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Elective Affinities

Narrated by: Adriel Brandt
Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
Categories: Classics, World Literature
3 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

In his third novella, Johann Wolfgang Goethe explores the tension between spontaneous passion or “chemical attraction” and respect for the conventions of marriage. 

Wealthy aristocrat Edward and his wife, Charlotte, invite The Captain, Edward’s childhood friend, and Charlotte’s niece, Ottilie, to their estate near Weimar. The Captain and Charlotte fall in love, as do Edward and Ottilie, who do not hesitate to consummate their infatuation; the results include infanticide, suicide by starvation, and death from a mysterious illness.

Public Domain (P)2019 Museum Audiobooks

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-12-19

Really enjoyed the narration

I have long been a firm adherent to the rule that audiobooks should strictly remain as verbal representations of a text, rather than interpretive performances, by which I mean to imply- no dramatic character accents please; just read the text, with at most a mild emotive injection where the printed punctuation calls for it. Sometimes such flat readings can make denser and older texts a little tougher to discern, but I've always "read" audiobooks as a means to crush more text than I could ever find time for irl, not for casual dramatic entertainment; I want to to have my own reactions evinced by the text, not by the reading of the text.

But with this expert presentation of a slightly obscure Goethe has swayed my opinion: I can now decidedly stomach character accents if they are tactful and tasteful while remaining distinctly discernible, and also coherently maintained throughout the text, which is very much the case with Brant's performance here. At first I cringed to hear the Edward accent, but by the end I was converted. It definitely bolstered rather than subtracted from the presentation of this already outstanding novel.

Many thanks for creating an audio representation for Goethe beyond Werther and Faust! Please do Wilhelm Meister, the conversations with Eckerman, or even metamorphosis of plants, and I will eagerly purchase immediately!

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