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Effi Briest

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  5,267 ratings  ·  175 reviews
Fontane's enchanting seventeen-year-old heroine, Effi, is married off to Geert von Innstetten, an austere, workaholic civil servant twice her age. Set in Bismarck's Germany, this luminous and moving tale of a socially suitable but emotionally disastrous match, shifts from childhood idyll in Brandenburg, to a remote Baltic port and back to Imperial Berlin.

With Effi Briest,
Paperback, 64 pages
Published 2000 by La Spiga languages (first published 1895)
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This is a book in which everybody gets what they wanted, whether they like it or not.

The eponymous heroine gets to marry a man of principals, her husband gets to marry somebody who he thinks (presumably) is just like her mother who he had wanted to marry twenty years earlier and Major Crampas gets to die in combat just as he always wanted.

Social Stricture
Fontane prefers to tell simple stories and Effi Briest is no exception. The plot is very simple and loosely based on a true story, the strength
German novelist, Thomas Mann, said that if he could only have six novels on his bookshelf, Effi Briest would be one of them. Effi Briest (1896), Theodore Fontane's Realist novel, tells the story of seventeen year old Effi, her arranged marriage to a much older man, her youthful, almost innocent, mistake of being seduced into adultery, and her tragic fall from grace and from her position in society.

Effi Briest has been compared to Madam Bovary and Anna Karenina because of it's subject matter, bu
Translator's Note

--Effi Briest

Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Effie Briest is the name of the tragic heroine here, so this is like the Madame Bovary of Germany, because the author was born in Berlin and this was originally published in German in 1894--118 years ago.

The original title in German was the same: Effie Briest. When it was translated into English the title was retained (names shouldn't be translated) so when I first got hold of a copy of this book last 12 February 2012 I thought "Effie Briest" was some kind of a German philosophical concept. It
Effi Briest ist die überaus ereignislose Geschichte eines kleinadligen Zuckerpüppchens mit einer Neigung zu Einbildung und Hypochondrie.
Immer, wenn scheinbar tatsächlich etwas geschieht, blendet der Autor ab, sodass die schöne heile Welt des Adelssprössleins unangetastet bleibt, in der sogar die pseudo-bedeutsamen Probleme idealisiert sind.

Ein Buch, das auf bewundernswerte Art die Denkweise der "Oberen Zehntausend", von Monarchisten, Neoliberalen und Sozialkonservativen offenlegt - aber leider a
Effie Briest, which I read a few years ago, is Theodor Fontane's most popular novel. We meet the protagonist as an intelligent, exuberant, and privileged child growing up on an estate outside Berlin during the Wilhelmine era. The novel is about Effie's arranged marriage at the tender age of 17 to an ambitious provincial bureaucrat, who is old enough to be her father.

When Baron Geert von Innstetten, a minor protege of Bismarck, asks Effie's parents for her hand in marriage, her mother presents he
One of the sublime features of the novel, as an artistic medium, is its ability to bring readers into contact with different historical and imaginative worlds. Effie Briest not only brings us into contact with a distant, alien world, it paints in subtle and vivid tones a drama that spells its undoing.

Personally, I find 19th century Europe one of the dullest intervals in human history. So much was going on but at the same time it was an era of poses and pontificating rigidity. And as Nietzsche s
I had been meaning to read this novel for ages, but, when I did, I read it in a completely inappropriate manner, gobbling it down in one sitting on a long-distance flight in the manner of a Dan Brown. That’s not at all how it’s meant to be consumed; it’s a finely crafted, subtle, allusive work that deserves a much more patient reading. I went back at the end and reread the first chapter, saturated in hints and prefigurings, and I decided I should probably read the whole thing again.

One great ple
Camillo Emanuele
Effi Briest è uno di quei romanzi che sono stati inclusi nella trilogia dell'adulterio, insieme ad Anna Karenina e Madame Bovary. Ci sono, tuttavia, delle differenze rispetto agli altri due libri.

Quest'opera presenta una struttura narrativa amplificata che, in sole 300 pagine, percorre un tempo di circa quattordici anni (se non vado errato con i conti). Effi, la protagonista, a differenza delle altre due donne, è pervasa da una solitudine fanciullesca ed emarginante.

Costretta dai suoi buoni se
"Effi Briest" steckt voller lebhafter Dialoge, langatmiger Landschaftsbeschreibungen und einem auktorialen Erzähler, der nie Kritik ausübt, dem es aber trotzdem gelingt, das veraltete Wertesystem der deutschen Gesellschaft zu Zeiten des Kaiserreiches zu kritisieren.

