Creator Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe Discussion

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12:14:48 PM Feb 25th 2016
Did the Werther suicides ever actually happen?

I have heard they were either made up by the equivalent of Yellow Press of his day or greatly exaggerated by Goethe himself and/or his publisher to sell more copies... Any of y'all know more?
06:23:32 PM Feb 25th 2016
Do the research comrade.

08:40:50 AM Feb 26th 2016
edited by LordGro
To elaborate on the terse post by Lapostat, the Werther suicides are somewhat of an urban legend. There is little actual data on the matter. There were probably some, but the phenomenon has clearly grown in the telling. You will notice that while everyone has heard about the Werther suicides, the scope and spread of the supposed epidemic is incredibly vague ("young men over all Europe" etc).

The development of the legend has probably been boosted by the fact that Werther (the book) upset Moral Guardians and, in some places, was banned (for example, in Leipzig from 1775 to 1825) for "advocating suicide".
12:28:53 PM Feb 28th 2016
So we should edit the main page accordingly, shouldn't we? Maybe by adding something like (likely apocryphal) in parenthesis...
12:41:56 PM Feb 28th 2016
Obviously, you should, and do so on the Werther page too. Just say that it is legendary for its copycat activities but no evidence has been found for it.
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