The Ginkgo

Siegfried Unseld

in Goethe & the Ginkgo

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780226841946
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226841953 | DOI:
The Ginkgo

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This chapter describes the ginkgo, a tree whose leaf German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe gave to Marianne Willemer in September 1815 as a symbol of his loving affection. Some research shows that the ginkgo may be the oldest tree on our planet. It has fan-shaped leaves, is pest resistant, and is undemanding with respect to climate. Botanically, is cannot be classified because it is neither coniferous nor deciduous, although it represents a single family with many varieties of fossil. The chapter suggests that the ginkgo has become a new symbol of universal significance, a symbol of the invincibility of hope in our time.

Keywords: ginkgo; Goethe; Marianne Willemer; German writer; universal significance; hope

Chapter.  3252 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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