NABOKV-L post 0008654, Fri, 26 Sep 2003 19:02:45 -0700

Fw: Goethe's Wilhelm Meister in ADA
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jansy Berndt de Souza Mello" <>
To: "D. Barton Johnson" <>
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2003 6:49 PM
Subject: Wilhelm Meister

> Dear Don,
> Goethe´s book is the "Wilhelm Meister":
> " The waif Mignon was born in Italy but she was kidnapped and taken to
> Germany where she becomes part of a travelling troupe of rope-dancers. She
> is befriended by Wilhelm Meister when she is twelve or thirteen years old
> and still in the habit of wearing boy´s clothes. He rescues her and
> her protector.
> Mignon believes that her father was " The Big Devil", a performing
> of great
> prowess and is unaware of the truth that she is the harper´s daughter
> his incestuous union to his sister Sperata. Mignon and the harper are thus
> strongly
> related. They often seem to think like each other, but there is no open
> acknowledgement of how profoundly close they really are .
> Goethe softens the bumps in the story because at the time there would not
> have been the same understanding of "child abuse and violence or the
> lifelong wounds inflicted by the brutally powerful on the bodies and
> psyches
> of the pathetically weak and the cost to both victim and perpretator".
> ( information collected from the booklet that accompanies the Hyperion
> Schubert Edition, on vol.23 of the Complete Songs )