Tuesday, 24 May 2016

dichtum und wahrheit

We had the chance recently to scamper around Weimar for a return visit and take in the sites, for myself at least, with a fuller sense of appreciation, recognising how since the residence of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe overlapping with that of Friedrich Schiller, the town became a focus of pilgrimage for intelligentsia and academics.
The iconic statue by Ernst Friedrich August Rietschel, position before the court theatre and venue for many of Schiller’s plays under the direction of Goethe, is rather a quirky curiosity on its own, representing the cult-like elevation of the two figures, aligned with the town’s (and its independent avatar’s) tradition of patronage. Notwithstanding the republican experiment, the Bauhaus movement, and musical significance (plus all the other things to see and do), the bespoke and iconic monument to the two writers, scientists and collectors is a symbol of Thuringia and has been faithfully copied in America and China many times over. The gigantic likenesses place the two at equal height, though Goethe was quite a bit shorter in stature, and both offer their laurels for inspiration.