Goethe's "An Schwager Kronos"

by A. E. Wright
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Title:
Goethe's "An Schwager Kronos"
Author:
A. E. Wright
Year: 
1992
Publication: 
The German Quarterly
Volume: 
65
Issue: 
2
Start Page: 
168
End Page: 
176
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Language: 
English
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Abstract:

A.E. WRIGHT

University of Illinois, Urbana
Goethe's "An Schwager Kronos"

In the early autumn of 1774, Klopstock, the most famous poet of his time, spent two weeks in Frankfurt in the household of Goethe's parents, engaged (to the younger writer's mild disappointment) for most of that time in dissertations on ice-skating and equitation (HA10: 62-63).l At the end of the visit, Goethe, himself newly celebrat- ed as the author of Glitz and Werther, accom- panied the family's illustrious guest on the first stint of his continuingjourney Return- ing alone to the Main metropolis, he found the arduous ride an opportunity for reflec- tion on both the days just passed with Klopstock and his own experiences and prospects. It was also, as Goethe said three years later, a chance to write a poem.

"An Schwager Kronos" appears in the earliest extant manuscript-prepared in October 1777 for Frau von SteinLunder the caption "in der Postchaise d. 10 Oktbr 1774," the date, presumably, of Klopstock's departure. In so heading the work, Goethe claimed for the poem the specific status of Erlebnisdichtung, poetry of not literary but biographical inspiration. The reader of Goethe's hymns is reminded of the "Harz- reise" (HA 1: 5042)-subtitled "Auf dem Harz im Dezember 1777"-and, especially, of 'Wandrers Sturrnlied," nearly contem- porary with 'Xronos." Recalling the puta- tive genesis of the "Sturmlied," Goethe wrote:

Mehr als jernals war ich gegen offene Welt und hie Natur gerichtet. Unterwegs sang ich mir seltsame Hymnen und Dithyram- ben, wovon noch eine, unter dem Titel Wanderers Sturmlied,' iibrig ist. Ich sang diesen Halbunsinn leidenschaftlich vor mich hin, da mich ein schrecMiches Wetter unterwegs traf, dem ich entgegen gehn mdte. (HA9: 521)

These comments, made about a poem then decades old, can only be viewed asdisingenuous: the "Sturmlied" is too obviously the highly sophisticated result of an essentially literary creative process.

In contrast, the only slightly less explicit assertion in the title of "An Schwager Chronos" has gone largely unquestioned, exposed to none of the searching suspicion with which Goethe's remarks on the other poem are now generally regardeda3 Con- vincing evidence, however, that "Chronos" is not pure Erlebnisdichtung is offered by the existence of a probable literary source for much of the poem, namely C.F.D. Schubart's "An Chronos," first published in mid-1777 and comparing Time to a rushing ~oachman.~ with which

The readiness Goethe adopted this image was no doubt increased by its ultimate source, for the chariot race is among the most frequent metaphors for creative activity in the odes of Pindar, the paramount model for the poet of geni~s.~

Clearly, even for the young Goethe, the experience of literary texts provided "inspiration equal and supplementary to that of actual life.'6

Even if the literary impetus to "Kronos" was only supplementary, the experiential component of the poem's inspiration was not limited tothe events offal1 1774. Indeed, another anecdote recounted in Dichtung und Wahrheit is so similar to the poem as to surpass the visit of Klopstock in its ap- parent power to inspire. Goethe reports an
The German Quarterly 65.2 (1992) 168

outing with his friend Basedow, who at one point

sehnlichst verlangte ...nach einem Glase Bier, und als er an der LandstraRe von weitem ein Whhaus erblickte, befahl er hochst gierig dem Kutscher, dort stille zu halten. Ich aber, im Augenblicke, daR der- selbe anfahren wollte, rufe ihm mit Ge- walt gebieterisch zu, er solle weiter fahren! Basedow, iiberrascht, konnte kaum rnit heiserer Stimme das Gegenteil hemorbringen. Ich trieb den Kutscher nur heftiger an. ..(HA 10:29)

Goethe's account of this episode differs clear- ly from the poem in its lightly comic tone, but the similarities, unnoticed by past com- mentators, are equally plain, all the most striking elements of "Kronos" essentially represented.

