Clayton's Reviews > Faust: First Part

Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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's review
Aug 14, 2012

it was amazing
I own a copy

For me to write a review of Faust is a little unfair to the rest of you, since Part I of it is, without exception, my favorite book of all time. I'm not sure how many times I've read it, but every time I do, I love it a little more. Margaret is the single most lovably tragic character ever written, and Faust is always forgivable, despite all the terrible things he does to her. Like Elective Affinities, Faust is a study in action and consequence, in this case, the consequences of wish-fulfillment. Where Marlowe's Dr. Faustus turns the Faust character into a childish prankster and never approaches actual tragedy, Goethe goes in the completely opposite direction, making Faust a simple seeker after happiness, who makes bad decisions based on tainted information. His tragedy lies in the fact that he never has a chance at true happiness, despite being given everything he asks for.

Faust Part II is dense, long, heavy, and philosophically rich, but never approaches the brilliance of Part I's simplicity. Read it once. Read Part I over and over and over again forever.

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