The Secret Goethe Report
- date of publication: 08.02.1999
- 192 Pages
- Hanser Verlag
- ISBN 978-3-446-19639-1
- Deutschland: 14,90 €
- Österreich: 15,40 €
It is the year 1890. An abandoned sailing ship drifts off the coast of the small Arabic island state of Hulm. Its crew is dead, the murderers unknown. Pirates? Enemies of the Europeans in the Gulf? The entire region is in turmoil. Only two survivors can escape to the mainland: Thomas and his mother, a German princess. On the island of Hulm, they find sanctuary, and the boy soon befriends the Sultan's son, Hakim.
Hakim is dreaming of a peaceful world, and when he assumes power, he and Thomas decide to build a "house of wisdom" to open a dialogue between East and West. The young people of Hulm should be able to read the greatest and most captivating books in world literature, and through them glimpse the soul of alien cultures. But who are the best writers and poets? It is the task of a secret committee to find out, and a group of young people are sent out into the world charged with a special mission: Go forth and read well...
Thus, Thomas is returned to Germany, and when he comes back to Hulm he carries the collected works of Goethe. For ten nights he reports to the committee about Faust and Mephisto, Werther's unhappy love-story, the Erlkönig and the Sorcerer's Apprentice. His audience is impressed. Many writers have been rejected by the committee, but Goethe? It seems that during these nightly sessions, Hakim's East-West dialogue has finally begun. Time and again, comparisons are drawn to much-revered Arabic texts.
And the reader? He, too, becomes immersed in that dialogue, learns a great deal about Goethe's writings, and will, hopefully, be drawn to look more closely at that great author's work.
Spain (Muchnik), France (Autrement), Uzbekistan (Voris)