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Goethe's Wisdom Literature

A Study in Aesthetic Transmutation


Roger H. Stephenson

Content: Introduction - Goethe's use of traditional rhetoric - The commonplace nature of Goethe's material - The eighteenth-century debate on «style» and transformation of received material - Goethe's aesthetic transmutation of commonplaces - The significance of Goethe's re-formulation seen against the background of the practice of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century wisdom-writers in an age of competing philosophical views of language, and in the light of modern theories of discourse - Conclusion.