Faust: A Tragedy: Part 1
Faust occupies a central place in German literature, as the magnum opus of its greatest writer, as one of its greatest dramas, and as an epic poem of the highest quality-for, although it was written to be performed, it may also be regarded as a dramatic poem, prophetic perhaps of Berlioz's hybrid musical adaptation in La Damnation de Faust. The Faust story caught Goethe's attention from an early stage and the first published results of his engagement with it was Faust. A Fragment, published in 1790. He had however written a dramatic treatment of the story in his 20s, a fact which only became apparent over a century later, when the papers of Luisa von Gochhausen, a lady of the court of Weimar, were found to contain a transcription of this work, since known as the Urfaust (Original Faust). This early work was published in 1887. Faust. A Tragedy, Part One was finally completed in 1808 and was later revised and published in a new edition in 1829. The third act of Part 2 appeared in 1827, part of the first act a year later, and the complete text in 1832, shortly after the author's death. The entirety of Faust, parts 1 and 2 together, was performed for the first time in 1875, in Weimar. The translation presented in this volume encompasses only Part One, which is usually performed without its cerebral pendant piece, and remains the keystone of Goethe's career.