Goethe, Volume 11
The Sorrows of Young Werther--Elective Affinities--Novella
Edited by David E. Welbery

Translated by Victor Lange and Judith Ryan


Containing three of Goethe's major prose works, this volume explores a range of themes: unfulfilled love, infidelity, divorce, tragic love, fantasy, and moral rebirth. One of Goethe's best known works, The Sorrows of Young Werther, explores the extremes of the subjective experience through the novel's depiction of a sensitive young man caught up in a love impossible to fulfill. In Elective Affinities, a novel of tragic love, Goethe employs all the requisites of sentimental romance to give a deeply ironic perspective to the idea of love. As the title indicates, Novella examines the possibilities inherent in this genre.