Nature (Tobler essay)

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The first issue of Nature, in which the essay is incorrectly attributed to Goethe

"Nature" (German: "Die Natur") is an essay by Georg Christoph Tobler which is often incorrectly attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It was first published in 1783 in the Tiefurt Journal.[1] Tobler wrote the essay after repeated conversations with Goethe.[1]

The essay begins:

Nature! We are surrounded and embraced by her—unable to step out of her and unable to penetrate her more deeply.[2]

In the first issue of Nature magazine, published on Nov 4, 1869, T. H. Huxley submitted an English translation of the essay, titled "Nature: Aphorisms by Goethe".[3]

Sigmund Freud wrote that a public recitation of the essay, which Freud refers to as "the incomparably beautiful essay by Goethe", led him to study medicine.[2]


  1. ^ a b Nicholas Boyle, Goethe: The Poet and The Age: The Poetry of Desire. p339 Oxford, 1992
  2. ^ a b Walter Kaufmann, Discovering The Mind: Freud Versus Adler and Jung p33 McGraw-Hill, 1980
  3. ^

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