The Dark Green in the Early Anthropocene: Goethe's Plants in Versuch die Metamorphose der Pflanzen zu erklären and Triumph der Empfindsamkeit

Document Type


Publication Date



SINCE THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, the Anthropocene's global ecological calamities, such as climate change, widespread toxins, and mass species extinction, are occurring on such a vast scale that scholars in environmental studies face significant challenges when seeking to represent and respond to them in a meaningful and fathomable manner. Many academic and activist efforts begin with a relatable base level of "local" or "regional" knowledge that easily fits with the lived experiences of individuals, and then extrapolate from this base to connect the familiar issues to larger national, continental, or global issues. One of our goals with this study of Goethe's botanical writings is to provide an alternative model of various ecological scales that follows the same trajectory of small and "local" to large, "global" views, yet with a significant difference.

Document Object Identifier (DOI)



North American Goethe Society

Publication Information

Goethe Yearbook