Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Goethe - Faust (The First Part of the Tragedy)

"I’ve been meaning to read Faust for almost 10 years now, because I wanted to rectify my embarassing lack of education in that regard. And I expected Faust to be so great that I would have to, grudgingly, proclaim Goethe’s genius. But actually, Faust sucked."

"It is interesting that reviewers appear to be so critical of the translation, ignoring what Goethe himself did to the Faust legend. From the annoying homunculus to the exorbitant Walpurgis Night to the self-indulgent Gretchen 'Travesty,' this is a story that never should have been written, with parts that would have been useless to try to stage. Faust and Mephistopheles were used as tools in a story that Goethe wanted to tell, rather than him telling their story. It is an overwrought nightmare.
The only reason I give it one star is that the site does not permit zero."

"I seriously don’t understand why Faust is so famous – maybe I’m missing something essential. But what stuck out for me that it completely lacked melody. Yes, it rhymes, but most of the rhymes are uneven and/or sound like a preschooler made them up.

And then I might be judging it from current standards of good writing when I should be judging it from the standards of Goethe’s time, but seriously, that guy has never even heard of 'show, don’t tell.' And I not only mean that characteristics are all talked about, I mean stuff like this, too (says Mephistopheles):

I come in gold-lac’d scarlet vest,
And stiff-silk mantle richly dress’d,
A cock’s gay feather for a plume,
A long and pointed rapier, too;

Why… why would anybody say that? In a play? In real life? Unless you’re describing yourself to somebody who can’t see you?

My main emotion reading this was an annoyed 'get to the fucking point already, will you?' It was sometimes interrupted by 'nooooooooooo, not another choir!' and 'how the hell would anybody stage this?' but mostly I was waiting for the point – and there never seemed to be one.


And I also know that theatre was different 400 years ago. But my situation today is the only situation I can judge from, and from my situation, I didn’t like it. :)"

"I've been reading this for about 2 years, not sure I'm going to make it ..."

"I usually dislike pieces (I prefer stories)"

"Pretty disappointed. I'm thinking of writing the entire 19th century off as pretty much a waste of time."

No comments:

Post a Comment