that strikes us; [. . .] of taking here marble, there brass, and building a lasting monument with them? If I were not assured that Mirabeau possessed in the highest possible degree the art of appropriating the knowledge and the thoughts of those around him, I should not believe in the stories told of his influence. The most original young painter, who thinks he owes everything to his invention, cannot, if he really has genius, come into the room in which we are now sitting, and look round at the drawings with which it is hung, without going out a different man from what he came in, and with a new supply of ideas. (Austin, Characteristics of Goethe, 75–76)

In his statement, Goethe is very specifically concerned with the composition of the “genius” from an unmanageably large number of different parts and with the dependence on external impressions and influences that this necessarily entails. Mirabeau’s true talent, Goethe says, was to absorb what he saw, read, and heard, and to incorporate it into his own “ideas.” It is precisely this question that is at stake in the fourteenth chapter of the Souvenirs, which, among other things, deals with the “characteristic trait” of the “genius” (“trait caractéristique de son genie”).7 In this context, Dumont focuses less on the politician and more on Mirabeau as a writer:

Si on le considère comme auteur, il faut bien convenir que tous ses ouvrages, sans exception, sont des pièces de marqueterie où il lui resterait peu de chose si chacun de ses collaborateurs reprenait sa part [. . .]. Il se sentait absolument incapable d’écrire de suite, s’il n’était soutenu et guidé par un premier travail emprunté: son style, trop tendu, dégénérait bientôt en boursouflure, et il se dégoûtait du vide et de l’incohérence de ses idées; mais quand il avait un fonds et des matériaux, il savait élaguer, rapprocher, donner plus de force et de vie, et imprimer au tout le mouvement de l’éloquence. C’est ce qu’il appelait mettre le trait à un ouvrage [. . .]. (Dumont, Souvenirs sur Mirabeau, 275–76)
As an author he cannot rank high, for all his works, without exception, are a species of patch-work, of which very little would be left if each contributor took back his own. [. . .] He felt himself absolutely incapable of writing upon any subject, except he were guided and supported by the work of another. His style, naturally strained, degenerated into turgescence, and he was soon disgusted with the emptiness and incoherence of his own ideas. But when he had materials to work upon, he could prune and connect, impart a greater degree of life and force, and imprint upon the whole the stamp of eloquence. That is what he called putting the trait to a work.8

With his tendency towards a strained, even turgid style (“son style, trop tendu, dégénérait bientôt en boursouflure”) and his way of thinking tending towards incoherence (“l’incohérence de ses idées”), Mirabeau would never have been able to create something unique and grand on his own, according to Dumont’s judgment. This writer’s ability lay, rather, in the impressive ability to breathe force and life (“force et de vie”) into the found materials and eloquently make them his own; from this, ingenious “patch-works” (“pièces de marqueterie”) emerged that were composed of manifold individual parts of the most diverse origins.

Goethe projects what Dumont writes about Mirabeau almost one-to-one onto his self-description as a “collective being,” which in turn grants his own words a “patch-work” quality. And yet Dumont’s book is only one of the sources of his concept. In this respect, Goethe’s statement that the French wanted to see in Mirabeau “their Hercules,” a “colossus” composed of “parts,” also seems remarkable. With this, Goethe implicitly refers to the philological knowledge of his time, as he could have drawn on Benjamin Hederich’s Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon (1724ff.; Comprehensive Mythological Dictionary). At the very beginning of the entry for “Hercules,” the name of the mythical hero is up for debate. As Hederich writes, there is no scholarly consensus as to what the name is “composed of.” The article first reports the individual and quite contradictory views of the philologists:

