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Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe - Faust Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe - Faust

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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An excerpt from the book -It is twenty years since I first determined to attempt the translationof _Faust_, in the original metres. At that time, although more than ascore of English translations of the First Part, and three or four ofthe SecondMoreAn excerpt from the book -It is twenty years since I first determined to attempt the translationof _Faust_, in the original metres. At that time, although more than ascore of English translations of the First Part, and three or four ofthe Second Part, were in existence, the experiment had not yet beenmade. The prose version of Hayward seemed to have been accepted as thestandard, in default of anything more satisfactory: the English critics,generally sustaining the translator in his views concerning thesecondary importance of form in Poetry, practically discouraged anyfurther attempt- and no one, familiar with rhythmical expression throughthe needs of his own nature, had devoted the necessary love and patienceto an adequate reproduction of the great work of Goethes life.Mr. Brooks was the first to undertake the task, and the publication ofhis translation of the First Part (in 1856) induced me, for a time, togive up my own design. No previous English version exhibited suchabnegation of the translators own tastes and habits of thought, suchreverent desire to present the original in its purest form. The care andconscience with which the work had been performed were so apparent, thatI now state with reluctance what then seemed to me to be its onlydeficiencies,--a lack of the lyrical fire and fluency of the original insome passages, and an occasional lowering of the tone through the use ofwords which are literal, but not equivalent.