Faust

Faust

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
     
 

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Drama. Translated from the German by Mike Smith. A new translation of one of the greatest monuments of German literature. This is the famous first part (Faust. Der Tragödie erster Teil), and does not include the extraordinary (and virtually unstageable) Part 2, completed many years later.

First published in 1808, and then, in a revised edition, in

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Overview


Drama. Translated from the German by Mike Smith. A new translation of one of the greatest monuments of German literature. This is the famous first part (Faust. Der Tragödie erster Teil), and does not include the extraordinary (and virtually unstageable) Part 2, completed many years later.

First published in 1808, and then, in a revised edition, in 1829, the story—a variant of the old Faustus legend—concerns the scientist (or perhaps, better, natural philosopher), Dr. Heinrich Faust, whose scientific quests, and their lack of success, lead him into a state of great frustration. Parallel to this, Mephistopheles (the Devil) lays a wager with God that he can subvert God's favored human being (for this is Faust).

Mephistopheles appears in Faust's laboratory, having metamorphosed from the form of a stray dog that had followed Faust home, and offers Faust a pact whereby he, Mephistopheles, will aid Faust on Earth, if Faust in turn will serve him forever in Hell. The pact is signed in blood, after some prevarication. The core of the tragedy revolves around the figure of Margarete (known by her familiar name, Gretchen), with whom Faust falls in love. Mephisto aids Faust in his seduction of her. Gretchen kills her mother, unintentionally, with a sleeping potion, administered so that she can receive Faust in her chamber without being disturbed.

When Gretchen discovers she is pregnant, her brother confronts Faust but is killed in a fight with him and Mephisto. The distraught Gretchen drowns her child, is convicted of murder and imprisoned. Faust tries to free her from jail by magical means but she refuses to leave, and Faust and his devilish accomplice flee the scene to the accompaniment of a chorus of heavenly voices who reveal that Gretchen will in fact be saved.

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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:
9781848612143
Publisher:
Shearsman Books
Publication date:
03/01/2012
Edition description:
Translatio
Pages:
206
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.47(d)

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Meet the Author

Goethe wurde am 28.8.1749 in Frankfurt(Main) geboren. Er begann sein Studium der Jura 1768 in Leipzig, das er aber wegen einer schweren Krankheit unterbrach und 1771 in Straßburg fortsetzte. Auf Einladung von Herzog Carl August zog er nach Weimar, wo er ab 1776 im Staatsdienst arbeitete. 1786-1788 erste Italienreise, 1790 zweite Italienreise. Goethe starb am 22.3.1832 in Weimar.

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