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Corporeality and emotion in Goethe's 'Wahlverwandtschaften'.

Nitschke, Claudia (2011) 'Corporeality and emotion in Goethe's 'Wahlverwandtschaften'.', Publications of the English Goethe Society., 80 (1). pp. 38-52.


This article explores the connection between corporeality and emotion in Goethe's Die Wahlverwandtschaften, with special emphasis on tableaux vivants. It focuses on the dilemma of a newly emerging concept of love based on physical attraction, which partly comports and partly collides with the contemporary conception of morality. At Ottilie's death, the incongruous expectations manifest themselves: her transformation into an undecomposed corpse responds to the events unfolding in the wake of her relationship with Eduard. As an incorporeal body, she ultimately presents the only conceivable, yet paradoxical solution to the diverging bourgeois requirements of physical restraint and committed love.

Item Type:Article
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Date of first online publication:March 2011
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