From Wikipedia Article:
Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (German: Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre) is the second novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, published in 1795-96. While his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, featured a hero driven to suicide by despair, the eponymous hero of this novel undergoes a journey of self-realization. The story centers upon Wilhelm's attempt to escape what he views as the empty life of a bourgeois businessman. After a failed romance with the theater, Wilhelm commits himself to the mysterious Tower Society composed of enlightened aristocrats.
Further books patterned after this novel have been called Bildungsromane ("novels of formation"), despite the fact that Wilhelm's "Bildung" ("education", or "formation of character") is ironized by the narrator at many points.
The impact of Apprenticeship on European literature is great. Romantic critic and theorist Friedrich Schlegel judged this novel to be of comparable importance for its age as the French Revolution and the philosophy of Johann Gottlieb Fichte.
I saw this at the Fiction Shelf of the Harvard Classics at Bartebly.com, and I just couldn't resist the urge to format and upload. I sincerely hope I didn't mangle the text too badly trying to extract it from Bartebly.com's death grip, since it is one of my favorite novels.
Please, please PM me if you find any faults or omissions.
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