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Regular version of the site

Article

A Space of Semantic Resonance: Idea of the World Literature in Goethe's “Chinese-German Book of Seasons and Hours”

PONTE. 2020. Vol. 76. No. 11. P. 121-128.

Using the example of the cycle of Goethe’s poems “The Chinese-German Book of Seasons and Hours”, in which the poet combines motifs from Chinese and German literature as well as his own poetry, the paper suggests a hypothesis in the light of which an attempt is made to consider the influence of Goethe’s natural-philosophical ideas on peculiarities of his concept of the world literature.  In particular, this concerns the matter of integrating the individual (das Besondere) into the universal (das Allgemeine), a well as the concept of the Nature as a living whole.  At the same time this universal law of Nature creates a mechanism for the functioning of the living stream of the world literature, where separate national literatures are circulating. “The Chinese-German Book of Seasons and Hours”, where the uniqueness of a single day and the constancy of the seasons are combined, where the memories of the past days are embedded in the imaginary space of China, creates “the space of semantic resonance”, with Goethe’s  both aesthetic and natural-philosophical visions being  are in the mutual reflection.