A Tragedy, Parts One and Two, Fully Revised
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; Translated by Martin Greenberg; Introduction by W. Daniel Wilson
July 29, 2014
496 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
A classic of world literature, Goethe’s Faust is a philosophical and poetic drama full of satire, irony, humor, and tragedy. Martin Greenberg re-creates not only the text’s varied meter and rhyme but also its diverse tones and styles—dramatic and lyrical, reflective and farcical, pathetic and coarse, colloquial and soaring. His rendition of Faust is the first faithful, readable, and elegantly written translation of Goethe’s masterpiece available in English. At last, the Greenberg Faust is available in a single volume, together with a thoroughly updated translation, preface, and notes.
“Greenberg has accomplished a magnificent literary feat. He has taken a great German work, until now all but inaccessible to English readers, and made it into a sparkling English poem, full of verve and wit. Greenberg's translation lives; it is done in a modern idiom but with respect for the original text; I found it a joy to read.”—Irving Howe (on the earlier edition)
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German poet, novelist, playwright and politician. Martin Greenberg is best known for his translations of Goethe and von Kleist. He won a citation from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and received the Harold Morton Landon Verse Translation Award from the American Academy of Poets. W. Daniel Wilson is Professor of German at Royal Holloway, University of London.
“Greenberg is quite remarkable, and at his best truly brilliant, in evoking the poetic ‘feel’ of Goethe’s original. I do not believe that any other version of Faust has attempted anything quite like it.”—Cyrus Hamlin, Yale University (on the earlier edition of Part One)
“Goethe’s Faust is an enigmatic and perhaps barely translatable masterpiece. Its grotesque and exuberant part 2 must be the most outrageous poem in the western canon. Martin Greenberg’s revised version conveys the outrage yet also shows again and again why the poem does stand with the major works of the western tradition.”—Harold Bloom
"Greenberg has accomplished a magnificent literary feat. He has taken a great German work, until now all but inaccessible to English readers, and made it into a sparkling English poem, full of verve and wit. Greenberg's translation lives; it is done in a modern idiom but with respect for the original text; I found it a joy to read."—Irving Howe