16

"Torch dance" is the translation of Fackeltanz. The Fackeltanz is similair to the polonaise but the dancers hold torches or candles in their hands and move according to fixed patterns. There is nothing indecent about this dance. In fact, it was still danced at the wedding of emperor Wilhelms II's daughter Viktoria Luise with Ernst August zu ...


13

The “war of seventy” refers to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, and this is confirmed by the mention of Otto von Bismarck, the Chancellor of the North German Confederation at the outbreak of the war, and from 1871 the Chancellor of the German Empire. So the “cross” must be the Iron Cross, a military decoration created in Napoleonic-era Prussia, and revived ...


9

At the end of the 19th century Arnold Böcklin was a well-known painter. Die Gefilde der Seligen, apparently the painting the book refers to, had been commissioned in 1876 by the National Gallery. After its exhibition caused a public scandal it was quickly removed: The female nudity in the foreground, the provocative wild virility of the centaur carrying the ...


7

The comment doesn't need to reference a real painting to make sense in the context of the novel, but some searching shows that Fontane had a particular painting in mind. Since Hesiod, Elysium has also been known as the "Isles of the Blessed" or the "Fortunate Isles" and there are several paintings and artworks that have been inspired by ...


4

@Tsundoku writes: "He is teasing Effi with the idea that marriage does not lead to a blessed or happy state, so she should at least get a glimpse of it before she gets married." Not quite. Dagobert is teasing Effi with a reference to a painting that has been taken down later because it was thought obscene. So there is an erotic undertone in his ...


4

In German, the corresponding passage (quoted from Effie Briest on Zeno.org) goes as follows: Zwei der jungen Mädchen – kleine, rundliche Persönchen, zu deren krausem, rotblondem Haar ihre Sommersprossen und ihre gute Laune ganz vorzüglich paßten – waren Töchter des auf Hansa, Skandinavien und Fritz Reuter eingeschworenen Kantors Jahnke, der denn auch, unter ...


3

The "little incident" is nothing more than what is described at the end of Chapter II: almost at the very moment when he was approaching her with a friendly bow there appeared at one of the wide open vine-covered windows the sandy heads of the Jahnke twins, and Hertha, the more hoidenish, called into the room: "Come, Effi." Then she ...


3

In German, the corresponding passage (quoted from Effie Briest on Zeno.org) does not mention the type of cross: Kurz und gut, er nahm den Abschied und fing an, Juristerei zu studieren, wie Papa sagt, mit einem ›wahren Biereifer‹; nur als der siebziger Krieg kam, trat er wieder ein, aber bei den Perlebergern statt bei seinem alten Regiment, und hat auch das ...


1

The cross that is been talked about is the Iron Cross, established as the military decoration. From the linked Wikipedia page: The Iron Cross (German: Eisernes Kreuz, abbreviated EK) is a former military decoration in the Kingdom of Prussia, and later in the German Empire (1871–1918) and Nazi Germany (1933–1945). The Iron Cross was awarded to soldiers ...


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