Faust: Ein Mythos und Seine Bearbeitungen

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Overview

A classic of world literature, Goethe's Faust has been neglected by English-speaking readers of the twentieth century. One reason for this is that there has been no readable English version of Goethe's philosophical and poetic drama, one that captures its life, satire, irony, humor, and tragedy. Now an award-winning translator and critic has supplied such a translation; it will enchant and enlighten students and general readers alike. Martin Greenberg re-creates not only the varied meter and rhyme of Faust but ...
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Faust

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Overview

A classic of world literature, Goethe's Faust has been neglected by English-speaking readers of the twentieth century. One reason for this is that there has been no readable English version of Goethe's philosophical and poetic drama, one that captures its life, satire, irony, humor, and tragedy. Now an award-winning translator and critic has supplied such a translation; it will enchant and enlighten students and general readers alike. Martin Greenberg re-creates not only the varied meter and rhyme of Faust but also its diverse tones and styles - dramatic and lyrical, reflective and farcical, pathetic and coarse, colloquial and soaring. His rendition of Faust is the first faithful, readable, and elegantly written translation of Goethe's masterpiece available in English. Complete with preface and notes, it offers as does none other the range and power of the original in a modern idiom.

A new translation, in rhymed verse, of Goethe's Faust - preserves the essence without resorting to an overly literal, archaic translation.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is a facsimile of the original 1833 English translation of Goethe's epic. For serious literature collections only.
Ray Olson
One of the Western European classics least appreciated by English-speaking readers gets another chance in an adroit new translation. Furthermore, in his introduction translator Greenberg seeks to rescue the play from the German nationalism that made its protagonist far more heroic than Greenberg believes Goethe intended. Greenberg says Faust is a "loser" whose "behavior at crucial junctures is small, indeed ignominious." In the first part of the play, Faust indeed appears a pretty sorry character, using the devil Mephistopheles merely to help him seduce and abandon the beautiful Gretchen. Of course, besides this tragic action, there's a vaudevillian variety of stuff in "Faust"'s first part that has long rubbed English-speaking readers, used to their own language's purer classics, the wrong way. Greenberg seeks approbation for "Faust"'s variousness by also reflecting its metrical, hence tonal, variety more accurately than have previous translators. To his credit, he's metrically very competent; however, many may find his off-rhymes and nonrhymes jarringly contemporary and flavorless. Still, this may be the most readable, most performable American translation of Goethe's most vaunted masterpiece.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598181104
  • Publisher: Alan Rodgers Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,077,509
  • Product dimensions: 0.56 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) perhaps comes as close as any man to deserving the title of universal genius. Poet, dramatist, critic, scientist, administrator and novelist, he was born at Frankfurt-am-Main in 1749, the son of well-to-do parents with intellectual interests; and he studied at the University of Leipzig and at Strassburg, where he wrote a play which initiated the important Sturm und Drang movement. During the next five years he practiced law in Frankfurt and wrote The Sorrows of Young Werther, a remarkable novel autobiographical of one side of Goethe's nature. In 1775 he went to visit the court of the young Duke of Weimar, and, except for an extended journey to Italy a decade later, stayed there the rest of his life, filling at one time or another all the major posts in the Weimar government. Here a close friendship with Schiller developed, and here he conducted important scientific experiments and published a steady stream of books of the highest order and in many different forms. He became the director of the Weimar Theatre in 1791 and made it the most famous in Europe. His life held a number of ardent loves, which he celebrated in lyrics that are compared to Shakespeare's, and in 1806 he married Christiane Vulpius whom he had loved for many years. In later life Goethe became a generous patron of younger writers, including Byron and Carlyle. In 1790 he published the first version of his life work as Faust, a Fragment, but Part I of the completed Faust did not appear until 1808, while Part II was finished and published only a few months before Goethe's death in 1832.

Cyrus Hamlin is Chairman of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Yale University.

Walter Arndt is Sherman Fairchild Professor in the Humanties, Emeritus, at Dartmouth College. His translation of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin was awarded the Bollingen Prize.

