A Weimar per Herder. Il diario di viaggio di Johann Georg Müller

Gianluca Paolucci


In the autumn of 1780, the Swiss Johann Georg Müller, who at that time was a student of theology in Göttingen, "as in ancient times some traveled to India or Egypt to listen to the sages", took a trip to Weimar to get acquainted with Herder, who soon became his mentor. Later on, in the first decades of the nineteenth century, Müller published the first critical edition of Herder’s work. Of this Wanderung to Weimar Müller wrote in a journal, published in 1881 by the Swiss Professor of German literature Jakob Baechtold. While the Reisebericht was mainly taken into account by German criticism in order to reconstruct biographical aspects of Herder's intellectual life, this essay aims to analyze Müller's travel experience – an Erlebnis which involved his body and spirit – in the light of Herder’s philosophical-theological anthropology. This is reflected, from a formal point of view, also in the way of experiencing and describing nature and landscape in the journal, which seems to be depicted by Müller through an Herderian sensibility.


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