My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read Johann Goethe‘s Faust in English and partially in German during a college course many years ago. It had a huge impact on me as a person and me as a writer. Due to it being somewhat “out there,” I held back a full 5 rating; however, I cannot stress how much this book makes you think. Beware, it’s a little heavy on the literary side, but it’s still worth a read, even if you just read the first portion. That said, 4 out of 5 stars…
Detailed Review (about 1/3 of a paper I wrote about it a few years ago)
When I first picked up Goethe’s famous masterpiece Faust, I was hesitant about reading it. I read Goethe’s work while lying on my bed a few hours before I went to sleep. My room was quiet because everyone else was already asleep. I was able to read and consciously take in the contents of the work. I generally don’t like to be told what literature to read; however, after reading through the Prologue in Heaven, I was intrigued by the plot of Faust. As I began reading the first part, I was a bit disturbed by the fact that it was not in prose, but that it was in poetical verse. I have never been a great fan of poetry as a genre of literature. Thus I had mixed feelings when it came to reading Goethe’s famous literary work Faust from the beginning.
I wanted to learn something from the story, as I do from all literature. Authors don’t just write for ‘no’ reason; they wish to accomplish something. I then strove to understand the reasons for the literary work’s existence. When I skimmed Faust for the first time, I tried to read it for pleasure, but it was a little too hard. I needed to stop and understand what as going on in each scene. However, I soon realized that I was able to place myself inside the text in several different ways. It was at this point that Faust actually appealed to me; I saw myself in the novel as the character of Faust, fighting against the devilish Mephistopheles. I have always struggled with wanting everything from material things to the admiration of others. As a man of flesh and blood, I naturally want great intelligence, power and love. I have always wanted to be number one – a perfectionist – just like Faust.
So, while I was reading Faust, I was truly reading a biography of my own life, albeit on a much larger scale. I too have lost some faith in my religion, and I wonder if I will be saved; however, unlike Faust, at the time I read it, I had yet to want someone as much as he wanted Margaret (Gretchen). Maybe if I were under the devil’s spells like Faust was, I would have fallen just as hard for the woman. I do have the addictive personality that would lead me in the same direction as Faust. With all of this in mind, I read through the novel as though I were Faust. I took on his persona, argued with Mephistopheles, and wished that I had never been born in the end of the work. It is not easy to live a life completely free from the clutches of evil. When you are hopeless and in despair, you need help. Often, humans are not strong enough to recognize from whom they are getting help. Faust enabled me to foresee what would happen to me if I were subject to the devil’s influence.
Faust is a man worthy of my admiration. All throughout the book, both Faust and the actions he sought fascinated me. Like I said before, I felt as though I was reading or watching a movie of my own life. It was as though a dream had come true where I was able to align myself with the devil. The fears that I have in reality weren’t present enough in my dreams to stop myself from associating with some Mephistophelean devil. I was able to see what would happen if I took on the persona of evil incarnate turned into man. Faust enabled me to have an out of body experience where I could see what would happen to me if I became what I have always been curious about becoming: A devil-influenced man.
Throughout the work of Faust by Goethe, I was able to live experiences vicariously. Faust enabled me to try things that I only dreamed about trying. I really felt as though I were reading a novel about myself. I think that this is why the Faustian theme has persisted throughout time; men (and women) everywhere have struggled within themselves fighting between good and evil to achieve their goals and desires. I am no different.
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.