Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lunchtime read: The Sorrows of Young Werther

A colleague at work is always warning me off depressing books because he argues that they make me more likely to moan and be a doom merchant. I’m not sure its anything to do with the books but more a consequence of my daily working life. But anyway better not tell him about this weeks lunchtime read.

You know what is coming here partly because of the title and also because of the first few pages. Here is a young man, Werther, who is clearly dissatisfied with life and wondering what it is all in aid of. He sets things out in a dated letter form to a friend to who he can reveal all of his innermost thoughts and feelings.

He is warned that he should not fall in love with the betrothed eldest daughter of a local landowner but he cannot help himself and is spell bound at a ball. He leaves her head over heels in love and asks permission to call on her next day.

Given his former state of mind you wonder what will become of him if she will not break off her engagement.

More tomorrow…

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