Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Quotes from Goethe: Autobiography: Truth and Fiction Relating to My Life

From time to time I pick up a writing of Goethe and have fun with it.  Here's something from him about the stages of a person's life that I came across as a young man and it has always stayed with me.  It is interesting when he makes a statement from his temporal location in the 18th or 19th century which his life spanned that relates to something contemporary.  Here's what he had to say about "Boomers and Millenials".  Now, I'm half way through my kindle copy of:

Autobiography: Truth and Fiction Relating to My Life by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Below are a few of some quotes that strike me as interesting.  Every year of my life from the fifties when I was a child till the present at age 64, I heard complaints about being too easy on our kids in school.

The case often happens, that, when the elements of an exclusive art are taught us, this is done in a painful and revolting manner. The conviction that this is both wearisome and injurious has given rise, in later times, to the educational maxim, that the young must be taught every thing in an easy, cheerful, and agreeable way: from which, however, other evils and disadvantages have proceeded.

So even in his times, there was a cleavage of views on education.

Every bird has its decoy, and every man is led and misled in a way peculiar to himself.
All that had hitherto taken place was tolerably modern: the highest and high personages moved about only in coaches, but now we were going to see them in the primitive manner on horseback. (He's reminiscing about a coronation from the 1760's.) 
But a momentary incitement often brings us, and others through us, more joy than the most deliberate purpose can afford.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I find this post of great interest, as states such as Oklahoma has rejected AP US History because as noted, there are exclusives points of views expressed. In truth, that is not the case. You are spot on regarding systemic acts toward education over time.

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