The Sorrows of Young Werther

The editor, a fictitious publishing supervisor responsible for compiling Werther’s correspondence with Wilhelm, is one of the book’s narrators (alongside Werther himself). The editor, who first appears in a short foreword introducing the book, shows a genuine affection for Werther and recognizes that most people reading the book will genuinely feel for Werther and the helplessness of his predicament. He hopes that, by telling Werther’s story, others greatly affected by emotion will find some comfort in knowing that they aren’t alone. The editor also steps in during the final moments of the book to fill in the gaps in the story that Werther’s letter-based narration leave. Ultimately, the Editor takes over for Werther after his suicide and shows a strange, seemingly complete, knowledge of not simply the events following Werther’s death, but also the feelings and thoughts of those affected by it.

Editor Quotes in The Sorrows of Young Werther

The The Sorrows of Young Werther quotes below are all either spoken by Editor or refer to Editor. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Heart vs. The Mind Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of The Sorrows of Young Werther published in 1989.
Book Two: December 20-21, 1772 Quotes

All of these reflections prompted a profound realization, albeit one which she was not consciously aware of, that her secret heart's desire was to keep him for herself, yet at the same time she reminded herself that she could not and might not keep him; her pure and beautiful nature, which at other times was so lighthearted and readily found a way out of predicaments, sensed the oppressive power of melancholy, banishing the prospect of happiness. Her heart was heavy, and her vision was clouded by sadness.

Related Characters: Editor (speaker), Werther, Lotte (Charlotte S.)
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:

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Editor Character Timeline in The Sorrows of Young Werther

The timeline below shows where the character Editor appears in The Sorrows of Young Werther. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Foreword
The Heart vs. The Mind Theme Icon
Suicide Theme Icon
The foreword to The Sorrows of Young Werther is written by the book’s fictional editor. In it, he or she claims to have collected all of the available information regarding... (full context)
Book Two: Editorial Interlude
The Heart vs. The Mind Theme Icon
Self-Absorption of Youth Theme Icon
Suicide Theme Icon
Shortly after the episode with Heinrich, a lack of correspondence from Werther forces the editor to interject into the story. The remaining story, the editor says, will be told using... (full context)
The Heart vs. The Mind Theme Icon
Self-Absorption of Youth Theme Icon
The editor goes on to recount the final ending of the Farmer Lad’s story. Driven to madness... (full context)
The Heart vs. The Mind Theme Icon
Self-Absorption of Youth Theme Icon
Suicide Theme Icon
...towards her needs to change. Their situation has become a subject of town gossip. The editor says that Albert advises all this with the greatest possible fairness to Werther. He adds... (full context)
Book Two: December 20-21, 1772
The Heart vs. The Mind Theme Icon
Self-Absorption of Youth Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Suicide Theme Icon
During this time, the editor suggests, Lotte walks a fine line between pushing Werther away and trying not to hurt... (full context)
The Heart vs. The Mind Theme Icon
Self-Absorption of Youth Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Suicide Theme Icon
Meanwhile, the editor says, Lotte has realized how painful separating from Werther will be. She tries to imagine... (full context)