Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane (1895, translated by Hugh Rorrison andHelen Chambers, 1995)

I have read few 19th century German novels. I was very glad last year when j saw Effie Briest by Theodor Fontane was on short term sale as a Kindle for $1.95. Amazon reviewers described it as a German Madame Bovary.

After completing the novel I found an excellent article in The New Yorker by Daniel Mendelson focusing on the heroines in the novels of Theodor Fontane. After reading tgis article,I don't see a eyed or feel like writing a descriptive blog post. 

When we first meet the title character Effis Briest she is her late teens, the daughter of an affluent Prussian   family.  Fontane made me feel I was there with the family.  He does a very good job of letting us see how very young and naive Effie is when she agrees,with the urging of her parents, to marry a rich man twenty years her senior.  She is very excited and looking forward to having her own house.  There are very well done descriptions of buildings and natural scenery.  Throughout the figure of great Prussian Premier Bismark lurks in the background.  Gradually she becomes board and is led into an affair. 

Oxford University has three of Fontane's novels available as Kindles. I could see myself reading them one day.. My  first impression is he mostly read  as a cultural entity.

Mel ü 

1 comment:

Lizzy Siddal said...

That is, indeed, a very fine article about Fontane, Mel. Thanks for bringng it to my attention.

But to the tragedy of Effi Briest - who do you blame, Innstetten or the parents?