Karl Bottiger nsIn human chemistry, Karl Bottiger (1760-1835) was a German archaeologist, drama critique, and "sometime friend" of German polymath Johann Goethe, notable for having received an 1810 letter, which came with the instructions that it was to be burned after being read, from German author Christoph Wieland (neighbor of Goethe), who expressed the opinion of Goethe’s recent publication Elective Affinities, that: "To all rational readers, the use of the chemical theory [in Elective Affinities] is nonsense and childish fooling around." [1]

On 2 Jan 1810, Bottiger published a review article entitled “About Goethe’s Elective Affinities” in the German periodical Newspaper for the Elegant World (Zeitung für die Elegan), wherein, as seems to have been summarized in the affinity chemistry work of Jeremy Adler (1987), he was the first or one of the first to point out the fact that it was obvious to the educated reader of the time that Goethe’s novel was clearly linked to well-known chemical theories of the late eighteenth century and that concepts from the field of chemistry permeated the novel. [2]

1. (a) Wieland, Christoph Martin. (1810). "Letter to Karl August Böttiger" July 16. Weimar.
(b) Tantillo, Astrida O. (2001). Goethe's Elective Affinities and the Critics (pg. 9-10.). New York: Camden House.
2. (a) Hardin, James. (1990). “Eine fast magische Anziehungskraft.” Goethes ‘Wahlverwandtschaften’ und die Chemie seiner Zeit (review) (abs), Goethe Yearbook, 5: 342-46.
(b) Böttiger, Karl A. (1810). “Ueber Göthes Wahlverwandtschaften” (“About Goethe’s Elective Affinities”), Zeitung für die Elegante Welt (Newspaper for the Elegant World), Leipzig Nr. 2, 2. 1.; in: Goethe im Urtheile seiner Zeitgenossen: Zeitungskritiken, Berichte, Notizen, Goethe und seine Werke betreffend, aus den Jahren 1772-1812 (pgs. 265-69). 3 vols. Julius W. Braun. Berlin: Friedrich Luckhard, 1885; in: Die Wahlverwandtschaften: Eine Dokumentation der Wirkung von Goethes Roman 1808-1832 (pgs. 107-09). Heinz Hartl. Weinheim: Acta humaniora, 1983.

External links
‚óŹ Karl Bottiger – Wikipedia.

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