Love, dissatisfaction, and a German genius

Susan takes a look at the greatest German love poet and Lauren Groff's latest novel

Love, dissatisfaction, and a German genius

"Young Johann Wolfgang Goethe" by Georg Melchior Kraus, 1775

Love can be an incredible inspiration. The incredible high it produces has led people to create some of the greatest works of art and literature. This output is only challenged by the vast body inspired by heartbreak and anger.

The passion of love and lust drove the creative processes of one of history's greatest authors, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Though a great statesman and poet, Goethe is most renowned for his retelling of Faust's great bargain with the devil. An instrumental figure in launching the Romantic movement Goethe continues to be celebrated for making emotion the centre of art.

Join Talking Books' Susan Cahill as she delves into Goethe's life and passions with Dr Richie Robertson, author of Goethe: A Very Short Introduction.

Before this though Susan explores the myriad pitfalls of love and marriage with Lauren Groff. In Fates and Furies, her celebrated fourth novel, Lauren explores marriage from the perspective of both husband and wife. What results is a different retelling of the same story.

While Lotto sees an idyllic and happy home life his wife, Mathilde, has an entirely different view. So how does one person see love where the other sees bitterness?

This week's music to read to,

Opening with Hilary Hahn's rendition of Max Richter's Mercy, the show plays out of part one with Nobody's Baby Now by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds before ending on Goldmund's Dane Street.