October 26, 2010

Waking or asleep, she fills all my thoughts!

How her image haunts me! Waking or asleep, she fills all my thoughts! When I close my eyes, here, in my brain, where all the energies of inward vision are concentrated, are her black eyes. Here--I cannot express it; but if I shut my eyes, there are hers: dark as the ocean, as an abyss they lie before me, and fill the nerves of my brain.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, December 6, Book II

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

Another Man's Wife

I cannot pray, "Let her be mine!" Yet she often seems to belong to me. I cannot pary, "Give her to me!" for she is another's.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, November 22, Book II

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

Measure of sufferings

What is the destiny of man but to fill up the measure of his sufferings, and to drink his alotted cup of bitterness? And if that same cup proved bitter to the Son of God, why should I affect a foolish pride and call it sweet?

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, November 15, Book II

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

See but touch not

A hundred times I have been on the verge of embracing her. God! What a torture it is to see so much loveliness before us, and yet not dare to touch it! And touching with our hands is the most natural of human instincts. Do not children touch everything they see? And I?

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, October 30, Book II
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

Without her I have nothing

I possess so much, but my love for her absorbs it all. I possess so much, but without her I have nothing.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, October 27, Book II

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

October 25, 2010


And my heart seems as if it could not bear without them; and yet--if I were to die; if I were to leave this circle--would they feel--or how long would they feel--the void which my loss would make in their lives? How long? Yes, such is the frailty of man that even where he has the greatest certainty of his own being, where he makes the truest and most forcible impression in the memory, in the heart of his beloved, there also he must perish--vanish--and that so soon!

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, October 26, Book II

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ


Alas! The void--the fearful void within me! Sometimes I think, if I could once--only once--press her to my heart, this void would all be filled.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, October 19, Book II

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ


As Nature turns to autumn, it becomes autumn within me and around me. My leaves are sear and yellow, and the trees near by are divested of their leaves.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, September 4, Book II

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

October 22, 2010

God so loves us...

God so loves us that He accepts us just as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us there.

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

The Kreplach Joke

Once upon a time there was a little boy who hated kreplach. Every time he saw a piece of kreplach in the soup he screamed, "Aaaaah, kreplach!" So his mother decided to teach him not to be afraid of kreplach. She took him into the kitchen and rolled out some dough. "Just like a pancake," she said. "Just like a panckae," said the little boy. Then she took a piece of meat and rolled it into a ball. "Just like a meatball," she said. "Just like a meatball," said the little boy. Then she rolled up the meat in the dough and held it up. "Just like a dumpling," she said. "Just like a dumpling," said the little boy. Then she dropped it into the soup and put it in front of the little boy, and he screamed, "Aaaaah, kreplach!"
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

October 21, 2010

I have nothinng but her.

I sometimes cannot understand how another can love her so, dare love her, when I love nothing in this world so completely, so devoutedly, as I love her, when I know only her, and have nothing but her in the whole world.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, September 3, Book II

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

October 20, 2010

I smile at my own heart, and must obey it.

The fact is, I want to be near Charlotte again, that is all. I smile at my own heart, and must obey it.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, June 18, Book II

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

October 19, 2010


If the mountain were not there, the road would be a good deal shorter and pleasanter; but there it is, and we must get over it.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, December 24, Book II

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

She's everything

I cannot pray except to her. My imagination sees nothing but her; npthing matters except what has to do with her. In this state of mind I enjoy many happy hours, till at length I feel compelled to tear myself away from her.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, August 30, Book I

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

Listening to Mozart makes you smarter

Listening to Mozart makes students smarter--but only for 10 to 15 minutes. So argues a team of psychologists from the University of California at Irvine, who published their preliminary findings in the British scientific journal ョMDITッNatureョMDNMッ. Listening to relaxation tapes or sitting in silence had no effect, but the college students scored between 8 and 9 points higher on an IQ test after hearing a Mozart sonata.

Time, October 25, 1993, p17
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

The flowers of life are but illusions

. . . the flowers of life are but illusions. How many fade away and leave no trace; how few yield any fruit; and the fruit itself, how rarely does it ripen!

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, August 28, Book I
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

I kissed the ribbon・・・

I kissed the ribbon a thousand times, and in every breath inhaled the memory of those happy and irrevocable days, which filled me with the keenest joy.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, August 28, Book I
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ


In vain do I stretch out my arms towards her when I awaken in the morning from my troubled dream. In vain I seek her at night in my bed, when an innocent dream has happily deceived me, and I thought that I was sitting near her in the fields, holding her hand and covering it with countless kisses. And when I feel for her in the half confusion of sleep, and awaken, tears flow from my oppressed heart; and bereft of all comfort, I weep over my future woes.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, August 21, Book I
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

Happiness and Misery

Must it ever be thus--that the source of our happiness must also be the fountain of our misery?

