What is the original source of the Goethe quotations in "The Edge of Heaven"?

One of the main characters in the film "The Edge of Heaven" (German: "Auf der anderen Seite") is a literature professor, and at one of his lectures he attributes the following quotations to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

1. "Wer wollte schon eine Rose im tiefsten Winter blühen sehen? Alles hat doch seine Zeit: Blätter, Knospen, Blüten... Nur der Thor verlangt nach diesem unzeitgemäßen Rausch."

2. "Ich bin gegen Revolutionen, denn es geht genauso viel bewährtes Altes kaputt wie gutes Neues geschaffen wird."

I thought these quotations were interesting, so I tried to track them down to read them in their original context, but I couldn't find their source. Many of Goethe's most important works are available on Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/g#a586), and I searched many of them which seemed likely candidates, but I couldn't find the quotations. My local library has a large collection of works by and about Goethe, but I keep running into dead ends and can't locate the quotations. I am surprised that this information has been so difficult to find, considering the popularity of the film.

One of my most promising leads has been a website (http://www.humboldtgesellschaft.de/inhalt.php?name... that lists both the quotations, citing someone called Friedenthal. It turns out that Richard Friedenthal is the author of a couple biographies of Goethe, so I found them at the library. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the quotations anywhere in the books. I also tried contacting the author of the essay with the Friedenthal citation, but it has been about a week and I still haven't heard back.

I would greatly appreciate any help in finding the source of these quotations, either in the original German or in English translation. Thanks.

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I'm not finding citations very quickly, either.

    A concordance to Goethe's works exists; you might consult it if a nearby library has it; if not, you might go to the website of an owning library. Many libraries have email or chat reference on their websites, and you can send a question like, "I notice you have in your holdings a copy of the Konkordanz to Goethes Werken by Anneliese Markish. I am trying to locate two quotes attributed to Goethe. Would you mind checking the concordance to help me find the exact citation, etc."

    The link below should show you the closest owning libraries.

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