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Goethe and China

Author: Syquali Crossmedia

The documentary shows modern China in dialogue with the classic Weimar.

  • Shanghai | Copyright: © Syquali Crossmedia AG

    Shanghai © Syquali Crossmedia AG

Our invitation to Shanghai Film Festival in June 2019 inspired us to a new documentary film project: Goethe and China. In ten years the first Chinese-language edition of 50 volumes will be prepared by Germanists of the Shanghai International Studies University (SISU).

Over 80 German students from Shanghai International Studies University, Beijing University, Fudan University, Tongji University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences work together with the project's experts. So far, only the main works "Faust I & II" and "The Sorrows of the Young Werther" are known in China. 90 translators work on this mammoth project. The documentary shows modern China in dialogue with the classic Weimar.

According to travelogues by missionaries who have been respected in Europe since the end of the seventeenth century, the early upheaval drew the image of China as a literature marked by reason and a high degree of civilization. This resulted in a veritable cult of China, which found its expression in fashion. The China knowledge of Goethe is determined by several factors, and it was intensified by the reading of Chinese literature, especially in the "Chinese Year" 1827. Goethe stayed in his garden house and there he wrote the poem cycle "Chinese-German Book of Hours and Seasons".

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