Goethe and the Power of Rhythm

A Biographical Essay

By John Michael Barnes

Format: Paperback

A captivating introduction to the life of Goethe, tracing a powerful 18.6-year rhythm in Goethe's biography.

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Floris Books

Floris Books is an independent publishing company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2016 Floris won the Saltire Society Scottish Publisher of the Year. Floris Books is the largest children's book publisher in Scotland and are well known for the Kelpies range of Scottish children's books. They also publish international children’s books and an extensive list of non-fiction books, including alternative education, agriculture, health, parenting and religion.

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'I also know that I appear to the world as one who has built a ship atop a high mountain, thousands of miles distant from the ocean; but the waters will rise, and my ship will float and sail.' -- Goethe


In fresh and spirited prose, John Barnes offers a captivating introduction to the life of Goethe as an inspiration for our times.


He traces a powerful 18.6-year rhythm in Goethe's biography, showing how his creative genius unfolded through repeated periods of crises and renewal. The fact that this rhythm corresponds exactly with cyclical movements of the earth and moon suggests a strong connection between the life of Goethe and the pulsing life of nature.


Goethe considered his participatory approach to nature to be his finest achievement in life, a contribution only now beginning to be appreciated as scientifically significant. Barnes focuses on Goethe's development as a scientist, in the end applying Goethe’s own scientific method to his unfolding biography. In doing so, a remarkable archetypal lawfulness is revealed.


Goethe's life and work inspire us to deepen our own connection to nature and to the pulsing rhythms of our lives. In light of the crises we face today, Goethe appears more than ever as a forerunner of a possible healing culture of the 21st century.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Floris Books
Publication Date 20 May 2010
ISBN 9780932776242

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