From Library Journal
Brown (English, Univ. of Colorado) presents an original and thought-provoking interpretation of Goethe's masterpiece. Placing the work in the context of European romanticism, she first addresses the problematic nature of the genre and structure of Faust and then looks at its two parts in sequence. Her study illuminates the complex interconnection of Goethe's text with numerous other European works, demonstrating that Goethe consciously intended Faust to transcend the German national tradition. In her interpretation, Brown focuses on the coherence of the work as a whole, regarding Faust II as an extension and elaboration of what is implicit in Part I. Highly recommended to the specialist, and to students and scholars of literature in general. Ulrike S. Rettig, German Dept., Harvard Univ.
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"Brown has provided a fresh, significant reading of Goethe's masterpiece. . . . Her reading goes a long way toward explaining some of the most refractory aspects of the work, such as the nature of Mephisto, of magic and its purpose in the play, and the framed, puzzling Catholic imagery of the final scene of Faust, Part Two. The book is written in a lucid, lively, eminently readable style and succeeds in making the complex comprehensible."―Choice
"This is a major interpretation of Goethe's Faust, the most challenging and innovative one since Stuart Atkins's 1958 analysis, at least in English, if not in any language. The author accomplishes her goals well: to show that Faust belongs to the genre of non-Aristotelian, illusionist drama; to locate the work within the European literary tradition; and to pursue its epistemological concerns by taking it up scene by scene and act by act."―Journal of English and Germanic Philology
"This is a highly ambitious effort to provide a unified reading of Faust that will let the work speak to the modern reader―and it achieves this goal with remarkable success. Brown has given us a Faust for our time; she has also persuaded us that this is the Faust Goethe meant us to have."―Neil Flax, University of Michigan, Dearborn