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, August 18, Book I
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

Iresistible reason for seeing her

I have often resolved not to see her so frequently. But who could keep such a resolution? Every day I succumb to temptation, and promise faithfully that tomorrow I will really stay away; but when tomorrow comes, I find some irresistible reason for seeing her, and before I can account for it, I am with her again.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, July 26, Book I

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

I shall see her today!

"I shall see her today!" I say to myself with delight, when I rise in the morning, and happily look out at the bright beautiful sun. "I shall see her!" And then I have no further wish for the rest of the day; all, all is focused in that one thought.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, July 19, Book I
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 小説・エッセイ・詩の英語へ

October 18, 2010

Love is like a magic lantern.

Wilhelm, what is the world to our hearts without love? It is a magic lantern without light. You have but to set up the light within, and the brightest pictures are thrown on the white screen; and if that were all there is, fleeting shadows, we are yet happy, when, like children, we behold them and are transported with the wonderful sight.
Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, July 18, Book I

Being in love

How my heart beats when by accident I touch her finger, or my feet meet hers under the table! I draw back as from a flame; but a secret force impels me forward again, and I become disordered. Her innocent, pure heart never knows what agony these little familiarities inflict upon me. Sometimes when we are talking she lays her hand upon mine, and in the eagerness of conversation comes closer to me, and her divine breath comes to my lips--I feel as if lightning had struck me, and I could sink into the earth.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, July 16, Book I

Alas, that the friend of my youth is gone!

Alas, that the friend of my youth is gone! Alas, that I never knew her! I might say to myself, "You are a fool to seek what is not to be found here below." But she was mine. I have felt that heart, that noble soul, in whose presence I seemed to be more than I really was, because I was all that I could be. God! Was there a single power in my soul that remained unused? In her presence did I not fully develop that intense feeling with wich my heart embraces Nature? Was not our life together a perpetual interplay of the finest emotions, of the keenest wit, whose many shades, however ectravagant, bore the stamp of genius?
Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, May 17, Book I

October 17, 2010

Hymns and Psalms

If I might choose my vocation on earth, I think I would choose above all things to write hymns and psalms, such as the Lord's people might sing when they praise him. And my highest wish would be to be one of heaven's poets, to write psalms for the spirits before the throne, and compose celestial sonnets for the blood-bought ones who praise him day and night. Oh, to praise the Lord!

When the lovely valley teems with mist around me, and the high sun strikes the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few rays steal into the inner sanctuary, I lie in the tall grass by the trickling stream and notice a thousand familiar things.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, May 10, Book I

Real Man

A man is a man who knows what he wants, makes a decision and then acts upon it.

Girls who are worthy of their name deep down in their hearts want only one thing: a real man and nothing less than a man.

Walter Trobisch, I Loved a Girl


You can't avoid physical desires any more than you can avoid having the birds fly around your head. But you can certainly prevent them from building nests in your hair.

Walter Trobisch, I Loved a Girl

Marriage and Happiness

Those who want to become happy should not marry. The important thing is to make the other one happy. Those who want to be understood should not marry. The important thing is to understand one's partner.

Walter Trobisch, I Married You


Tenderness is the pianissimo of the heart, softer than a pulse beat during sleep. For tenderness never sleeps. It is wide awake, attentive in the light of noon-day and diving into the black waters of midnight. It is restless and beautiful and we can gladly entrust our innermost feelings to it ... 

Karl Krolow

Every girl has a unique gift

Every girl has a unique gift--the ability to give herself completely once to a man.

Walter Trobisch, I Married You

October 16, 2010

Love and Sex

Love does not grow out of sex. Love must grow into sex.

Go slowly, my boyfriend, and see all the fine things that are in me. Or go fast, and I shall see how little there is in you.

Walter Trobisch, I Married You


Marriage is more, infinitely more, than just love. It's not only moonlight and roses, but also dishes and nappies.

Walter Trobisch, I Married You


Love never forces the other person. Real love gives the other one complete freedom, even the freedom to say "No".

Walter Trobisch, I Married You


William Inge, "Foreword" in Plays of William Inge (New York: Random House, 1958)

   I have never sought to write plays that primarily tell a story; nor have I sought deliberately to create new forms. I have been most concerned with dramatizing something of the dynamism I myself find in human motivations and behavior. I regard a play as a composition rather than a story, as a distillation of life rather than a narration of it. It is only in this way that I feel myself a real contemporary. (vii)

   In an article I once wrote on Picnic, I compared a play to a journey, in which every moment should be as interesting as the destination. I despair of a play that requires its audience to sit through two hours of plot construction, having no reference outside the immediate setting, just to be rewarded by a big emotional payoff in the last act. This, I regard as a kind of false stimulation. I think every line and every situation in a play should "pay off," too, and have its extensions of meaning beyond the immediate setting, into life. I strive to bring meaning to every moment, every action. (viii)


   "Then why do you want to know?"
   "Because learning does not consist only of knowing what we must or we can do, but also of knowing what we could do and perhaps should not do."

Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose (110)

We are dwarfs

"We no longer have the learning of the ancients, the age of giants is past!"
   "We are dwarfs," William admitted, "but dwarfs who stand on the shoulders of those giants, and small though we are, we sometimes manage to see farther on the horizon than they."

Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose (96)

October 15, 2010


National literature treats questions confined to one nation.
Comparative literature deals with problems involving two different literatures.
General literature is devoted to developments in a large numbers of countries making up organic units, such as Western Europe, North America, etc. (e.g., Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages)

National literature: study of literature within walls
Comparative literature: study of literature across walls
General literature: study of literature above walls

There is agreement on its task: to give a better, more comprehensive understanding of literature as a whole rather than of a departmental fragment or several isolated departmental fragments of literature. It can do so best by not only relating several literatures to each other but by relating literature to other fields of human knowledge and activity, especially artistic and ideological fields; that is, by extending the investigation of literature both geographically and generically.

A paper on the historical sources of a Shakespearean drama would (unless it concentrates on another country) be "comparative lietarature" only if historiography and literature were the main poles of the investigation, if historical facts or accounts and their literary adaptations were systematically compared and evaluated, and conclusions arrived at which would bear on the two domains as such. A treatment of the role of money in Balzac's Pegre Goriot would be comparative only if it were principally (not just incidentally) concerned with the literary osmosis of a coherent financial system or set of ideas. A inquiry into the ethical or religious ideas of Hawthorne or Melville could be considered comparative only if it dealt with an organized religious movement (e.g., Calvinism) or set of beliefs. The tracing of a character in a novel by Henry James would be within the scope of comparative literature only if it developed a methodical view of this character in the light of the psychological theories of Freud (or Adler, Jung, etc.).

Comparative Literature

Comparative literature is the study of literature beyond the confines of one particular country, and the study of the relationships between literature on the one hand and other areas of knowledge and belief, such as the arts (e.g., painting, sculpture, architecture, music), philosophy, history, the social sciences (e.g., politics, economics, sociology), the sciences, religion, etc., on the other.

In belief, it is the comparison of one literature with another or others, and the comparison of literature with other spheres of human expression.

Paul Van Tieghem


It will study all literature from an international perspective, with a consciousness of the unity of all literary creation and experience ... the study of literature independent of linguistic, ethnic, and political boundaries.

The method of comparison is not peculiar to comparative literature; it is ubiquitous in all literary study and in all sciences, social and natural. Nor does literary study, even in the practice of the most orthodox comparative scholar, proceed by the method of comparison alone. Any literary scholar will not only compare but reproduce, analyze, interpret, evoke, evaluate, generalize, etc. all on one page.

Van Tieghem confines "comparative literature" to "binary" relations, between two elements, while "general literature" concerns research into "the facts common to several literature."

But in a wider sense comparative literature includes general literature.


I see him there at the oars of his little boat in the lake,
the ferryman of the dead,
Charon, with his hand upon the oar,
and he calls me now: "What keeps you?
Hurry, you hold us back." He is urging me on
in angry impatience.

Euripides, Alcestis, 252-257

October 14, 2010


Men, it is their nature,
trampling on the fighter once he's down.

Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 884-5

Old Age

and we are aged past ageing,
gloss of the leaf shrivelled,
three legs at a time we falter on.
Old men are children again,
 a dream that sways and wavers
into the hard light of day.

Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 79-82

A New Motto

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of anyone who threatens it

How rich is Mark Zuckeberg?

Facebook founder Mark Zuckeberg made about $559,361 every hour of every day for the past year.

October 13, 2010


and, from the fields, this unmixed draught,
The quickening essence of its ancient parent-vine;

Aeschylus, The Persians, 614-615

October 12, 2010


Longer than deeds liveth the word, whatsoever it be that the tongue, by the favour of the Graces, draweth forth from the depth of the mind.

Pindar, Nemean Odes IV 6-8


Eros is the one who makes:
Peace among men, and a windless waveless main;
Repose for winds, and slumber in our pain.

Plato, Symposium 197C

Philosophy is music

because philosophy is the greatest kind of music

Plato, Phaedo 61A

Wrong Words

For, dear Crito, you may be sure that such wrong words are not only undesirable in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.

Plato, Phaedo 115E

October 11, 2010


For this feeling of wonder shows that you are a philosopher, since wonder is the only beginning of philosophy.

Plato, Theaetetus, 155D