Elective Affinities (translations)

Elective Affinities (date)Die Wahlverwandtschaften (Penguin 2011)
Left: A reprint cover design (date) for the H. Regnery (1963) edition (check). [3] Right: A 2011 Penguin edition (German) showing some type of hot (passion) / cold (breakup) love schematic flow chart. [1]
In translations, Elective Affinities (translations) refers to language translations of German polymath Johann Goethe’s 1809 physical chemistry based novella Elective Affinities (published 3 Oct 1809, in German), his "best book" (of his 142+ collected works set), the founding book of human chemistry, and precursor book to the very complex subject of human chemical thermodynamics.

Translations history
British translator David Constantine, in his 1994 “Note on Translation” section to his Oxford University Press English translation edition of Goethe's novella, comments: [2]

Goethe’s Die Wahlverwandtschaften was translated into French (twice) and into Danish in 1810, only a year after its publication in Germany, but there was no English version until 1854. The translator then was Carlyle’s disciple and biographer J.A. Froude [although "anonymous" until 1901], and Elective Affinities appeared among other “Novels and Tales by Goethe” in a volume of Bohn’s Standard Library. Mr Bohn himself introduced it with a warning:

‘Exceptions may be taken to some of the statements contained in this production of Goethe.’

But, quoting Carlyle: ‘Fidelity is all the merit a translator need aim at’, he absolved Mr Froude at least of any blame. That version, several times reprinted, was the standard onoe until 1960 I know of four since then: by H.M. Waidson (1960, Kindred by Choice); by Elizabeth Mayer and Louise Bogan (1963); by R.J. Hollingdale for Penguin Classics in 1971; and by Judith Ryan in Volume XI of the American Suhrkamp edition of Goethe’s works, in 1988.”

In this chronology of translations, we note, quite humorously, how the first two English translators (1854; 1872) remained "anonymous", naturally, of course—this work being “Goethe’s most dangerous work” (Herman Grimm, 1875) and the Robe of Nessus (Goethe, 1827) for many who read it.

Elective Affinities: Illustrated and Annotated
The 1885 translation by Norwegian-born, German educated, American European languages professor Hjalmar Boyesen (1848-1865), with its plethora of images, done by "the best German artists", has served as the basis for the 2012-launched online chapter-by-chapter (wikipage-by-wiki page) Hmolpedia-turned 2013 print book Elective Affinities: Illustrated, Annotated, and Decoded by Libb Thims, using Goethean reaction theorists Jeremy Adler and Karl Fink's chapter reaction equation speculations as reference points; assigning a Bergman-based chemical reaction for each of the 36 chapters; among other decoding, annotation, and commentary.

English translations
The following are English translations:

Cover/Title page
Reprint covers

German cover page of Goethe's 1809 Elective Affinities
● Goethe, Johann. (1809). Die Wahlverwandtschaften. Cotta.
Wahlverwandtschaften (1976)● Goethe, Johann. (1976). Wahlverwandtschaften (with Essay by Walter Benjamin and notes Hand J. Weitz). Frankfurt AM Main: Insel Verlag.

Essay: Walter Benjamin (1892-1940).

Notes: Hand J. Weitz ().
● Goethe, Johann. (1854). Novels and Tales: Elective Affinities; The Sorrows of Werther; German Emigrants; The Good Woman; and a Nouvelette (translation chiefly by R.D. Boylan (Elective Affinities, pgs. 1-). London: Henry G. Bohn.

● Goethe, Johann. (1913). The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Masterpieces of German Literature Translated Into English, in Twenty Volumes Illustrated, Volume II: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (List of Illustrations, pg. ii; Introduction to The Elective Affinities, pgs. 1-4, by Calvin Thomas; The Elective Affinities, pgs. 5-278, translated by James Froude and R. Dillon Boylan; edited by Kuno Francke and Isidore Singer). The German Publication Society.
Anonymous (James Froude)The translator to this first English translation, London edition, remained "anonymous". As commented by the publisher Henry Bohn, in the preface to this collected works set:

“The works of Goethe, comprised in the present volume, are entirely new translations, made expressly for the series of German Classical Works, which find their place from time to time in the "Standard Library." The Elective Affinities has been executed by a gentleman well known in the literary world, who does not wish his name to appear. It is possible that exceptions may be taken to some of the statements contained in this production of Goethe. But to use the language of Carlyle, "Fidelity is all the merit a translator need aim at, to convey the author's sentiments as he himself expressed them, and to follow the original in all its variations. … The entire volume, excepting the Affinities, has been translated by R. Dillon Boylan, Esq., who is favorably known to the readers of the "Standard Library," by his version of Schiller's Don Carlos.”

