Ossian by Werther; or, the 'respect for this author'

Gerald Bär*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Despite Goethe's unfavourable affirmations concerning Ossian in his old age, he had set the fashion for Macpherson's publications with The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774). Even after the German 'Ossianomanie' had subsided, the bard's intoxicating influence on Werther kept arousing the interest of an international readership in other countries. This contribution will shed more light on Werther translations that partly omitted or expurgated the inserted Ossianic passages, thus ignoring their function as a factor of composition, obscuring the alterations in the protagonist's character and distorting Goethe's deliberate build-up of the sensual climax.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-234
Number of pages12
JournalJournal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Berrathon
  • Songs of Selma
  • Ossian
  • Reception
  • Translations
  • Werther


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