Faustus: From the German of Goethe Translated by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Overview


The major work of German literature, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust (1808), was translated into English by one of Britain's most capable mediators of German literature and philosophy, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Goethe himself twice referred to Coleridge's translation of his Faust. Goethe's character wrestles with the very metaphysical and theological problems that preoccupied Coleridge: the meaning of the Logos, the apparent opposition of theism and pantheism. Coleridge, the poet of tormented guilt, of the demonic and the supernatural, found himself on familiar ground in translating Faust. Because his translation reveals revisions and reworkings of Coleridge's earlier works, his Faust contributes significantly to the understanding of Coleridge's entire oeuvre.

Coleridge began, but soon abandoned, the translation in 1814, returning to the task in 1820. At Coleridge's own insistence, it was published anonymously in 1821, illustrated with 27 line engravings copied by Henry Moses after the original plates by Moritz Retzsch. His publisher, Thomas Boosey, brought out another edition in 1824. Although several critics recognized that it was Coleridge's work, his role as translator was obscured because of its anonymous publication. Coleridge himself declared that he "never put pen to paper as translator of Faust", and subsequent generations mistakenly attributed the translation to George Soane, a minor playwright, who had actually commenced translating for a rival press.

This edition of Coleridge's translation provides the textual and documentary evidence of his authorship, and presents his work in the context of other contemporary efforts at translating Goethe's Faust.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199229680
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/2/2007
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Frederick Burwick is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of California, Los Angeles and James C. McKusick is Professor of English at the University of Montana.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1. The Faustus of Goethe, translated by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (London: Boosey, 1821). With the 27 illustrations by Moritz Retzsch, re-engraved by Henry More.
Chapter 3. Extracts from G: othe's Tragedy of Faustus, explanatory of the plates by Retsch, translated by George Soane (London: Bohte, 1820). [January 1820] Page proofs for Bohte's planned second edition, translated by George Soane. [Sent to London Magazine, Nov 1821; to Goethe June 1822]
Chapter 4. Retsch's Series of Twenty-six Outlines Illustrative of Goethe's Tragedy of Faust, translated by Daniel Boileau (London: Boosey, 1820). [June 1820], with Boileau's notes to Abraham Hayward's prose translation.
Chapter 6. Faust: a Drama by Goethe; and, Schiller's Song of the Bell, translated by Lord Francis Leveson Gower (London: John Murray, 1823). [corresponding text only]
Stylistic analysis of verse passages in Faustus (Boosey, 1821) compared to Coleridge's Wallenstein, Remorse, Zapolya; and other translations.
Chronology
Bibliography
Index

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