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Faust: Part 2 (Penguin Classics) by Johann…
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Faust: Part 2 (Penguin Classics) (original 1832; edition 1960)

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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1,419109,941 (3.68)19
Loosely connected with Part One and the German legend of Faust, Part Two is a dramatic epic rather than a strictly constructed drama. It is conceived as an act of homage to classical Greek culture and inspired above all by the world of story-telling and myth at the heart of the Greektradition, as well as owing some of its material to the Arabian Nights tales.The restless and ruthless hero, advised by his cynical demon-companion Mephistopheles, visits classical Greece in search of the beautiful Helen of Troy. Returning to modern times, he seeks to crown his career by gaining control of the elements, and at his death is carried up into the unkown regions,still in pursuit of the `Eternal Feminine'.David Luke's translation of Part One won the European Poetry Translation Prize. Here he again imitates the varied verse-forms of the original, and provides a highly readable - and actable - translation, supported by an introduction, full notes, and an index of classical mythology.… (more)
Member:susynoid
Title:Faust: Part 2 (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Info:Penguin Classics (1960), Paperback, 288 pages
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Faust, Part Two by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Author) (1832)

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» See also 19 mentions

English (7)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  All languages (10)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Not as good as Faust 1. ( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
An impressive drama. It was filled, and fused, with so many themes, characters, allusions, references, and poetic prowess. This was Goethe near the height of his powers. I read the drama WAY after reading the first portion, but this did not detract from it at all. Rather, it allowed me to make sense of the first part in relation to the second. The drama spans a wide area of time and there is so much going on, so many great lines and developments, that I could not give this drama any less than four and a half stars. The only detriment is that, in its complexity, I found that some of the prestige is lost. I am nowhere as intelligent as Goethe was and everything that he puts into his book, all combined, mixed, like a concoction of literary material, was at times hard to understand. I read this alongside a guide and I presume that, if I hadn't, I would've become lost along the way.

Still, an amazing piece of German literature: 4.5 stars! ( )
  DanielSTJ | May 25, 2019 |
The play/poetic structure didn't really engage me. I think I needed a version with more critical notes throughout as many of the allusions, etc. went right past me. ( )
  brakketh | Nov 17, 2017 |
Faust II is a work that has defeated me a number of times in the past: I generally get stuck somewhere in Act II where an apparently endless succession of assorted classical entities come on and do their stuff. However, this time I ploughed on regardless, and got all the way through in three or four sittings. It's worth the effort, because you do start to get a feel for where Goethe is going. It's such a big, complicated work that you certainly can't get everything out of it in one reading. It touches on just about every area of knowledge Goethe had a finger in (to put it another way: everything) - philosophy, mythology, music, geology, economics, painting, hydraulic engineering, religion, war, psychology, civil administration, education,...
What struck me most on this reading was what an unexpectedly modern work it is. The classical allusions and medieval trappings of the story give you a vague feeling that it must be very ancient, but actually Goethe completed it in 1831. It's very much part of the modern, industrial, capitalist world. Jane Austen was dead, Walter Scott was dying; steam trains were running in England, and would soon be imported to Germany; Bismarck was at school; Alfred Krupp would have been at school if he hadn't been obliged to take over his late father's steelworks; Dickens was a young court reporter, etc. Especially in Act V, where Faust and Mephistopheles have become capitalist entrepreneurs involved in shipping and land reclamation, it becomes very obvious that Goethe wants the reader to see the play in this context. One of the biggest questions he addresses is where we can find a space for humanity and morality in such a world, where we are no longer bound by the traditional constraints of religion, and where growth of power and wealth are the only indicators we measure ourselves against. ( )
1 vote thorold | Jul 23, 2011 |
Sequels are never as good as the originals. :-( It may be sacrilege to say it and the books were meant by Goethe to be read as a unified whole, but part two diverges way too far into classical allegory for my tastes. Only for the hardcore. Bring a headlamp and leave a popcorn trail, you might get lost.

Just a few quotes:
On life; I thought of the mist trail in Yosemite when I read these lines:
“And so I turn, the sun upon my shoulders,
To watch the water-fall, with heart elate,
The cataract pouring, crashing from the boulders,
Split and rejoined a thousand times in spate;
The thunderous water seethes in fleecy spume,
Lifted on high in many a flying plume,
Above the spray-drenched air. And then how splendid
To see the rainbow rising from this rage,
Now clear, now dimmed, in cool sweet vapour blended.
So strive the figures on our mortal stage.
This ponder well, the mystery closer seeing;
In mirrored hues we have our life and being.”

On marital dissatisfaction:
“Observe the married creature:
There I begin; and can in every case
The purest bliss by idle whims deface,
So varies mood and hour and human nature.
And holding in his arms what most should charm him,
Each fool will set his dreams on some new yearning;
From highest joy, now grown familiar, turning,
He shuns the sun, and takes the frost to warm him.
With practiced hand I rule in these affairs,
And bring in Asmodeus, trusty devil,
To sow, when time is ripe, conjugal evil,
And thus I wreck the human-race in pairs.” ( )
  gbill | Jul 9, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (41 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang vonAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bjerke, AndréTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luke, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manninen, OttoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wayne, PhilipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Contains only Part 2. Please don't combine with either the complete Faust or with part 1.
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Loosely connected with Part One and the German legend of Faust, Part Two is a dramatic epic rather than a strictly constructed drama. It is conceived as an act of homage to classical Greek culture and inspired above all by the world of story-telling and myth at the heart of the Greektradition, as well as owing some of its material to the Arabian Nights tales.The restless and ruthless hero, advised by his cynical demon-companion Mephistopheles, visits classical Greece in search of the beautiful Helen of Troy. Returning to modern times, he seeks to crown his career by gaining control of the elements, and at his death is carried up into the unkown regions,still in pursuit of the `Eternal Feminine'.David Luke's translation of Part One won the European Poetry Translation Prize. Here he again imitates the varied verse-forms of the original, and provides a highly readable - and actable - translation, supported by an introduction, full notes, and an index of classical mythology.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Yale University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300068263, 0300068255

 

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