Karl Reinhard

Karl Reinhard (6s)In existographies, Karl Reinhard (1761-1837) was a German-born French diplomat, Napoleon’s ambassador to Cassel, and writer of German origin, noted for his association with German polymath Johann Goethe, particularly in regards to the construction and reception of his 1809 novella Elective Affinities (see: Goethe timeline).

Shortly after the novel’s appearance, Reinhard wrote to Goethe, in regards to the character Ottilie: [1]

“This lovely creature is a kind of natural necessity, emanating from it to all of their environments, by tightening and pushing back. It exists to say so in a constant state of magnetization.”

“Dieses liebliche Wesen steht untereiner Art von Naturnotwendigkeit, die von ihr auf alle ihre Umgebungen ausgeht, durch Anziehen und Zur ücksto ßen. Sie existiert so zu sagen in einem beständigen Zustand der Magnetisation.”
Goethe to Reinhard (31 Dec 1809)
An English translation, by Astrida Tantillo, of the 31 Dec 1809 Goethe to Reinhard letter mentioning Elective Affinities. [2]

On 31 Dec 1809, Goethe wrote to Reinhard: [2]

“How I look forward to the effect that this novel will have in a few years on many people upon rereading it.”

In the same letter, Goethe predicted that the novel’s meaning might remain incomprehensible for a time, only to be rediscovered through multiple rereadings at a later date. [2] Indeed, it would be some 200-years before this prediction would come true, following American electrochemical engineer Libb Thimscirca 2006 discovery of Goethe and his Elective Affinities (see: Thims history), publication of Human Chemistry, centered around Goethe’s human chemical theory, in 2007, and construction of Elective Affinities: Illustrated, Annotated, and Decoded, begun in 2012.

1. (a) Lillyman, William J. (1982). “Analogies for Love: Goethe’s Die Wahlverwandtschaften and Plato’s Symposium” (pg. 134). Goethe’s Narrative Fiction: the Irvine Goethe Symposium. Walter de Gruyter.
(b) H. A. Werke VI, 651.
2. Tantillo, Astrida, O. (2001). Goethe’s Elective Affinities and the Critics (Reinhard, pgs. xx, 6). New York: Camden House.

External links
Karl Friedrich Reinhard (German → English) – Wikipedia.
Charles-Frederic Reinhard – Wikipedia.

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