Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Der Duckenfaust

Goethes Entenhausener Klassik

Interesting program on BR Fernsehen recently: “Was Goethe über Big Data wusste.” It was premised on Goethe having sent Faust on “eine rastlose Jagd nach der Zukunft.” When Goethe created the pact with Mephisto, he was aware that “Verweile doch, du bist so schön” was a thing of the past. Some of the topics investigated on the program were artificial intelligence, the financial world, big data,” interspersed with scenes from a production of the play. Some familiar faces among the interviewees: Manfred Osten, Michael Jaeger, Peter Sloterdyck, and Carsten Rohde, along with new (to me) folks: Jürgen Schmidhuber, whose goal (according to the program) is to make the entire universe more intelligent; and Katharina Zweig.

Carsten Rohde, who works at the Klassik-Stiftung in Weimar, is shown in the very impressive and modern “stacks” of the K-S, pulling out various editions of Goethe’s works, the most fascinating of which, for me anyway, was a comic book concerning the adventures of “Doctor Duchtus.” Disney and Goethe: quite a conjunction. The image at the top of this post (with link) is from a site that offers copies of Hier bin ich Ente, hier darf ich's sein.

Rohde has a nice post on the K-S blog concerning the penetration of Goethe’s language into modern German discourse, even among people who have never read Goethe’s works, for instance, in the advertising slogan of a Lübeck bakery: Es irrt der Mensch, solang er strebt und morgens ohne Brötchen lebt.

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