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The Eye and the Gaze

Goethe and the Autobiographical Subject


Evelyn K. Moore

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a dominant figure in European literature and intellectual life, was the creator of a new and influential visual culture. This volume investigates a new science of perception through an exploration of his autobiographical works, novels and writings on optics. The psychoanalytic approach taken in this study focuses on central acts of perception and the role of vision in Goethe as key to the formation of identity. By addressing the impact of visuality on the act of writing, new interpretations of his most important works emerge through analysis of subject formation in the autobiographies, The Italian Journey and Poetry and Truth. Further, the relationship between the self and the gaze plays a central role in the semi-autobiographical works, The Elective Affinities, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, as well as Color Theory. In exploring the question of identity and identification within a Lacanian framework, The Eye and the Gaze offers an innovative approach to biography, autobiography, and narrative.
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German Studies in America

Edited by

Celia Applegate, Gail Hart, Kai Evers, Susan Gustafson, Peter Meilaender

The Editors of the German Studies in America book series (formerly Germanic Studies in America, ed. by Katharina Mommsen) welcome scholarly monographs in the field of German Studies in the broadest sense. With a long-standing publishing history lasting more than forty years, this series adheres to the highest academic standards. We are eager to consider manuscripts in English or German that develop new areas of research, those that offer new perspectives on familiar topics, and studies that adopt innovative approaches to German, Swiss, or Austrian history, literature, philosophy, national identity, popular culture, film, music, and visual art.

Each volume of the series is subjected to a peer review process.

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