Upon the publication of Goethe's epic drama, the Faustian legend had reached an almost unapproachable zenith. Although many failed to appreciate, or indeed, to understand this magnum opus in its entirety, from this point onward his drama was the rule by which all other Faust adaptations were measured. Goethe had eclipsed the earlier legends and became the undisputed authority on the subject of Faust in the eyes of the new Romantic generation. To deviate from his path would be nothing short of blasphemy.
I definitely have a Luddite's approach to what's going on. I find that as I get older, I get stupider. For me, the iPhone is harder than reading Faust. I've been hanging out a bit with Lou Reed, and he's the complete opposite. He's into technology and is kind of like a toddler, compared to me, who's like an old 19th-century widow or something.
In order to cultivate yourself and to drop no lower than the level of the milieu in which you have landed, it is not enough to read Pickwick and memorize a monologue from Faust.... You need to work continually day and night, to read ceaselessly, to study, to exercise your will.... Each hour is precious.
Besides writing, I have been teaching myself to 'develop' my own photographic plates, and I haven't a stick of clothing or an exposed finger that isn't stained. I sit for hours in a dark-room feeling as if I were a very elderly Faust at some dreadful incantation, and come out of it, blinding at the light, like a Bastille prisoner. And yet I am not successful!
You will not be here-I shall not be here-much longer.' 'Let us not think of time.' 'We have reached Faust's non-plus. We say to every moment "Verweile doch, du bist so schandoumln, " and if we are not immediately damned, the stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike. But it is open to us to regret each minute as it passes.' 'We shall be exhausted.' 'And is not that a good state to end in?
You will not be here-I shall not be here-much longer.' 'Let us not think of time.' 'We have reached Faust's non-plus. We say to every moment "Verweile doch, du bist so schön, " and if we are not immediately damned, the stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike. But it is open to us to regret each minute as it passes.' 'We shall be exhausted.' 'And is not that a good state to end in?
My dear young friends, I speak to you as one who stands on the edge of eternity. From that perspective, I see you as the choicest spirits ever placed on the earth. The promises in your generation's patriarchal blessings, if you are faithful, seem to exceed the promises in Sister Faust's blessing and in mine. ...I want you to know that I believe in you. I believe you can be in the world but not of the world.
James E. Faust
My mind has touched the farthest horizons of mortal imagination and reaches ever outward to embrace infinity. There is no knowledge beyond my comprehension, no art or skill upon this entire planet that lies beyond the mastery of my hand. And yet, like Faust, I look in vain, I learn in vain. . . . For as long as I live, no woman will ever look on me in love.
Social questions are too sectional, too topical, too temporal to move a man to the mighty effort which is needed to produce greatpoetry. Prison reform may nerve Charles Reade to produce an effective and businesslike prose melodrama; but it could never produce Hamlet, Faust, or Peer Gynt.
George Bernard Shaw
Hegel understood the Heisenbergian reality of knowing: yes, it would be nice if we could somehow delicately capture the truth and bring it closer to ourselves without altering it, "like a bird caught with a limestick." But the reality is, every truth we manage to know is altered, deformed by our very "encheiresis naturae," by the act of our taking-in-hand of nature (to borrow the alchemists' phrase from Goethe's Faust).
But Goethe tells us in his greatest poem that Faust lost the liberty of his soul when he said to the passing moment: "Stay, thou art so fair." And our liberty, too, is endangered if we pause for the passing moment, if we rest on our achievements, if we resist the pace of progress. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past are certain to miss the future.
John F. Kennedy
Life is more than thought: what a man feels, and what his senses awaken in him, are more indispensable to his life's fullness than subsequent reflection on their significance. Both Stirner and Nietzsche have elaborated Faust's opening speech in which he bemoans his wasted years in academia: this speech is Goethe's own impeachment of Kant and Hegel . Philosophy proceeds always under the risk of making a fetish of thinking.
Victor Faust did much more than help me escape a life of abuse and servitude. He changed me. He changed the landscape of my dreams, the dreams I had every day about living ordinarily and free and on my own. He changed the colors on the palette from primary to rainbow""as dark as the colors of that rainbow may be.
The nineteenth century was the Age of Romanticism; for the first time in history, man stopped thinking of himself as an animal or a slave, and saw himself as a potential god. All of the cries of revolt against 'God' - De Sade, Byron's "Manfred", Schiller's "Robbers", Goethe's "Faust", Hoffmann's mad geniuses - are expressions of this new spirit. Is this why the 'spirits' decided to make a planned and consistent effort at 'communication'? It was the right moment. Man was beginning to understand himself.
