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

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  34,904 ratings  ·  557 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, 432 pages
Published July 1st 1988 by Bantam Classics (first published 1787)
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Stephen
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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...more
Sophia
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...more
Jimmy
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
Duffy Pratt
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
Michelle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Darwin8u
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.
Terry Clague
'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...more
Blake
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...more
Christopher
Not since watching Breaking Bad have I been so enthralled by a man's descent into depravity.
أحمد شاكر
فاوست الأول

ـ الاستهلال المسرحي:
ويجري الحوار في هذا الاستهلال المسرحي (لفاوست) بين الشاعر من جهة وبين مدير المسرح والشخص المرح من جهة أخري. ويطلب هذان الآخيران إلي الشاعر أن يؤلف مسرحية ترضي ذوق الجمهور كيما يزداد دخل المسرح من المال، بينما الشاعر يشيح بوجهه عن هذا الاتجاه المادي.
الافتتاح في السماء:
وفعلا تبدأ مسرحية (فاوست) لجيته من السماء، وهي الوحيدة من بين المسرحيات التي تدور حول فاوست وتبدأ من السماء. ذلك لأن الفكرة الرئيسية التي جعلها جيتة محورا لتصوره لمأساة فاوست هي فكرة الرهان بين الله و...more
Patrick Gibson
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...more
Doug
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...more
Sans
Ok. I get that this an important novel. It's full of metaphors and meaning and humor (of a sort) and blahblahblah. Just...seriously? No. Just no. I liked the idea, the Faustian myth. This...was not a thing I liked. I mean, what did Mephistopheles even show Faust other than drunken composers, an underaged girl (TOTAL. CREEPER. PEDOPHILE.), and some weird party for witches on a mountain? How is that searching for knowledge? How does that help Faust crack the mysteries of the metaphysical? How does...more
Ivana
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
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1488893.html

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...more
Qt
I thought I was getting the whole "Faust" from the book I got from the library, but it turned out to only be the first part. Oh well!
I quite enjoyed it, and plan on reading the second part sometime too. At times I was not 100% clear about what was going on, but I think audiences of the day wouldn't have had that problem. Very interesting and engaging work! It would be really neat to see it performed.
Amr iori

أقوى و أجمل مسرحية كتبت حتى الان - من وجهة نظرى ..

جــوتة كاتب موهوب قدر يوصل صورة الأنسان اللى جواة الخير والشر جنبا الى جنب ..
عن طريق أختيارة لشخصية حقيقة وهى شخصية فاوست الساحر الألمانى وأستاذ اللاهوت المسيحى , وصراعة مع مفستوفيلس رمز الشيطان و قوى الظلام على الأرض ..

فى قالب رومانسى كلاسيكى - ودى المدرسة المميزة لجوتة ولمعظم الكتاب الألمان فى الفترة دى ..
Bogdan
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
Daniel Pecheur
My favorite work of literature ever written. I absolutely love Goethe's Faust I; it is definitely the most sublime and inspiring work of literature in my mind. I think that the story of Dr. Faust alone is fascinating, but the version created by the German Romantic Goethe, whose genius can only be rivaled by Shakespeare, perhaps, is by far the most excellent, widely surpassing the play of Marlowe. My favorite quote from literature is in the monologue between Faust and his friend Wagner in Act I w...more
Paula
Goethe’s masterpiece recasts the ancient legend of Doctor Faustus. Faust is the representation of the Romantic imagination in all its aspiration and anxiety.
Faust is ever testing the limits of possibility – his reach exceeds his grasp. However, this desire for the sublime involves constant danger of narcissism.
The prologue to Faust is modeled on the book of Job. Here, Mephistopheles (the Devil) bets with God that he can deflect Faust from his desire and aspiration for experience with earthly p...more
Chory
Jul 06, 2009 Chory rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Scholars, Werd Nerdz
Shelves: read-for-school
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cameron
"Faust" is a story about a very successful scholar(Faust) who is unsatisfied with life and decides to make a deal with the devil for unlimited knowledge and worldy pleasures. He makes this deal with Mephistopheles(a demon) and the agreement is that Meph will be his servant on Earth and at the very moment he experiences "true happiness" he shall die and be cast to hell to serve the Devil. This is one of my favorite pieces of literature. Faust is a very relatable character due to the fact that he...more
Shemlah Shamiyn
Reading "Faust" by Goethe and I realize that there isn't much that has changed from those times of the 17th century. In "Faust" the women are depicted as helpless damsels in distress that are susceptible to men seducing and conquering them in a sexual way. The relationship between the male and women are only reflective of the modern day cat and mouse chase for the sexual conquest of women. The all knowing Devil, Mephistopheles, warns Faust of his hypocrisy. He helps Faust realize all that he did...more
Sophia
Okay, so, um, there's a lot to say about this one. I feel a bit overwhelmed, because I read it in the past few hours (it's faster than you'd think).

First, the usual: I had to read this for ENG150Y1, The Literary Tradition, and with this work our studies come to a close, as it's our final work this year. Isn't that exciting? There's so much to tie to our older texts. We have the same kind of manipulation Prospero did in Meph's own work, but the latter is, well, the devil, and Prospero uses these...more
Jim Coughenour
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
Arto Marashelian
this book is a treasure and a very rare treasure..
i read most of the pages twice to satisfy my eyes with those words ..(lets not forget the big work the translator made) ** David Luke **
in my opinion the award of greatest translation of any work should go to David Luke he deserve it.
mmmm what else should i write ... inspiring, you can live the moment both in tragedy and thrilling situation..
the ending of the part one WOW i will run to the libraries to search for the second part ** i hope i can...more
David
I can identify with Faust - "I love those who yearn for the impossible" - and think there's something of him in all of us, but it seldom gets the chance to express itself. I love the stage direction to Act 1 - "Faust in his study, restless". I like him have often felt I've finally arrived at some understanding through the accumulation of knowledge, only to discover that it was a burst bubble of sophistry and illusion, or else just another ridge on the lower slopes and not the peak I'd imagined....more
Helen
This Kindle edition contains only part I, but it says nowhere that the other one is missing. Even worse, it's not available. Same thing with most of the other free editions, including the one on Project Gutenberg, illustrated and not. Be careful. If it ends with (view spoiler) Now, this edition has a very good foreword, but it doesn't make up for this. Maybe the old editions that are public domain only had part I for whatever reasons...more
Erica
The story of Faust is so compelling: selling one's soul to the devil get what one wants. Goethe's version of the medieval German myth/folktale makes this exchange somewhat ambiguous - what is Faust selling and what does he get out of it? It's not quite clear. Meanwhile, the devil's magic is not terror-filled or imposing. He's just a dude with snarky comments who wants to cause trouble. There is tragedy, characters that appear once and never again, scenes that seem a bit out of place with the mai...more
Blake Nelson
Kind of a mess, really but full of great stuff. Faust himself never really comes clear as a character, not to me at least, but the Germans of the time, all knew of him already, and were familiar with the "legend of Faust", so I guess you had to be there.

Really fun and readable though. And sexy! And not hard to understand at all, as you might think. Great translation, I think, though I haven't read the others.

Well worth the time. I saw the silent movie before, and read the wiki article, so I didn...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...
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