From Mary Orovan a Touch of e.e. cummings if You Like
by Robert Mueller
These Elective Affinities, what are they? You do not have to believe ce personnage distingué in Goethe’s novel who has a way of explaining things. Thus der Hauptmann, supreme intellect with superb practical bent, can speak of a situation to which his old friend the Baron (and spouse) have invited him. Put, or putting himself, in charge, he can explore it fully, and in the new relations as he finds them discuss and explain fully. The upshot is that the Wahlverwandtschaften of the novel’s title relate analogically to any sort of relations, such as salts and acids, where the expelled element sinks back down and is recuperated. Similarly, the main actors in the tale, four in number, may cross in their quadrant of attraction and distancing to express their wishes and their choices.
But you need not be so schematic about it. You may make … Click to continue . . .