Some comfort it would have been, could I, like a Faust, have fancied myself tempted and tormented of the Devil; for a Hell, as I imagine, without Life, though only Diabolic Life, were more frightful: but in our age of Downpulling and Disbelief, the very Devil has been pulled down, you cannot so much as believe in a Devil. To me the Universe was all void of Life, of Purpose, of Volition, even of Hostility: it was one huge, dead, immeasurable Steam-engine, rolling on, in its dead indifference, to grind me limb from limb.
You received the power, the authority, and the sacred duty to minister the moment you were ordained to the priesthood. President James E. Faust taught, "Priesthood is the authority delegated to man to minister in the name of God. "The Aaronic Priesthood holds the keys of the ministering of angels. As you love His children, Heavenly Father will guide you, and angels will assist you. You will be given power to bless lives and rescue souls.
David L. Beck
Like Hamlet, Goethe's Faust offers a wide panorama of scenes from the vulgar to the sublime, with passages of wondrous poetry that can be sensed even through the veil of translation. And it also preserves the iridescence of its modern theme. From it Oswald Spengler christened our Western culture 'Faustian, ' and others too have found it an unexcelled metaphor for the infinitely aspiring always dissatisfied modern self. Goethe himself was wary of simple explanations. When his friends accused him of incompetence in metaphysics, he replied. 'I, being an artist, regard this as of little moment. Indeed, I prefer that the principle from which and through which I work should be hidden from me.
Daniel J. Boorstin
Youth!! Ah, what a word!! And how transitory! But, how grand! as long as it lasts. How many millions in gold would pour out for an ability to call it all back, as with our musical myth, Faust. During that magic part of a child's growth this world is just a gigantic inquiry box, containing many a topic for which a solution is paramount to a growing mind. And to whom can a child look, but us adults? Any man who 'can't stop now' to talk with a child upon a topic which, to him is'too silly for anything, ' should look back to that day upon which that topic was dark and dubious in his own brain. A child who asks nothing will know nothing. That is why that 'bump of inquiry' was put on top of our skulls.
Ernest Vincent Wright
We must realize that we are all, like Dr. Faust, ready to accept the devil's inducements. The devil is in each one of us in the form of an ego that promises the fulfillment of desire on condition that we become subservient to its striving to dominate. The domination of the personality by the ego is a diabolical perversion of the nature of man. The ego was never intended to be the master of the body, but its loyal and obedient servant. The body, as opposed to the ego, desires pleasure, not power. Bodily pleasure is the source from which all our good feelings and good thinking stems. If the bodily pleasure of an individual is destroyed, he becomes an angry, frustrated, and hateful person. His thinking becomes distorted, and his creative potential is lost. He develops self-destructive attitudes.
I had fallen into a profound dream-like reverie in which I heard him speaking as at a distance. 'And yet there is no one who communes with only one god, ' he was saying, 'and the more a man lives in imagination and in a refined understanding, the more gods does he meet with and talk with, and the more does he come under the power of Roland, who sounded in the Valley of Roncesvalles the last trumpet of the body's will and pleasure; and of Hamlet, who saw them perishing away, and sighed; and of Faust, who looked for them up and down the world and could not find them; and under the power of all those countless divinities who have taken upon themselves spiritual bodies in the minds of the modern poets and romance writers, and under the power of the old divinities, who since the Renaissance have won everything of their ancient worship except the sacrifice of birds and fishes, the fragrance of garlands and the smoke of incense. The many think humanity made these divinities, and that it can unmake them again; but we who have seen them pass in rattling harness, and in soft robes, and heard them speak with articulate voices while we lay in deathlike trance, know that they are always making and unmaking humanity, which is indeed but the trembling of their lips.
While the Eternal Feminine in Faust II still appears in personalized form as the Madonna, she works her effects in The Magic Flute as an invisible spiritual power, as music. But this music is the expression of divine love itself, which unites law and freedom, above and below, in the wisdom of the heart and of love. As harmony, it grants humankind divine peace and rules the world as the highest divinity. From the earliest times, magic and music have stood under the rule of the Archetypal Feminine, which in myth and fairy tale is also the mistress of transformation, intoxication, and enchanting sound. Thus it is quite understandable that it is precisely this feminine principle that bestows the magical instruments. The Orpheus motif of the magical taming of the animal energies through music belongs to her, for as mistress of the animals the Great Goddess rules the world of wild as well as tame creatures. She can transform things and people into animal form, tame the animal, and enchant it because, like music, she is able to make the tame wild and the wild tame with the power of her magic.
