Saturday 31 December 2016

On Goethe

Brookner makes reference now and again to Goethe. Family and Friends begins with an epigraph from Werther. At least one later Brookner novel (Altered States?) namechecks Elective Affinities.

The Frankfurt Goethehaus looks at first like a genuine eighteenth-century house but like many old-looking buildings in Germany it is in large part a postwar reconstruction. In another part of the building there's a small art gallery: Tischbein, Fuessli, Hackert, minor Caspar David Friedrich. Brookner's comment somewhere about Friedrich's threadbare religious imagery apparently spoilt for ever Brian Sewell's appreciation of the painter.

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