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Faust: Part I Paperback – 1 Jan 1920

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam USA; Revised edition edition (1 Jan. 1920)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553213482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553213485
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.1 x 17.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,188,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Norrington on 7 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
Personally I do not like the cover of this book, as it somehow doesn't underline the seriousity and worth of this book. Still, the content stays the same, and it is a great counter-play with human nature, if a bit negative. However, this first part is only the begin, and although much more often read than the second, the second is the actual essence of this novel.
If in any way possible you should try to read it in the german original, as it loses a lot in the translation.
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Amazon.com: 19 reviews
56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
The most elegant among the translations I've read 20 Dec. 2000
By Ramon Kranzkuper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Looking at some reviews by other reviewers, I realized that not everybody has heard of Faust or of Goethe, and I was pretty shocked.
The first part of what I'm saying is about this translation. As Luke so graphically showed in his "Translator's introduction", there are many things that pull at the translator's central agenda: rhyme, metre, primary meaning, nuance, and so on, and the translator has to achieve a balance. Among the translations I've read and from snippets of what I've seen of other translations, Wayne's translation has the most smooth-flowing, elegant rhyme I've seen.
As positives for this translation: The elegance is unparallelled; the wit is sparkling; the metre is almost flawless; the deviation from Goethe is usually acceptable; and there is never, repeat, never, an obvious rhyme-holder word.
As negatives for this translation: There is in a few cases too much of deviation from the original; Wayne at times infuses his own interpretation and character into the work; and the English, though just perfect for, say, a 1950's speaker in England (and those of us used to that kind of word-flow), may be distracting for Americans in 2000.
An example of the latter: "What depth of chanting, whence the blissful tone / That lames my lifting of the fatal glass?" This is pretty representative: if "lames my lifting" does not sound pretentious or obscure, and if the elegance of it strikes you, Wayne's translation is the one for you. If on the other hand, "lames my lifting" sounds straight out of a mediaeval scroll (as I believe is the case with many Americans), then look elsewhere for a translation you will enjoy (read: Luke).
Another, more involved example is in the final lines of Faust II: Wayne translates "Das unbeschreibliche / Hier ists getan" as "Here the ineffable / Wins life through love". Now that, of course is hardly a translation; but it fits in with Wayne's scheme of things - and that IS the point; Wayne has his "scheme of things", which you may or may not like.
The second part of what I'm writing is about Faust itself, the Masterwork: as any German will tell you, Faust is one of the centrepieces of literature, and it is worthwhile learning German JUST to read Faust. Each person comes away from "Faust" having found that that he/she was looking for. Every person is reflected in Faust; "Faust" is the ultimate story of Man. What tempts us, what keeps us, what draws us on, what tears us, what defines us, what lies in store for us - it is all there. "Faust" is a journey everyone should undertake. There is nothing controversial here - no "God", no "Hellfire", nothing but Goethe's straightforward but not blunt, sensitive but not compromised, philosophical but not dreamy, analysis of the human situation. "Faust" is the Master thinker Goethe's sincere attempt at looking at it all; and it does not fall visibly short of the task.
Part I should be read by everyone; Part II is not strictly a sequel, but in many ways is, as Wayne shows in his Introduction. Part II requires some knowledge of Greek Mythology; and does in many ways "complete the story". Only, it goes way beyond that.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Avoid this Kindle Edition 23 Dec. 2011
By B. Marold - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This review exclusively addresses the Kindle edition of this Bantam edition of Faust, Part I. I jumped at the chance to order this, since according to the Kindle preview, the text included the line numbers which, in a classic work where line numbers have been assigned, is essential when you need to find a quote, given a reference in some other work. Otherwise, what I saw in the preview was all positive. When I opened the Kindle edition,the conversion from text to electronic text left artifacts, squares, lots of them, on every line of the play, in both the English and the German edition. As an aside, I would point out that the English and German do NOT occur on facing pages in the Kindle rendition. I can't speak for the paper edition, although, like virtually every dual language book in existance, the two languages are commonly found on facing pages.

Amazon, or whomever did this conversion may correct this some time in the future, but you will not be able to detect the problem unless you actually purchase the edition. I would steer clear of this edition, unless you hear that the problem has been corrected. I would also look for a bi-lingual version with two languages on facing pages.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Great edition of a great play 1 Oct. 2006
By Jordan M. Poss - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This bilingual copy of Goethe's Faust is a very good edition for students of German, poetry, or the play itself. First, it's very affordable, which is always a plus with the student crowd. More importantly, though, the translation is one of the better ones I have read; it uses just the right touch of poetry and high drama in the language to convey the beauty of Goethe's original German. In the end, though, no translation can ever be as good as the original, so read the German text if you can--it can be difficult, at times, but you won't regret it.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Mephistopheles, master of the one-liner 6 Oct. 2006
By Steven W. Cooper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'd guess this is a book that reveals itself more thoroughly in experiences you have after reading it, so reviewing it now may be premature. There are many `big ideas' here, but I can't relate to the suggestion from one reviewer that Faust `held his morals under the worst circumstances' It seems more like Faust gave up his morals one by one under the most pleasant circumstances.

The way I read it, Faust didn't fight temptation; but his curiosity was strong enough to allow him to give in to all temptation without becoming trapped. This has significant metaphysical implications when applied to modern Christianity, and certainly follows the psychological maxim that repressed urges exert a controlling influence on us. It's also not hard to imagine Faust's Mephistopheles as the embodiment of Blake's metaphysical Satan, and maybe it's no coincidence both these artists lived in the same period.

I'm so curious to know how this comes across in German - and believe me, some of the contortions necessary to maintain the rhyme in English provided a temptation to learn German that Mephistopheles himself would have been hard-pressed to match. It's obvious Wayne has done a tremendous job, but there are limits to the achievable; and the feel of this poetry is not natural to the touch except in some later sections of part II. Or maybe it just wasn't so distracting after several hundred pages...
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A classic classic 19 Jan. 2007
By Sarah Yeoman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is truely a classic and brings into focus the fickleness of the human nature. The language is easily understandable butstill retains it classic feel. I enjoyed reading it for this simplicity. Definately one of my favourite books.
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