According to the most widespread opinion, it [i.e. the name “Hercules”] is a compound of  Ἥρα, Juno, and κλέος, magnificence, since this hero achieved his honor and magnificence because he was hated and pursued by that goddess. However, others consider it to be a compound of ἥρως, Hero, and κλέος, because he was the glory of the heroes, so to speak, or derive it from ἥρη in the sense of “air,” since he was a heavenly man, so to speak. Voss. Etymol. in Hercle, s. p. 287. However, some prefer not to recognize this name as a Greek name at all, instead [. . .] deriving it even from German or Celtish, as a compound of Heer [army] and Carl or Kerl [lad], or Keule [club], etc. [. . .].9

In Hederich’s account, the different approaches have only one thing in common, but this one thing is decisive: They are all based on the assumption that “Hercules” is a compound name, that it is therefore, to use Goethe’s expression, a “collective term” that unites different lexemes in itself. Hederich’s lexicon not only outlines the heterogeneous, compilatory character of the name “Hercules,” but furthermore the hybrid identity of the ancient hero:

But Hercules might be not so much the proper name of a person as an honorific or epithet. Banier l. c. More than forty-five different famous heroes are said to have claimed this title. Varro ap. Abel. l. c. Thus some say that the Theban Hercules—the most famous of all, to whom alone all of the other deeds are generally ascribed—was actually named Alcäus, Diodor. Sic. lib. I. c. 10. p. 14., others Alcides, and that he only received the name Hercules from the Pythia, or the Oracle of Delphi [. . .]. (Hederich: Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon, column 1237)

From “forty-five” heroes the one hero is composed, “the most famous of all,” the superhuman “Hercules.” Goethe recognizes a very similar conception of the subject in Dumont’s description of Count Mirabeau, which he superimposes on his own self-description as a “collective being” in which the thousand things and persons around him unite. In all three cases—Mirabeau, Hercules, and Goethe himself—we are dealing with ‘colossi of parts.’


Beyond the authorial self-description, the idea of the ‘collective’ is also crucial for Goethe’s late literary work, particularly in relation to the form and practice of reading that results from it. This can be seen in a statement on the Journeyman Years in which he refers explicitly to the concept. On July 28, 1829, he writes to Johann Friedrich Rochlitz:

In diesem Sinne empfand ich dankbar: daß Sie mir die Stellen bezeichnen wollen welche Sie in den neuen Wanderjahren sich angeeignet. Eine Arbeit wie diese, die sich selbst als kollektiv ankündiget, indem sie gewissermaßen nur zum Verband der disparatesten Einzelheiten unternommen zu sein scheint, erlaubt, ja fordert mehr als eine andere daß jeder sich zueigne was ihm gemäß ist, was in seiner Lage zur Beherzigung aufrief und sich harmonisch wohltätig erweisen mochte. (FA 2.11:140)
It is in this sense that I feel thankful that you are willing to point out to me those parts of the new Journeyman Years which you wish to identify with yourself. A work of this description, ostensibly a collective one, whilst it appears to have been undertaken as the means of uniting the most disjointed matters of detail, yet permits, indeed requires, more than any other, that each should appropriate to himself what seems good to him, what encouraged him in his peculiar position, and what might be productive of a beneficial harmony.10

Goethe’s novel is described as a work that combines “the most disjointed matters” into a whole. This, in turn, is accompanied by the demand that readers adopt those “parts” that seem “appropriate” to them and care less about the overall context of the work. This becomes clear from the first sentence of the letter, in which Goethe thanks Rochlitz for being “willing to point out to me those parts of the new Journeyman Years which you wish to identify with yourself.” The selective reading of individual passages is thus clearly privileged over a holistically oriented perspective.

Goethe’s much-discussed attempt to define the genre of his novel as an “aggregate” (FA 2.11:232), which is conceived as “a whole consisting of unconnected parts,”11 must be understood against this background. The distinction from Immanuel Kant, who sharply distinguishes between the mere parts of the aggregate and the completed whole of the system,12 is obvious: For Goethe, the aggregate, like the collective, is situated between mere particularity and stringent systematics, in a sphere of the mediated and the mediating.


