Goethe's Faust

Goethe's Faust

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385031141
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/28/1962
Series: Anchor Literary Library Series
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 90,991
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 7.97(h) x 1.08(d)

About the Author

Before he was thirty, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had proven himself a master of the novel, drama, and lyric poetry. But even more impressive than his versatility was his unwillingness ever to settle into a single style or approach; whenever he used a literary form, he made it something new.Born in 1749 to a well-to-do family in Frankfurt, he was sent to Strasbourg to earn a law degree. There, he met the poet-philosopher Herder, discovered Shakespeare, and began to write poetry. His play Götz von Berlichingen (1773) made him famous throughout Germany. He was invited to the court of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, where he quickly became a cabinet minister. In 1774 his novel of Romantic melancholy, The Sorrows of a Young Werther, electrified all of Europe. Soon he was at work on the first version of his Faust, which would finally appear as a fragment in 1790.In the 1780s, Goethe visited England and immersed himself in classical poetry. The next decade saw the appearance of Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, his novel of a young artist's education, and a wealth of poetry and criticism. He returned to the Faust material around the turn of the century and completed Part 1 in 1808.The later years of his life were devoted to a bewildering array of pursuits: research in botany and a theory of colors, a novel (Elective Affinities), the evocative poems of the West-Eastern Divan, and his great autobiography, Poetry and Truth. In his eighties he prepared a forty-volume edition of his works; the forty-first volume, published after his death in 1832, was the second part of Faust.Goethe’s wide-ranging mind could never be confined to one form or one philosophy. When asked for the theme of his masterwork, Faust, he could only say, “From heaven through all the world to hell”; his subject was nothing smaller.

Walter Kaufmann was a philosopher and poet, as well as a renowned translator of Friedrich Nietzsche. His books include Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, AntichristFrom Shakespeare to Existentialism, and Existentialism: From Dostoevsky to Sartre. He was a Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University, where he taught after receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1947 until his death in 1980. He held visiting appointments at many American and foreign universities, including Columbia, Cornell, Heidelberg, Jerusalem, and the Australian National University, and his books have been translated into Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

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Goethe's Faust 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Without a doubt, Faust is one of the greatest plays ever written, shown in the numerous modern day rewrites of it. The crafty devil,Mephistopheles, is perhaps one of the most interesting characters in literature. If you enjoy classic plays, but not the complex prose of such as Shakespeare, then this book is for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
­ ­Faust is a play that was written over a century ago but still has much relevance to today's society. From Dr. Faust's moral dilemma to his unquenchable ambition, many of the topics addressed are of problems alive and well today one need only to look to schools to see students working like mad to see unquenchable ambition, and one may look to common living to see moral dilemmas in our society. Because of this, readers should be able to connect to the characters quite easily. This allows for a more involved and emotionally active read. Because this is vital for any work of fiction to be successful, Faust is a very good read. One possible complaint that readers may have is the somewhat hard to understand language. However, this language actually adds the atmosphere of the play it is not too hard to understand while adding in much flavor that would be lost in the translation to common speech. Although reading the script to Faust was interesting, it would be much better to present it as a play as it was meant to be. One misses many nuances when reading: the expression on the faces of the characters, the inflections of voices, and the body language between characters. Overall, Faust is an excellent read if one is prepared to apply one's mind wholeheartedly. The language is somewhat hard and emotionally involving, but one may take out much meaning from it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this play. Part 1 was great, and Part 2 didn't make much sense, but if you read it twice it gets better. A great play, and I highly recommend reading it.
bo do More than 1 year ago
Tired of a normal everyday life doing normal things? Simply just make a deal with the devil, for entertainment and pleasure comes after. Take Faust for example, he made a deal with the devil and agreed to give his soul up after death to serve Mephistopheles, AKA the devil, in hell. Reading about a man who has given up on a normal life to have the devil, Mephistopheles, be his servant as they go on a wild ride through life and to death was pretty amusing. The play was enjoyable with crazy scenarios and questionable activities. It was intriguing, as I saw just what Faust wanted and how we was going to even get it. Of course, some scenes were a bit on the weird and I-don’t-want-to-even-go-there side, but even so, this story was something else. While reading the play was kind of confusing especially with the language involved. However, we also watched the play as well, to further our understanding of what was going on amiss the chaos. The play showed just how far a man will go if he a man could have these powers. I find the character Faust to be very pitiful, yet magnificent. He is well educated by the books in not just one category, but in many, he even tries magic of all things because he has studied so much. It is a bit odd that he has so much knowledge and yet he is miserable. He doesn’t find anything that really keeps him afloat, so he just drowns in his misery of boredom and depression. I find this a bit odd, people usually study and become well educated to pursue something at the very least. However this is not the case for Faust, instead he becomes well educated just to be well educated. Though Faust was a little weird and a bit confusing around the edges it was a good play.
johnson ko More than 1 year ago
Reading about a man who has given up on a normal life to have the devil, Mephistopheles, be his servant as they go on a wild ride through life and to death was pretty amusing. The play was enjoyable with crazy scenarios and questionable activities. It was intriguing, as we saw just what Faust wanted and how we was going to even get it. Of course, some scenes were a bit on the weird and I-don’t-want-to-even-go-there side, but even so, this story was something else.
keylawk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Faust is undoubtably the greatest creative piece of written art in existence. In it Goethe explores the many levels of existence on spiritual as well as psychological. It may be a metaphor as well for the human disposition. We crave something greater then we have, leading to treachery, dishonestly, lust and greed. Thus we are thrown into a pyschological hell of paranoia and defense mechanisms, which ultimately drain our life energy and capacity to enjoy life and tolerate our mind. From a peaceful being who enjoys silence, we are taking a ride with Mephistopeles to hell. Be a good person!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story of the Faust is one of simplistics woven into a complex stream of poetry. Although hard to follow at some points, Goethe creates the air of the devil, lust, and despair as the journey of Faust runs from his lonely abode to his lover's jail cell. 'Faust' is a nice quick read that doesn't sacrifice any literal or thematic qualities.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have just read it and I can say that this is one of my favourite books.It`s genious and nothing else can be said.I loved Mefistofel very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Completely unreadable
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't quite get it. I don't think that many of the rhymes were in order. The whole flow reminded me of someone skipping along whistling a song. I wish I would have checked this out of the library instead of using my own money.