11 December 2019
GOETHE, Johann Wolfgang von (1749-1832). Faust. Ein Fragment... Ächte Ausgabe. Leipzig: Georg Joachim Göschen, 1790.
First separate edition of arguably the greatest work of European literature since Dante and Shakespeare. By 1773 Goethe had begun to write his play on the popular theme of Faust. During and after his Italian journey (1786-88), he returned to the task, added two new scenes, turned some prose into verse, and published the result in 1790 as Faust. Ein Fragment, in volume 7 of his Schriften. A contemporary review claimed that ‘if Goethe had written nothing else this alone would make his name immortal […] here is the German Shakespeare’ (Unseld, p.319). This issue of the first separately published version is without the repetition of three lines on p.145, the signature mark on D1 and the misprints. Siegfried Unseld. Goethe and His Publishers. Chicago: 2019; Hagen 204.
Octavo (160 x 95mm). (Minor worming in gutter of quires A-C and leaf D1, light browning, occasional faint staining and soiling.) Contemporary half calf, spine gilt, paper spine label (small repairs, new endpapers). Provenance: ‘939’ (faint inscription on title).
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