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Faust: First Part (Goethe's Faust #1)

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  43,638 Ratings  ·  689 Reviews
Goethe’s masterpiece and perhaps the greatest work in German literature, Faust has made the legendary German alchemist one of the central myths of the Western world. Here indeed is a monumental Faust, an audacious man boldly wagering with the devil, Mephistopheles, that no magic, sensuality, experience, or knowledge can lead him to a moment he would wish to last forever. H ...more
Paperback, German-English Edition, 327 pages
Published July 1st 1988 by Bantam Classics (first published 1808)
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Daniel Cheng Given that it's a translation of a work written in verse, different versions will be extremely different based on the translator's goals and…moreGiven that it's a translation of a work written in verse, different versions will be extremely different based on the translator's goals and competency. I'm currently reading the Oxford World Classics version by David Luke. I've heard that Walter Kaufmann's translation is good as well, but he abridged the second part and I wanted to read the entire text by the same translator.(less)
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First impression: Goethe could write his tuckus off. Rarely have I encountered prose that commingles in such bounty the trifecta of being, at once, gorgeous to the eye, imbued with passion and saturated with depth and meaning. Faust has all three and I was pulled into the seductive narrative from the momentous opening (wonderfully titled “Prologue from Heaven”) through the final dramatic climax.

I must briefly pause here to add a qualifier to my comments which relate to the version I experienced
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'v
Apr 19, 2016 Elisabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
I'm never sure how to rate classics. I enjoyed it okay, so I guess I'll give it a 3.75 stars. It's definitely not my favorite classic of all time, that's for sure.
Dec 03, 2013 Jimmy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
There's something discomforting about the vague moral convictions of Goethe's Faust character. One would assume, that even a scholar living in Goethe's time would find the typical preoccupations of Christian morality somewhat boring, if not basically delusional and overzealous. After all, the cacophony of self-doubt racing through his mind is not initially brought on by anything that resembles religious guilt. He's a man plagued by the hermetic stuffiness of a lifestyle of perpetual deep thought ...more
Oct 12, 2007 Sophia rated it it was amazing
Goethe’s Faust is a novel rich in metaphor, elaborate verse, imagery, depth, and meaning that not only employs symbolic characters and scenes, but also through such literary techniques weaves its main philosophy of striving and experience as mankind’s rightful path.

Ironically, Faust reveals his disapproval for books as a true source of knowledge in understanding the world; we must turn to life and living, and experience instead. I call this ironic because while he denounces books, Faust is a bo
Oct 01, 2015 Poncho rated it it was amazing
Faustby Goethe was the very first book (apart from textbooks, of course) I ever put my hands on. It was assigned to me when I was in middle school for my Spanish class. I know it's a German play, but the teacher was encouraging us to read by asking the whole classroom to donate a book for the course, put it in a box with the others and then randomly pick up one of them each month — now that I think of it, the teacher should have payed more attention to the books we brought, since I don't thinkFa ...more
Najla Hammad
Dec 30, 2014 Najla Hammad rated it it was amazing
من أجمل ماقرأت من المسرحيات ! تعد هذه المسرحية من أعظم الأعمال في الأدب الألماني.
عن فاوست العالِم الذي يحب أن يتعلم كل شيء (وهو بالمناسبة شخصية حقيقية ذكرت في كثير من القصص الأوروبية القديمة)، يتعاقد مع الشيطان على شرط ثم تحصل بعدها أحداث كثيرة ممتعة بنكهة شيطانية
الشيطان مفستوفيليس هنا حكيم ومضحك في أحيان كثيرة
كتب جوته الجزء الأول من المسرحية ثم تبعها بالجزء الثاني بعد أكثر من 20 سنة! لم اقرأ الجزء الثاني بعد، وأرجو أن يكون في مستوى الجزء الأول أو أفضل منه.
قرأتها بترجمة عبدالرحمن بدوي
Duffy Pratt
Feb 21, 2012 Duffy Pratt rated it it was ok
Who knew that this book, one of the most famous in literature, was actually two separate works that seem only slightly related? I certainly didn't. The first part is a fairly ordinary play that gets dunked in profundity through the inclusion of Mephistopheles. There are only a few main characters here, and there wasn't much depth to any of them. I've heard that the German is tremendously good, but it's impossible for me to judge. I switched back and forth in this part between two different trans ...more
Norah Una Sumner
A summary:


Mephistopheles: Yeah,sure thing bro,but before you do that I want to take you to this weird pub,hook you up with a minor whom you'll knock up & make you attend a completely pointless annual witch ball.Sounds good?

