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Faust: Part One: Pt.1 (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 10 Sep 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (10 Sept. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192835955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192835956
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 1.8 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 977,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By "jels3" on 18 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
David Luke's translation of Faust is currently acknowledged to be the best, both for academic study and pleasurable reading. Personally I found it fascinating and amusing. Perhaps its most pleasurable and impressible achievement is the creation of a great poetic work in English whilst serving the contraints of a translation.
The book contains a vast introduction by the translator, David Luke, that explains the complexity of performing the translation and describes and discusses the themes and ideas in Goethe's play.
There are also comprehensive "explanatory notes" at the back, which unfortunately occasionally stray beyond the explanatory and into Luke's own opinion, which I think should be kept in the introduction. I would have preferred these notes to have remained absolutely factual so as not to cloud the reader's interpretation of the text.
This did not detract much from the highly enjoyable experience of reading the book. Most of my friends baulked when they saw what I was reading, but it's not heavy going at all, as most people seem to think if they haven't read it! Very highly recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Oct. 1998
Format: Paperback
Walter Kaufmann's magnificent translation of Goethe's "Faust" preserves the original poetic qualities of the classic play. He neither compromises the integrity of the work by using shallow 90's-words or mires it in unpleasant, unreadable "ye" and "thou"s. In my opinion, it is the best translation of "Faust" I have come across, and Kaufmann's commentary (being a native German himself) proves that he is an authority on both the idiomatic elements of the original work and the intent of Goethe's style. The only drawback to the book is that most of Part II is excluded; while Pt. II generally is considered to drag on ad nauseum by first-time readers, students of German romanticism miss rich imagery and lush allusions by receiving only a synopsis of the robust scenes of Pt. II. Otherwise, Kaufmann's work is unequaled.
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Format: Paperback
Much is lost when trying to stick to rhyming. Apparently, the original German was outstanding and its either try to copy that style by keeping a tight rhyming, like Pope's Iliad, or write an English poem with a freer, and crispier edge that may not be as fun, but can get across to the reader the actual meaning.

Anyway David Luke's translation is excellent.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Jan. 1999
Format: Paperback
While the translator deserves praise in his efforts of tackling a difficult work, the result is average at best. The excision of text, as has already been noted by other reviewers, is the biggest reason to avoid this translation, but I will admit that it is perhaps the most accessible and easily read translation available. For those with a serious interest in Goethe and Faust, I would recommend the Walter Arndt/Cyrus Hamlin critical edition from Norton. I believe that to be a much more accurate rendering of Goethe's exemplary work.
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