[E-pub] ♢ Faust. Eine Tragödie ⚔ Bunatime.co

Faust by Goethe was the very first book (apart from textbooks, of course) I ever put my hands on. It was assigned to me when I was in middle school for my Spanish class. I know it's a German play, but the teacher was encouraging us to read by asking the whole classroom to donate a book for the course, put it in a box with the others and then randomly pick up one of them each month — now that I think of it, the teacher should have payed more attention to the books we brought, since I don't think Faust was appropriate for a twelveyearold. I chose, however, this play by Goethe, having no idea what it was about. And, well, I remained so for twelve years more, since I never read more than ten pages perhaps, until four days ago that I finally got a copy of it. Unlike many readers I know, I didn't acquire my taste for literature and reading from an early age; I didn't grew up reading stories and I didn't ever feel like I was immersed in a magic world of fantastic creatures and rainbows — what some people claim literature is about. Instead, I got interested in such delightful activities for two main reasons. One of them was that I was a Radiohead fan in high school and there's this song based on Orwell's 1984, but I was told that it was based on Animal Farm (false), so I thought it would be a good idea to read it. The other reason is that by this same time I took a philosophy course and I remember I was so amazed by Plato's allegory of the cave that I finally decided I wanted to know more about life, and I thought books had the answers of the many questions I asked myself and everything I wanted to know; that within their pages I was going to find the answer. Now that I've read a little bit more, I've come to realize that literature is such a passionate and sublime art indeed, but it hardly provides answers and it actually makes you question more and more — which is great, don't get me wrong, for it makes you try harder to think for yourself — but I'd say one answer makes two more questions. In this everlasting search for meaning I found myself in Dr. Heinrich Faust, the main character in this poetic play. Even though, unlike him, I haven't studied philosophy, medicine and theology with ardent zeal, I do feel like a wretched fool. I think Goethe's point was to make an emphasis in this lack of something in human understanding and that no matter how hard we try there'll be always something greater than us that we won't be able to understand with our minds designed for only three dimensions, like Ivan Karamazov said. It's important to take into consideration the fact that Goethe did believe in God, that for him, God was this higher being that begot mankind; but he was not in favor of the way the Church was organized; and both, believes and disbelieves are brought up to discussion throughout the whole play. He believed, for instance, that God made the Universe perfect and so did the Angels believed; but that's when Mephistopheles, the fallen angel, enters the scene, asking for permission to say a word. He says the Universe isn't perfect since Man still feels miserable. Then he makes a wager with God upon Faust's soul, with arguments based on the book of Job, that is, that if Faust's life is changed by blow after blow of tragedy, he would stop being God's faithful son, though unlike the Biblical character, who at the end realises about God's highness, in this play Faust seems to be more and more miserable. Also, there's the fact that in Job the fallen angel didn't exactly hang out with him, like Mephisto did with Faust. Thus, when the man's life comes to an end, he on whose side Faust is, will keep his soul. Therefore, there are many converging points in both books, but they differ from each other.

So Faust is a very learned man who has studied everything that ever existed, and yet he still feels he's missing something about existence, something that isn't written down in those books and that perhaps cannot be put to words. He even struggles while trying to translate the word logos in the Gospel of Luke: "In the beginning was the Word". He wonders whether it was the deed instead of the word, because he feels that words, literacy, do not lit his soul the way perhaps a passionate deed would. He then expresses the words that have become famous because of their depth and their importance in this work: 'Two souls, alas, dwell in my breast, each seeks to rule without the other.' Thus, he begins to look beyond theories and tries something new: magic and alchemy. I don't want to get into specific details about the plot,  but there's a point when he summons the Earth Spirit, something that according to some sources, was Goethe's own contribution to his supernatural play, being no former record of such a spirit either in Christianity or in pagan mythology — I think for Goethe, the Earth Spirit represented an instance of God, like when Moses saw the brush burned in fire. And it's the Spirit who lowers this learned man to his human condition, making him aware of his delimited understanding. Faust, however, persists and trying to prove his godliness, he tries to commit suicide, when suddenly the the church bells ring and an angelic choir from above is heard, announcing Christ's resurrection. Later in the play, Faust finds a lost poodle and takes it home, when suddenly the animal reshapes into Mephistopheles, who unlike the Earth Spirit, makes the doctor believe he can achieve anything if he stays with him and serves him when his soul leaves his body; to which Faust answers that little does he care for the afterlife when all he wants is to actually feel he's living this life. The agreement is settled with blood.

"Gray, my friend, is every theory,
and green alone life's golden tree."