That the principal conceit of "An Schwager Chronos"is in fact a well-attested literary tops, and that several details of the poem can be traced to a range of biographical experiences, raises justifiable doubts about Goethe's claim that it was composed in the post chaise; the assertion is made even more dubious by the work's textual status. The manuscript written for Frau von Stein was produced nearly three years after the date pronounced in its cap tion; comparison of other poems in the manuscript with extant older versions shows that Goethe did not scruple to alter the works he was copying.' Not only is it impossible, absent any earlier manuscript or print, to know that this poem was not likewise subjected to polishing, or even that the tendentious caption was not first added here; but in these circumstances, it cannot even be assumed that the Frau von Stein manuscript of"Kronos"is a transcriptionat all and not a reconstruction from the poet's memory-in effect a new poem.

This possibility-ne to be taken quite seriously given the apparent influence of Schubart's poem on Goethe's "Kronos"- further problematizes the notion of Erlebnisdichtung, greatly reducing the impor- tance accorded any merely biographical ex- perience or inspiration, and compond- ingly enlarging the significance of other, poetic factors. In naivelyaccepting Goethe's attribution of "An Schwager Kronos" to the reaction to a particular event in the poet's life, scholars, especially but not exclusively the early critics, have toomuch emphasized the meeting with Klopstock and its influ- en~e,~

ignoring more valuable questions about the poem's place in the works and literary development of the young Goethe.

The lavish idiosyncrasy of its vocabulary and syntaxg marks "An Schwager Kronos" as allied to Goethe's 'Pindaric' odes. AB in 'Wandrers Sturmlied,"lO Goethe extends his imitation of the Greek model to the details of the poem's structure. While the repeated triadic scheme of the 'Sturmlied" is responsible for much of that poem's ex- pansiveness, in 'Xronos" Goethe uses the patterns of three to effect a remarkable con- centration of his material:

An Schwager Kronos
In der Postchaise d. 10 Oktbr 1774

Spude dich Kronoe
Fort den rasselnden Trott!
Bergab gleitet der Weg
Ekles Schwindeln ziigert
Mir vor die Stirne dein Haudern
Frisch, den holpernden
Stock, Wurzeln, Steine den Trott
Rasch in's Leben hinein.

Nun, schon wieder?
Den erathmenden Schritt
Miihsam Berg hinauf.
Aufdenn! nicht tl-iige denn!
Strebend und hoffend an.

Weit hoch herrlich der Blick
Rings ins Leben hinein
Vom Gebiirg zum Gebiirg
br der ewige Geist
Ewigen Lebens ahndevoll.
QUARTERLY

Seitwiirts des brdachs Schatten Zieht dich an Und der I;%ischung verheisende Blick Adder Schwelle des Madgens da. Labe dich-mir auch Madgen Diesen schiumenden ?5unk Und den hundlichen Gesundheits Blick.

Ab dam fischer hinab
Sieh die Some sinckt!
Eh sie sinckt, eh mich fasst
Greisen im Moore Nebeldufft,
Entzahnte Kiefer schnattern
Und das schlockernde Gebein

Trunknen vom letzten Strahl
Reiss mich, ein Feuermeer
Mir im schaurnenden Aug,
Mich geblendeten, taumelnden,
In der Hijlle nachtliches Thor

'Erie Schwager dein Horn

Rassle den schallenden nab

Dass der Orkus vernehme:

ein Fiirst kommt,

Drunten von ihren Sizzen

Sich die Gewaltigen 1iifften.l'

The entire poem is composedofbut one triad, with its middle constituent the long fourth strophe. The first and last members, an- tithetical in tone, are themselves tripartite, made up of, respectively, strophes I through I11 and strophes V through VII. The first three strophes are dominated by the "real," the bumps and rattles of the signifier prevailing over a few innocuous glimpses of the signified. In the last triad, on the other hand, the "symbo1ic"comes to dominate, and the coach ride is revealed asthe literal trip of a lifetime.

