Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Book Review

"Faust" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
My grade: A- and impossible

Firstly, let me explain my grading. I really have to separate my grades for Part I and Part II of the tragedy; as can already be deciphered, I belong to the camp that claims that each part can really stand on its own, rather than each being only one part of the whole. Therefore, my grading can be understood as so: A- for Part I, and impossible for Part II.

For those of you who don't know, "Faust" deals with the age-old tale of one man making a deal with the devil. And while the first part is relatively easy to follow, although I would argue definitely tied down to an outdated place and time, Part II deals primarily with allegories and classic mythology. To understand the second part, one definitely has to be well-versed in the mythological world, which I am not. Additionally, the second part definitely leaves the world of people, and becomes completely submersed in the world of spirits, both literally and figuratively-speaking.

What I also found very interesting in the first part is to see just to what extent Bulgakov borrowed from and was influenced by this work when composing "Master and Margarita". It would perhaps be interesting to read the two books back to back; starting with "Faust, Part I" and moving on to Bulgakov.

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