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Faust I & II (1808)

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Goethe's Faust (1-2)

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5,019382,146 (3.93)1 / 232
"A poet, playwright, novelist, memoirist, and aphorist, Goethe was the German equivalent of Dante plus Shakespeare, a multifaceted universal genius. He put everything he had into this version of the famous myth of Faust, the man who sold his soul to the devil for worldly fame and riches. People face such choices every day - in this volume, Prof. Thomas Wayne presents the story in a contemporary voice." --… (more)

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 Fine Press Forum: Faust14 unread / 14originaux, March 2023

» See also 232 mentions

English (17)  Spanish (10)  French (3)  Dutch (3)  Slovak (1)  Czech (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Faust, Goethe's great dramatic poem in two parts, is his crowning work. Even though it is based on the medieval legend of a man who sold his soul to the devil, it actually treats modern man's sense of alienation and his need to come to terms with the world in which he lives.

This theme has always been an important one in western literature, but it has gained in urgency during our own century. Each generation must explore anew the problems of human estrangement and fulfillment — the best way to begin such a search is to see what the past has to offer. Goethe's vision may not provide the perfect or the only answer, but it has been a source of inspiration to many readers for more than a hundred years and reflects the thoughts and experiences of one of the 19th century's most active and gifted minds. ( )
  Huba.Library | Nov 11, 2022 |
Önce halk efsanelerinde, adı meçhule karışmış ozanlar söylediler bu âteşîn hikâyeyi. Sonra edebiyatçılar keşfettiler, eski kroniklerin içinde ilginç öyküler ararlarken. Kimler kalemini sivriltmedi ki şeytanla insanın gizli mukavelesini ademoğluna fısıldamak için. Ama içlerinde en ölümsüz olanı, müjdeyi ve lâneti tüm ruhları sarsarcasına haykıranı, Goethe'nin Faust'uydu.
Faust, modernitenin trajedisini haber veren ilk büyük yapıt oldu. Kimin kazandığı ve kimin kimi kandırdığı belli olmayan bir irade savaşıydı anlatılan.
Hikâyenin özeti şuydu: Şeytan Tanrı'ya meydan okudu, savaşın sonunu bile bile. Çünkü yaratılış öyküsünü bilmeyen melek olamazdı. Lâkin kendi öyküsünü unutan insan devreye girdiğinde bu meydan okuma, büyük bir soru işaretine dönüştü. Belki şeytan için değil, ama kesinlikle insan için...
Şeytan bir soru işareti, ruh bir soru işareti, insan: ardı sıra dizili soru işaretleri... Ve insanın yeryüzündeki devr-i dâimi başladığı anda, ruhun üzerine yapılan pazarlıklar ve olası mukavelelerin de dönemi açıldı. Bu mukaveleden habersiz bir ademoğlu olmadı. O, her zaman, pazarlığın bir tarafıydı. Belki de bu yüzden, kendini okumak isteyen herkes pür dikkat, kulak kesildi bu hikâyeye: "Kimdir Faust? Şeytan'a mı verdi ruhunu? Nasıl bir sözleşmeydi bu?"
Kendimizi başkalarından dinlemek, en sevdiğimiz mesleğimiz değil midir? O halde herkesin vâkıf olduğu bir temayı, yaşamı efsaneleşmiş bir karakterin omuzlarına yükleyerek anlatan Goethe'ye kulak verelim... Tüm yaşamını adadığı ölümsüz eseri Faust'a...
  Cagatay | Dec 16, 2021 |
Call a book “great literature” and I’m intimidated. But I’m at the now-or-never stage of life, and so I finally cracked open this, my father’s favorite book. Once again, I find what makes great literature great. Letters on a page magically evoke words and epochs; even the sounds of the words and the rhythm of the phrases delight. Throw in a protagonist in whom, I suspect, Goethe poured more than a little autobiography, and you have a book that gripped me from cover to cover.
Among the many pleasures are dozens of memorable aphorisms, including near the end, the one I invariably heard from my father after presenting yet another unsatisfactory report card. These lines are spoken by the angels carrying Faust’s soul upwards. More often, as in Paradise Lost, it is the devil who gets many of the best lines, including speeches that express his distaste of church bells and angelic choirs. Even though my opinion is another, I still enjoyed them.
As is often the case with the greats, this book does not stand alone. The core is an old fable, already memorably used by Christopher Marlowe, but Goethe also draws on Homer, Dante, and – over and over again – the Bible. He also incorporates much of the science of his day, especially geology and mining engineering.
It is said that Goethe and Humboldt, contemporaries, were the last two people to know everything that was worth knowing in their lifetime. Goethe not only knew it, he distilled it into the two parts of this book. By the time I reached Faust’s apotheosis and the paean to the eternal feminine, I felt as if I, too, had been dragged over the earth as well as down below and up above.
Books such as this are the reason I often give a "good" book three stars; were I to award them five, what would I do when I read a book like this? ( )
  HenrySt123 | Jul 19, 2021 |
Un'avventura dello spirito, come la Commedia di Dante, l'Ulisse di Joyce, Goethe tende a disegnare in forma simbolica una rappresentazione universale delle cose della vita. Un poema drammatico e favoloso, una rielaborazione dotta e popolare di un gruppo di leggende fiorite intorno alla figura veramente esistita di un mago, il "Faust".

