"[This book] is not only a minor masterpiece, but also one of the most extraordinary novels ever written. Most novelists start from the particular, in character and event, and only when their novels are finished, does their general human significance emerge. Goethe seems to have done the opposite, to have started with certain ideas about the nature of human beings which he felt important, and then to have invented characters and events to illustrate them...We live in a very different society from Goethe's, but from a careful study of 'Elective Affinities', a young novelist could, I believe, learn a great deal. As for the general reading public, they will be depriving themselves of a very interesting and pleasant experience if they fail to read it."Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von is the author of 'Elective Affinities', published 1978 under ISBN 9780140442427 and ISBN 0140442421.