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Faust

(Goethe's Faust #1-2)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  29,896 ratings  ·  1,277 reviews
Goethe’s Faust reworks the late medieval myth of a brilliant scholar so disillusioned he resolves to make a contract with Mephistopheles. The devil will do all he asks on Earth and seeks to grant him a moment in life so glorious that he will wish it to last forever. But if Faust does bid the moment stay, he falls to Mephisto and must serve him after death. In this first pa ...more
Paperback, 503 pages
Published January 31st 1998 by Anchor Books (first published 1832)
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Robin Goodfellow It is, indeed, a play.

However, there are textual aspects that simply could not be conveyed short of having an added narrator reading stages directions…more
It is, indeed, a play.

However, there are textual aspects that simply could not be conveyed short of having an added narrator reading stages directions aloud.

As I was reading, it did strike me that these elements were interesting -- showing the author was aware that one would have to be reading the play to give any purpose to the inclusion of certain parts (albeit rather small parts).

I'll also add, that it would make for a strange and awkward play, taken in it's totality. Part 2 is a psychadelic trip in many ways.(less)

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Roy Lotz
Student:
Hey Professor, I could use a hand,
I just read a play I didn’t understand.

Professor:
And what was this play, pray?

Student:
Faust, the one you assigned the other day.
I simply can’t wrap my mind around it;
I read it carefully, but I am left confounded.

Professor:
I have, alas, studied philosophy,
Literature, history, and poetry.
I have some time that I can set aside;
So I will do my best to be your guide.

Student:
Gosh, thanks! So where should I start?
I suppose at the most conspicuous part:
The langua
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Faust is a tragic play in two parts by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, usually known in English as Faust, Part One and Faust, Part Two. Although rarely staged in its entirety, it is the play with the largest audience numbers on German-language stages. Faust is considered by many to be Goethe's magnum opus and the greatest work of German literature.
عنوانها: فاوست؛ تراژدی فاوست و زندگینامه یوهان ولفگانگ فن گوته؛ نویسنده: گوته؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: یازدهم ماه آوریل سال 1
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust is a tragic play in two parts usually known in English as Faust, Part One and Faust, Part Two. Although rarely staged in its entirety, it is the play with the largest audience numbers on German-language stages. Faust is considered by many to be Goethe's magnum opus and the greatest work of German literature.

عنوانها: فاوست؛ تراژدی فاوست و زندگینامه یوهان ولفگانگ فن گوته؛ نویسنده: گوته؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه آوریل سال 1991 میلاد
...more
Luís C.
I hesitated prior to posting my opinion. This work was deeply upset. Yet this appearance so common text: A wager between God and Mephistopheles, the Doctor Faust will be the target, is aptly brilliant!

Many concepts are echoed in today's society, to believe that Goethe was a visionary. The dialogue is so rich in meaning, at every rereading a hidden meaning appears.
This work of a lifetime seems to have the same playing time a human life: the beginning takes time to define himself, everything falls
...more
Aubrey
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'

-Percy Bysshe Shelley, 'Ozymandias'

Wer immer strebend sich bemüht,
Den können wir erlösen.
("Who ever strives with all his power,
We are allowed to save.")

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust
In Faust, the name of the game is passion. Passion for learning, passion for love, passion for life in all its forms and facets. The deprivation of passion by the slow grind of facts and figures and hypocrisy, the boons of inherit
...more
Chris_P
Here I am, a speck of flesh and bones in the vast ocean of time, rating and attempting to review this timeless masterpiece of classic literature. I guess artists are doomed to be eternally judged by those to whom their work is exposed, even centuries after their time. You think Goethe even imagined that after two and a half centuries a Greek nobody would "not-talk" about his Faust in a "non-place" called internet? I know I may be getting a bit weird here but hey, I just read Faust. What did you ...more
Bradley
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-shelf, fantasy
Yep, it's actually epic fantasy. Don't let the stage actors or the music and the poetry fool you. There's demons, vast battlefields, an epic battle for one's soul with TWO WHOLE HOSTS fighting, and, of course, there's that thing about the toothpick and getting Helen of Troy pregnant.

The original is in German. There MIGHT be something in that. An interesting story. Or perhaps Goethe was one hell of a weird artist.

Actually, scratch that, he was. Like an opium dream.

