A Companion to Goethe's Faust

A Companion to Goethe's Faust

Parts I and II

Edited by Paul Bishop


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Cutting-edge criticism on major aspects of Goethe's best-known work.
Undisputedly a canonical work, Goethe's Faust is also the key to understanding its author, one of European civilization's most complex figures. Written over several decades, the work spans both Goethe's life and an age of enormous social, political, philosophical, and artistic change - even revolution. In this volume, Goethe scholars and experts from North America and Europe explore a range of the major aspects of this fascinating work, aiming to offer a cutting-edge guide to the reader and scholar. Topics discussed include an analysis of the figure of Faust; the role of the Devil in the drama; the function of the feminine figures; the meaning of the 'Mothers' scene; the character of Helena; the question of salvation in the work; the philosophical issues and scientific themes in the work; the texture of Goethe's language; the utopian aspects of Faust and the Wilhelm Meister novels, the diachronic and synchronic dimensions of the text; and, finally, reflections on translating Goethe's text and on the play in performance.

Contributors: Ritchie Robertson, Martin Swales, Alberto Destro, Osman Durrani, Ellis Dye, John R. Williams, Anthony Phelan, Franziska Schößler, Peter D. Smith, Cyrus Hamlin, R.H. Stephenson, David Luke, Robert David McDonald

Paul Bishop is William Jacks Chair of Modern Languages at the University of Glasgow.

Table of Contents

Literary techniques and aesthetic texture -
Introduction: Reading Faust Today - Paul Bishop
The characterisation of Faust in parts I & II -
Literary Techniques and Aesthetic Texture in Faust - Ritchie Robertson
The character of the devil -
The Character and Characterization of Faust - Martin Swales
Helena: The opposition of medieval and classical worlds -
The Guilty Hero, or the Tragic Salvation of Faust - Alberto Destro
The problem of the Mothers -
The Character and Qualities of Mephistopheles - Osman Durrani
Philosophical issues in parts I & II -
Figurations of the Feminine in Goethe's Faust - Ellis Dye
The Uses of Tradition: The diachronic dimension -
The Problem of the Mothers - John R. Williams
Translating Faust: A personal view -
The Classical and the Medieval in Faust II - Anthony Phelan
The Feminine in Faust -
Progressive and Restorative Utopia in Faust II and Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre - Franziska Schößler
The Use of Mythological Motifs in Faust -
"Was die Welt im Innersten zusammenhält": Scientific Themes in Goethe's Faust - Peter Smith
Goethe's Faust and the Philosophers - Cyrus Hamlin
The Diachronic Solidity of Goethe's Faust - R.H. Stephenson
Translating Faust: A Personal Statement - F.D. Luke
Faust: The Play in Production - Robert David MacDonald


Each essay presents an interesting aspect of Faust research, and the volume as a whole can be used as a very informative reference work. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

...as a coherent, accessible, often masterful introduction to a vast and complex work, this volume fulfills its promise....There is, without question, an awe-inspiring critical sovereignty and breadth in this book. GOETHE YEARBOOK

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