The structural symmetry of the poem immediately brings to prominence strophe n! The only limb of the larger triadic struc- ture tobe made up of only one unit, it always occupies the central position, whether the poem isviewed as composed of three mem- bers or of seven strophes. The very striking differences in the poem's outlookbefore and after make the understanding of strophe IV in its full significance indispensable to a comprehensive interpretation of "An Schwager Kronos." The picture painted in this crucial middle strophe is a familiar one in the poems of the young Goethe. On the threshold of a roadside innstands a woman, her friendly glance promising as much as the foaming cup in her hand to revive the tired and dusty coachman The team stops, and Kronos takes refreshment before con- tinuing the journey.

This hostelry with its inviting shade and fresh-cheeked girl is, of course, simply a variation on the Goethean cottage.12 Here, asin the earlier "Der Wandrer" (HA1:42), "the Hiitte is recognized as a stage on the road for refreshment and rest after the heat and burden of the day,"l3 a refuge encountered almost by accident. The traveler in both poems appears to be charmed by the simple beauty of the scene, a scene that he nonetheless must leave to travel on.

It is the driver Kronos, making what is perhaps a regular pause on his route, who introduces this traveler to the cottage. It seems a curious name for a coachman, sig- naling from the beginning the metaphoric import of the events recounted.14 Just what the symbolic value of this address is meant to be is problematic. Many scholars have maintained that Goethe meant to invoke, as had Schubart, the god of time, Chronos, whom he carelessly merged with the Titan Kronos.ls This assumption is needlessly restrictive; the "confusion" of the two was far more likely an intentional fusion, allow- ing the fictional driver to partake of the per- sonal traditions of both figures. This com- bination is legitimized in a contemporary mythological handbook, which traces the Greek name 'Kronos' to 'Chronos,' Time or Eternity, thus offering an etymological ex- planation for the iconographic tradition of the god as a very old man.16

Another of the myths about Kronos seems particularly relevant to the fourth strophe of Goethe's poem. Although a Titan, Kronos was not infallibly wise, and Rhea, his wife and sister, found little dfliculty in foiling his plan to swallow their children, one of whom was prophesied someday to wrest from him the throne of heaven. Ful- filling the prophecy, Rhea, with the aid of their son Jupiter, castrated her drunken husband.17 Kronos's intellectual limita- tions were obviously accompanied by a fatal fondness for strong drink

Against this background, the roadside tavern, at first so alluring, becomes vaguely sinister. If the shabby driver is in fact Kronos, the woman lurking suspiciously in the shadows might well be a new Rhea, in- tent on seeingto it that men live up to their familial responsibilities. And the amber- colored beverage, in spite of its inviting foam, could be the first step toward the eventual stifling of all creative power forever.

The poem contains other indications of the suspect nature of this 'cottage.'Its loca- tion is described, harmlessly enough, as "seitwarts," ostensibly beside the road, but to the side also of what is described in the preceding strophe:

Weit hoch herrlich der Blick
Ringsins Leben hinein
Vom Gebiirg zum Gebiirg
her der ewige Geist
Ewigen Lebens ahndevoll.

At the highest point of his journey, the traveler's view is broad, elevated, majestic, as if into life itself. The air above him is occupied by nothing but timeless Spirit, presaging, as it darts from peak to peak, eternal life.

The inn, however, is to the side of all this, cut off from the mountaintop's prospect. The passenger's vision is obscured by the dim shadows under the eaves, and strophe 111's promise of immortality makes way in strophe lVto merely human assurances of repose and temporal health. The three heavily stressed syllables of 'Zieht dich an," filling by themselves an entire line, come to express a sinister pull, an enticement to be resisted with all one's strength.

