Elective Affinities: A Novel

Paperback | November 9, 2008

byJ. W. von GoetheTranslated byDavid Constantine

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In Elective Affinities Goethe conducts an experiment with the lives of people who are living badly. Charlotte and Eduard, aristocracts with little to occupy them, invite Ottilie and the Captain into their lives; against morality, good sense, and conscious volition all four are drawn intorelationships as inexorably as if they were substances in a chemical equation. The novel asks whether we have free will or not; more disturbingly, it confronts its characters with the monstrous consequences of their repression of any real life in themselves. Goethe wrote Elective Affinities when he was sixty and long established as Germany's literary giant. He remained an uneasy and scandalous figure, none the less, and readers of Elective Affinities were profoundly disturbed by its penetrating study of marriage and passion.

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In Elective Affinities Goethe conducts an experiment with the lives of people who are living badly. Charlotte and Eduard, aristocracts with little to occupy them, invite Ottilie and the Captain into their lives; against morality, good sense, and conscious volition all four are drawn intorelationships as inexorably as if they were subs...

David Constantine is a Fellow in German at The Queen's College, Oxford. He is a poet (published by Bloodaxe) and translator as well as being an Oxford academic.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.55 inPublished:November 9, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199555362

ISBN - 13:9780199555369

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'... superbly translated'Nicholas Boyle Journal of European Studies, XXIV (1994)