manwith7talents, October 14, 2009 (view all comments by manwith7talents)
Although seemingly little known in the english-speaking world, this is one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. Like Madame Bovary or Tess, Effi is a naive but sympathetic woman who is completely destroyed by the oppressive society in which she lives. Fontane takes a more nuanced, even ambivalent view of these events than either Hardy or Flaubert, however. Instead of raging against puritanical society, Fontane explores the mutual dependency of that society with the individual. The film version by Fassbinder is also brilliant.
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