The protagonist of Goethe's masterpiece has become one of the most enduring and well-known characters in Western literature. Faust, in his ambition, makes an arrangement with the devil Mephistopheles: Mephistopheles will do everything Faust desires while the alchemist lives, and in exchange, Faust will serve the devil in Hell after his death. The arrangement hinges on the catch that if Faust encounters a moment that he wishes will last forever, he will die in that moment. Narrator Tim Habeger's Faust is world-weary and cynical, and Habeger's low-key performance avoids theatrics, instead providing a solid interpretation of Goethe's work.
Goethe's masterpiece and perhaps the greatest work in German literature, 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.
Public Domain (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
This is such a deep, architectonic work for Western civilzation -- and at the same time filled with wonderful humor. Goethe was a master.
It was laborious and monotonic. I can understand that there would be difficulties dealing with the poem's meter and rhyme, but frequently I had the sense that he hadn't practiced and was just reading it through for the first time -- strange, misplaced pauses, inadequate differentiation of mood and tone. The reading did nothing to illuminate the text -- quite the opposite.
Faust is Faust, there's rich character in the exchanges.
I love the story, I didn't like anything at all about this performance of it, except that it was an excellent sleep-aid.
Quite monotone, listless pace. He has a great voice but the performance he gave here was not easy to endure.
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
... Than is a devil who despairs.
Sitting on the shelf with the children of Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton and Coleridge, Goethe's Faust is amazing in its poetry and depth. There are parts of this play/poem which seem to capture the whole drama of Man's fall and redemption within a single rhyming couplet.
David Constatine's translation modernizes this amazing piece of High German lit, but George Madison Priest's translation (THIS translation) seems, at least to me, to have a more seductive flow and more tempting poetry. Tim Habager's rnarration flirts with Priest's translation with a musical, clear and headlong force.
This audio book is advertised as unabridged, and true it is the unabridged recording of Part I of George Madison Priest's excellent translation of Goethe's classic story, but where is Part II? I feel that calling this an unabridged version is very misleading - in fact I feel cheated out of hearing the centuries long controversial redemption of Goethe's Faust at the end of Part II. Hope Audible corrects this and publishes Part II - unabridged.
I was having trouble parsing the play to begin with which is one of the reasons I decided to listen to an audio version. From experience with Shakespeare, I know that sometimes you just have to listen to "catch" the rhythm and meaning.
But listening to the narration by Tim Habeger, I got the sense that he didn't understand it either. While he wasn't quite monotone, his inflection wasn't matching up with the what the text was trying to say. It seemed to me like he was reading the play like he would read any other poem, without regard for the actual story.
On top of that, he mis-read multiple words in the prologue. For instance, he read "ever" as "over" and "through" as "though". In my mind, it really sounded like he was reading Faust for the very first time while narrating - and this just ISN'T the type of story you can read cold like that and have it make any sense at all.
I'm going to revisit this at some point and when I do I'll come back and adjust my star rating for the story but I didn't even make it out of the prologues in this audible version.
Yes, because it delves into the human dichotomy of good and evil.
How Faust finally repents his miserable treatment of Gretchen.
Yes, mostly because I needed to. I think the book could be listened to in parts because the story has natural breaks of time in it that would do well as listening breaks.
There is a reason this is a classic in world literature - read it to see.
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