Then at a witch's place, Faust sees a beautiful woman in the mirror and he asks Mephisto to grant him the wish of possessing so beautiful a woman and after some mumbojumbo by the witch, he takes a potion of sorts to achieve his passionate goals. Then he meets Gretchen, also known as Margaret, and that's what Faust's misery gets worse — and even worse for Gretchen, who before meeting Faust and his horrid companion was such a pure creature that at first Mephisto does not think he can get her. Eventually Gretchen is persuaded by Faust enchantments — of course, gotten by such a supernatural aid — but as her passion towards Faust increases, misfortune falls upon her family, until the final disgrace comes, before which Faust is ushered by Mephisto to the  Walpurus Night: an exotic event hosted by witches and having paganism as entertainment — I guess it's like the Super Bowl for witches. Later, we find out that during this exotic and frightful evening, Gretchen lost her mind after his brother, murder by Faust's evil companion, called her a whore in his last adieu, so she drowns her baby, is taken to prison and given a death sentence. Faust blames Mephistopheles for distracting him at the Walpurus Night instead of taking him to save Gretchen. This is when I realised Goethe used Mephisto to point out the flaws of our minds, sometimes in earnest, sometimes in jest, like people's tendency to blame external, sometimes supernatural causes for their mistakes. Gretchen's given the chance to scape prison helped by her lover and his friend, but instead of going evil ways, she chooses what would seem as tragedy and condemnation to some, like Mephistopheles, but under the gaze of the Heavenly, she's saved, leaving an open door for Faust to go the same way and make the right decision. I'm afraid Goethe wrote the second part until the last year of his life. The redirection of Margarete's path was perhaps inevitable once she entered Faust's toxic influence, but in the end she had the chance to choose either condemnation or salvation, and perhaps that's Goethe's main point: to remark virtue through iniquity. It works similarly, perhaps, as Milton did in his Paradise Lost. As a matter of fact, like the latter took the epic poems as notary influence, Shakespeare had the same kind of impact with the author of Faust — nonetheless, his gift and his technique stand on their own.

This is a mustread classic and it is one of those books I call a literary delight. But all the subjects I've tried (perhaps unsuccessfully) to expose in this review are precisely the reasons why I don't think Faust is a good choice for a twelveyearold beginner. Not because of its difficulty, but I think as one grows older one has a better chance of appreciating Goethe's perfectly constructed verses, of having a different perspective upon all the sorrowful, theological, obscure and erotic points by him exposed. It's frightening yet beautiful; it's heavenly yet humane; it's a play and a poem. I'm not as learned as Doctor Faust, but I think I found in reading this book the kind of fervor he was looking for.

"I awake with horror in the morning,
and bitter tears well up in me
when I must face each day that in its course
cannot fulfill a single wish, not one!"

[Faust and the Earth Spirit. Illustrated by Goethe himself.] Preface & Notes
Translator's Note
The Writing of 'Faust'
Further Reading

Faust, Part I

Notes [E-pub] ♷ Faust. Eine Tragödie ⚆ Wielki Uczonywciąż Spragniony Wiedzy O Sensie Istnieniazawiera Pakt Z Diabłem Chce Absolutnego Poznania I Doskonałego Szczęściajeśli Zazna Chwili, O Której Powie „trwaj, Jesteś Piękna!” Szatan Będzie Mógł Wziąć Jego Duszę Do Piekła Mefistofeles Ochoczo Zgadza Się Na Towszak Sprawdzić Wiarę Fausta Pozwolił Mu Sam Bóg
Faust To Dzieło życia Goethego, Dramat O Możliwościach Ludzkiego Poznania I Sensie Istnienia świata I read Johann Goethe's Faust in English and partially in German during a college course many years ago. It had a huge impact on me as a person and me as a writer. Due to it being somewhat "out there," I held back a full 5 rating; however, I cannot stress how much this book makes you think. Beware, it's a little heavy on the literary side, but it's still worth a read, even if you just read the first portion. That said, 4 out of 5 stars...

Detailed Review(about 1/3 of a paper I wrote about it a few years ago)
When I first picked up Goethe’s famous masterpiece Faust, I was hesitant about reading it. I read Goethe’s work while lying on my bed a few hours before I went to sleep. My room was quiet because everyone else was already asleep. I was able to read and consciously take in the contents of the work. I generally don’t like to be told what literature to read; however, after reading through the Prologue in Heaven, I was intrigued by the plot of Faust. As I began reading the first part, I was a bit disturbed by the fact that it was not in prose, but that it was in poetical verse. I have never been a great fan of poetry as a genre of literature. Thus I had mixed feelings when it came to reading Goethe’s famous literary work Faust from the beginning.

I wanted to learn something from the story, as I do from all literature. Authors don’t just write for ‘no’ reason; they wish to accomplish something. I then strove to understand the reasons for the literary work’s existence. When I skimmed Faust for the first time, I tried to read it for pleasure, but it was a little too hard. I needed to stop and understand what as going on in each scene. However, I soon realized that I was able to place myself inside the text in several different ways. It was at this point that Faust actually appealed to me; I saw myself in the novel as the character of Faust, fighting against the devilish Mephistopheles. I have always struggled with wanting everything from material things to the admiration of others. As a man of flesh and blood, I naturally want great intelligence, power and love. I have always wanted to be number onea perfectionistjust like Faust.

