Top positive review
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Entertaining, readable and poetic translation of a classic
on 18 September 2003
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.