• Svitlana Shkvarchuk
Keywords: J.W. Goethe, winged words, author’s quotations, phraseology, linguo-cultural studies.


The article analyzes the usage of J.W. Goethe’s winged words in different historical periods. It is shown that the quotation of famous sententiae of German classic had a great social prestige in the XIX century. It demonstrated not only the high level of education of the speaker but also was a kind of peculiar indicator of belonging to the class of educated burghers (so called «Bildungsbürgertum»). It means that winged words functioned as «passwords». The classical German gymnasium played an important role in dissemination of quotes. At that time learning by heart and declamation of a significant number of works had been practiced there. Moreover, in 1867 the publishing house Gotha lost the monopoly on printing the works of classics, it facilitated the emergence of large number of cheap books on the market, which were available to the general population.
During the XX century, many political and ideological regimes used the phenomenon of J. W. Goethe’s popularity and tried to declare him to be their spiritual father and the protagonist of a particular social system. This tradition was initiated during the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II (1890-1918) who was characterized by the imperialist ambitions. It continued at the time of national socialism (1933-1945) and found its application in the socialist country (GDR) which was created later.
The prestige of quoting the sententiae and famous abstracts from J.W. Goethe’s works remained indisputable only until the middle of XX century. During the hard war years and in the post-war period literary knowledge did not have such value as in the previous XIX century. Eventually the general public gained access to higher education and the quotation of classics as a privilege of the higher layers of society gradually lost its meaning. However, a certain «eptonymous minimum» (quotes which are known to most speakers) remained in German linguo-cultural consciousness. It is the necessary prerequisite for joining the German culture and it helps to increase its own cultural and linguistic competence.

How to Cite
Shkvarchuk, S. (2019). LINGUO-CULTURAL PHENOMENON «GOETHE-ZITAT» DIACHRONICAL APPROACH. Scientific Notes of Ostroh Academy National University: Philology Series, (4(72), 137-139. Retrieved from