Nicholas BoyleIn hmolscience, Nicholas Boyle (1946-) is a an English German literature scholar noted for his 1990s-launched, partially-complete, three-volume existography work on Goethe and for his 2007 essay on Elective Affinities delivered as a lecture at Cambridge, extensive partially complete three-volume biography on Goethe.

In 1992, Boyle began publishing the first parts of a three-volume biography on Goethe. [1]

In 1994, Boyle, in his review of David Constantine’s translation and introduction of Goethe’s Elective Affinities, commented: [2]

Die Wahlverwandtschaften is probably the most unapproachable of Goethe's works, and was probably intended by Goethe to be so. An ‘oppressive rigidity and unnaturalness’ may alienate us from the symmetrical plot and structure—which seem to suggest that human relationships can be formulated schematically as a chemical reaction.”

In 2007, Boyle, in his his “Goethe, Die Wahlverwandtschaften”, a lecture at University of Cambridge, commented: [3]

“An interpretation of the novel seems to be hinted at here: these events are the human equivalent of an experiment in a chemical retort. The movements of passion between Edward, Ottilie, Charlotte, and the Captain are no different from the operations of ‘Wahlverwandtschaft’ between limestone, carbon dioxide, sulphuric acid and water. The human figures and events are but the manifestations of concealed natural forces, possibly not yet wholly understood by science.”

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The following are related quotes:

“As the age of paper passes, so [Goethe] seems its supreme product.”
— Nicholas Boyle (2000) [3]

1. (a) Boyle, Nicholas. (1992). Goethe: the Poet of Desire, Volume One. Oxford University Press.
(b) Boyle, Nicholas. (2000). Goethe: Revolution and Renunciation (1790-1803), Volume Two. Clarendon Press.
2. Nicholas, Boyle. (1994). “Review: Elective Affinities (translated with an Introduction and Notes by David Constantine)” (abs), J. European Studies, xxiv:411-17.
3. Nicholas Boyle (2007). “Goethe, Die Wahlverwandtschaften, Lecture at University of Cambridge; in Landmarks in the German Novel, Volume 1 (editor: Peter Hutchinson) (§4, pgs. 49-66) (Ѻ). Peter Lang.

External links
Nicholas Boyle – Wikipedia.
Nicholas Boyle (faculty) – Cambridge University.

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