This ultimately negative image of the cottage as representative of'kelf-restriction in domesticity"l8 is consistent with the treatment found in other poems.At the end of 'Wandrers Sturrnlied," the hut is introduced inbitter contrast to the exalted situa- tion of the great Pindar. While the Greek's soul glowed with courage against all dangers, the "Armes Herz" wandering alone can in the end muster only enough of the divine force to find his way back to the cottage on the hillside (HA 1:36). Even the reaction of "Der Wandrer" is tentative; in spite of his evident delight in the cottage and its charming inhabitants, the traveler pushes on to Cuma, leaving his return to the "Hutte" an uncertain possibility in the dimly perceived future (HA 1: 42).

The threat posed by the inn and its smil- ing maid has generally been held respon- sible for the rapid and urgent transforma- tion evident in the next strophes of "An Schwager Kron~s":~~

Ab dannficher hinab
Sieh die Sonne sinckt!
Eh sie sinckt, eh mich fasst
Greisen im Moore Nebeldufft,
Entzahnte Kiefer schnattern
Und das schlockernde Gebein

Trunknen vom letzten Strahl
Reiss mich, ein Feuenneer
Mir im schiurnenden Aug,
Mich geblendeten, taumelnden,
In der Hijlle nachtliches Thor.

The passenger's exaggerated fear of the degeneration hastened by a lie of sedate gentility becomes horror, a panicked resolve that anything is preferable to lingering at the threatening tavern--even a one-way trip straight into Hell, where, as the last strophe asserts, he would be received with honor by the greats already there:

'Itine Schwager dein Horn

Rassle den schallenden Trab

Dass der Orkus vernehrne:

ein b t komrnt,

Drunten von ihren Sizzen

Sich die Gewaltigen liifften.

The interpretation sketched up to this point fits the traditional readings of "An Schwager Kronos." So understood, the poem represents in its picture of the coach ride the career of the artistic genius, full of peaks and valleys but always strivinghope- fully on. In uninhabited nature is the in- spiration for eternal life, while the superfi- cial charms of domestic bliss are fraught with the dangers of physical and intellec- tual decay. Only the poet strong enough to defy insidious temptation will be greeted in the afterworld as a prince, meriting the respect of the "Gewaltige" of the ages. This traditional reading, though helpful and to an extent valid, is far from exhaustive. The horror of strophes V and VI still seems a severe overreaction, and the bold image of strophe VII remains inexplicable. Most seriously, such an interpretation underes- timates the significance of the scene at the inn of strophe TV; for just as the hut is one of the most frequent of the images employed by the young Goethe, so is it one of the most ambivalent.

While the traditional view of "An Schwager Kronos" correctly finds the at- mosphere around the inn thickwith danger, it ignores the fact that this incarnation of the Wutte" participates, too, in the simple charm the cottage can emit. If the tavern were solely representative of the dangers of domesticity, the traveler's eager demand:

. . .mir auch Madgen

Diesen schiiumenden Trunk
Und den hundlichen Gesundheits Blick

could hardly be explained. But if, like so many other Goethean "huts," the inn also enjoys a positive, creative aspect, the passenger's wish that he, too, be served is only natural.

The request is separated from the rest of strophe IV in the Frau von Stein manu- script by a dash, along with the colon in the seventh strophe the most extravagant in- stance of internal punctuation in the poem.

The shift of focus is accordingly pronounced. Attention moves away from the coachman and to the woman, the fmt person other than Kronos to be addressed by the traveler. In contrast to the first lines of the strophe, where the woman can be viewed as the bait in an eternal trap, in these last lines her invitingpresenceenhanm the positiveside of the Wutte" image. Where before her "Blick" was only "der Frischung verheisende," the potential for deceit only bare- ly concealed, the passenger now confidently describes it as "freundlich," one faithfully promising ''Geeundheit."