Die Geschichte handelt von Effi Briest, die mit 17 Jahren einen viel zu alten und viel zu ernsten Baron von Instetten heiraten muss und mit ihn auf das Land zieht, in die Nähe der Ostsee, wo sie gelangweilt und unterfordert (ihr Ehema

Part of my agenda this year is to read classic novels that have been forgotten, using several reviewers' lists. Thomas Mann considered Fontane's Effie Briest one of six best novels ever written.

Set in Pomeranian Germany in the late 1800s, It is a classic story of what can go wrong in an arranged marriage. Effi is a vivacious, carefree 17 year old when Baron von Instetten arranges with her parents to marry her (and to drive home his own views on such arrangements, Fontane notes the same baron had
Se nella prima metà Effi Briest mi aveva addirittura annoiato, ho poi ceduto alla malia dell'innocenza e del candore con cui viene raccontata la vicenda di Effie, la cui colpa sostanzialmente è quella di essere ancora una bambina, che non si conosce, che non conosce il suo posto nel mondo. E quest'innocenza, questo candore di tempi andati, quest'apparente semplicicità sono alcune delle caratteristiche che, anche inconsapevolmente, cerco in un classico.

I don't like Effi, she is childish and naive. But reading the last pages, you can't help pitiying her.
I did pity her. After all, she was just a little girl who wanted to be herself and she didn't know any better. I ended up bawling my eyes out.

The only character I appreciated was Roswitha, she was great.
But Effi's husband, dear god, no. What were her parents thinking, marrying off an eighteen-year-old girl, almost still a child, to a man more than twenty years her senior? And, even worse, he wo
Thomas Mann was right! this book is amazing; one of those great ones where an unsettling mood somehow grows on you between the lines...much going on beneath the surface. by turns glib and contemplative, always surprising in emphasis and turn of phrase, this one will stay with you. charming & foreboding, light & dark, biting social criticism without heavyhandedness...I love this book! now to watch Fassbinder's film version!
EFFIE BRIEST. (1895). Theodor Fontane. ****.
I’ll be honest: the reason I read this book is that I had never heard of either it or the author. Add to that the fact that it was a Penguin Classic and I was instantly committed. I later learned that the author was considered as one of the finest German writers to have produced work in the period between Goethe and Mann. Even Thomas Mann said that if he only had room in his library for six books that this would be one of them. The things we don’t know
first off, i have to complain about the updated penguin classics cover. with such a wonderful painting (rysselberghe's portrait of marguerite van mons), how is it possible not to already be subconsciously in love with the book? such a leading book cover. let me make up my own mind!

this book seems to have hardly above average writing, on the most direct level, but it is then - almost as an afterthought - so enthralling and beautiful in each and every subtext, unwritten scene, and deeply depressin
Dennis Fischman
I can understand why some people compare this book to Anna Karenina or Madame Bovary, but it is at once a slighter novel and a subtler, more realistic portrayal. I think the closer comparison is with Daniel Deronda. In each, a girl gets married too young to an older man who wants her for the wrong reasons, lives to regret it, and seeks a way out that finally is not a way out at all.

The George Eliot novel is much more of a melodrama, however (not saying that as a derogatory term, just a genre).
Ich lese die arabische Version

إيفي بريست رواية ألمانية عن الطبقة الأرستقراطية وهي من أواخر القرن التاسع عشر.مقتبسة من قصة حقيقية. ولكن إيفي تموت لتعيش البطلة الحقيقة عمراً مديد.إذ أن عمرها قارب المئة.

