"Sein mit Denen, welche waren" - János Arany und Goethe

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Katalin Hász-Fehér


„I while the time away with those who lived of old" - János Arany and Goethe : The names of János Arany and Johann Wolfgang Goethe have been paired since long in Hungarian literary history but their juxtaposition was usually of a cultic-representative nature. An analytic and comparative approach similar to that of the early 19th century Goethe-reception is still missing. The first chapter of my present study is a historical survey of the Arany-Goethe parallelism, then I deal with Arany's reading of Goethe. Arany's interest in the work of the German poet can be traced back to the early 1850-ies but his focus changed with time. In the 1850-ies Arany was mostly drawn to Goethe's fable Reineke Fuchs and to his ballads and ballad theory. He knew Faust, too, but he did not take a special liking to it, especially to the second part. In the 1860-ies though he reconsidered his stand. He re-read Faust partly because of the publication of István Nagy's Fausttranslation (1860), partly because of his interest in The Tragedy of Man by Imre Madách. Most probably he payed attention to the second part of Faust, too, since we can see intertextual ties between one of his great poems written in this time Magányban [In Solitude] and the final scene of the second part of the drama. But it is Toldi's Love which reveal a really deep personal and poetic involvement in the Faust. Arany's life and poetry is just as closely interwoven with the Toldi trilogy as that of Goethe with Faust. Both poets worked on their main opus throughout their lives and finished it shortly before death. The Faust-allusion in the prologue of Toldi's Love shows that Arany was aware of this relatedness. Goethe-reminiscences ring in his late lyrical collection Őszikék [Autumn Bouquet], and he planned to close his ouvre with epigrams, xenias - like Goethe did.

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Hász-Fehér, K. (2017). "Sein mit Denen, welche waren" - János Arany und Goethe. Acta Historiae Litterarum Hungaricarum, 33, 171-213. Elérés forrás https://ojs.bibl.u-szeged.hu/index.php/ahlithun/article/view/22739
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