A more precise determination of what the traveler hopes to be given in this en- counter can be made by reference to "Der Wandrer." In that poem as well, a traveler comes across an unexpected cottage and asks for a drink. The young mother, in- habitant of the temple of the Muses, leads him to her well, and there offers to lend him her 'SchopfgefaB" (HA1:39).No word better sums up the role of the feminine in inspiring creativity; mildly erotic, it calls to mind simultaneously the acts of creation and procreation, linking them in a way central to Goethe's view of the artistic impulse.

Inasking for the foamingcup, the travel- er of "An Schwager Kronos" expresses his own desire for the volatile fluids of cre- ativity, for the inspiration of erotic ex- perience the "MZidgen" alone can provide. This drink at the inn is the one indispens- able component of artistic genius; it is the goal of the poem's first three strophes, the specific focus of the impatient eagerness. For once granted the inspiration of the feminine, he will be able to create the work of genius that can alone guarantee him "Gesundheit"-not mere health, but the eternal life he long for. The cup the maiden holds will prove his means to cheat death, to deceive his relentless driver, Time.

At this critical point, however, the "Madgen"-Muse fails him. The strophe ends with the pilgrim's request unanswered; denied the vital quaff by her silence, he has no choice but to travel on, frustrated, without having sipped of the Heliconian source.

It is this disappointment at the innthat is responsible for the change that follows in the traveler's attitude. The first two strophes of the poem were full ofcommands to Kronos, self-confident orders and ex- clamations the impatience of which is shocking in an ode directed to almighty Time:

Spude dich Kronos
Fort den rasselnden Trott!
Bergab gleitet der Weg
Ekles Schwindeln ziigert
Mir vor die Stirne dein Haudern
Frisch, den holpernden
Stuck, Wuneln, Steine den Thtt
Rasch in's Leben hinein.

Nun, schon wieder?
Den erathrnenden Schritt
Miihsam Berg hinauf'.
Auf'denn! nicht trage denn!
Strebend und hoffend an.

The tone is very different after the stop at the cottage. Finding no satisfaction there, the passenger in strophe V gives Kronos the halfhearted order to proceed: "Ab dann." Gone are the loud exclamation pints, gone the spirited adverbs, gone the defiant mood of the earlier strophes. As the sun sets, an almost palpable fear takes over. With the darkening sky come thoughts of inexorable age, the trembling of toothless jaws and spastic limbs. Time speeds up, its effects grotesquely evident on the now humble passenger.

That this change is caused specifically by the rejection at the inn is confirmed in strophe VI, where words and ideas prominent in the description of the pause there are used to describe the passenger in extremis. He is now "drunk," delirious as the '8nal gleam" of life fades. In an equally bitter recall of the drink he was refused, the passenger weeps uncontrollably, his eye "foaming" in the fiery sunset. And at the very last, he is '%linded,"cut off forever from the salutary effects of the woman's 'look."

The passenger is at the mercy of hi heedless coachman. Kronos has been strengthened, and the journey continues now on hisunforgiving terms,as indicated by the conspicuous repetition in strophe V of the notion of refreshment: "frischer hinab." Incapable, because of his failure at the inn, of genuine artistic production, the passenger has been unable to transcend time, as his cry admits:

Sieh die Sonne sinckt!20

Satisfied that his passenger has not after all been able to outwit him, Kronos-now unequivocally Chronos, all-powerful Time- parades his triumph before the stricken traveler's eyes. More even than his now cer- tain mortality, the traveler fears degenera- tion in life; finally acknowledging time as his incorruptible master, he begs Kronos to spare him age and take him to the under- world now.

The final strophe is thus to be under- stood not as a bold Sturm und Drang claim to a place among the mighty, but as a pathetic admission of failure, its plaintive imperatives the desperate passenger's statement of surrender. Unable to conquer Time, the traveler acknowledges the victory of his coachman-prince and is borne into Hell, where meek and proud alike rise in awe of sovereign Time.