Celui qui eprouve de l'aversion pour les danseurs et veut les denigrer se heurtera toujours e un obstacle infranchissable : leur honneªtete ; car en s'exposant constamment au public, le danseur se condamne e eªtre irreprochable ; il n'a pas conclu comme Faust un contrat avec le Diable, il l'a conclu avec l'Ange : il veut faire de sa vie une oeuvre d'art et c'est dans ce travail que l'Ange l'aide ; car, n'oublie pas, la danse est un art ! C'est dans cette obsession de voir en sa propre vie la matie¨re d'une oeuvre d'art que se trouve la vraie essence du danseur ; il ne preªche pas la morale, il la danse ! Il veut emouvoir et eblouir le monde par la beaute de sa vie ! il est amoureux de sa vie comme un sculpteur peut eªtre amoureux de la statue qu'il est en train de modeler." (chapitre 6)
The art of fiction has not changed much since prehistoric times. The formula for telling a powerful story has remained the same: create a strong character, a person of great strengths, capable of deep emotions and decisive action. Give him a weakness. Set him in conflict with another powerful character - or perhaps with nature. Let his exterior conflict be the mirror of the protagonist's own interior conflict, the clash of his desires, his own strength against his own weakness. And there you have a story. Whether it's Abraham offering his only son to God, or Paris bringing ruin to Troy over a woman, or Hamlet and Claudius playing their deadly game, Faust seeking the world's knowledge and power - the stories that stand out in the minds of the reader are those whose characters are unforgettable. To show other worlds, to describe possible future societies and the problems lurking ahead, is not enough. The writer of science fiction must show how these worlds and these futures affect human beings. And something much more important: he must show how human beings can and do literally create these future worlds. For our future is largely in our own hands. It doesn't come blindly rolling out of the heavens; it is the joint product of the actions of billions of human beings. This is a point that's easily forgotten in the rush of headlines and the hectic badgering of everyday life. But it's a point that science fiction makes constantly: the future belongs to us - whatever it is. We make it, our actions shape tomorrow. We have the brains and guts to build paradise (or at least try). Tragedy is when we fail, and the greatest crime of all is when we fail even to try. Thus science fiction stands as a bridge between science and art, between the engineers of technology and the poets of humanity.
Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria: 1) They respect human beings as individuals and are therefore always tolerant, gentle, courteous and amenable... They do not create scenes over a hammer or a mislaid eraser; they do not make you feel they are conferring a great benefit on you when they live with you, and they don't make a scandal when they leave. (...) 2) They have compassion for other people besides beggars and cats. Their hearts suffer the pain of what is hidden to the naked eye. (...) 3) They respect other people's property, and therefore pay their debts. 4) They are not devious, and they fear lies as they fear fire. They don't tell lies even in the most trivial matters. To lie to someone is to insult them, and the liar is diminished in the eyes of the person he lies to. Civilized people don't put on airs; they behave in the street as they would at home, they don't show off to impress their juniors. (...) 5) They don't run themselves down in order to provoke the sympathy of others. They don't play on other people's heartstrings to be sighed over and cosseted... that sort of thing is just cheap striving for effects, it's vulgar, old hat and false. (...) 6) They are not vain. They don't waste time with the fake jewellery of hobnobbing with celebrities, being permitted to shake the hand of a drunken [judicial orator], the exaggerated bonhomie of the first person they meet at the Salon, being the life and soul of the bar... They regard prases like 'I am a representative of the Press!!' - the sort of thing one only hears from [very minor journalists] - as absurd. If they have done a brass farthing's work they don't pass it off as if it were 100 roubles' by swanking about with their portfolios, and they don't boast of being able to gain admission to places other people aren't allowed in (...) True talent always sits in the shade, mingles with the crowd, avoids the limelight... As Krylov said, the empty barrel makes more noise than the full one. (...) 7) If they do possess talent, they value it... They take pride in it... they know they have a responsibility to exert a civilizing influence on [others] rather than aimlessly hanging out with them. And they are fastidious in their habits. (...) 8) They work at developing their aesthetic sensibility... Civilized people don't simply obey their baser instincts... they require mens sana in corpore sano. And so on. That's what civilized people are like... Reading Pickwick and learning a speech from Faust by heart is not enough if your aim is to become a truly civilized person and not to sink below the level of your surroundings. [From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886]