Un vecchio sapiente pattuisce con Mefistofele la sua anima, protetto da un punto di vista trascendente e soprannaturale, avvolto nella sua natura fiabesca. Goethe costruisce il suo dramma secondo le rappresentazioni sceniche medioevali, sacre e carnevalesche. Mette in scena fatti e figure in diversi quadri staccati al di fuori del tempo.

Mescola farsa e tragedia, mascherata e idillio, storia sacra e profana, situazioni reali e fantastiche, personaggi storici e mitologici. Il destino di Faust si compie in tempi, luoghi e civiltà lontane e recenti: Medio Evo e Grecia classica, Rinascimento e età borghese. Il viaggio e la rappresentazione sono quelli di tutta l'umanità.

Possiamo dire che la morale del libro è sempre la stessa: la sete forte e romantica di sapere il tutto, la smania di identificare la propria personale esperienza con tutto il teatro dell'universo. Ma Goethe era un romantico, di tempra tutta speciale, naturalistica e illuministica, umanistica e classica.

Egli afferma prepontemente la necessità della interiore attività umana e l'uso delle proprie energie che tutti gli uomini posseggono. Lui sostiene che le cose, nel bene e nel male bisogna viverle, che è inumano rinunziare alla vita e vivere da parassiti. Questa è la lezione che ci offre il suo Faust. ( )
  AntonioGallo | Sep 24, 2020 |
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust begins with a prologue set in Heaven. The scene is modeled on the opening of the Book of Job in the Old Testament. While the angels Raphael, Gabriel, and Michael praise the Lord, Mephistopheles mocks human beings as failed creations because reason makes them worse than brutes. God tells Mephistopheles that he will illuminate his servant Faust. Mephistopheles wagers with god that he can corrupt Faust instead. With the assent of god Mephistopheles goes into action.

In the next scene, Faust appears in acute despair because his intellectual studies have left him ignorant and without worldly gain and fame. In order to discover the inner secrets and creative powers of nature, he turns to black magic. Thus, he conjures up the Earth Spirit, the embodiment of the forces of nature. However, the Earth Spirit mocks Faust’s futile attempts to understand him. As he despairs of understanding nature, he prepares to poison himself.
At that moment, church bells and choral songs announcing that “Christ is arisen” distract Faust from killing himself. Celestial music charms Faust out of his dark and gloomy study for a walk in the countryside on a beautiful spring day in companionship with his fellow human beings. Observing the springtime renewal of life in nature, Faust experiences ecstasy. At this moment, Faust yearns for his soul to soar into celestial spheres.

This Easter walk foreshadows Faust’s ultimate spiritual resurrection. However, he must first undergo a pilgrimage through the vicissitudes and depths of human life. In a famous moment he proclaims that "two souls are dwelling in my breast". It is in this battle within himself that he becomes emblematic of modern man. As he battles Mephistopheles offers him a wager for his everlasting soul that will provide him a fleeting moment of satisfaction in this world. Mephistopheles commands a witch to restore Faust’s youth so that he is vulnerable to sensuous temptations. When Faust sees the beautiful young girl Margaret, he falls into lust and commands Mephistopheles to procure her. Mephistopheles devises a deadly scheme for seduction. Faust convinces Margaret, who is only fourteen years old, to give her mother a sleeping potion, prepared by Mephistopheles, so that they can make love. Mephistopheles makes poison instead; the mother never awakens.

