Thesis of “The Sorrows of Young Werther”

“If you have the inclination to mope around like a useless fuckhead, then you’re probably not in a social position where you can afford the self-indulgence.” Goethe wrote it as a warning to smart theater kids, like himself, to not give themselves over to their natural romanticism.

As you’d expect, everyone who read it took away the opposite message.

It also started the phenomenon known as “Werther Fever,” which caused young men throughout Europe to dress in the clothing style described for Werther in the novel.[7][8] Items of merchandising such as prints, decorated Meissen porcelain and even a perfume were produced.[9] Thomas Carlyle coined an epithet, “Wertherism”,[10] to describe the self-indulgency of the age that the phenomenon represented.[11]

The book reputedly also led to some of the first known examples of copycat suicide. The men were often dressed in the same clothing “as Goethe’s description of Werther and using similar pistols.” Often the book was found at the scene of the suicide.[12] Rüdiger Safranski, a modern biographer of Goethe, dismisses the Werther Effect “as only a persistent rumor.”[13] Nonetheless, this aspect of “Werther Fever” was watched with concern by the authorities – both the novel and the Werther clothing style were banned in Leipzig in 1775; the novel was also banned in Denmark and Italy.[9]

About Aeoli Pera

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24 Responses to Thesis of “The Sorrows of Young Werther”

  1. Zeb Zebley says:

    I knew you loved me, you big ginger thard, you!

    its all Monk Mode and Christwaffen memes from here on out.

  2. Zeb Zebley says:

    The Ne-over-Si tilt of romantics, and the curiosity dopamine loop that they get from the search for knowledge and meaning,
    pretty much guaranteed that they were going to do this. that’s why forcing romantics to fight, face hard truths, burst their bubbles, play sports, bean-count, and work out was always good medicine for them.

    and when those measures are neglected, there was always beating the theater kids up, but that could be crom social defense. smear the queer is a healthy game.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      This form of “socialization” may be why the Lover stereotype (vs. King, Magician, Warrior) is characterized by a turbulent early life.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        The characterization of Guts and Griffith’s friendship never ceases to impress me in retrospect. Pure genius.

        • Zeb Zebley says:

          it’s everybody’s favorite story, “Local man too traumatized to die is promptly befriended and then screwed by melonhead employer, swears revenge”

          there’s some deep juju/ genetic memory in there, too- Fenrir and Tyr, or, amusingly, Treasure Island.

          a quote you might like: “Long John Silver, he is called, and has lost a leg; but that I regarded as a recommendation, since he lost it in his country’s service, under the immortal Hawke.”

  3. MM says:

    Eventually, everyone gets “post-romantic”, its just about what they do during and after…

    “I think that taking life seriously means something such as this: that whatever man does on this planet has to be done in the lived truth of the terror of creation, of the grotesque, of the rumble of panic underneath everything. Otherwise it is false.”

    The thing is, its not sorrow. Its something way beyond that. Its like the feeling of the outro of this song (which provides the same solution as the elites- extinguish the soul). Its like when a relative dies:

    Life is a big sad mystery and all is folly (unless…). Tune that out however you want, I’m certainly not going to blame anyone. If you don’t pick something (anything) to pour yourself into then you WILL die soon, and your body IS programmed to kill you if you contemplate these things ‘too much’ (not in the factual sense, but in that… real way).

  4. MM says:

    “There is no doubt that healthy-mindedness is inadequate as a philosophical doctrine, because the evil facts which it positively refuses to account for are a genuine portion of reality; and they may after all be the best key to life’s significance, and possibly the only openers of our eyes to the deepest levels of truth.”

    (closed eyes= alpha waves. The brain is a collection of oscillators)

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Good quote. The “collection of oscillators” bit is a little esoteric and might be better described as “collection of resonators” or compared to the cochlea.

      • MM says:

        The senses can be thought of as resonators with very tight ‘bands’ (the cochlea indeed being the arch example as there should be a hair cell for each frequency, at least in the midrange as 200 through 2000 hz have the greatest processing, and the high end is hard for most to process musically- the brain wants to imply them as harmonics and ‘find’ the lower sound in the same way you can hallucinate bass from overtones. Alot of ppl cant even hear bass musically!)
        The mechanical ear is basically a dynamic microphone.

        But the sense inputs are then turned into oscillations. I am not aware of resonators in the brain, but deff are certain tuning standards (wouldnt want to have a seizure!)

        Oh, I finally found a name for that weird thing with muh vision

        I saw that happening in texhnolyze when showing ‘texhnolyzed vision’ which made me think it wasnt so normal. Apparently its not normal and tracks with my ever increasing pyschoticism. (Tinnitus has gotten really bad as well)

        On a related note, neural networks apparently process information better with the presence of a certain level of noise (and Ive long figured out that adding a bed of noise to music- around -84 db flat freq response, though you can go louder if you reduce high end and automate the level, improves it)

        • MM says:

          The brain cant ultimately be a resonator because you do not actually have to be ‘tuned’ to physical reality. You can just go to la la land. Many such cases.

          And if people are resonators seeking God
          /prime energy then why would some be discordant with that if it was so prime and not… relative.

          • Aeoli Pera says:

            I gave up on the free will/determinism question, and I suspect there’s something about the construction of reality that makes it impossible for us to comprehend. Obviously there’s free will, but obviously there’s determinism…and you can’t have both, so WTF. I dunno.

            • MM says:

              Yeah none of this makes even the slightest sense ultimately. The universe is obviously ‘magic’ and so is consciousness (at least the ‘actually experiencing all this’ part). At the same time, the universe seems an utterly indifferent place, and if you fuck with the brain then very clear things happen that make one skeptical about any kind of indestructible soul.

              It’s the weirdest possibility. To think that reality is magic- consciousness especially, and yet… we still must die and are given no reprieve within the world.

  5. MM says:

    What people fear most:
    Life. And of course, Death. But most of all (and this is not talked about much) they fear Vulnerability (about the farthest thing from ‘romanticism’) especially in this age of narcissism and expedience and isolation.

    And by that I mean, almost everyone without exception knows deep down inside that whatever meaning life has is just about love… real love, sacrificial love. But real love is sad and painful beyond belief, because there is nothing worse than when they have to go. They don’t even try to put it in kids movies anymore.

    When lucid, most people agree that this is what life is really about. And yet… we just can’t stop all the noise, we can’t be ourselves. We aren’t strong enough for that.
    Really degenerated people like me have to be almost dead to reveal the truth to the people we love.

    More than anything this is what gives me the feeling there used to be something better than all this and that this is just a nightmare we will wake up from one day, any day. And I will be human again and be able to say sorry to everyone for everything.
    It was just a poor response to the intractable situation that is life… but that’s still no excuse.

    (I wrote much more but deleted; the internet is fake but people are real. And nothing so real should be sullied by something as fake as all this. Back to ‘normal’ mm )

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