Of the central female character in Journeyman Years, Safia Azzouni writes: “Als Problem, Versuch, aber auch Hoffnung ist die ‘Denkart’ des Kollektiven in Makarie gestaltet” (As problem, attempt, but also hope, the collective as a way of thinking is shaped in Makarie).13 However, Makarie cannot be recognized as standing for the collective by her actions alone, i.e., by her characteristic tendency to perform activities “mit anderen oder durch andere” (with others or through others; Azzouni 205). Makarie is also associated with the collective in terms of her social impact. Like no other character in Goethe’s novel, she stands for “a successful mediation of the individual and the community,”14 as the narrator describes with admiration:

Einige allgemeine Betrachtungen werden hoffentlich hier am rechten Orte stehen. Das Verhältnis sämtlicher vorübergehenden Personen zu Makarien war vertraulich und ehrfurchtsvoll, alle fühlten die Gegenwart eines höheren Wesens, und doch blieb in solcher Gegenwart einem jeden die Freiheit ganz in seiner eigenen Natur zu erscheinen. Jeder zeigt sich wie er ist, mehr als je vor Eltern und Freunden, mit einer gewissen Zuversicht, denn er war gelockt und veranlaßt nur das Gute, das Beste was an ihm war an den Tag zu geben, daher beinahe eine allgemeine Zufriedenheit entstand. (FA 1.10:732)
The relationship to Makarie of all these persons passing through was marked by trust and respect; all felt the presence of a higher being, yet in her presence there remained to each the freedom to appear according to his own nature. Everyone shows himself as he is, more so than he ever did towards parents and friends, and with a certain confidence, for he was lured and encouraged to manifest only what was good, was best, in himself, for which reason well-nigh general satisfaction reigned.15

Relatively obvious in this passage is the key distinction between a person’s inner essence (“the freedom to appear according to his own nature”) and their outer mask (“more so than he ever did towards parents and friends”). This focus is obvious insofar as the mask-essence dichotomy is already problematized at an earlier point in the novel, also in relation to Makarie (cf. FA 1.10:379). But there are other implications to consider. What is also at stake here is the idea of a social unity that does not oppose individuality but, on the contrary, seems to promote it. The balance of the one and the many results in a state of “general satisfaction” that encourages each individual to bring out “what was good, was best, in himself.” Makarie thus stands for a seemingly idealistic, even utopian model of society that can be read together with Goethe’s concept of the ‘collective’: Makarie embodies and creates a union of the individual and the manifold.

It is thus no coincidence that her main interest lies in collecting and in bringing together what has been collected. This is expressed above all in her archive, which has been incorporated into the novel by the ‘Redaktor.’ The self-referential passages therein, such as the semantically related aphorisms nos. 75 and 76, are of particular interest in this context:

Wissenschaften entfernen sich im Ganzen immer vom Leben und kehren nur durch einen Umweg wieder dahin zurück.
Denn sie sind eigentlich Kompendien des Lebens; sie bringen die äußern und innern Erfahrungen in’s Allgemeine, in einen Zusammenhang. (FA 1.10:757)
The sciences on the whole are always moving away from life and return to it only by detour.
For they are actually compendia of life; they bring outer and inner experiences together into a general picture. (Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Journeyman Years, 425)

For Goethe, the key term of these sentences, the ‘compendium,’ is closely related to the concept of the collective. For him, the compendium is a book in which the manifold and the particular are placed alongside one another and at the same time linked together as a whole. The individual does not get lost in the whole or even dissolve into it, but, on the contrary, first comes into its own there. What Makarie embodies as a person, in social terms, finds its aesthetic counterpart in her archive.