A 1901 “Publisher’s Note” identified the translator as English writer James Froude (1818-1894). [5]
Elective Affinities (Woodhull)
● Goethe, Johann. (1872). Elective Affinities (introduction by Victoria C. Woodhull; translator anonymous). D.W. Niles.

The "anonymous" translator here, based on text comparison, seems to be James Froude (1854).
Elective Affinities (2011) s(2011 Kindle version, by AMA Publications).Anonymous (James Froude)
The translator to this edition was listed as "anonymous".

Victoria Woodhull comments on this in her introduction:

"Indeed, it strikes me almost ludicrous, that the translator has shrunk from appending his name to the work, if he has done so from any idea that its dangerous views might tend to impair his reputation."
● Goethe, Johann. (1884). The Sorrows of Werther; Elective Affinities; and a Nouvelette (edited and revised by F.H. Hedge and L. Noa) (Elective Affinities, pgs. 111-362). S.E. Cassino and Co.
photo neededTranslator: (add).
Elective Affinities (1885)
● Goethe, Johann. (1885). Goethe’s Works, Illustrated by the Best German artists, 5 volumes (by Hjalmar Boyesen) (Volume 5: W. Meister’s Travels; Elective Affinities (Part I, pgs. 231-297; Part II, pgs. 298-369; Index, pg. 371; Index of engravings, pgs. 370-76)) (online). Philadelphia: George Barrie.
Elective Affinites (Online Library of Liberty)(online version, date) James FroudeBased on text comparison, the version used here seems to be the 1854 James Froude translation.

Translator (series): Hjalmar Boyesen (1848-1865): a Norwegian-born, German educated, American languages professor; a prolific writer, noted for works including: Goethe and Schiller (1879), Essay on German Literature (date), among others.
● Goethe, Johann. (1902). Works: The Sorrows of Young Werther, Elective Affinities (translation by R. Dillon Boylan [James Froude?]) (List of Illustrations, pg. front matter). F.A. Niccolls & Co.

Kindred by Choice
● Goethe, Johann. (1960). Kindred by Choice (translation by H.M Waidson). One World Classics.
Elective Affinities (H.M. Waidson translation)(2009 reprint) photo neededTranslator: Herbert Waidson (1916-1988): a professor and head of the department of German at the University College of Swansea, Wales; he had previously translated Goethe as well as other German and Swiss authors.
● Goethe, Johann. (1963). Elective Affinities (translated by Elizabeth Mayer and Louise Bogan with introduction by Victor Lange). H. Regnery Co.
photo neededTranslators: Elizabeth Mayer and Louise Bogan.

Introduction: Victor Lange
Elective Affinities (Penguin Classics)
● Goethe, Johann. (1971). Elective Affinities (translation and introduction by R.J. Hollingdale; chronology and further reading by David Deissner, 2005). Penguin.
Elective Affinities (Penguin Classics) 2005
(2005 reprint)
photo neededReginald Hollingdale (1930-2001): English translator and biographer of a number of German works, including: Goethe, Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, among others; he was openly an atheist.

David Markus Deissner (1796-) completed his 2007 PhD dissertation on Moral and Motivation in the Work of Heinrich von Kleists (Moral Und Motivation Im Werk Heinrich von Kleists) at Oxford University, in the medieval and modern languages and literature department.
Goethe's Collected Works (Volume 11)● Goethe, Johann. (1988). Elective Affinities (translated by Judith Ryan); in Volume XI of the American Suhrkamp edition of Goethe’s works.
Judith RyanTranslator: Judith Ryan (1943-).
Elective Affinities (Oxford World Classics)
● Goethe, Johann. (1994). Elective Affinities (introduction, note on translation, selected bibliography, chronology, and explanatory notes by David Constantine). World Classics.

David ConstantineTranslator: David Constantine (1944-): a British translator of German language and literature, poet, and freelance writer. [2]
Elective Affinities IAD 3● Goethe, Johann. (2012-2013). Elective Affinities: Illustrated, Annotated, and Decoded (introduction, timeline, annotation, and decoding by Libb Thims). Publisher.
Translator: Hjalmar Boyesen (1848-1865).

Introduction, timeline, annotation, and decoding by Libb Thims (c.1975-)

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See also
Elective Affinities (film adaptations)
Elective Affinities (plays)

1. Goethe, Johann. (2011). Die Wahlverwandtschaften. Penguin.
2. Goethe, Johann. (1994). Elective Affinities (introduction, note on translation, selected bibliography, chronology, and explanatory notes by David Constantine). World Classics.
3. Elective Affinities – Amazon.
5. Glass, Derek, Bell, Matthew, and Jones, Martin H. (2005). Goethe in English: a Bibliography of the Translations in the Twentieth Century (pg. 233). MHRA.

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