[Marxism] Fwd: Life Lessons from Goethe - The New Yorker

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jan 26 07:25:21 MST 2016

One famous anecdote concerns Goethe and Beethoven, who were together at 
a spa resort when they unexpectedly met a party of German royalty on the 
street. Goethe deferentially stood aside and removed his hat, while 
Beethoven kept his hat firmly on his head and plowed through the royal 
group, forcing them to make way—which they did, while offering the 
composer friendly greetings. Here was a contrast of temperaments, but 
also of generations. Goethe belonged to the courtly past, when artists 
were the clients of princes, while Beethoven represented the Romantic 
future, when princes would clamor to associate with artists. Historians 
dispute whether the incident actually took place, but if it didn’t the 
story is arguably even more revealing; the event became famous because 
it symbolized the way people thought about Goethe and his values.


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