Thursday, 5 January 2017

Another young woman, another Italy trip, another boring man

What am I reading, after A Room with a View? Effi Briest
I attempted to read Effi Briest in Norwegian in 2015, and before putting it down to read Dracula, wrote about foreshadowing and "love" in 3 languages
Now I pick it up again, this time in English, and am enjoying it very much. 


1/ In the 1st chapter, Theodor Fontane lays out the most important stuff: Effi Briest (her youth, childlikeness, vivacity), Geert von Innstetten (a man who once courted her mother), the Briests, and foreshadowing for the tragedy later in the story. 
2/ Geert's "enthusiasm for art": what does that make Geert sound like? Cecil Vyse. Does having an enthusiasm for art mean being deficient in human feelings? 
3/ Maybe I only say that to feel better about my own ignorance about art. 
4/ Childlike, vivacious... Look at this quote by Frau von Briest: 
"For soft and accommodating as she is, there's something reckless in her that will risk anything." 
That I like. 
5/ Now and then Effi reminds me of Natasha. Tolstoy's Natasha. 
6/ I like Effi. Who doesn't? She's so likeable. 
7/ Effi Briest is sometimes dreamy, and dislikes boredom. Like Emma Bovary. But compare how Fontane writes about her to how Flaubert depicts Emma. 

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