Goethe’s Science in the Structure of the Wanderjahre

Alfred G. Steer Jr.

Published in 1979, this study is intended as a continuation of the work of the scholars and previous commentators on Goethe's Wanderjahre. While considering the scientific structure, it concentrates first on one basic question of form--that of the series of narrative insertions--and then of necessity on one matter of content that is linked so closely with them that the two are almost inseparable, namely the concept of the family as the Urform (archetype) and metamorphosis of the types of human association. Thus the intention of this book is to contribute to the new and better understanding of the novel and which will, it is to be hoped, at long last help the work take its place as one of the two crowning masterpieces (along with Faust II) of Goethe's life.
Page count: 184 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


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Alfred G. Steer Jr. received his master's from Duke University in 1938 and his doctoral degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1954. He had a distinguished naval career during World War II, and in 1945 he was appointed chief of the interpreters and translators of the Nuremberg trials in Germany. Steer was a Goethe specialist and published many books and articles on his work such as Goethe's Elective Affinities: The Robe of Nessus and Goethe's Social Philosophy as Revealed in "Campagne in Frankreich" & "Belagerlung Von Mainz". The A.G. Steer Professorship in Goethe Studies was established through a gift from the estate of the late Dr. Steer, who came to the University of Georgia in 1967 to head the newly formed department of Germanic and Slavic Studies. He retired from the university in 1983 and died in 2003.