Faust, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)



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Review by

Obviously a classic, but the second scene between the archangles, God and Mephistofoles is pure music.

Review by

It's a strange notion, "reviewing" a text that is one of the pillars of German national identity and has had untold hectolitres of ink spilled over it by critics in the last couple of centuries. Maybe the most appropriate question to ask in a place like this is "What does <i>Faust I</i> have to offer the casual modern reader?" Two main things, I think: amazing language and a cracking good yarn.Like <i>Hamlet</i> or the KJV in English, reading <i>Faust</i> through is a bit like joining the dots between dozens of quotations you already know. The language has a very direct appeal to the reader: you don't have to be an expert in 19th century German verse to make sense of it (though I'm sure you would get more out of it if you were). After a few pages you entirely forget what a strange notion it is to be reading a verse drama, and just enjoy the sound of the words.The story isn't as "big" and "epic" as you might imagine. The core story of Gretchen's seduction and fall is told in a very intimate, naturalistic way, and even the big Walpurgisnacht scene is essentially a series of little cameos rather than a big spectacular.

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