Faust has been sitting on my bookshelf for close to two years now, waiting for me to read it. I had kept neglecting the book, but promising to read it eventually, since finishing The Magic Mountain. Finally, I decided to throw it in my pack for New York.
Kaufmann’s translation includes the German on one page and the English on the opposite, allowing one to view the original work in conjunction to what you’re reading. A novel and appreciated addition, even though the only German I know was learned from killing Nazi zombies in Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
Goethe is full of wit and humor — twisted, sexual humor that would make Tipper Gore gorge out her eyes — that comes across well in Kaufmann’s translation. I found it quite enjoyable. It inspires you to push through the somewhat more confusing scenes that lack the entertainment of Mephisto. (Like those angles up in heaven. Why would anyone want to go hang out with those boring, drab, self righteous egotists when you could be with Mephisto and his wenches during Walpurgis Night?) I think a great many more people would enjoy the book, if they would only give it a shot.