Goethe's Faust

Coleridge as translator of Goethe's Faust

The editors, Frederick Burwick and James C. McKusick, published at Oxford University Press, Faustus, From the German of Goethe, Translated by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (2007). This edition claims that Coleridge is the author of the anonymously published translation Faustus, From the German of Goethe (London: Boosey, 1821). The editors, who are both eminent Coleridge scholars, presented their case for Coleridge's authorship at the Coleridge Summer Conference 2006. Responses to this substantial claim have been coming in as follows:

Reviews and responses

The illustrations:

The background:

  • [Anon], 'A Critical Essay on Goethe's Faustus a Tragedy'  The Flowers of Literature, by William Oxberry, Comedian (1821)
    PDF file available here. The instalments (joined here) are spread out over several numbers of the magazine.
  • Rosemary D. Ashton, 'Coleridge and Faust' The Review of English Studies, NS28 (110) May 1977 156-167
    Available online for JSTOR subscribers.
    A survey of Coleridge's encounters with Goethe's Faust.
  • Lina Baumann, Die englischen Übersetzungen von Goethes Faust... (1907)
    A survey of English translations of Faust. Unlike Hauhart, it doesn't cover the 1820's in any detail.
    See http://www.archive.org/details/dieenglischenbe00baumgoog
  • Frederick Burwick The Damnation of Newton: Goethe's Color Theory and Romantic Perception (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1986) 257-60 -- not in the Burwick/McKusick bibliography -- 'interesting for the co-editor's earlier, more nuanced proposal of STC as translator and some comments by Paul Zall not used in the edition'.
  • Paul Cheshire, '"I Lay too Many Eggs": Coleridge's "Ostrich Carelessness" and the Problem of Publication',
    Coleridge Bulletin NS23, Spring 2004, 1-21.
    pp16-20 on the Coleridge - Murray relationship.
  • Hugh Craig -A Companion to Digital Humanities
    A very useful online introduction to stylometrics.
  • [Charles Edward Dodd] An Autumn Near the Rhine (London: John Murray, 1821 2nd ed.)
    Available on Google books. This anonymous account of a tour of Germany includes well informed commentary on Goethe (Letter XIII - pp213-230) and the author's own verse translations of poems by Goethe, Schiller and others. Not in the Burwick/McKusick bibliography. It is a useful contemporary account of the reception and an instance of anonymous English translation of German poetry.
  • William Frederic Hauhart, The Reception of Goethe's Faust in England in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 1909).
    Contains a historically influential discussion of Coleridge and Goethe's Faust. see http://www.archive.org/details/receptionofgoeth00hauh
  • Emma Gertrude Jaeck, Madame de Staël and the Spread of German Literature (New York: OUP, 1915)  - 'It has quite a lot on translators of Faust - it's very much of its time, but I find such early C19 reception studies sometimes amazingly interesting and useful, precisely due to the lack of a "thesis"!'
  • Anthony Kenny, The Computation of Style (Pergamon, 1982)
    'An excellent and relatively non-technical introduction to stylometric analysis and the relevant statistical theory'
    (Cit. www.philocomp.net, the website of Peter Millican the creator of Signature, the stylometric analysis software used by James C. McKusick.)
  • William Vaughan, German Romantic Painting (London and New Haven 2nd edition 1994) - not in the Burwick/McKusick bibliography - 'a standard work that would have led them to Cornelius as well as Retzsch'.
  • Catherine Waltraud Proescholdt-Obermann, Goethe and his British Critics (European University Studies, Peter Lang, Frankfurt 1992) - not in the Burwick/McKusick bibliography - 'to an extent updates Hauhart'.

This page aims to be comprehensive and even-handed. Relevant contributions of the following kind are welcomed:

  • Notice of reviews or articles published elsewhere that can be added as links (if available online) or as citations if only available in print.
  • New unpublished information in essay form.
  • Information supplementary to letters accepted for publication in periodicals.