So, while I was reading Faust, I was truly reading a biography of my own life, albeit on a much larger scale. I too have lost some faith in my religion, and I wonder if I will be saved; however, unlike Faust, at the time I read it, I had yet to want someone as much as he wanted Margaret (Gretchen). Maybe if I were under the devil’s spells like Faust was, I would have fallen just as hard for the woman. I do have the addictive personality that would lead me in the same direction as Faust. With all of this in mind, I read through the novel as though I were Faust. I took on his persona, argued with Mephistopheles, and wished that I had never been born in the end of the work. It is not easy to live a life completely free from the clutches of evil. When you are hopeless and in despair, you need help. Often, humans are not strong enough to recognize from whom they are getting help. Faust enabled me to foresee what would happen to me if I were subject to the devil’s influence.

Faust is a man worthy of my admiration. All throughout the book, both Faust and the actions he sought fascinated me. Like I said before, I felt as though I was reading or watching a movie of my own life. It was as though a dream had come true where I was able to align myself with the devil. The fears that I have in reality weren’t present enough in my dreams to stop myself from associating with some Mephistophelean devil. I was able to see what would happen if I took on the persona of evil incarnate turned into man. Faust enabled me to have an out of body experience where I could see what would happen to me if I became what I have always been curious about becoming: A devilinfluenced man.

Throughout the work of Faust by Goethe, I was able to live experiences vicariously. Faust enabled me to try things that I only dreamed about trying. I really felt as though I were reading a novel about myself. I think that this is why the Faustian theme has persisted throughout time; men (and women) everywhere have struggled within themselves fighting between good and evil to achieve their goals and desires. I am no different.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Faust is probably the most world known German poetry and translated in different languages, but can poetry be translated in a different language without loosing it‘s character and purpose?

Per definition poetry is literature that evokes a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience or a specific emotional response through language chosen and arranged for its meaning, sound, and rhythm.

I had a look at a englisch translation and depending on the translator, the writing still might have some rhythm, sound and meaning to it but you are not reading Faust.
Passages and words are translated incorrectly, in order to create a sound that doesn‘t resemble Goethe at all, but still offers a rhythm to the reader that flatters their own language. It‘s the translators original work. The characters motives, expressions and even the content of the story differ from what Goethe intended to express. It misses depth, it misses purpose, it misses meaning. I don‘t mean that as an accuse, but enlightenment.

I admire Goethe for his langue, it‘s what characterizes his abilities, it‘s the core and meaning of his expression. His words are chosen wisely, carefully picked, thought about for several years before he finished, they can‘t be replaced.

In honor of his work I therefore suggest to not read it in anything but German, or you‘re missing out on Faust in one way or another. Every language has their great poets, it‘s their home, it‘s where they belong. A summary:


Mephistopheles: Yeah,sure thing bro,but before you do that I want to take you to this weird pub,hook you up with a minor whom you'll knock up & make you attend a completely pointless annual witch ball.Sounds good?

Faust: You had me at "hook up with a minor",bro. If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

To Plug the Mighty Hole Withal: "FaustFirst 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 unannotated Bayard Taylor translation from Modern Library – one of the texts I’m currently reading. I’m still pretty fond of Taylor’s version – with some exceptions generally preferring him to Walter Arndt in the Norton Critical Edition. Taylor’s a relatively local boy – born in Kenneth Square, PA where the town library carries his name. Dear friend, all theory is gray, and green the golden tree of life.

What else to say? Towering as an archetype, akin to Hamlet, the Inferno and White Whalethis tale of pact has been absorbed into a our cultural bones, like an isotope. It is more telling to consider that I listened to Tavener while reading this. I recently gave Pandora a spin but found that I owned more Schnittke than was afforded by my"station" but if I leave such, will I miss those Penn Station ads?

I will say that I should've read my Norton critical edition, well actually, my wife's copythe one I bought for her in Columbus, Ohio ten years ago. I went with a standard Penguin copy and I'm sure many of the historic references were lost for me.

