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...He consciously takes the measure of his own powers, and forms clear judgments on the literary and artistic tastes of the time. The poems which he had written in Leipzig now seemed to him "trifling, cold, dry, and superficial," and, as in Leipzig he had made a holocaust of his boyish poems, so he made a second holocaust of those produced in Leipzig. In a long letter addressed (February 13th, 1769) to Friederike Oeser he thus expounds the artistic ideals at which he had then arrived:A great scholar is seldom a great philosopher.and he who has laboriously thumbed the pages of many books regards with contempt the simple, easy book of nature; and yet nothing is true except what is simple--certainly a sorry recommendation for true wisdom. Let him who goes the way of simplicity go it in quiet. Modesty and circumspection are the essential characteristics of him who would tread this path, and every step will bring its reward. I have to thank your dear father for these conceptions; he it was who prepared my mind to... Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von
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