Faust

Front Cover
Doubleday, 1990 - Drama - 503 pages
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. Here, in "Faust," "Part 1," the tremendous versatility of Goethe's genius creates some of the most beautiful passages in literature. Here too we experience Goethe's characteristic humor, the excitement and eroticism of the witches' Walpurgis Night, and the moving emotion of Gretchen's tragic fate.

This newly revised edition, which offers Peter Salm's wonderfully readable translation as well as the original German on facing pages, brings us "Faust" in a vital, rhythmic American idiom that carefully preserves the grandeur, integrity, and poetic immediacy of Goethe's words.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - trilliams - LibraryThing

Do most people even know the second act exists? That changes everything. Also the Germans get to call him Mephistopheles, which is way better than Mephisto. Someday I'll read the left side of this book, I swear. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - josmith16 - LibraryThing

Very enjoyable book. Mephistopheles is a very interest character and represents the devil very well. The lies are weaved wonderfully. As he enacts the deception on Faust. The flow in a poetic style make the book very fascinating and added to the flavor of Mephistopheles. Read full review

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About the author (1990)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born in Frankfurt am Main. He was greatly influenced by his mother, who encouraged his literary aspirations. After troubles at school, he was taught at home and gained an exceptionally wide education. At the age of 16, Goethe began to study law at Leipzig University from 1765 to 1768, and he also studied drawing with Adam Oeser. After a period of illness, he resumed his studies in Strasbourg from 1770 to 1771. Goethe practiced law in Frankfurt for two years and in Wetzlar for a year. He contributed to the Frankfurter Gelehrte Anzeigen from 1772 to 1773, and in 1774 he published his first novel, self-revelatory Die Leiden des Jungen Werthers. In 1775 he was welcomed by Duke Karl August into the small court of Weimar, where he worked in several governmental offices. He was a council member and member of the war commission, director of roads and services, and managed the financial affairs of the court. Goethe was released from day-to-day governmental duties to concentrate on writing, although he was still general supervisor for arts and sciences, and director of the court theatres. In the 1790s Goethe contributed to Friedrich von Schiller ́s journal Die Horen, published Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, and continued his writings on the ideals of arts and literature in his own journal, Propylšen. The first part of his masterwork, Faust, appeared in 1808, and the second part in 1832. Goethe had worked for most of his life on this drama, and was based on Christopher Marlowe's Faust. From 1791 to 1817, Goethe was the director of the court theatres. He advised Duke Carl August on mining and Jena University, which for a short time attracted the most prominent figures in German philosophy. He edited Kunst and Altertum and Zur Naturwissenschaft. Goethe died in Weimar on March 22, 1832. He and Duke Schiller are buried together, in a mausoleum in the ducal cemetery.

Walter Kaufmann was born in Freiburg, Germany in July 1, 1921. He arrived in the United States at the age of 17 and became a citizen in 1944. He received a B.A. degree from Williams College in 1941 and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1947. During World War II, he served in the United States Army from 1943-1946. He was a member of the philosophy department at Princeton University from 1947-1980. He was a philosopher, translator, poet, and photographer. His first book, a critical study of Nietzsche, was published in 1950. His other works include Critique of Religion and Philosophy, From Shakespeare to Existentialism, The Faith of a Heretic, Tragedy and Philosophy, Without Guilt and Justice, Religions in Four Dimensions, and Man's Lot. He died on September 4, 1980 at the age of 59.

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