- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; Fifth or Later Edition edition (December 4, 1962)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385031149
- ISBN-13: 978-0385031141
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 106 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Goethe's Faust Paperback – December 4, 1962
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"Luke demonstrates a rare genius in his translation: he maintains essential meaning, retains meter, and recreates rhyme.... As far as his introduction is concerned, it is a marvel of lucid exposition."--The German Quarterly
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Text: English, German (translation)
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This book is truly a bargain at Amazon's price. I would highly recommend it to any English/German bilingual individuals who have never read Goethe's "Faust." It is a highly academic and poetic work of literature. Interested parties/readers should not ignore the opportunity to indulge in Goethe's most famous and extensive poetic creation.
Goethe introduces a very different God and Satan than what Marlowe had in mind, even though he works within a commonly accepted Christian theological framework. (MacLeish's J.B. seems in retrospect to be highly derivative from Goethe's Faust -- but still a good read in its own right, nonetheless.)
The facing translation is a great way for any English speaker to widen his or her German vocabulary.
Goethe's "Faust" is arguably the most important milestone in Romantic literature. Taking the famous medieval legend of Dr. Faustus and his pact with the devil, Goethe adapted the tale of old, and transformed it into a great love story, and a probing poetical tract on the nature of good and evil, salvation and damnation, failing and striving, the innate search for truth and lasting fulfilment.
Part One (first published 1808) features Faust's disgust with his life and the world at large, and attempting to unite with the Spirit of creation and soar above the petty corporality of earth, the proud old scholar is dashed to the ground, for he must first work his salvation out on earth by the sweat of his brow before he can be admitted into the presence of the Deity. In desperation, Faust tries to commit suicide, but then makes a wager with the devil: if Mephistopheles can show him that one moment of bliss he is searching for and succeeds in persuading him to cease all his human striving for that one moment, then his soul is forfeit. The devil agrees to the wager, grants Faust the gift of youth, and the adventures begin. He meets young Margareta and falls in love, a romance that leads to tragedy for the innocent maiden.
David Luke's award-winning translation is one of the best I have read. While the rhythms do jar on occasion, this does not take away from the `flow' of this rendition. There will always be discrepancies when a text is taken out of its original language in any case, so it is more constructive to concentrate on the `readability', this translation succeeds in portraying the mood of Goethe's text and the personalities of his vibrant characters. In some instances, it may be argued the translation is too modern, for example, lines [2065 -2070] when Mephistopheles prepares his magic flying cloak for their journey to a new life of youthful debauchery:
"One merely spreads one's cloak--you'll find
It give us aerial elevation.
Though, please, this bold step for mankind,
I'll set the burners going, heat some air, and lo!
We travel light, the earth lies far below."
Did Neil Armstrong land on the moon in Goethe's time? Of course not, but Luke's witty lines humorously displays Mephistopheles' rakish personality and has become one of my personal favourites in this English edition.
The book features an informative introduction on Goethe's biography and the composition of Part One and includes a graph displaying how he edited and added to the scenes until he arrived at the text we know today. There is also a select bibliography, a general chronology of Goethe's life and career, and helpful explanatory endnotes for those who wish to study the details of the text more thoroughly. For "Urfaust" scholars, Luke highlights the lines that were part of Goethe's early draft.
E.A. Bucchianeri, author of ...
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Alles kann der Edle leisten, Der versteht und rasch ergreift. 
Anything can be accomplished by a noble who understands and acts...Read more