Faust. Ein Fragment.

Faust. Ein Fragment. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Faust. Ein Fragment.
Faust. Ein Fragment.
Faust. Ein Fragment.
Scarce first separate publication of one of the pinnacles of world literature
Faust. Ein Fragment.

Leipzig: Bey Georg Joachim Göschen, 1790. First edition. First separate publication of Faust, also issued as part of Goethe's collected works ("Schriften"). First issue with the three repeated lines at bottom of p. 144 and the top of p. 145, and the printing errors. Small octavo (6 3/16 x 3 3/4 inches; 157 x 95 mm.). [2], 168 pp. Includes the half-title (signed A).

Contemporary half calf over original marbled paste-paper boards. Spine stamped with floral pattern in gilt. With newer brown morocco spine label, lettered in gilt. A bit of light toning to pages. Binding with some rubbing and corners a bit bumped. Overall an excellent copy.

By 1773 Goethe had begun to write his play on the popular theme of Faust. In its earliest form it was copied ca. 1776 by Luise von Göchhausen and only rediscovered and published by Erich Schmidt in 1887, now generally known as the Urfaust. During and after the Italian journey (1786-1788), Goethe took Faust up again, added scenes, turned some prose into verse, and published the result in 1790 as Faust. The early sheets (presented here) showing an early, uncorrected state of the setting were issued separately, with a letterpress title taking the place of the engraved frontispiece and vignette title in the Schriften.

Deneke, “Die Einzeldrucke Goethe’scher Werke,” in Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde, N.F. I/1, pp. 156 ff. Hagen 204. Kippenberg 2377. Wilpert/Gühring, p. 417, no. 42.
(Item #1257)

Price: $22,500