Monday, January 06, 2014

Faust Part 1

References to "Faustian" bargains abound in popular culture. But who was Faust? Both Goethe and Marlowe have created plays that tell their versions of the story.

The Faust story is akin to the story of Job in reverse. Faust makes an agreement with the devil and gets to enjoy the good life for a while. At the end, the debt becomes due and he becomes the devil's property.

I listened to the librivox recording which suffers from inconsistent sound quality, making some of the voices difficult to hear and understand. Add in the fact that Faust is notoriously difficult to translate and it got even harder to follow.

In spite of the difficulty, you can still tell why it is such an acclaimed work. The story itself has been told many times, from Marlowe to Brendan Frasier (in Bedazzaled). Goethe's seems to probe deeper into the psychology. I only wish I understood German better.

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