Goethe’s Thoughts on Rome

Smartypants Chick Goes to Roma


Good ol’ German writer Goethe, in the late 1700s, was visiting enchanting Rome. He kept a journal which my class and I had an opportunity to read. Some of his journal entries are so relevant today as they were when he first wrote them.

Here is one of his entries, dated November 10, 1786:

I am living here now with a feeling of clarity and calm that I have not had for a long time. My practice of seeing and taking all things just as they are, my constancy in keeping a clear eye, and my complete rejection of all pretensions are proving very useful again, and make me quietly very happy. Every day a new remarkable object, every day some new great, extraordinary pictures, and a totality that is past imagining, however long one might think and dream.

My time in Rome has been relatively short, although, it feels…

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