This, however, is of central importance for the understanding of the novel as a whole. The structure of Makarie’s archive—at once particular and coherent—reveals “the principle of construction of Goethe’s novel itself,” as the commentators of the Frankfurt edition emphasize: “So stoßen im Bereich Makaries geistiges Ordnungsprinzip der Goetheschen Welt und poetologisches Prinzip seiner Romankonstruktion aufeinander” (FA 1.10:1075; In Makarie’s domain, the intellectual principle of order of Goethe’s world and the poetological principle of his novel’s construction thus collide). With this, and without using the term itself, the intermediary poetics of the collective is referred to “als lebendige und irisierende Beziehung zwischen Aphorismus und Roman, zwischen lakonischem Einzelsatz und erzählter Geschichte” (FA 1.10:1075; as a lively and iridescent relationship between aphorism and novel, between laconic single sentence and narrated story). A rigid form of closure in the sense of classical aesthetics would completely contradict this approach, and perhaps therein lies a good starting point for an interpretation of the novel’s controversial closing words: “Ist fortzusetzen” (FA 1.10:774; To be continued). The collective poetics, which is self-reflexively unfolded in the Journeyman Years, can per se only be concluded provisionally; without ever completely abandoning the aspiration to achieve unity, it aims at a progressive integration of the heterogeneous.


It is no coincidence that Goethe’s idea of the ‘collective,’ with its intellectual, formal, and social implications, attracted particular interest in the United States. In this context, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) should be mentioned first and foremost. For Emerson, Goethe’s idea was relevant in several ways, which is why he cites it more than once, at important passages in his work, and with great approval. It is found not only in an extensive excerpt of 1834 and in a lecture on Geoffrey Chaucer of 1835, but also in the late essay on Quotation and Originality, which appeared in the volume Letters and Social Aims in 1876.

It is in this essay that Emerson’s genuinely American perspective becomes strikingly apparent. Given the inevitable dependence of the United States on the philosophies, literatures, and sciences of the European world, the question arose as to how a consistent American culture could ever be conceived. To this end, Emerson transforms Goethe’s idea into the American cultural principle par excellence by declaring the diverse and the composite to be of positive value: “Our knowledge is the amassed thought and experience of innumerable minds,” he writes in his essay. “Our language, our science, our religion, our opinions, our fancies we inherited. Our country, customs, laws, our ambitions, and our notions of fit and fair,—all these we never made, we found them ready-made; we but quote them.”16

Convinced that literary texts and the social order should have a complementary relationship, Emerson furthermore poses the question of a genuinely American poetics. Taking up Goethe’s poetics of elasticity that enables the accommodation of multiplicity without giving up the claim of unity, Emerson’s essay “Goethe; Or, the Writer,” which is part of his book on Representative Men, is a call to the writers of the United States to follow the German author. And this call was answered above all by one particular writer, who was Emerson’s most ardent disciple and in whose most dazzling verse Goethe’s ‘collective self’ is clearly reflected: “I am large,” Walt Whitman states in his Song of Myself, “I contain multitudes.”17

This mediated adaptation by Whitman points to another important characteristic of the collective. For Emerson, Goethe, in his ability to combine the fragments without dissolving them in a synthesis, is the writer of modernity par excellence: “He was the soul of his century. [. . .] He had a power to unite the detached atoms again by their own law. He has clothed our modern existence with poetry.”18 Emerson thus anticipates a position that was elaborated in German-speaking Goethe philology more than a hundred years later, in the 1990s and especially in Schöne’s Faust commentary—this, however, without any consideration of the transatlantic reception and adaptation of the collective.