Breakdown: I loved the poetry a
...more
Rebecca McNutt
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Faust has definitely inspired a great many other works of fiction. I still remember people complaining in the early 2000's (a complaint which had been going on since the 1980's) that the 2nd Care Bears film was supposedly referencing Faust and trying to introduce it to young children. It just goes to show how pervasive this work has become in not just history, but also contemporary pop culture. It was definitely an intriguing book to read through which works on a simple enough premise, but its v ...more
Teresa
Jan 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad I read this if only because my preconceptions of this work have been shattered. It's not loaded with philosophy, in fact there are hardly any abstruse passages. It's got a modern feel; according to Kaufmann's introduction, earlier (Victorian) translations are what made it seem not: I pictured Brecht puppets in many of the scenes. It's funny; humor runs almost throughout especially in the speech of Mephisto, who, of course, is more entertaining than Faust. The language can be colloquial ...more
Erik Graff
Feb 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: drama
Senior year at Grinnell College was an intellectual idyll. Days were spent studying in a private library cubicle, evenings working as a bartender at the college's pub, nights writing at my desk or reading abed. The primary bedtime books that year were the Kepler (in Latin and English), The Jerusalem Bible and Goethe's Faust. Faust was read aloud, partly because the translation was beautiful, partly because Part Two was so boring that reading it this way was necessary in order to stay awake. This ...more
Gabrielle Dubois
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 19th-century
I read Faust by Goethe, translated in French by Gérard de Nerval for two reasons:
The first is that when the young Gerard translated Faust, at the age of 19, in 1827, Goethe wrote to him a letter in which he said:
"I have never understood myself so well as by reading you!"
So, if Goethe better understood under the wonderful pen of Nerval, why would it be different from me?
The second reason is that I cannot read in German, obwohl ich ein wenig Deutsch spreche, lese und schreibe! 😊
And God! Goethe was
...more
Conor
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-plays
The first thing I have to mention before starting this review is that I had to punch in the edition information. In my experience I’ve only had to do that when working with a forgery, or a book that predates universal numbering.

This particular copy of Faust is neither, but rather a limited edition production of the “I’m too special to own paperbacks” sort of book from the Franklin Mint. It features gilded pages (possibly produced by a can of spray paint), a leather (or leather like) binding, a b
...more
Prickle
What does this all mean?

I have not been able to get this book out of my head. I very much like books such as Monte Cristo and Notre-Dame, but what good is it if they're forgotten the next instant? I often notice that (I am not French, so I will not condense this into a pretty aphorism that negates itself, useful as that often is in impressing the layman) for a lack of profundity in my day-to-day life I often try to attach unasked-for importance to the books I read, now by far my most cherished a
...more
Laura
Title: Faust

Author: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Illustrator: Eugène Delacroix

Translator: Albert Stapfer

Release Date: February 19, 2017 [EBook #54202]

Language: French

Produced by Laura N.R. & Marc D'Hooghe at Free
Literature (online soon in an extended version, also linking
to free sources for education worldwide ... MOOC's,
educational materials,...) Images generously made available
by the Gallica, Bibliothèque nationale de France.


Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

I made the proofing for Fre
...more
Chaunceton Bird
I get it, it's impressive. Any epic poem is an incredible feat of creativity and perseverance. But Lord have mercy, does anybody actually enjoy reading this?

Part I is a barely understandable tale of Faust, a former physician and current scholar, who suffers from discontent. So, he does what any one of us would do (if, of course, we were in his shoes) and sells his post-life soul to one of Satan's representatives. Eventually, Faust's actions end up causing the death of many. That much I could fo
...more
Caroline
This is a review of the Walter Arndt translation in the Norton Critical Edition.

This was a challenge, both in making myself tackle Part 2 as well as Part 1, and in choosing the most difficult of the translations that I have collected over the years. But this translation tries to hew as closely as possible to Goethe’s range of meters and rhyme, and I think diction, which I hope conveys Goethe’s art most closely. At the same time, the resulting English does not read easily, which means that I prob
...more
Katia N
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a great pleasure to read this. I have not enjoyed the work of classic as much since I've read The Divine Comedy earlier this year. The part of it might be because I've read it in Russian translation by wonderful Boris Pasternak, the poet and the Noble Prize winner for Doctor Zhivago. The poetry of the translation is exceptional.

I did not know that Faust was historical figure and he was the part of the German folklore for a long time before Goethe and his friends from the "Sturm und Drang"
...more
sologdin
The Dedication opens with a proclamation of radical absence: “what I possess seems far away from me, / And what is gone becomes reality” (ll. 31-32).

The Prelude puts a finer point on this absence, voicing several positions simultaneously on class struggle in “the surging rabble [das wogende gedrange]” (61) vs. “give reign to many-throated fantasy [lasst phantasie mit allen ihren choren]” (86) and “something for all classes” (98) vs. “do not forget for whom you write” (111). The absent masses, an
...more
Furrawn
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had forgotten just how incredible this book is... and how absolutely gorgeous the prose and verse are...

