I have enjoyed what I have read of Effi Briest so far and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the novel.
Q1: Welcome to the 1st German Literature Month Readalong! Had you heard of Theodor Fontane and Effi Briest before now? What enticed you to readalong with us?
I have heard of Theodor Fontane but I had never read Effi Briest before. I decided to join the readalong when I committed to German Literature Month and was fortunate to win a copy of the book from Lizzy’s Literary Life.
Q2: Which edition/translation are you using and how is it reading?
Q3: Is the novel living up to your expectations?
It is living up to the expectations I expected from a classic novel.
Q4: What do you make of Effi Briest and Baron von Innstetten. What motivates them? What do you make of their
I feel that Effi Briest is the way she is because of her upbringing and I see this reflected especially in her view of marriage. She is a young girl who likes having fun however she has a duty to her family to be successful and that means attracting a successful husband.
Baron von Innustetten is a man who is still carrying a flame for Effi’s mother and if you can’t have the mother then what is the next best thing the daughter. He seems to think that he will be able to mould Effi into his perfect wife.
Q5: How are you reacting to Effi’s parents?
I am not to found of Effi’s mother, she seems to be living her life through her and sending her down a path that she never got to experience.
Q6: Are there any secondary characters to whom you are particularly drawn? Any to whom you are adverse?
I am found of Gieshubler, he takes Effi under his wing during a difficult time. He helps her feel like she has not been abandoned when Innstetten is away advancing his career.
Q7: Effi Briest was originally serialised in 6 parts. I’m assuming that its 36 chapters were published in 6 monthly parts of 6 chapters each and the novel so far seems to bear this out. How does the mood of the first part (chapters 1-6) contrast with that of the second (chapters 7-12)?
I found the first part to be very light as Effi has had a very shielded up bringing and does not see the real world. I feel the mood of the novel darkens once Effi enters her marital home.
Q8: We finished our first reading at the end of chapter 15 or the middle of part 3. Where is Effi in terms of her psychological development and how does this bode for the future?
I think she understands that she has made mistakes and I feel like she might be going to live her life through her child.