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About Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (/ˈgɜː(r)tə/; German: [ˈjoːhan ˈvɔlfɡaŋ ˈɡøːtə] ( listen); 28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him exist. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August in 1782 after first taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe served as a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, and implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena. He also contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace, which in 1998 were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by Joseph Karl Stieler [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
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Faust, a scholar, finds himself in the midst of despair, realizing that his worldly pursuits and studies have been a farce. It’s then that he makes a pact with Mephistopheles, who promises to serve Faust, grant his every wish, and give him purpose again—a virtual heaven on earth. There’s just one catch: upon Faust’s death, it will be he who will serve—in hell.
In one of the greatest works of German literature, Goethe explores the human need for meaning and the desire for power over one’s own fate, regardless of the consequences.
AmazonClassics brings you timeless works from the masters of storytelling. Ideal for anyone who wants to read a great work for the first time or rediscover an old favorite, these new editions open the door to literature’s most unforgettable characters and beloved worlds.
Revised edition: Previously published as Faust, Part One, this edition of Faust, Part One (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.
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“Greenberg has accomplished a magnificent literary feat. He has taken a great German work, until now all but inaccessible to English readers, and made it into a sparkling English poem, full of verve and wit. Greenberg's translation lives; it is done in a modern idiom but with respect for the original text; I found it a joy to read.”—Irving Howe (on the earlier edition)
Faust Parts I & II - Goethe. A translation into English by A. S. Kline with illustrations by Eugène Delacroix.
Goethe’s two-part dramatic work, Faust, based on a traditional theme, and finally completed in 1831, is an exploration of that restless intellectual and emotional urge which found its fullest expression in the European Romantic movement, to which Goethe was an early and major contributor. Part I of the work outlines a pact Faust makes with the devil, Mephistopheles, and encompasses the tragedy of Gretchen, whom Faust seduces. Part II, developed over a long period of Goethe’s later life, reflects Goethe’s own transition from a predominantly Romantic to a wider world-view and explores more extensive themes, including the values of the Classical past, as it moves towards the work’s resolution.
The protagonist, Faust, is presented in a complex manner, and Goethe’s treatment of the subject matter raises ethical and spiritual issues, many of which are not resolved within the drama itself. Goethe’s stress is on Faust’s striving towards the good, and on the nature of human error, rather than on the traditional Christian view of sin and redemption, and the play’s opening sections and its conclusion can be seen as humanist allegory or metaphor rather than an expression of orthodox religious belief. It is left to the reader to draw their own conclusion about Faust’s everyman character, and the extent to which he earns his ultimate spiritual salvation.
The play had an enormous influence on later German thought and literature, and together with his lyric poetry has ensured Goethe’s place among the great European writers.
Published by Poetry in Translation.
This edition includes Part I and Part II of this epic play. The story of Faust, an audacious man boldly wagering with the devil, Mephistopheles. 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.
Part of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Great Books of the Western World set.
This book has 660 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1832.
As an old servant, as confidant, counsellor, manager, and housekeeper, Barbara assumed the privilege of opening seals; and this evening she had the less been able to restrain her curiosity, as the favor of the open-handed gallant was more a matter of anxiety with herself than with her mistress.