Faust: You had me at "hook up with a minor",bro.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Faust: First Part (Goethe's Faust #1), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Peter Salm (Translator)
Mar 21, 2014 Christopher rated it it was amazing
Not since watching Breaking Bad have I been so enthralled by a man's descent into depravity.
May 17, 2015 Sookie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, translated
Tricksters make this world...

Lord to Mephisto: "And never come but finding fault always? Never a thing on earth gives you content?"

The first conversation between the Lord and Mephisto begins with Mephisto's discontentment towards people in earth. He cannot understand the disparity between humans. The discontentment isn't really a discontentment but inability to accept the things the way they are. Isn't that ambition all about? He doesn't say that out loud but its given to him as an answer by the
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I am not sure why I liked this book so much but I did. IT is difficult to read and hard to understand but still enjoyable. I am currently reading the second part and both parts are for German Literature Course :D
Jan 03, 2013 Darwin8u rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Sitting on the shelf with the children of Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton and Coleridge, Goethe's Faust is amazing in its poetry and depth. There are parts of this play/poem which seem to capture the whole drama of Man's fall and redemption within a single rhyming couplet. David Constantine's translation modernizes this amazing piece of High German lit, but George Madison Priest's translation seems, at least to me, to have a more seductive flow and more tempting poetry.

Philosophy, blasphemy, sorcery, seduction, murder and orgy–oh my!

So at the roaring loam of time
I weave the godhead’s living garment.

I didn’t have the kind of education in which this book was required reading - not that I ever really bothered to read whatever was required anyway. And failing to remember “Goethe” in answer to an IQ question 10 years ago has ever since bothered me to some degree or another. But if such things were in the works to ensure that when I did read this book I would be mos





Terry Clague
Aug 08, 2011 Terry Clague rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'Through many a long day you'll be taught
That what you once did without thinking,
As easy as if it were eating or drinking,
Must be done in order: one! two! three!
But truly, this though factory of ours
Is like some weaver's masterpiece:
One treadle stirs a thousand threads,
This way and that the shuttles whistle,
Threads flow invisibly, one ... stroke
Ties a thousand knots .... The philosopher steps in
And proves to you it had to be so;
The first was so, the second was so,
And therefore the third and four
Oct 15, 2009 Blake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, poetry
I have read his Werther previously, so was familiar with his Sturm und Drang, but there he created a tragic hero, here it is something different.

Exquisite words conduce to exquisite generation, where (I'm reminded of Virgil) each word is child of that preceding and parent to the procession. It has the gravity of a great opera, the lucid and disturbed poignancy of a Shakespearean Lolita and chills more often than it warms.

Faust reaches into disheartening epistemology and other philosophic despair
Feb 05, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it
This was mostly confusing as hell. I'm usually a fast reader so I had to take pains to slow down and reread some of the pages to actually get a grip of all the ideas laid there. Needless to say it took me more than a month to finish reading this and even after that I still had to read it a second time just to be sure I understood everything. I love Goethe but I can't deny I had a few choice words for him while reading this book.
Mar 02, 2016 Lisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Had to read this for school.
I don't like dramas in general so no suprise I didn't like this one. I guess the story has some potential and I could've read worse dramas to analyse but in a nutshell: I did not enjoy this and would have never read it if it wasn't for school.
Aug 03, 2013 مهرداد rated it it was amazing
مردانی اندک شمار که چیزی دانسته اند و آنقدر دیوانه بوده اند که راز آنرا در درون دل نهفته ندارند ،کسانی که عواطف خود را و نظرات خود را بر توده ها کشف کرده اند، در هر عصری به صلیب کشیده و سوزانده شده اند.
فاوست - گوته
aPriL does feral sometimes
Apr 28, 2011 aPriL does feral sometimes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary
Brilliant. Cannot be read fast and cannot be read once. Definitely stopped me with cold shivers when the genius of the writing surprised me at my first reading. I had no idea if what was possible in writing until I started reading the Great Books. If the play of smart writing rings a bell within you, you have to read a good version of this.
Sidharth Vardhan
“Your suns and worlds are not within my ken,
I merely watch the plaguey state of men.
The little god of earth remains the same queer sprite
As on the first day, or in primal light.
His life would be less difficult, poor thing,
Without your gift of heavenly glimmering;
He calls it Reason, using light celestial
Just to outdo the beasts in being bestial.
To me he seems, with deference to Your Grace,
One of those crickets, jumping round the place,
Who takes his flying leaps, with legs so long,
Then falls to gr
Patrick Gibson
Apr 09, 2011 Patrick Gibson rated it it was amazing
Yah, I know... I need to add a 'Classic Literature' bookshelf. But... I am too busy reading (read: lazy).

