"Perles poétiques" issues d'un "matériau prodigieux": Lecture et écriture dans la genèse du 'Divan occidental-oriental' de Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Translated title of the contribution: "Poetic Perls" Issued of a "Prodigious Material": Reading and Writing in the Genesis of Goethe's 'West-Eastern Divan'

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The discovery of the «prodigious material» of Oriental literature has been responsible for an outstanding and abundant productivity in Goethe's later years. That material is namely at the origin of the West-eastern Divan, the most important collection of poems in Goethe's work, as well as of a remarkably rich genetic file. This article deals with Goethe as a poetic creator, on the basis of the reading of Oriental and Orientalist literature as well as of the author's own poems, through the six steps of their rearrangement during the genesis of the Divan. On the model of the various sketches, extracts and reading notes on a single multifunctional manuscript, the article explains the different Goethian reading methods and the multiform transitions from reading to poetic writing. It aims to shed light, through the genesis of one «poetic pearl», the poem Elected Women, on the important metamorphoses undergone by the poem through the mixture of several Oriental sources and its final incorporation in the last book of the Divan ' two devices which call for substantial modifications of the poem's original concept. See also the Homepage of the serial GENESIS
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)11-43
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 2001



  • edition, reading, writing, reading-writing, divan, orientalism, intertextuality, Goethe, critique génétique, divan occidental-oriental

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