Not denying that the hut can be a site of menace, this new reading concentratas in- stead on the cottage occupied by a woman as the potential locus of erotic experience, the experience in which all truly artistic creation must be grounded. In "An Schwager Kronos," the traveler is denied that necessary experience; without it, he cannot produce the work of art in which he had hoped to find immortality. Because of his failure, he must admit that he, too,is subject to the power of Time, that prince to whom even the most mighty must pay homage.

That this interpretation first appears now, over two centuries after the poem's composition, is due in part to the revisions it underwent on its first printing.21 Revised by Goethe himself directly from the Frau von Stein manuscriptF2 the poem lost its tendentious heading, and several syntactic exuberances and neologisms were removed, leaving a smoother, more readily comprehensible text, but obscuring the meaning and beauty of the 1777 poem. For example, strophe V's

Eh sie sinckt eh mich fasst
Greisen im Moore Nebelda

became

Eh' sie sinkt, eh' mich Greisen
ErgreiR, im Moore Nebelduft,

with an attendant increase in comprehen- sion and a slight but regrettable loss of rhythmic confidence, two unstressed syl- lables now separating the last and first stresses of the consecutive lines. 23

In strophe 111, the insertion in the Schriften of punctuation and a finite verb is of indisputable aid to the reader:

Weit, hoch, herrlich der Blick
Rings ins Leben hinein,
Vom Gebirg zum Gebirg
Schwebet der ewige Geist,
Ewigen Lebens ahndevoll.

But this emendation clouds the rarefied at- mosphere of the earlier version and inevita- bly fastens the phrase Vom Gebiirg zum Gebiirg" to eternal Spirit, rather than let- ting it refer also to the unpredictable, up and-down course of life, as in the 1777 poem.24

Least felicitous of all is the "improve- ment" of strophe I. There, the delightful anacoluthon of the original, so perfectly evocative of the slamming, jolting ride over holes and ruts, is replaced by the decidedly humdrum

Frisch, holpert ea gleich,
ijber Stock und Steine den lhtt
Rasch in's Leben hinein!

While theee changee were aimed at in- creasing the poem's readability, the altera- tions to the central strophe lVand their echoes in the last three thoroughly and in- tentionally conceal the meaning of the original poem:

Seitwarts des hrdachs Schatten Zieht dich an Und der Frischung verheisende Blick Auf der Schwelle des Wdgens da Labe dich-mir auch Wdgen Diesen schkumenden Trunk Und den freundlichen Gesundheits Blick

(Ms., 1777)

SeitwGrts des ijberdachs Schatten
Zieht dich an
Und ein Frischung verheil3ender Blick
Adder Schwelle des Mlidchens da
Labe dich!-Mir auch, Madchen,
Diesen schiiumenden Trunk
Diesen fi-ischen Gesundheitsblick!
(Schrihn,1789)

The earlier poem clearly distinguishes the interests and intentions of the coachman and his passenger. In that version, Kronos looks forward to a kind glance promising refreshment, while the traveler's hopes are for another, distinctly different smile- namely, the inspiration to conquer Time. The rivalry of driver and passenger is ex- pressed by this variance in their goals, em- phasized by the use each time of the definite article: "der Frischung verheisende Blick" for Kronos, "der freundliche Gesundheits Blick" for the traveler.

In contrast, the revision of 1789explicitly identifies the wishes of the passenger with those of his driver. Each hopes for ex- actly the same benevolent glance, as the sequence "ein . . . Blick" and "diesen. . . Blick" makes clear. The word pointedly reserved to Kronos in the 1777 poem is now used in description of the traveler's hop as well: his wish is no longer for a unique "freundlich" smile but for one "frisch," just like the one accorded his driver. The word 'Trisch" thus neutralized, its preaence in strophe V would be pointlessly repetitive, and it is in fact replaced in the 1789revision:
Ab denn, rascher hinab!

