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     Literature Goethe: Faust V. Some verses

Exercise: Goethe, Faust

  V. Some verses

3) ... besonders aber lasst genug geschehen ...

Besonders aber laßt genug geschehn!
Man kommt zu schaun, man will am liebsten sehn.
Wird vieles vor den Augen abgesponnen,
So daß die Menge staunend gaffen kann,
Da habt Ihr in der Breite gleich gewonnen,
Ihr seid ein vielgeliebter Mann.
Die Masse könnt Ihr nur durch Masse zwingen,
Ein jeder sucht sich endlich selbst was aus.
Wer vieles bringt, wird manchem etwas bringen;
Und jeder geht zufrieden aus dem Haus.
Gebt Ihr ein Stück, so gebt es gleich in Stücken!
Solch ein Ragout, es muß Euch glücken;
Leicht ist es vorgelegt, so leicht als ausgedacht.
Was hilft's, wenn Ihr ein Ganzes dargebracht?
Das Publikum wird es Euch doch zerpflücken.
But, more than all, do let enough occur!
Men come to look, to see they most prefer.
If, as they gaze, much is reeled off and spun,
So that the startled crowd gapes all it can,
A multitude you will at once have won;
You then will be a much-loved man.
You can compel the mass by mass alone;
Each in the end will seek out something as his own.
Bring much and you'll bring this or that to everyone
And each will leave contented when the play is done.
If you will give a piece, give it at once in pieces!
Ragout like this your fame increases.
Easy it is to stage, as easy to invent.
What use is it, a whole to fashion and present?
The Public still will pick it all to pieces.

This precise describes in few words the cultural industry of the Hollywood-type. It describes how 90% of the movies work. It is necessary to put something of everything: lots of fights, love, desperation, good and bad ones and special effects. From one film to the other of those elements can be put a little bit more or a little bit less. From the point of view of the manager of the theatre one could understand perfectly his opinion. The Poet, who reclaims is right to create something original seem to be quite weak. In this aspect the relation between the manager of the theatre and the poet is similar to the relation between Mephistopheles and Faust. The idealism defends itself quite badly against pragmatism, even if it is cynical.

A more profound analysis of the entertainment industry would go even until before the Second World War. Culture and entertainment are produced the same way, using the same techniques like producing cars. Standardisation and homogenisation eliminate the differences between the world of work and the world of culture. This way the possibility of experiencing new emotions is prevented, the horizon of utopia is closed. Eternally the same, and even if spectacular, it cheats.