52 in 52 Week 28: Faust Part One by Goethe

By Richard Roland Holst (1868 – 1938) ([1])
 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I read Steppenwolf a couple of months ago, and Hesse kept on talking about "GER-TA." Since I was listening to it on audiobook, I didn't realize until I looked at the actual text that he was talking about Goethe! This inspired me to read the play. 

I had seen this volume in my father-in-law's Franklin Library collection (the fancy and expensive books with the gilt edges) about 22 years ago and had no idea who "GER-TA" was and  what Faust was about. I just thought it was a pretty book. 

Now I know. It is  a tragic poem/play  that is a take-off of Dr. Faustus by Marlowe, a play from medieval times.  

It is about a German scholar who sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for knowledge and power. The first sounds much like the Book of Job, where Satan tells God that he can make one of His faithful servants fall, and God allows Satan to do it.

It is considered the finest piece of German literature and the two parts took Goethe over 60 years to complete. Part One was written in 1808. The first draft (Urfaust) had a different ending. Apparently, the first night audience who saw the new ending cheered. You'll have to read it to know what that ending is!

Faust Part Two came out in 1832. I might take a break before tackling it!
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