إيفي فتاة في السابعة عشر من عمرها شاء لها القدر أن ترتبط بصديق والدتها في الطفولة والشباب,وأن لايكون لها قرار في ذلك إذ أنها طواعية توافق,بلا تفكير حتى.هذا الزوج(إنشتَتن)يكبرها بكثير وهنا تكمن المشكلة.إذ أن فارق السن هذا هو بطل القصة الذي يجعلها تنجرف للخيانة.هي فتاة شابة وتريد من يعاملها كزوجة لا
A terrific discovery, via New York Review of Books . And subsequently, a lengthy piece in New Yorker. All of a sudden, a forgotten or never-heard-of German novelist is getting all the love. He deserves it. (BTW, why are the marks so low on this site?) Thomas Mann thought he was great, and Tommy knows writin'. The New Yorker piece talks about his "profound empathy." Can't argue with that. Not sure I've engaged with a 19th century novelist, certainly not male, so sensitive to the needs, desires an ...more
Quinn Slobodian
It's hard not to think about Madame Bovary when reading this book. But Emma Bovary's desire cut across the mannered poise of the mid-century French gentry. Her fault was believing too much in the novels, that there was a 1:1 relationship between form and substance. She saw the secular Lives of the Saints happening all around her, and the profanity and beauty of it made her swoon. She died dramatically rather than melodramatically. Effi Briest's desire cuts across ethics rather than aesthetics. S ...more
This German (or Prussian) novel of late 19th century society shares more with some Russian or British fiction than it does with the likes of Mann or Goethe - perhaps because Fontane was of French origin. He uses journalistic skill to assemble a novel without using a moral hammer, and gives us mostly sympathetic characters, and some more symbolic vehicles disguised as characters. Effi herself could hold her own against heroines from Austen or Hardy, not for intellect or accomplishment, but for ap ...more
Mar 10, 2010 Jaga rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to read Karenina, THAT's a better deal
Shelves: borrowed, canonical
Fascinating read. Seems a lot less pretentious that Anna Karenina. Contrary to Tolstoy's novel this one actually focuses on the story of the heroine. After struggling through LONG pages of Tolstoy's views on agrarian reform (yes, and why not throw in a lecture on sociology, religion or ethics) Effi is really refreshing.

PS. Effi also contains opinions on religion and society but they are natural and don't strike you as Copy/Paste from a pamphlet. (I wonder if Tolstoy planned that? 'Hey, I can fi
Seduction of child bride leads to tragedy years later. One of those literary stabs at the bourgeoisie that really isn't as tedious as one might expect. Plus ghosts.
Wiljas  Bücherkanal
Zwischendurch etwas zäh, aber Effie hat eine großartige Entwicklung hingelegt. Der Roman war eine Hommage an die deutsche Sprache wie sie eben vor über hundert Jahren war. Ich hab mich zu Hause gefühlt, der erste unübersetzte weil deutscher Klassiker
James Folan
19th century parents! Do not encourage your teenage daughter to marry a man who is more than twice her age and used to fancy her mother. This seldom ends well.
I think I can sum up this book with the discussion we had in class after reading it:

Classmate: The only thing that ever happens in this book happens in two pages. Everything else happens between the lines.
Teacher: Fontane wanted to show how boring the life of women at the time was. He wanted to make the reader feel their boredom.
Me: Yes, but why did he have to write 250 pages about it, and why did we have to read it?
In Germany it is certainly considered to be one of the most significant books of all time, I just don't know why. As a student I had to read it and absolutely hated it. And actually never finished it. Nothing seems to be happening in this book and the whole story could be told in 2 sentences. There are certainly better books with the same topic around from this era.
I guess I didn't mind Fontane's writing too much and the story was alright too... What bothered me about this book to no end, however, was the main character. I'm not gonna lie, Effi Briest was one of the most unlikeable characters ever and I wanted to slap her on more than one occasion. She made this novel to one of the worst I've ever had to read.
Oh I hated it with a passion- I hated Effi Briest, the most annoying character ever and I got equally angry about how powerless women were and how much suffering there was back then.

Reading it now, maybe I would have more mercy, but there is no way I want to find out, I wont pick that book up ever again.

Kim Lovee
Es ist furchtbar langweilig. Ich musste ja schon viele Lektüren in Deutsch lesen und noch nie war ein Buch so langweilig. Auf Seite 100 habe ich es abgebrochen und mir im Internet eine Zusammenfassung zu jeden einzelnen Kapitel durchgelesen. Ich bin so froh wenn wir das Thema in Deutsch abschließen können!
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I Read Therefore ...: October 2013 Monthly Read- Effi Briest 54 26 Oct 28, 2013 01:55AM  
  • Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts
  • Professor Unrat
  • Green Henry
  • Simplicissimus
  • Die Judenbuche
  • Lenz
  • Der Schimmelreiter
  • Henry von Ofterdingen
  • Sansibar oder der letzte Grund
  • Der zerbrochne Krug
  • The German Lesson
  • Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
  • Lieutenant Gustl
  • Berlin Alexanderplatz
  • Das siebte Kreuz
  • Anton Reiser
  • Nathan der Weise. Ein dramatisches Gedicht in fünf Aufzügen
  • Rock Crystal
Theodor Fontane (30 December 1819 – 20 September 1898) was a German novelist and poet, regarded by many to be the most important 19th-century German-language realist writer.

More about Theodor Fontane...

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“Ich liebe dich ja… wie heißt es doch, wenn man einen Zweig abbricht und die Blätter abreißt? Von Herzen, mit Schmerzen, über alle Maßen.” 10 likes
“Wir müssen verführerisch sein, sonst sind wir gar nichts.” 2 likes
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