Faust: Ein Mythos und Seine Bearbeitungen

Faust: Ein Mythos und Seine Bearbeitungen

3.8 38
by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Charles T. Brooks
     
 

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Faust calls itself "A Tragedy" right enough, but it might just as well be described as a musical comedy -- it's ripe with comic passages, features many songs, and lacks a tragic ending. And Faust isn't a classic tragic figure, either. In fact, his characteristic yearning for experience and knowledge created a type for the romantic age still known

Overview

Faust calls itself "A Tragedy" right enough, but it might just as well be described as a musical comedy -- it's ripe with comic passages, features many songs, and lacks a tragic ending. And Faust isn't a classic tragic figure, either. In fact, his characteristic yearning for experience and knowledge created a type for the romantic age still known as the Faustian hero. The villain of the piece -- Mephistopheles -- is one of the most likeable characters in the play. His yearnings draw him toward the heavens, yet he is also powerfully attracted to the physical world.

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.
From the Publisher
"Luke demonstrates a rare genius in his translation: he maintains essential meaning, retains meter, and recreates rhyme.... As far as his introduction is concerned, it is a marvel of lucid exposition."—The German Quarterly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781598181104
Publisher:
Alan Rodgers Books
Publication date:
08/28/2005
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.56(d)

Meet the Author

Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of meters and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy and color and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him exist.

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Faust 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Warning--this is not the complete Faust as advertised. Only part one.
EA-Bucchianeri More than 1 year ago
Goethe¿s ¿Faust¿ is arguably the most important milestone in Romantic literature. Taking the famous medieval legend of Dr. Faustus and his pact with the devil, Goethe adapted the tale of old, and transformed it into a great love story, and a probing poetical tract on the nature of good and evil, salvation and damnation, failing and striving, the innate search for truth and lasting fulfilment.

Part One (first published 1808) features Faust¿s disgust with his life and the world at large, and attempting to unite with the Spirit of creation and soar above the petty corporality of earth, the proud old scholar is dashed to the ground, for he must first work his salvation out on earth by the sweat of his brow before he can be admitted into the presence of the Deity. In desperation, Faust tries to commit suicide, but then makes a wager with the devil: if Mephistopheles can show him that one moment of bliss he is searching for and succeeds in persuading him to cease all his human striving for that one moment, then his soul is forfeit. The devil agrees to the wager, grants Faust the gift of youth, and the adventures begin. He meets young Margareta and falls in love, a romance that leads to tragedy for the innocent maiden.

David Luke¿s award-winning translation is one of the best I have read. While the rhythms do jar on occasion, this does not take away from the `flow¿ of this rendition. There will always be discrepancies when a text is taken out of its original language in any case, so it is more constructive to concentrate on the `readability¿, this translation succeeds in portraying the mood of Goethe¿s text and the personality of his vibrant characters. In some instances, it may be argued the translation is too modern, for example, lines [2065-2070] when Mephistopheles prepares his magic flying cloak for their journey to a new life of youthful debauchery:

Mephistopheles:
¿One merely spreads one¿s cloak¿you¿ll find
It give us aerial elevation.
Though, please, this bold step for mankind,
Imposes luggage-limitation.
I¿ll set the burners going, heat some air, and lo!
We travel light, the earth lies far below.¿

Did Neil Armstrong land on the moon in Goethe¿s time? Of course not, but Luke¿s witty lines humorously displays Mephistopheles¿ rakish personality and has become one of my personal favourites in this English edition.

The book features an informative introduction on Goethe¿s biography and the composition of Part One and includes a graph displaying how he edited and added to the scenes until he arrived at the text we know today.
There is also a select bibliography, a general chronology of Goethe¿s life and career, and helpful explanatory endnotes for those who wish to study the details of the text more thoroughly. For ¿Urfaust¿ scholars, Luke highlights the lines that were part of Goethe¿s early draft.

E.A. Bucchianeri, author of ¿Faust: My Soul be Damned for the World¿
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Genius for its time. It is no wonder that Mellville cites him in his work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that 'Faust' is a excellent book. It displays the remmicks of good and evil and respresents of how one's soul is a very important source of who one is. Goeth has really captured the true essence of the human soul.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed in my purchase. Instead I bought a new physical copy with the Harry Clarke artwork which was the only good thing about this version.
lizzyforshizzy More than 1 year ago
A great journey-of-the-soul type book (even if you're an atheist). Just a wonderful human argument which any and all humans experience at one time or another.
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Very cool
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