Germany was stunned. This is because the Bavarian state government revised the high school German curriculum last month and removed the mandatory reading item. There is only one book that must be read. It was a play by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In the end, it meant that I didn’t have to force myself to read . The state government explained that “teachers can use it as a reference book,” but protests from all walks of life continued. The German press called it ‘Faust-Krise’. It is an example that clearly shows the symbolism of German literature.
Goethe, a master of German literature famous for , wrote for 58 years from 1773 to 1831. It is a masterpiece of 12,111 lines. ‘Even if you sell your soul to the devil… ‘ The origin of the story is .
The main character, Faust, is an elderly scholar. He despairs, saying that no matter how much he studies, he cannot realize the truth of the world. “From philosophy to jurisprudence to medical theology, he studied with zeal. But I am a poor fool We just knew we couldn’t know anything.”
The demon Mephistopheles appears before the agonizing Faust. He will let you enjoy to your heart’s content in this world, so in the future, he proposes to serve him in the underworld. Faust accepts the ‘Devil’s Contract’ and puts a condition on it. “If at some point I say, ‘Stay, you are beautiful!’ (Verweile doch! Du bist so schn!) It was said that he would hand over his soul after death if he provided the ultimate satisfaction.
The devil guides Faust on a path of pleasure to win the bet. But pleasure comes with pain. Faust, who has been rejuvenated by a witch’s drug, falls in love with a young girl, Margaret. He undertakes a massive reclamation project to build an earthly paradise for all, but drives an innocent old couple to death.
The charm of lies in this paradox. Faust, who has grown old again and has gone blind, hears the devil digging a grave and misunderstands that the construction for a paradise on earth is progressing steadily. Finally, he spit out the taboo sentence. “Stay, you are so beautiful!”
The subsequent development is quite different from Mephistopheles’ expectations. It is the angels, not the demons, that take away Faust’s soul. Human beings who had wandered into the temptation of the devil ascended to heaven. If you are a puzzled reader, let’s look back at God’s voice at the beginning of the work. “Man is bound to wander as long as he tries.”
The book circumvents the simplistic formula of good luck. blesses human efforts to pursue ideals and even their frustrations. Jo Woo-ho, president of the Goethe Society of Korea (Professor of German Language and Literature, Duksung Women’s University), said, “It is a work that affirms our worries and struggles for the true life.”
Goethe sang this song by borrowing the poet’s mouth in his work. “Who is the person who makes the flow of a one-of-a-kind life ripple? Who gives deep meaning to the burning sunset? That is human power.”
Reporter Gu Eun-seo [email protected]