These signals of a new solidarity between Kronos and his passenger conceal the ten- sion--crucial to the original poem-be- tween Time and the would-be artist. The desire to hide the artist's failure by denying his attempt is evident also in the drastic revision of strophe VII, where, in the 1777 poem, Time emerged as the sole victor: "ein Fiirst kommt"; in the 1789 printing, on the other hand, "wir kommenY'together, as ifthe passenger had never longed for and been denied mastery over his lord and driver.

Because in the text of the Schriften neither the attempt at defeating Time nor the artistic failure that assures Time's con- tinued domination is present, it was neces- sary to replace the image of Kronos as victor. For the new ending, Goethe again had recourse to the image of the cottage, this time, however, alluding only to its positive aspect, casting the underworld as a second and more perfect inn along the route.25

The revised-and obscured-version of "An Schwager Kronos" was retained in the last edition to benefit from Gaethe's imme- diate participation, the Ausgabe letzter Hand. The extreme willingness of sub- sequent editors as well to follow the text of the S~hriften~~

was based on the assump tion that Goethe's editorialchanges had had as their sole end the aesthetic improvement of the poem. Instead of seeking in the two versions a better understanding of Goethe's changingviews about the function andposi- tion of the artistic genius, Suphan, for ex- ample, found the comparison most useful as a reflection of the principles Gaethe fol- lowed in improving his earlier works.27 Reinstating the original ending of 1777, even after this version was well known, was deemed a flouting of the final and definitive work of art. This notion of the revised ver- sion as the better version has handicapped consistent critical inquiry as much as the conception of the poem as Erlebnisdich-

tung.28

Whether all critics have joined in this negative view of the original poem's artistic worth or not, they have been one in the ex- altation of Goethe as the poet of genius, a myth he himself did much to further. To mask the evidence of his own youthful in- securities, Goethe found it necessary to revise"An Schwager Kronois," to destroy the earlier consistency of form and articulation of thought with which he had exprassed his fears and uncertainties. That the meaning of the poem has gone so long unrecognized is evidence of his success, in the particular case of "Kronos" and in general. Blinded by the legend of Goethean genius, unable to formulate a thorough and consistent inter- pretation of the poem, critics have been sat- isfied to celebrate the boldness and the pow- er of its difficult imagery, little suspecting how much that imagery had to do with the young Goethe's fear of artistic failure.
Notes

lhferencee in parentheeee are to Goethea Werke: Hamburger Ausgabe, ed.Erich Trunz, 14 vols. (Hamburg: Chrietian Wegner Verlag, 1951).

%ernhard Suphan and Juliue Wahle (eds.),

Aus Goethes Archiu: Die erste Weimarer Gedicht- sammlung in Falzsimile- Wiedergabe. Schrifken der Goethe-bellschaR 23 (Weimar: Goethe-bell- schaR, 1908).

3Klaue Weimar, for example, begina his otherwiee relatively sophisticated analysia of "An Schwager Chronoe" with a relieved affirmation of the tmtworthineee of Goethe'e date: "Endlich einmal kann ich ein Gedicht prhentieren, deasen Datierung keine Sorgen macht. Sofern man Goethe's Angaben trauen kann, und es besteht kein Grund, sie zu bezweifeln, weiB man sogar den Tag . . ." Goeth Gedichte 1760-1 775 (Paderborn: Schoningh, 1982) 102.

4See Laurence Gill Lyon, "Goethe's 'An Schwa- ger Kronoa'and Schubart'a 'An Chronoe'," Modern Language Notes 91 (1976): 524-30.

%ee Jochen Schmidt, Die Geschichte des Genie-Gedankens in der deutschen Lit~ratur, Phi-

losophie und Politik 1750-1945, 2 vole. (Darm- stadt: W~senschaRliche BuchgesellschaR, 1985) I:

251. tyon, "Goethe's 'An Schwager Kronos' and

Schubart's 'An Chronos"' 530.

7Suphan and Wahle, Aus Goeth Archiv 22.