Reality, at first glance, is a simple thing: the television speaking to you now is real. Your body sunk into that chair in the approach to midnight, a clock ticking at the threshold of awareness. All the endless detail of a solid and material world surrounding you. These things exist. They can be measured with a yardstick, a voltammeter, a weighing scale. These things are real. Then there's the mind, half-focused on the TV, the settee, the clock. This ghostly knot of memory, idea and feeling that we call ourself also exists, though not within the measurable world our science may describe. Consciousness is unquantifiable, a ghost in the machine, barely considered real at all, though in a sense this flickering mosaic of awareness is the only true reality that we can ever know. The Here-and-Now demands attention, is more present to us. We dismiss the inner world of our ideas as less important, although most of our immediate physical reality originated only in the mind. The TV, sofa, clock and room, the whole civilisation that contains them once were nothing save ideas. Material existence is entirely founded on a phantom realm of mind, whose nature and geography are unexplored. Before the Age of Reason was announced, humanity had polished strategies for interacting with the world of the imaginary and invisible: complicated magic-systems; sprawling pantheons of gods and spirits, images and names with which we labelled powerful inner forces so that we might better understand them. Intellect, Emotion and Unconscious Thought were made divinities or demons so that we, like Faust, might better know them; deal with them; become them. Ancient cultures did not worship idols. Their god-statues represented ideal states which, when meditated constantly upon, one might aspire to. Science proves there never was a mermaid, blue-skinned Krishna or a virgin birth in physical reality. Yet thought is real, and the domain of thought is the one place where gods inarguably ezdst, wielding tremendous power. If Aphrodite were a myth and Love only a concept, then would that negate the crimes and kindnesses and songs done in Love's name? If Christ were only ever fiction, a divine Idea, would this invalidate the social change inspired by that idea, make holy wars less terrible, or human betterment less real, less sacred? The world of ideas is in certain senses deeper, truer than reality; this solid television less significant than the Idea of television. Ideas, unlike solid structures, do not perish. They remain immortal, immaterial and everywhere, like all Divine things. Ideas are a golden, savage landscape that we wander unaware, without a map. Be careful: in the last analysis, reality may be exactly what we think it is.
76. David Hume - Treatise on Human Nature; Essays Moral and Political; An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding 77. Jean-Jacques Rousseau - On the Origin of Inequality; On the Political Economy; Emile - or, On Education, The Social Contract 78. Laurence Sterne - Tristram Shandy; A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy 79. Adam Smith - The Theory of Moral Sentiments; The Wealth of Nations 80. Immanuel Kant - Critique of Pure Reason; Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals; Critique of Practical Reason; The Science of Right; Critique of Judgment; Perpetual Peace 81. Edward Gibbon - The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; Autobiography 82. James Boswell - Journal; Life of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D. 83. Antoine Laurent Lavoisier - Traite e‰lementaire de Chimie (Elements of Chemistry) 84. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison - Federalist Papers 85. Jeremy Bentham - Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation; Theory of Fictions 86. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - Faust; Poetry and Truth 87. Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier - Analytical Theory of Heat 88. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel - Phenomenology of Spirit; Philosophy of Right; Lectures on the Philosophy of History 89. William Wordsworth - Poems 90. Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Poems; Biographia Literaria 91. Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice; Emma 92. Carl von Clausewitz - On War 93. Stendhal - The Red and the Black; The Charterhouse of Parma; On Love 94. Lord Byron - Don Juan 95. Arthur Schopenhauer - Studies in Pessimism 96. Michael Faraday - Chemical History of a Candle; Experimental Researches in Electricity 97. Charles Lyell - Principles of Geology 98. Auguste Comte - The Positive Philosophy 99. Honore de Balzac - Pe¨re Goriot; Eugenie Grandet 100. Ralph Waldo Emerson - Representative Men; Essays; Journal 101. Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Scarlet Letter 102. Alexis de Tocqueville - Democracy in America 103. John Stuart Mill - A System of Logic; On Liberty; Representative Government; Utilitarianism; The Subjection of Women; Autobiography 104. Charles Darwin - The Origin of Species; The Descent of Man; Autobiography 105. Charles Dickens - Pickwick Papers; David Copperfield; Hard Times 106. Claude Bernard - Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine 107. Henry David Thoreau - Civil Disobedience; Walden 108. Karl Marx - Capital; Communist Manifesto 109. George Eliot - Adam Bede; Middlemarch 110. Herman Melville - Moby-Dick; Billy Budd 111. Fyodor Dostoevsky - Crime and Punishment; The Idiot; The Brothers Karamazov 112. Gustave Flaubert - Madame Bovary; Three Stories 113. Henrik Ibsen - Plays 114. Leo Tolstoy - War and Peace; Anna Karenina; What is Art?; Twenty-Three Tales 115. Mark Twain - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; The Mysterious Stranger 116. William James - The Principles of Psychology; The Varieties of Religious Experience; Pragmatism; Essays in Radical Empiricism 117. Henry James - The American; The Ambassadors 118. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche - Thus Spoke Zarathustra; Beyond Good and Evil; The Genealogy of Morals;The Will to Power 119. Jules Henri Poincare - Science and Hypothesis; Science and Method 120. Sigmund Freud - The Interpretation of Dreams; Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis; Civilization and Its Discontents; New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis 121. George Bernard Shaw - Plays and Prefaces
Mortimer J. Adler