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     Literature Goethe: Faust V. Some verses

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Exercise: Goethe, Faust

  V. Some verses


26) ... Da wird der Geist euch wohl dressiert ...

  MEPHISTOPHELES:   MEPHISTOPHELES
Da wird der Geist Euch wohl dressiert,
In spanische Stiefeln eingeschnürt,
Daß er bedächtiger so fortan
Hinschleiche die Gedankenbahn,
Und nicht etwa, die Kreuz und Quer,
Irrlichteliere hin und her.
Dann lehret man Euch manchen Tag,
Daß, was Ihr sonst auf einen Schlag
Getrieben, wie Essen und Trinken frei,
Eins! Zwei! Drei! dazu nötig sei.
Your spirit's then well broken in for you,
In Spanish boots laced tightly to,
That you henceforth may more deliberately keep
The path of thought and straight along it creep,
And not perchance criss-cross may go,
A - will-o'-wisping to and fro.
Then you'll be taught full many a day
What at one stroke you've done alway,
Like eating and like drinking free,
It now must go like: One! Two! Three!
     

Once again we have here the critique of the academic life. Although Mephistopheles says this, he can separate his opinion from his principle. In the German classicism an identity of form and style was demanded, which means style is also content. The works that are written for the university are style without content. What the author wants to express, is that the style of that, what's written, is more important than its content. Always one, two and three has to be respected. One has to write in an introduction, what one guy said or the other something different. And therefore the scientific question arises from this difference. Then comes the main part with lots of quotes, that sound scientific (of course it is important to quote correctly). Then comes the summary and in this summary, in which is said that this work is only the start of large investigation, because one does not know yet, whether the author wrote his verses because his wife could not get pregnant or because he was in love with another girl. Once accepted this one, two, three, one can pass any exam. Basically this game, financed by taxes, does not interest anybody. But it is done this way for the last 200 years and it will be done for the next 200 years, if not the state decides to stop this nonsense.

In fewer words we here have once again a description how the normal (not yet deformed by academic routine) brain works. The human brain works in a associative way; it can establish relations between many things and create new things. Many people believe that it is such an efficient apparatus, because man can think systematically. Howevery, actually the power of the human brain does not consist of the systematic thinking. Any computer is able to "think" more logically, more systematically and above all faster. The strength of the human brain does not exist in working algorithms, this any computer does better. But the human brain is able to establish new relations between things, for instance the one that permits the human brain to create computers. The description by Mephistopheles, that the ideas go criss-cross, if not put into restraints, is very precise. But again only the criss-cross-thinking makes it possible for human beings to be creative. Not to be misunderstood, the author is quite able to think logically (he gives classes in programming at a quite high level). Nevertheless Mephistopheles is right.
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