  1. For a concise definition of Goethe’s concept of the collective, see also Juliane Brandsch’s entry in the Goethe-Wörterbuch, ed. Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen, and the Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2011), 5:column 511. This article presents some reflections from my book Kollektivpoetik. Zu einer Literatur der offenen Gesellschaft in der Moderne mit Studien zu Goethe, Emerson, Whitman und Thomas Mann (Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2019).
  2. See among a few other contributions Safia Azzouni, Kunst als praktische Wissenschaft. Goethes Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre” und die Hefte “Zur Morphologie” (Köln: Böhlau, 2011); Dirk von Petersdorff, “Und lieben, Götter, welche ein Glück.” Glauben und Liebe in Goethes Gedichten (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2018); and Sina, Kollektivpoetik.
  3. The relevant passages and sources are discussed in Mathias Mayer, Selbstbewußte Illusion. Selbstreflexion und Legitimation der Dichtung im “Wilhelm Meister” (Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, 1989), 134–43, and Sina, Kollektivpoetik, 42–55. The most telling passages are probably Goethe’s remarks on Titian (FA 1.21:527–29) and on Kunckel’s compendium on glassmaking (FA 1:25:57).
  4. Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Sämtliche Werke, Briefe, Tagebücher und Gespräche, eds. Hendrik Birus, Dieter Borchmeyer, Karl Eibl, et. al., 40 vols. (Frankfurt am Main: Deutscher Klassiker Verlag, 1987–2013), 2.11:521–22. Hereafter cited as FA in the body of the text. The Faust commentary by Albrecht Schöne (FA 1.7/2), first published in 1994, is referred to in the eighth, revised and updated edition of 2017.
  5. Sarah Austin, Characteristics of Goethe: From the German of Falk, von Müller, etc. 3 vols. (London: Effingham Wilson, 1833), 3:76–77.
  6. This does not call into question the fact that collective authorship is certainly of significance for Goethe’s literary production. See Daniel Ehrmann, “‘unser gemeinschaftliches Werk.’ Zu anonymer und kollektiver Autorschaft in den Propyläen,” Goethe-Jahrbuch 131 (2014): 30–38.
  7. Etienne Dumont, Souvenirs sur Mirabeau et les deux premières assemblées législatives (Paris: C Gosselin et H. Bossange, 1832), 290.
  8. Étienne Dumont, Recollections of Mirabeau, and of the Two First Legislative Assemblies of France (Philadephia: Carey & Lea, 1833), 236–37.
  9. Benjamin Hederich, Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon, 33 vols. (Leipzig: Gleditsch, 1770), column 1236–37. Translation here by Kurt Beals.
  10. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe’s Letters to Leipzig Friends, ed. Otto Jahn., trans. Robert Slater Jun. (London: Longmans, Green, Reader and Dyer, 1866), 291 (translation modified).
  11. The insight that the concept of the ‘collective’ shows striking overlaps with the idea of the ‘aggregate’ can be taken from the study by Martin Bez, Goethes “Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre.” Aggregat, Archiv, Archivroman (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013), 65.
  12. In the Critique of Pure Reason, this is the introduction to the third main part of the Transcendental Doctrine of Method: “By an architectonic I understand the art of systems. Since systematic unity is that which first makes ordinary cognition into a science, i.e., makes a system out of a mere aggregate of it, architectonic is the doctrine of that which is scientific in our cognition in general, and therefore necessarily belongs to the doctrine of method.” Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999), 691. For an in-depth contextualization of the system/aggregate difference in the history of aesthetics, see Carlos Spoerhase, Das Format der Literatur. Praktiken materieller Textualität zwischen 1740 und 1830 (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2018), 511–28.
  13. Azzouni, Kunst als praktische Wissenschaft, 240.
  14. Claudia Schwamborn, Individualität in Goethes „Wanderjahren“ (Paderborn: Schöningh, 1997), 39.
  15. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Journeyman Years, or The Renunciants, ed. Jane K. Brown, trans. Krishna Winston (Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1989), 409.
  16. Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. 8, Letters and Social Aims, ed. Ronald A. Bosco, Glen M. Johnson, and Joel Myerson (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 2010), 314–15.
  17. Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (Brooklyn: self-pub., 1855), 55. The transatlantic transfer and retransfer of the idea of the collective from Goethe to Emerson and Whitman to Thomas Mann is reconstructed in Sina, Kollektivpoetik.
  18. Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. 4, Representative Men: Seven Lectures, ed. Wallace E. Williams and Douglas Emory Wilson (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 1987), 156–57.

Works Cited and Further Reading