The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

HENRY PETROSKI In Goethe’s 1797 poem "The Sorcerer’s Apprentice"—and in countless later versions of the story, including the famous sequence in Disney’s "Fantasia" in 1940—disaster results when a young man, taking advantage of his wizardly master’s absence, uses sorcery to lighten his chores. The poem ends with the admonition that magic should be used solely … Continue reading