Goethes Elective Affinities and the Critics Astrida Orle Tantillo

ISBN: 9781571132123

Published: January 15th 2002


265 pages


Goethes Elective Affinities and the Critics  by  Astrida Orle Tantillo

Goethes Elective Affinities and the Critics by Astrida Orle Tantillo
January 15th 2002 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 265 pages | ISBN: 9781571132123 | 6.74 Mb

From the time of its publication to today, Goethes famous novel The Elective Affinities (Die Wahlverwandtschaften, 1809), has aroused a storm of critical confusion. Critics in every age have vehemently disagreed about its content (whether it defends the institution of marriage, radically supports its dissolution, or even whether it is about marriage at all), its style (whether it is romantic, realistic, modern, or postmodern) and its tone (whether it is tragic, anti-romantic, or ironic). The present study begins by focusing upon the reaction of Goethes contemporaries, and then discusses Goethes own efforts -- in light of the initial negative critical reaction -- to shape the novels reception.

It continues by viewing the novel through the lens of 19th-century Hegelianism, positivism, and biographical studies, and by exploring the relationship between the novels 19th-century reception and the growth of psychoanalytic theory and German nationalism. Moving on to the 20th century, the book considers the re-evaluation of Goethes scientific works, the impact of World War II on the novels interpreters, and the growing influence of literary theory. Here particular emphasis is placed upon Walter Benjamins seminal essay on the novel and upon the criticism that the essay has inspired.

Astrida Orle Tantillo is assistant professor of German at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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