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Goethe's Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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Goethe's Faust (1961)

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Author), Walter Kaufmann (Editor)

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There have been many writings of the Faust story; in this one, Goethe tries his hand at the fable. Faust sells his soul to the devil in return for some rather nebulous gains. The story is told in poetry rather than prose, and some of the poetry is a bit dense. There is also a lot more than is needed to tell the story, making this particular play impossible to present in this form on a modern American stage (of course, it might still work in Germany, where they don't have the same expectations). This translation includes the German original side by side with the translation; although I am not able to read German, it is interesting to see it in its original form, and for German readers, that gives them the ability to check the translation and see if they agree. The ending veered very close to a universalist view of heaven and hell; probably not too surprising from a freethinker like Goethe who tended to some rather heterodox opinions. ( )
  quantum_flapdoodle | Dec 23, 2013 |
ebook
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
Well this will be in the category of Shakespeare as a classic that I will have to reread many times to truly appreciate. Certainly the power and uniqueness of Goethe's writing came through to me, as well as the interesting characterization of Mephisto. I read the introduction after reading the text as I usually do, and it is clear that I missed a great deal. Probably next time I will use a version with detailed annotation to help me along. I did enjoy this version's German facing English text, as I could get a sense for the tone and feel of the original German. ( )
  yesssman | Sep 2, 2012 |
Boy meets world of scholarship and falls in love. Implausible. In practically his dotage he meets a nice shop-girl but figures he does not have a chance with her. Uh, why would he want HER? Anyway, so he makes a deal with the Devil, None of this is remotely plausible, but it is the wonderful genius of Goethe that he unfolds the story with great power. Ultimately, "Das ewigweiblische dran uns hinan". Or something like that. ( )
  keylawk | Sep 24, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang vonAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kaufmann, WalterEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Frieda and Eva Wunderlich in gratitude
First words
Again you show yourselves, you wavering Forms,

Revealed, as you once were, to clouded vision.
Introduction:  Goethe is generally recognized as the greatest German of all time, and Faust as his most important single work.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Disambiguation notice
This is a bilingual edition (german - english) edited by Walter Kaufman, and contains part 1 and selections of part 2. Please do not combine with other editions.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385031149, Paperback)

The best translation of Faust available, this volume provides the original German text and its English counterpart on facing pages. Walter Kaufmann's translation conveys the poetic beauty and rhythm as well as the complex depth of Goethe's language. Includes Part One and selections from Part Two.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:13 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

This work is the most famous play in all German literature. It was published in two parts. Part 1 is very dramatic and tells the main story. Part 2 is extremely long and it is meant to be read rather than acted out on stage. It is about Goethe's philosophy as well as about history and politics. This play is a retelling of the Faust legend which was very famous in Germany. The legend tells of a man called Faust who is tired of studying and wants to have the greatest possible happiness. The devil (usually called Mephistopheles, as he is in Goethe's play) tells Faust he can help him to do this, but that in the end Faust will have to give him his soul and go with him to hell. Faust makes a pact (an agreement) with Mephistopheles who promises him all his soul can wish for -- fine living, gold, women and honor. Faust signs the pact with his blood. Faust uses magic in the hope that it will tell him everything about life. However, in the end Mephistopheles wins his bet.… (more)

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