Unwittingly, Margaret has murdered her mother. Furthermore, she is pregnant by Faust and alone. When Faust comes to visit Margaret, he finds her brother, Valentine, ready to kill him for violating his sister. Mephistopheles performs trickery so that Faust is able to stab Valentine in a duel. Dying, Valentine curses Margaret before the entire village as a harlot. Even at church, Margaret suffers extreme anguish as an evil spirit pursues her.

In contrast, Faust escapes to a witches’ sabbath on Walpurgis Night. He indulges in orgiastic revelry and debauchery with satanic creatures and a beautiful witch until an apparition of Margaret haunts him. Faust goes looking for Margaret and finds her, in a dungeon, insane and babbling. At this moment, Faust realizes that he has sinned against innocence and love for a mere moment of sensual pleasure. Even though it is the very morning of her execution, Margaret refuses to escape with Faust and Mephistopheles. Instead, she throws herself into the hands of God. As Faust flees with Mephistopheles, a voice from above proclaims, “She is saved!”

Goethe will continue his drama with a second part, but the narrative from this first section has become one of the markers for the beginning of the modern era of human culture. I have previously written about some of the ideas in this drama in my discussion of "Active vs. Reactive Man". Translated by many over the two centuries since its original publication it has become a touchstone for the study of the development of the human spirit. It has also inspired other artists to create operas and novels based on the characters from Goethe's drama. ( )
  jwhenderson | Mar 5, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
(specifically reviews the illustrations by Harry Clarke)

Clarke’s unmistakable aesthetic, which became a centerpiece of the Irish Arts and Crafts movement and which he had applied to Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination just a few years earlier, lends the Goethe masterpiece an additional dimension of haunting beauty ....

» Add other authors (709 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Johann Wolfgang von Goetheprimary authorall editionscalculated
Anster, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Atkins, Stuart PrattEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beckmann, MaxIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boehn, Max vonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boileau, DanielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burwick, FrederickEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cardona Castro, Francisco LuisForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clarke, HarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coleridge, Samuel TaylorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dapia Romero, ElisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Staël, GermaineContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delacroix, EugèneIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Donker, AnthonieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Erler, GotthardContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fetzer, GüntherContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hallqvist, Britt G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaufmann, Walter ArnoldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leveson-Gower, FrancisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacNiece, LouisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKusick, James C.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merian-Genast, ErnstAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merian-Genast, ErnstHerausgebersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nerval, Gérard deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Passage, Charles E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pickerodt, GerhardAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Priest, George MadisonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raphael, AliceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Redslob, ErwinPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rollet, EdwinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schüddekopf, CarlEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siebertz, EngelbertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Soane, GeorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Staudt, RolfDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steenbergen, Alb.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, BayardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vloten, J. vanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheatley, DennisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Пастернак, БорисTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Ye wavering forms draw near again as ever / When ye long since moved past my clouded eyes.
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Hab nun, ach! die Philosophei,
Medizin und Juristerei
Und leider auch die Theologie
Durchaus studiert mit heißer Müh.
Da steh ich nun, ich armer Tor,
Und bin so klug als wie zuvor.
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Contains Faust: A Tragedy, Parts 1 AND 2. Please distinguish this LT work from: (a) either Part 1 or Part 2 alone; (b) any editions containing more than Parts 1 and 2 (such as the Urfaust, commentaries, or "Norton Critical Editions"); (c) any abridged version; or (d) any adaptations or other derivative works. Thank you.
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"A poet, playwright, novelist, memoirist, and aphorist, Goethe was the German equivalent of Dante plus Shakespeare, a multifaceted universal genius. He put everything he had into this version of the famous myth of Faust, the man who sold his soul to the devil for worldly fame and riches. People face such choices every day - in this volume, Prof. Thomas Wayne presents the story in a contemporary voice." --

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