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     Literature Goethe: Faust V. Some verses

Exercise: Goethe, Faust

  V. Some verses

2) ... was glänzt ist für den Augenblick geboren ...

Was glänzt, ist für den Augenblick geboren,
Das Echte bleibt der Nachwelt unverloren.
What gleams is born but for the moment's pages;
The true remains, unlost to after-ages.

This is evidently true and above all true for a literary work. It is always difficult to say, if a literary piece is valuable or not. Iif you asked ten people for their opinion about a piece, it is very likely to get ten different opinions. But the history is a very precise filter and that, what survives is valuable. What makes it valuable is actually not the spectacle, but what remains in our hearts from it. The spectacle consumes our attention in the moment we experience it, but quite often we forget soon enough. The authentic demands an effort to understand it, but it also changes our way of seeing the world. That what gleams, fascinates us, but it does not change us.