#StreamingEgos – Digital Identities: The Prince of Poets as a Social Web Enthusiast #Goethe



How excited would Johann Wolfgang von Goethe have been to harness the boundless, real-time World Wide Web for his transnational dialog. The Prince of Poets was limited to snail mail, with one special privilege: Mail service was in the hands of a private authority and considered the cornerstone of pre-industrial modernization. The clout of its “inventor” Franz von Taxis was on par with that of Christopher Columbus. Provider “Thurn und Taxis” granted Goethe free postage for life.

“Goethe did not have to pay for any letters sent or received,” literary expert Peter Goßens mentioned in his interview with Sabria David, curator of the “Streaming Egos” project.

Goethe could write as many letters as he pleased. With this free communication tool, he evolved into the networking agent for European discourse. This was the driving force behind his cosmopolitan Humanism. Populist right-wing politicians would be well advised to take a leaf out…

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