8F,r example, most speculation about strophe VIPs powerful and obscure imagery has focueed on a vaguely similar passage in Kloptock's Messias. See, among others, Oskar Erdmann, "Zum EinfluR Klopstocks auf Goethe," Zeitschrift fir deutsche Philologie 23 (1891): 10849; Bernhard Suphan, "Goethische Gedichte aus den siebziger und acht- ziger Jahren in liltester Gestalt," Zeitschrift fir deutsche Philologie 7 (1876): 212; and Hanna Fischer-Lamberg (ed.), Der junge Goethe, 3rd ed., 5 vob. (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1968) IS? 391.

%hmpare Weimar, Goethes Gedichte 103. 1°Schmidt, Die Geschichte des Genie-Gedan- kens 204ff.

llUnlesa otherwise noted, all excerpts from "Kronos" are transcribed from the facsimile of Suphan and Wahle.

12Fulltreatments of this image are offered by

A.L. Willoughby, ''The Image of the Wanderer'and the 'Hut' in Goethe's poetry," ~tu&genaniques 6 (1951): 207-19; and by Theodore G. Giah, 'The Evolution ofthe Goethean Theme ofthe Wanderer' and the 'Cottage'," Seminar 9 (1973): 15-27.

13Wdloughby, "Image" 212.

14Heinrich Klempt, ''Die Deutung des Lebene in dichteriecher Gestaltung," Mrkendes Wort 6 (1964): 415.

16Suphan, "Goethische Gedichte" 19.

16Benjamin Hederich, Griindiches Mythologi- sches Lexikon (1770; reprint, Darmatadt: Wissen- schaftliche BuchgesellachaR, 1967). The article quoted, "Saturnus," occurs on pp. 2163-2169. A copy of this book was in Goethe's library at the time of his death; see Max Monis,ed.,Derjunge Goethe, 2nd ed., 6 vols. (Leipzig: Insel, 1912) 6: 314.

17Hederich, Laikon 2166.
laA.L. Willoughby, "The Horse and the Char-

ioteer in Goethe's Poetry," Publications of the English Goethe Society 15 (1946): 51. l%r example, Willoughby, "Horse and Char- ioteer" 61.

ZOA chronological metaphor partially sup- plants the spatial imagesthat have dominated the poem thus far. See Weimar, Goethes Gedichte 105.

ZIGoethe's Schriften, 8 vols. (Leipzig: %&en, 1789) 8: 198-200.

22Suphan, "Goethieche Gedichte" 25.

23Suphan explains this change aa a desire "fir das Ymt' einen edleren ausdruck zu aetzen." See hia "Goethi4che Gedichte" 211.

24Compare HA 1: 48, where Trunz's re-punctuation attaches the originally floating loca- tive to the view Uina Leben hinein."

25Compare Suphan, "Goethische Gedichte" 212, on the idea of Hell as "daa wirtshaua in abysso."

26The Weimarer Ausgabe (1887), the Jubi- liiumauagabe (19021, the Festausgabe (19261, the Gedenkausgabe (1949), and the Berliner Auegabe (1962) all present as the primary text of "An Schwager Kronoe" the version of the Schriften, printing the original 1777 poem-if at all--an a series of variants. The Hamburger Auegabe (1949) was the fmt full Goethe edition to restore the poem to ita pre-1789 form, althougfi with a startling amount of repunduation; see T.M. Holmes, Vi&aitudes of the Text: Some Early Poem of Goethe on the Modem Page," Oxford German Studies 15 (1982): 86-88. The Mcnchner Auegabe (1985) printa a text very close to that of theFrau von Stein manuscript, modernizingeome epellingn and spar- ingly enhancing the punctuation.

?3uphan, "Goethische Gedichte" 208.

%ee, for example, Karl Konrad Polheim, "Goethe: An Schwager Kronos," in Festschrift fir Juliua F'ranz Schiitz,ed.Berthold Sutter (Cologne: Bohlau, 1954): 119-26. Polheim's structural analy- sis purporb to diecover in the 1789 poem a sym- metry and thematic closure lacking in the earlier, more ''primitive" version.

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