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Faust : erster Teil by Johann Wolfgang von…
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Faust : erster Teil (original 1808; edition 1974)

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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4,601281,654 (3.91)73
Goethe's classic, enlivened by Randall Jarrell's fine translation and Peter Sis's dark, dreamy illustrations Randall Jarrell's translation of "Faust "is one of his most important achievements. In 1957 he inscribed Goethe's motto on the first page of his notebook--"Ohne Hast aber ohne Rast" ("Without haste but without rest")--and from then until his death in 1965 he worked on the masterpiece of his "own favorite daemon, dear good great Goethe." His intent was to make the German poetry free, unrhymed poetry in English. He all but finished the job before he died, and the few lines that remained untouched--"Gretchen's Room"--were rendered into English by Robert Lowell. This elegant new edition features numerous beautiful line drawings and jacket lettering by the renowned Czech artist Peter Sis, author of the award-winning books "Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei" and "Tibet: Through the Red Box."… (more)
Member:Cath.Blaauwendraad
Title:Faust : erster Teil
Authors:Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Info:Frankfurt am Main : Insel Verl., 1974.
Collections:Your library
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Faust, Part One by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1808)

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» See also 73 mentions

English (24)  Portuguese (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (27)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Dear friend, all theory is gray, and green the golden tree of life.

What else to say? Towering as an archetype, akin to Hamlet, the Inferno and White Whale -- this tale of pact has been absorbed into a our cultural bones, like an isotope. It is more telling to consider that I listened to Tavener while reading this. I recently gave Pandora a spin but found that I owned more Schnittke than was afforded by my"station" but if I leave such, will I miss those Penn Station ads?

I will say that I should've read my Norton critical edition, well actually, my wife's copy -- the one I bought for her in Columbus, Ohio ten years ago. I went with a standard Penguin copy and I'm sure many of the historic references were lost for me.

No one should consider that I regard Faust as emblematic of power politics in the US or a possible Brexit across the water. I'm too feeble for such extrapolation. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Part One of Faust was one of the few books in my life that forced me to put on a pot of coffee and give up a night's sleep to finish it. The young Goethe simply nailed it. When I then got a hold of Part Two (written by the much older Goethe) and sat down with it, I was stunned. His style had completely changed; I never would have guessed it was by the same author. I'm not judging Goethe or the work as a whole, that would be arrogant and ridiculous given his stature as a writer, but simply noting that the experience of reading those two parts of Faust raised serious questions about critical editorial / literary analysis research which makes claims about authorship. It also convinced me that as a writer I should finish what I start. The idea of a long work being as organic and unified as a grapefruit--as John Gardner puts it--instinctively appeals to me. ( )
1 vote VicCavalli | Dec 8, 2018 |
(original review, 2004)

I’m planning on spending a few weeks on Goethe’s Faust in multiple translations and as much of the German as I can manage, supplemented by hundreds of pages of notes and commentary.

I first read the book while in high school in the totally un-annotated Bayard Taylor translation from Modern Library – one of the texts I’m currently reading. I’m still pretty fond of Taylor’s version – with some exceptions generally preferring him to Walter Arndt in the Norton Critical Edition. Taylor’s a relatively local boy – born in Kenneth Square, PA where the town library carries his name.

One thing I recall from that ML edition is that a few lines were Bowdlerized with dashes. For example, this song sung by Faust and Mephistopheles with two witches:

FAUST ( dancing with the young witch)
A lovely dream once came to me;
I then beheld an apple-tree,
And there two fairest apples shone
They lured me so, I climbed thereon.
THE FAIR ONE
Apples have been desired by you,
Since first in Paradise they grew;
And I am moved with joy, to know
That such within my garden grow.
MEPHISTOPHELES ( dancing with the old one)
A dissolute dream once came to me
Therein I saw a cloven tree,
Which had a————————;
Yet,——as 'twas, I fancied it.
THE OLD ONE
I offer here my best salute
Unto the knight with cloven foot!
Let him a—————prepare,
If him—————————does not scare.

I imagined something really obscene was being masked there, but it turns out to be a double entendre only slightly more risqué than the “apples” in the first exchange. Here’s Arndt’s uncensored rendering:

FAUST [ dancing with the YOUNG ONE]
In a fair dream that once I dreamed;
An apple-tree appeared to me,
On it two pretty apples gleamed,
They beckoned me; I climbed the tree.
THE FAIR ONE
You’ve thought such apples very nice,
Since Adam’s fall in Paradise.
I’m happy to report to you,
My little orchard bears them too.
MEPHISTOPHELES [ dancing with THE OLD ONE]
In a wild dream that once I dreamed
I saw a cloven tree, it seemed,
It had a black almighty hole;
Black as it was, it pleased my soul.
THE OLD ONE
I welcome to my leafy roof
The baron with the cloven hoof!
I hope he’s brought a piston tall
To plug the mighty hole withal.

I am reminded in re-reading it how much in common Faust has with the fantasy books that were my staple reading at the time I first encountered it Tolkien, Peake, E. R. Eddison. I was reminded of this by some of the comments today about "The Buried Giant" (disclaimer I’ve not read any Ishiguro). For centuries literature and fantasy were almost synonymous – only in the 18th century did it start to require a kind of warning label.

Just about all the operas are adaptations of Faust Part 1, though Arrigo Boito, as I recall, included an episode with Helen of Troy. The dual language Anchor Books edition with Walter Kaufmann’s translation, which seems to be the most commonly available in my neck of the woods, includes only bits of Part 2 from the first and last acts. This may make sense insofar as the edition is intended for students of German, but really makes a hash out of Goethe’s intentions for the work as a whole. I’m really enjoying wrestling with the complexities of Part 2; my recent readings in Greek tragedy helps – Goethe writes a very credible pastiche of the form in the first half of Act 3. [2018 addenda: In Portuguese, our most distinguished Germanist, João Barrento, has already published his Magnum Opus, Faust’s full translation. I haven’t read it yet, but I will].

In acquiring various versions of Faust over the years I’ve been mainly interested in those that are complete – the portions editors are the most likely to cut are those that I think would gain the most from multiple viewpoints. ( )
  antao | Oct 15, 2018 |
i thoroughly enjoyed this. A very interesting tale of a scholar testing the limits of can be know, temptation, and a tragic fall. ( )
  _praxis_ | Mar 4, 2018 |
Um es wirklich zu verstehen, erfordert es schon etwas studieren, aber es liest sich auch so recht gut.
Durchaus empfehlenswert für die Allgemeinbildung. ( )
  newcastlee | Dec 30, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (65 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Johann Wolfgang von Goetheprimary authorall editionscalculated
Adama v. Scheltema, C.S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bjerke, AndréTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delacroix, EugèneIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindken, Hans-Ulrichsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luke, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacIntyre, C. F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manninen, OttoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ras, G.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ras, G.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salm, PeterEditor and Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Ihr naht euch wieder schwankende Gestalten,

Die früh sich einst dem trüben Blick gezeigt.



(Ye draw near again wavering forms,

The early once shown the gloomy view.)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Contains only Part 1. Please don't combine with either the complete Faust or with Part 2.
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Goethe's activities as poet, statesman, theatre director, critic, and scientist show him to be a genius of amazing versatility. This quality is reflected in his Faust, which ranks with the achievements of Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare. The mood of the play shifts constantly, displaying in turn the poet's controlled energy, his wit, his irony, his compassion, and above all his gift for lyrical expression. Faust, which Goethe began in his youth and worked on during the greater part of his lifetime, takes for its theme the universal experience of the troubled human soul, but its spiritual values far transcend mere satanism and its consequences.
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