"Er aber, sags ihm, er kann mich im Arsch lecken."

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Götz von Berlichingen mit der eisernen Hand. Ein Schauspiel.

[Darmstadt, G H. Eylausche Erben (J. G. Wittich) für Merck im Selbstverlag], 1773.

Small 8vo. 206 pp. Contemporary half calf, with two labels to spine, stored in a two-piece leather slipcase.


Rare first edition, self-published by Goethe and Merck in a very small press run. This first impression of the play about the maverick adventurer-poet Götz von Berlichingen contains the hero's famously profane "Swabian salute" unexpurged (p. 133); it was truncated in later editions. In spite of sluggish initial sales, the play enjoyed a sensational success, making the author instantly famous and calling forth severe criticism as well as praise.

Some brownstaining and fingerstaining. Provenance: handwritten ownership "Louis Prèschamps" (ca. 1880) on title-page; an old annotation on the final leaf has been removed. Acquired from the estate of the Frankfurt lawyer Wilhelm A. Schaaf (1929-2015), a specialist in economic, commercial and insolvency law.

Hagen 46. WG² 6. Goedeke IV, 3, 143, 2. Kippenberg I, 348. Brieger 682. Hirzel A 33. Speck 712. Goethe-Bibliothek Meyer 23.

Stock Code: BN#46903 Tags: ,