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Lotte in Weimar: The Beloved Returns

Thomas Mann, published 1939 (Germany)

Chapter 1

??My name is Mager,? said the waiter, as though in explanation. He pronounced it Macher, with a soft, middle-German enunciation which made it sound propitiatory.? 12
Macher - a yiddish word for go-getter, a derogatory term for someone who is overbearing. The innkeeper is a synthesis of both.

?Ah my God, Frau Councillor, what an event! An event to be set down in memory?s tables!? - Mager, 11

Lotte?s fidelity to her family remains consistent from Werther to Weimar. She mentions visiting her sister.

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Lotte?s relationships with Dr. Riemer and Adelemuse are the fairest in the novel. Dr. Riemer seems sympathetic to Lotte, understanding how she has become a  commodification: ?It gives evidence of a community of spirit which is truly touching and commendable -- event though it may contain an element of economic self-interest.? 48

?...I speak ? whether in the interest of truth or out of sort of two-sidedness or love of paradox?? 52

Irony, or reflexivity at least is always dialectic. ?Poor humanity can only retain and profit by the moral.? it is force of demonic good - part of the sturm of the sturm und drang movement.

Epiphany: I definitely understand Riemer more after reviewing some of these quotes. He provides philosophical context for Goethe and his literary force.

When I first read this quote I thought about Agamben and potentiality but I don?t think Idealists would necessarily be concerned with potential, I think they are non-modal and more imminent.

Scepticism is a way of relaying irony on to the essence of things.

Chapter 4

Chapter 5 

Chapter 6

Here it seems Charlotte has more thorough or absolute understanding of the actual as something deterministic/fatalistic. Baron confuses the actual with misplaced idealism as thinks the actual ?still exists, if only in the form of longing and intuition, of an adumbration, a whisper of what might have been -- that is the sign-manual of destruction, of ?pining away.?? 248

Chapter 7

There?s the theme of monotheistic destabilization promoted by German Idealism. We have seen constant reference to the Saints in Connection to Goethe - Saint Rochus -- who gave gold coins to the children -- is much like Goethe?s Werther, who played with Lotte?s nieces and nephews in Werther. Goethe understood Christianity was good because of it?s pagan sainthood.

?A genie ? Aphrodite ? Saint Gotthardt ? and Saint Roch.? are all mentioned on 284.

More on how the idealists saw themselves as pagans: ?have you ever dreamed how dilettantism is related to genius and comes close to the daemonic, just because it is not bound but free, so made as to see a thing with new eyes and an object not as tradition sees it but in its purity just as it is; not as the herd sees it, which always, whether the thing is physical or moral, always gets a second-hand view.? 295  The saints offer moral instruction but are enshrined and worshipped as individuals. The cathedral offers a space for reflection of thought and action yet also constant distraction as it is decorated by paintings and shrines. These aesthetic idiosyncrasies are what obscure tradition imbued upon object and instead emphasize the nuances that give it form. Those geniuses who can experience and moreover recognize transcendence to the absolute state of the object are aesthetes.