“A woman sees in the world what she carries in her phone.”
In 1775, Goethe was invited on the strength of his fame as the author of The Sorrows of Young Werther to the court of Karl August, the Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. Goethe thus went to live in Weimar, where he remained for the rest of his life and where, over the course of many years, he held a succession of offices, including superintendent of the ducal library, as the Duke’s friend and chief adviser.
In the following year, Goethe formed a close relationship to Charlotte Von Stein, an older, married woman. The intimate bond with Von Stein lasted for ten years, after which Goethe abruptly left for Italy without giving his companion any notice. She was emotionally distraught at the time. The Duke was eager about what happened between Goethe and Von Stein, and on one occasion he asked him about the reason of the collapse of such an intimate bond. Goethe answered the Duke: “It’s her mobile phone; it’s all about mobile phones these days. People communicate through memes, it’s not necessarily a bad thing but I prefer words as far as I know.”
In which the Duke answered: “She’s bad at cooking, isn’t she?”
Goethe: “Well that’s another topic, that’s not my primary issue.”
Duke: “Listen Goethe, life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes; changes as in constantly updating your phone apps.”
Goethe: “It doesn’t have to be that way, selling our souls to the Inter-web! Nowadays if you wish to know the mind of a woman, all you have to do is flip through her phone!
Duke: “Chillax Joe, who do you even care? That doesn’t have to be a bad thing as far as I know. Come and watch this guy on tik-tok climbing milk crate pyramids.”
Goethe: “No, thank you. I think the problem is that character develops itself on Instagram nowadays, and this is why we’re witnessing shallow characters. People hear only what they understand and see in the world what they carry in their phones. And I must say that the best Duke should be that which teaches us to govern ourselves.”
Duke: “I beg to differ dear Goethe, I beg to differ.”