Saturday, December 7, 2013

Faust: 100% Complete

Well, I whizzed through the last bit of Faust and finished it up late night.  Overall, I'm glad I read it, although I won't say it was my favorite book on the list.  I did find the second half easier to read and understand than the first, although I'm still sure I missed a lot.  If I were going to read it again, I would try to find a version that had more footnotes (mine had a few here and there, but not much), because frequently there were references that I didn't understand.
The final quote for Faust is rather a long one, but I thought it was both funny and philosophical (if that is possible).  In this quote, Faust is speaking with Margaret, the innocent young girl he woos and whose life he basically destroys.  She has asked him if he believes in God, and he has hemmed and hawed around the question, and here he tries to explain that perhaps he believes in God but by other names.
"Faust: Then call it what thou wilt,
Joy! Heart! Love! God!
I have no name to give it!
All comes at last to feeling;
Name is but sound and smoke,
Beclouding Heaven's warm glow.
Margaret: That is all fine and good, I know,
And just as the priest has often spoke,
Only with somewhat different phrases."
Of course this question of whether the principle of a rose by any other name smelling as sweet applies to God, is a theological and philosophical question that goes far beyond the scope of this project, but I mostly found Margaret's response funny; that the priest says basically the same thing, but the phrases he uses are a little different.
Our final vocabulary word for Faust is "expiate" which means "to atone for (guilt or sin)." (definition from The New Oxford American Dictionary).
Up next I'm tackling: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.

No comments:

Post a Comment