Tuesday, August 26

Book Review: Faust Part 1

Author: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Title: Faust (Part 1)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Classic, and play 
Pages: 432
First Published: 1787
Where I Got It: In school textbook

" Faust has made the legendary German alchemist one of the central myths of the Western world. Here indeed is a monumental Faust, an audacious man boldly wagering with the devil, Mephistopheles, that no magic, sensuality, experience, or knowledge can lead him to a moment he would wish to last forever. Here, in Faust, Part I, the tremendous versatility of Goethe’s genius creates some of the most beautiful passages in literature. Here too we experience Goethe’s characteristic humor, the excitement and eroticism of the witches’ Walpurgis Night, and the moving emotion of Gretchen’s tragic fate."

I've heard such good things about this book, so I was a wee bit excited that I had to read this in my World Literature class this semester. 

The first few pages I was actually really into the story and the characters, but soon...well....I fell out of love. I could barely pay attention and I had to set the book aside and return later to push myself through. The thing is that is wasn't "boring" or lacking action. It was actually a fast pace story with deep philosophical meaning and "entertaining". I...well...just didn't care. 

Dr. Faust was a blooming idiot and a perve and honestly deserved future damnation for his sins. What he did to Gretchen and her family was horrible. My teacher and her lecture tried to convince me that he falls into the "tragic hero" category. No. To be a hero you have to be good of heart and try to do good even though you ultimately fail due to your flaws. The only good part about him was his intelligence and the want of more knowledge. However, that is not what he gets. People debate that he gained life knowledge instead of text knowledge. I can see that point, but he was a horrible, horrible man. With every turn of page I couldn't help but shake my head at him and be annoyed. 

Like many other novels, I would have preferred to read this in the original language, but alas it is not available to me and I do not speak a lick of German, so it would do me no good anyways. Sighs. However, I doubt it would change how I feel.

The ending was pretty good I might admit. I certainly did NOT expect what happened. It was a little cliff-hanger-ish, but it was done in a way that you don't have to continue onto the second part. I doubt I will read the second part, because it was not assigned. haha. I'm a horrible person and I am content with what I have read. I do not care what happens to Dr. Faust. I'm done with him.

In the end, I wish I had liked this more...but I hated Dr. Faust. The other characters where more entertaining then him. Hell, I liked the demon, Mephistopheles, more then I did him. Even though this isn't my favorite book of the year, I'm glad I read this, but was an interesting concept. I would recommend this to those that like the classics. This shall be stamped with 2 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): No one really....I did get a kick out of Mephistopheles...he was an interesting character. 
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Dr. Faust (*sighs*) 


Blodeuedd said...

By the gods, bleh, no thank you

Carole Rae said...

Hahahaha. I regret it now.

Sandra Schwab said...

I'm not really a big fan of Goethe's: I don't particularly like his works (the only exception is the ballad "Der Erlkönig"), and he seems to have been a bit of an arrogant a-hole. That said, what I love about Faust is that in the German version, several lines only rhyme properly when spoken in Frankfurt dialect. *g*

Carole Rae said...

This was my first work of his. Maybe I'll check out the ballad!