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Table of Contents

Dedication 
Dramatis Personae 
Prologue for the Theatre
Prologue in Heaven 
Part One

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2012

    Warning--this is not the complete Faust as advertised. Only part

    Warning--this is not the complete Faust as advertised. Only part one.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2014

    Genius for its time. It is no wonder that Mellville cites him in

    Genius for its time. It is no wonder that Mellville cites him in his work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    Cool

    Very cool

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    Some room for improvement

    Line numbers would be nice, I'm having to take them from a physical copy I have by me. Also, no section breaks are given, making a return to interesting sections difficult. Under the content menu , no chapters for an easy connection can be found. If you know what you are looking for in the play, have a physical copy beside you, or are fluent enough in German to simply read it without stopping,this is for you. For $0.99,this is a pretty good value.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2006

    Modern Faust

    ¿Me love you long time.¿ ¿He gave him the shoe out the door.¿ Translation of foreign writing into English has always been the bane of readers everywhere. The play Faust is no exception there have been many attempts to translate the figurative meaning of Van Goethe¿s German script into an English script. Carl Mueller¿s translation is just one of many however it distinguishes itself by offering a modern translation of Faust that loses little of the original flavor while making the text more accessible and readable to a contemporary audience. Faust has always traditionally revolved around the quest of a scientist to find the true meaning of life. To fulfill this end, he summons the devil and promises the devil his soul if the devil can deliver the apex of ecstasy to him. Part I of Faust tells the story of the devil¿s attempts to seduce Faust with cheap thrills, but ends in tragedy as Faust loses the woman he desires. What Mueller has done is rewrite the script into a more modern style, using more contemporary wording and discarding the rhyming aspect in order to make the text easier to interpret. Yet the weight of most scenes carries through, especially the cathedral scene There, Gretchen makes her confession in the church with the devil tormenting her, while the Latin hymn Dies Irae sounds in the background. While not a edition for the hardcore, Mueller¿s translation of Faust presents a more accessible text to both casual readers and theatre production through the modern text and the slight cuts in certain lines. It is a perfect edition for both public libraries and all universities to offer an excellent introduction to one of the greatest works in history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2006

    Powerful rendition of a classical theme intimate to the minds of all societies since the dawn of civilization

    While Goethe's Faust Part One is fundamentally a reiterated plot, it conveys the moral of the legend of Faust most effectively by involving fantastic descriptions and inventive language that make the tale memorable. In the scene Walpurgis Night's Dream, for example, Goethe explores the use of quotes that appear superficially disconnected, but when taken in context of the individuals that speak them express the central theme of the Faust epic. Moreover this chaotic structure highlights the context of Walpurgis Night itself and underscores the significance of the night with respect to Faust's predicament. Goethe uses a similar structure in the beginning of the scene Outside the Town Gate in a manner that also conveys the atmosphere of the scene with an ingenuity that is well remembered. The varied conversations between Faust and Mephistopheles perhaps most powerful exhibits the command of language Goethe possesses to invoke in the reader's mind the complex relationship between the protagonist and the antagonist. The dialogue is full of classical allusions, each of which, when analyzed and understood, molds the reader's understanding of the relationship with convincing efficacy. The fact that Faust is a play, thus containing minimal narration and moving the plot largely through dialogue, is a testament to the adeptness with which Goethe wields language.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2006

    Faust: A Review of our Society?

    A man wagering his soul for happiness, a bet between God and the devil, and a judgement of what all humanity stands for, what more is there to ask from a classical literary play? Goethe¿s Faust: der Tragödie erster Teil, translated to be Faust: Part One in English from German, is often considered the best German classical work, and rightfully so. The careful blend of details, emotions, curiosity, and controversial themes allows for plentiful interpretations and emotional involvement of the reader. The complete work of Faust is very complex, and open to many literary translations. However, the first part sets the scene for tragedy. Goethe focuses on the religious and moral dilemmas of the main character, Faust, who debarks from his religious goal of seeking divine knowledge into a wager with the Devil, Mephistopheles. Using a connection between the Devil, God, and God¿s trust in mankind, Goethe is able to evoke religious emotions from the readers and use it to reinforce his themes. In addition to religious themes, Goethe throws in many moral twists and turns to keep the reader engaged and interested. An example of this is how Faust damns his love, Gretchen, to a life of poverty and sin by using the Devil to help him gain her acceptance. Faust is a sophisticated play that mirrors many of the problems that humanity has had, as well as the wishes of people. What would one do if they could get anything they wanted? Would one ever run out of things they desired? This play requires a great amount of thought and personal interpretation to understand fully. Goethe has done an excellent job in creating this literary work, and anyone who enjoys deep reading and thinking should look into researching and reading this play.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2003

    mephisto should have waited...faust would have come to him eventually

    faust is not a hero...he is self serving and almost sub-human. mephistopheles should have selected better prey for faust was destined to go to the devil anyway...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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