Faust: Parts One and Two

Faust: Parts One and Two

3.8 38
by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Robert David MacDonald
     
 

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The power and magic of the Faust story, the man who, in a pact with the Devil, trades his soul in return for a period of total knowledge and absolute power, is one of the most potent of all European myths. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) worked on this poetic drama in burst from his twenties until the end of his life. He reshaped the perpetually fascinating…  See more details below

Overview

The power and magic of the Faust story, the man who, in a pact with the Devil, trades his soul in return for a period of total knowledge and absolute power, is one of the most potent of all European myths. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) worked on this poetic drama in burst from his twenties until the end of his life. He reshaped the perpetually fascinating legend, probing the nature and process of human striving and questioning the assumed divisions between the forces of good and evil. His Faust has become a landmark in world literature.


Robert David MacDonald's translation of Faust, used in acclaimed productions in Scotland (Glasgow Citizens) and England (Lyric Hammersmith), offers access to the play in the English language for readers and playgoers alike and opens up the extraordinary range and pace of Goethe's language, rhythms, imagery and ideas, without sacrificing any of the play's humour. The Open University has adopted the translation as a set book for the course entitled 'From Enlightenment to Romanticism'

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
This edition of Goethe's , translated by Walter Arndt (emeritus, humanities, Dartmouth College), contains over 100 pages of interpretive notes, as well as excerpts from both contemporary and modern criticism and analysis of the piece. Hamlin (German and comparative literature, Yale U.) offers extensive introductory and supporting material which will allow readers to gain a deeper understanding of Goethe's masterpiece. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781849437431
Publisher:
OBERON BOOKS Ltd
Publication date:
09/07/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
1,270,474
File size:
527 KB

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The power and magic of the Faust story, the man who, in a pact with the Devil, trades his soul in return for a period of total knowledge and absolute power, is one of the most potent of all European myths. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) worked on this poetic drama in burst from his twenties until the end of his life. He reshaped the perpetually fascinating legend, probing the nature and process of human striving and questioning the assumed divisions between the forces of good and evil. His Faust has become a landmark in world literature.


Robert David MacDonald's translation of Faust, used in acclaimed productions in Scotland (Glasgow Citizens) and England (Lyric Hammersmith), offers access to the play in the English language for readers and playgoers alike and opens up the extraordinary range and pace of Goethe's language, rhythms, imagery and ideas, without sacrificing any of the play's humour. The Open University has adopted the translation as a set book for the course entitled 'From Enlightenment to Romanticism'

Read More

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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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