Sunday, September 18, 2011

Juristerei (Legal Rigamarole)

In Goethe's Faust Dr. Faust speaks the following lines when he first appears:
Habe nun, ach! Philosophie,
Juristerei und Medizin,
Und leider auch Theologie
Durchaus studiert, mit heißem Bemühn.
Da steh ich nun, ich armer Tor!
Und bin so klug als wie zuvor;
Heiße Magister, heiße Doktor gar
Und ziehe schon an die zehen Jahr
Herauf, herab und quer und krumm
Meine Schüler an der Nase herum-
Und sehe, daß wir nichts wissen können!
...
Bilde mir nicht ein, was Rechts zu wissen,
Bilde mir nicht ein, ich könnte was lehren,
Die Menschen zu bessern und zu bekehren.
A crude prose translation perhaps best conveys Faust's mood and sentiments:
Oh, I've thoroughly and passionately studied
Philosophy, law, and medicine
And also, I'm sorry to say, even theology.
Now here I am, poor fool.
And I'm just as smart as I was before.
I'm called "master" and -- would you believe it -- even "doctor."
For ten years I've led my students around by their noses, up and down, this way and that.
And in the end I see that it is impossible to know anything.
...
I don't fool myself that I know what's right.
I don't fool myself that I could teach anything that would improve or reform mankind.


&&&&
 

So the fellow turns to magic. Hmmm...
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