Natura, Eros, religia nowoczesnych. Panteista Goethe i jego Prasłowa. Po orficku (1817)

Marek Woszczek


In 1817 Goethe wrote a short but impressive five stanzas poem Primal Words, Orphic presenting the ‘organic’ anthropology as a part of his metaphysical-naturalistic cycle God and World, which reflects his mature philosophical worldview shaped into a patched series of didactic-poetic pronouncements. The paper includes a new Polish translation of the poem and a detailed discussion of its philosophical import in a context of Goethe’s Spinozist natural religion, as well as the unique post- Enlightenment blend of vitalistic pantheism and deeply erotic anthropology also permeating his West-East Divan. It is argued that there is some Schellingian (but anti-Romantic) undercurrent in this particular poetic transformation of Spinoza’s pantheism, which also demonstrates the internal consistency and robustness of Goethe’s naturalistic anthropology and religion of nature, in opposition to Walter Benjamin’s interpretation.

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