Goethe's Visual World

Pamela Currie

Germanic Literatures 3


3 June 2013  •  176pp

ISBN: 978-1-907975-89-9 (hardback)  •  RRP £80, $110, €95


Goethe's ideas on colour and imagery crossed many borderlines: those of artistic processes and philosophical aesthetics, art history and colour theory, together with the science of perception. This investigation into his writings ranges across art from Antiquity, the Renaissance and the eighteenth century, as well as exploring the centrality of these issues to Goethe’s literary work. Questions find answers, but also raise new questions. This systematic sequence of essays, originally written between 1999 and 2012, appeals to readers in all these separate areas, while drawing together their essential coherence.

Pamela Currie was for many years Fellow and Tutor in German at Lady Margaret Hall in the University of Oxford. She died in 2012, just as this volume was going into preparation, and is fondly remembered by fellow Germanists and former students. The eminent Goethe scholar and Oxford colleague T. J. Reed has edited the collection and contributes the Introduction.


  • ‘This volume is a marvelous study of how Goethe participated in perception theory, physics, cognition studies, and psychology. Currie’s work is a significant step toward uncovering and clarifying some of the mental images and cognitive elements that are already critically reflected in Goethe’s perceptive writings.’ — Beate Allert, Monatshefte 105.4, 2013, 716-18
  • ‘Goethe himself would surely have found this volume impressive, spanning as it does a multitude of disciplines with equal facility... The impression one carries away on closing the book is of the immense sense of intellectual ferment which characterised Goethe’s age, and a search for ways of reappraising human beings’ relationship to their environment in both spiritual and physical terms.’ — Susan Halstead, The Brown Book (Lady Margaret Hall) 2014, 132-34
  • ‘Pamela Currie’s arguments never fail to challenge the reader, but are crafted with a lightness of touch, and display a sustained resistance to theoretical excess. The book works across genres and disciplines—and it works beautifully. It is a fitting way to remember a much-respected scholar, who died as the book was in preparation.’ — Charlotte Lee, Modern Language Review 109.4, October 2014, 1122-23 (full text online)
  • ‘T. J. Reed refers to this volume as the 'product of a remarkable and coherent research interest'. It is also the product of a remarkable intellect that fearlessly sought unexplored regions of literary inquiry and unhesitatingly made connections where others might not. In sum, this is a volume that is not merely worthwhile to read but one whose intellectual esprit is worthy of emulation.’ — Walter K. Stewart, Goethe Yearbook 2015, 284-86
  • ‘Currie besticht durch ihr virtuos gehandhabtes, interdisziplinäres Vorgehen, ihre Gedankenschärfe und Entdeckerfreude, ihren Blick in die Tiefe und in die Ferne. Offensichtlich war auch sie—die reich bebilderte Aufsatzsammlung ist eine postume Hommage—ein ausgeprägter Augenmensch.’ — Franz R. Kempf, German Studies Review 38.2, May 2015, 416-18

Bibliography entry:

Currie, Pamela, Goethe's Visual World, Germanic Literatures, 3 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2013)

First footnote reference: 35 Pamela Currie, Goethe's Visual World, Germanic Literatures, 3 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2013), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Currie, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Currie, Pamela. 2013. Goethe's Visual World, Germanic Literatures, 3 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Currie 2013: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Currie 2013: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

This Legenda title was first published by Modern Humanities Research Association and Maney Publishing but rights to it are now held by Modern Humanities Research Association and Routledge.

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