First Impressions

Did Austen want to prove Geothe wrong?

…I told them my very best tale of the princess who was waited upon by dwarfs. I improve myself by this exercise, and am quite surprised at the impression my stories create. If I sometimes invent an incident which I forget upon the next narration, they remind one directly that the story was different before; so that I now endeavour to relate with exactness the same anecdote in the same monotonous tone, which never changes. I find by this, how much an author injures his works by altering them, even though they be improved in a poetical point of view. The first impression is readily received. We are so constituted that we believe the most incredible things; and, once they are engraved upon the memory, woe to him who would endeavour to efface them.

The Sorrows of Young Werther

ETA: I uploaded The Sorrows of Young Werther in the meantime, and there is generally one thing worth noticing. Goethe proves himself wrong in regard to first impressions. Nearly the entire novel is told from Werther’s POV, but at the end the author switches to seemingly impartial narration. We learn that many events and people could have been misinterpreted by Werther, which makes us doubt the accuracy of the entire story.

sm-plusWritten by Sylwia

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