Vol. 9 (2020)
CONDIZIONI DI POSSIBILITÀ – Tra rito e mito: il Carnevale nella cultura europea

"Die Wahlverwandtschaften": un rituale carnevalesco senza lieto fine

Published December 31, 2020


A possible resolution of the novel Die Wahlverwandtschaften (1809) may be found through the denial of the phenomenon of Carnival, that Goethe had experienced in Rome. Attention focuses on the tableaux vivants scene and on the symbolism of carnival character they develop, as well as on the phenomenon of the Partneraustausch, that, since it breaks the fixed rules of marriage, is in line with Bakhtin’s thoughts regarding the follies occurring during this celebration. Exactly in the Wahlverwandtschaften it is observed that several aspects run parallel to the events for preparations and for the celebration of the Roman Carnival. This happens with a fundamental difference: in the stories of the novel, the reader perceives the absence of a happy ending, which is present in the Roman text.


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