Effi Briest

Theordor Fontane; Helen Chambers; Hugh Rorrison; Helen Elizabeth Chambers




Angel Books

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Theodor Fontane's Effi Briest (1895), the summit of the nineteenth-century German novel, four times filmed, has never hitherto been adequately available in English. This new translation by Hugh Rorrison and Helen Chambers does justice to the work's effortless, multi-layered modernity. It is the story of an arranged marriage, between the effervescent seventeen-year-old daughter of a country gentleman and a high-flying civil servant and confidant of Bismarck, the considerably older Geert von Innstetten. In the remote Baltic town where the couple at first live, Effi slips into an affair. When the Innstettens move to Berlin, the social code exacts its drastic price. Fontane's critique of late nineteenth-century Prussian society has no rhetoric or rancour. His portraits of minor Pomeranian aristocrats, and of other characters both ordinary and extraordinary, are suffused with warm humanity. This taut, subtle, deeply ironic narrative, full of wonderfully entertaining conversations which are seldom about what the speakers seem to be discussing, was far ahead of its time. It loses none of its original impact today.

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Other editions: Softcover - 2007, Softcover - 2006, Softcover - 2001, 1986, 1980, 1975, Softcover - 1967, Softcover - 1966

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