Doctor’s Orders: Goethe and Enlightenment Thought

“Doctor’s Orders” places Goethe’s writings—in particular, “Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre” [Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship] in the context of eighteenth-century medicine, focusing on concepts such as hypochondria, hysteria, melancholia and mania. The analysis helps the reader understand aspects of the characters that might have become obscured through changes in history. More importantly it helps to show how medical thinking of the time informs the notion of a “healthy lifestyle” that the Bildungsroman simultaneously constructs and deconstructs.

Doctor’s Orders: Goethe and Enlightenment Thought.  Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2001.

Reviews: Choice [January 2002] 885; Bulletin of the History of Medicine 76.3 [Fall 2002], 604-606;  German Studies Review 26.1 [2003] 142-44; Lessing Yearbook 35 [2003], 344-46;  Modern Language Review 98.3 [July 2003] 763-65; Seminar 40.2 [May 2004] 173-174; Goethe Yearbook 13 [2005] 195-199; Isis 96 [2005] 122-23