David Constantine

David Constantine nsIn human chemistry, David Constantine (1944-) is a British German literature translator, poet, and freelance writer noted for []

In 1994, Constantine did Oxford University Press English translation of German polymath Johann Goethe’s 1809 Elective Affinities (see: translations), wherein he provides a rather detailed introduction, a note on translation, giving the history of the various language translations (first [1854] and second [1972] English translation being anonymous), along with a note on translation, selected bibliography, chronology, and explanatory notes.

The following is Constantine’s synopsis of the novella: [1]

“In Elective Affinities Goethe conducts an experiment with the lives of people who are living badly. Charlotte and Eduard, aristocracts with little to occupy them, invite Ottilie and the Captain into their lives; against morality, good sense, and conscious volition all four are drawn into relationships as inexorably as if they were substances in a chemical equation. The novel asks whether we have free will or not; more disturbingly, it confronts its characters with the monstrous consequences of their repression of any real life in themselves. Goethe wrote Elective Affinities when he was sixty and long established as Germany's literary giant. He remained an uneasy and scandalous figure, none the less, and readers of Elective Affinities were profoundly disturbed by its penetrating study of marriage and passion.”

Constantine's introduction section also gives a re-translation of Goethe's riddle and famous "advertisement".

1. Goethe, Johann. (1994). Elective Affinities (introduction, note on translation, selected bibliography, chronology, and explanatory notes by David Constantine) (abs). World Classics.

External links
David Constantine – Wikipedia.
David Constantine (about) – CommaPress.co.uk.
David J. Constantine (about) – BritishCouncil.org.

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