No one should consider that I regard Faust as emblematic of power politics in the US or a possible Brexit across the water. I'm too feeble for such extrapolation. Faust: First Part (Goethe's Faust #1), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Peter Salm (Translator)
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 Germanlanguage stages. Faust is considered by many to be Goethe's magnum opus and the greatest work of German literature.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز یازدهم ماه می سال 1991 میلادی
بخش نخست با مقدمه‌ ای در باب بهشت آغاز می‌شود. خداوند بنا به خواهش شیطان به او اجازه می‌دهد، تا درستی و راستی فاوست، خدمتگزار خدا را آزمایش کند. مفیستوفلس، با فاوست سالخورده معامله‌ ای می‌کند. اگر فاوست برای یک لحظه با این معامله موافقت کند، روح از تنش پرواز خواهد کرد. فاوست دوباره جوان می‌شود، و با مفیستوفلس به مسافرت می‌پردازد، تا از تمام لذایذ زمینی برخوردار گردد. در زمین عاشق دختر ساده‌ ای به نام مارگارت می‌شود، سپس به او خیانت می‌کند، و مسئول سقوط و مرگ او می‌شود. مفیستوفلس گمان می‌کند، که روح مارگارت را اسیر خواهد کرد، ولی صفای عشق او نسبت به فاوست و امتناع او از نجات یافتن از چنگال مرگ، سبب نجات او می‌شود. بخش نخست نمایش به پایان می‌رسد ولی فاوست هنوز در دنیای شهوات و هوس‌ها، آن لحظه پر شکوه هستی را که در آرزوی به چنگ آوردنش است، نیافته است...؛ ا. شربیانی Photobucket
First impression: Goethe could write his tuckus off. Rarely have I encountered prose that commingles in such bounty the trifecta of being, at once, gorgeous to the eye, imbued with passion and saturated with depth and meaning. Faust has all three and I was pulled into the seductive narrative from the momentous opening (wonderfully titled “Prologue from Heaven”) through the final dramatic climax.

I must briefly pause here to add a qualifier to my comments which relate to the version I experienced and not to my enjoyment of it.
Audible.com, usually a professional, high quality purveyor pulled a bit of a bamboozle on me in this case. I acquired the “unabridged” reading (by full cast) which came in at 4 hours in length. Now, that is just about right for Part 1 of Faust and so I thought I was in for a treat as I listened along with my own copy of the novel. Turns out, much to my chagrin, that the 4 hours was an “adaptation” of both Parts 1 and 2. Thus, as wonderful as the experience was, I did not get a chance to absorb all of the detail and nuances of the story.
I plan to read the complete Faust (Parts 1 and 2) in the future and will share my thoughts on the work as a whole at that time.
End sad story pause

So God, like a lonely parent maybe in need of a hug, allows Satan to throw a temptation Faust’s way to prove that the man is still “of the flock” in a scaled down, boilfree, version of the Book of Job. As my introductory quote illustrates, Faust is a brilliant scholar who has completed a study of all the world’s knowledge (and I thought I read a lot) and yet feels no wiser for the accomplishment. Feeling that there is more to existence than rote knowledge of the past (which echoes Goethe’s own belief in the primacy of emotion over reason) Faust longs for deeper meaning and understanding that is hidden from him. He becomes depressed and contemplating suicide (Goethe’s nonsubtle hint that Faust’s faith is more than a tad shaky allow the Devil "access" to him).

Faust is visited by Mephistopheles and offered a life of hedonistic excess and earthly pleasures as a means of gaining greater understanding of the universe. Photobucket
Faust, who apparently had never watched any episodes of The Twilight Zone, foolishly agrees and bargains away his soul. Faust will die and the Devil will win if Faust can ever be made to be “content” with a moment in his life.
If ever I lie down in sloth and base inaction, / Then let that moment be my end! / If by your false cajolery / You lull me into selfsufficiency, / If any pleasure you can give / Deludes me, let me cease to live! / I offer you this wager!"
From here the two take flight (literary) on a worldwind tour of debauchery and more debauchery. “Let's plunge ourselves into the roar of time, the whirl of accident; may pain and pleasure, success and failure, shift as they willit's only action that can make a man.”

Soon after this, we are introduced to Gretchen, the other main player in this tragedy, whose relationship with Faust will explore key issues of faith and redemption. It was this relationship that I thought received the shortest shrift in the adaptation that I listened to so I will leave further thoughts on this until I have experienced the complete work.

The language is gorgeous and drips emotion on almost every line. Some might think this falls too far into the realm of melodrama, but I loved it and found it vigorous and passionate. The end is wonderful with the necessary questions answered but certain larger queries left for us to contemplate.

A wonderful experience (abridged though it may have been) and one that I strongly encourage everyone to read.


P.S. I didn’t have a place to slide this into my review, but I wanted to share one last quote from the story, this one from the devil. He and Faust have begun their tour of vice and come across a coven of witches who don’t recognize the Prince of Lies.
"Do you know me now? Skinny, cadaverous bitch, / do you know your lord and master? Why don't I / Smash you to pieces, tell me why, / You and your apefamiliars? Must I teach / You some respect for my red doublet? What / Is this cock's feather, eh? My face / have I been hiding it? You learn your place, / Old hag! Am I to name myself or not?"
Good, good stuff.