I found myself writing lines down to try and memorize...

Like this:

“When Nature's hand, in endless iteration,
The thread across the whizzing spindle flings,”

Gotta love Goethe.
Brett C
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tragedy
This is a re-read for me since I read excerpts of the first act in college. I enjoyed reading this and enjoyed the Walter Kaufmann translation. The concept of the devil, witchcraft, selling one's sole, and the downward spiral that follows such an ordeal has always intrigued me.

I tend to read the introduction and that was 56 pages of valuable information about the philosophical framework, characters, historical background, and analysis/explanations of various topics related to the book. Also the
...more
Khashayar Mohammadi
Goethe's Faust is as impressive as Walter Kaufman's masterful translation.
Manuel Antão
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

To Plug the Mighty Hole Withal: "Faust - First Part" by Goethe



(original review, 2004)


I’m planning on spending a few weeks on Goethe’s Faust in multiple translations and as much of the German as I can manage, supplemented by hundreds of pages of notes and commentary.

I first read the book while in high school in the totally un-annotated Bayard Taylor translation from Modern Library – one of the texts I’m currently reading. I’m still pret
...more
Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
So much has been written about this great work that I really have nothing to add to the conversation except the admittedly childish observation that when the characters narrate their sword fights it sounds hilariously sexual.

From page 349 of the Kaufman edition:

MEPHISTO: Unsheathe your toothpick, don’t delay;
Thrust out at him, and I shall parry.

VALENTINE: Then parry that!

MEPHISTO: Of course.

VALENTINE: And that.

MEPHISTO: All right.

VALENTINE: I think the Devil must be in this fight.
What could that
...more
Madly Jane
Well, I loved it. I loved it so much I read it twice, the second time annotating, and I spent so much time on it, I knew that I would not read as many books in 2016 as I wanted, because I spend all November and December writing.

Goethe is probably one of my favorite writers and thinkers. He did not invent Faust, but he reinvented him so well, that we will always think he created the myth. It's personal for me. I wonder what Shelley thought when he heard of it. I wonder how people of that time emb
...more
Paul D.  Miller
I hated, hated, hated this book. I liked the language and poetry of the translation I read. I hated the moral. Unreconstructed, unrepentant, gross, nihilistic Romanticism. This book is evil. It teaches that striving is what matters. “Whoever strives in ceaseless toil, him we may grant redemption,” says an angel at the conclusion, justifying Faust's salvation. Faust strives in seduction, fraud, war, debauchery, empire-building, and exploitation of nature. For this he is redeemed.

Apparently the b
...more
Mar
Jun 05, 2013 rated it liked it
"No joy could state him, and suffice no bliss!
To catch but shifting shapes was his endeavor:
The latest, poorest, emptiest Moment –this, –
He wished to hold it fast forever.
Me he resisted in such vigorous wise,
But Time is lord, on earth the old man lies.
The clock stands still–
" Mephistopheles.
Mohammed A. Osman
This contains both Faust part 1 and part 2 and its a play that was something special to read mostly because Goethe's prose was so poetic, great use of languge, words. That and its a very smart,classic in its use of ancient Greek,Roman myts,literature. It was never hard, challenging to read because the alliusions, references didnt feel forced, too abstract except early in Faust part 2. The first two acts of the second part was little harder to read and too much going on at once. That was the only ...more
Hoda Marmar
The dedication which introduces this amazing masterpiece is forever a favorite of mine. This is one of the very few books which I would be reading, stop, and reread from the start with each reread tugging at my heartstrings. I LOVE Faust! Especially the first 50 pages which i must have read a zillion time. I lent my book and they never returned it. Oh, misery! Now, Here's the introductory poem:

"Again you show yourselves, you wavering Forms,
Revealed, as you once were, to clouded vision.
Shall I at
...more
Dara Salley
May 11, 2014 rated it liked it
I didn’t know much about this epic poem, but I’ve always felt drawn to it. The vague impressions floating in my head included forces of evil, the devil, and the quest for wisdom against all consequences. It sounded right up my alley, so I wondered why I had had never gotten around to reading it before. I quickly discovered the reason, it’s a tough read. I’m not faint of heart when it comes to dense, philosophical literature, but this was quite a pill to swallow. I read it slowly, in chunks and t ...more
Artemis Slipknot
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really adore this book. I have nothing to say. Amazing!!!
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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

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Goethe's Faust (2 books)
  • Faust, First Part
  • Faust, Part Two

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