Written in stages across the span of nearly sixty years, I agree with the wisdom of the ages that it is one of the greatest works of imaginative literature ever composed. Yet, while I think its relevance to a modern audience high, this work is not likely to receive much attention, let alone deep study, in America today, in the age of the Oprah book club, computer animated movies, reality tele
Jan 12, 2014 Bogdan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theatrum-mundi
Ah, master of poetry! These romantic writers are the poets I like most. And the translator, Ion Iordan, does a good job in bringing this masterpiece into Romanian. I did search a little bit and Ion Iordan is the pen name for Immanuel Weissglas, a Romanian poet of Jewish extraction that was born in Cernauti, a town that it is now part of Ukraine, but was historically part of Romania. It seems that he has translated some other works, all from German, but none of them that I have read, and also had ...more
My review:
Faust is the classic tale of man's introspection in his pursuit of life, where great wisdom brings greater bruden. Finished in 1832, this 'closet drama' has a gothic style with all advantages of Elizabethan inspiration from the likes of Shakespeare and every scientific, religious, philosophical, achaeological... engineering down to the kitchen sink available to him. Really--if you're the type who likes to look into your authors, Goethe is a fascinating genius of a man. Like most people
Dec 07, 2011 Ivana rated it liked it
Impressive poetic power...I wish that I could say that I was as impressed by the content as I was with the form, but I cannot. The myth of Faust has a great potential, and I do not think Goethe succeded in realising its full potential. It may be that my expectations for Faust were raised too high. I have not enjoyed it as much as I excpected to. Nevertheless, I cannot say that I did not like it. Maybe it is the influence of all the other versions of this legend that I have read that stopped me f ...more
Nicholas Whyte
Aug 07, 2010 Nicholas Whyte rated it did not like it

It really took me ages to grind through this, and I'm not sure that it was worth it. Rather ambitiously I got hold of the Wordsworth edition which includes not only Part I and Part II of Faust, but also an earlier draft of Part I (the Urfaust) just in case you are sufficiently interested to know what the original version might have looked like.

Part I is the more digestible version (and the Urfaust even more so). Heinrich Faust, a scholar who is trying to
Jim Coughenour
Oct 24, 2012 Jim Coughenour rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I don't read German – a lack, I suspect, that is irremediable when it comes to appreciating Goethe. I tried to read the Kaufmann Faust many years ago and could not get into it. So this time around I read determinedly in two translations, this one by David Luke as well as the more free-ranging Yale translation by Martin Greenberg. (To my surprise, I preferred Luke's version: it seemed to better capture the action and ironies of the poem.) As I read, I also referred to Nicholas Boyle's commentary, ...more
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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer. George Eliot called him "Germany's greatest man of letters... and the last true polymath to walk the earth." Goethe's works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, theology, humanism, and science. Goethe's magnum opus, lauded as one of the peaks of world literature, is the two-part drama Faust. Goethe's other well-known literary works include h ...more
More about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe...

Other Books in the Series

Goethe's Faust (3 books)
  • Faust, Part Two
  • Goethe's Faust: Ein Fragment

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