„So mag es bei der Fratze bleiben.“

English translation: Let us agree and put the farce to this odd use.

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase: „So mag es bei der Fratze bleiben.“
English translation:Let us agree and put the farce to this odd use.
Entered by: espintl

02:24 Apr 4, 2010
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Goethe Faust
German term or phrase: „So mag es bei der Fratze bleiben.“
This is a statemeny that appears in Faust.
I wonder what it means in the context.

„So mag es bei der Fratze bleiben.“

The statement appear in the followng pagssage on teh German wikipedia

Das Wort „Fratze“ bedeutete noch bis ins 19. Jahrhundert auch ein (teuflisches) Trugwerk. In diesem Sinn hat es Goethe in seinem Faust mehrfach und mit Nachdruck verwendet: Im ersten Teil, als der Professor den Teufelspakt mit Blut unterschreibt und das nicht recht ernst nehmen will, sagt er: „So mag es bei der Fratze bleiben.“ Im zweiten Teil, als sich Mephistopheles als Narr maskiert, heißt es von ihm: „Gar köstlich ist er aufgeputzt, / Doch fratzenhaft, dass Jeder stutzt.“
espintl
Australia
Local time: 02:45
Let us agree and put the farce to this odd use.
Explanation:
as in joke, charade, or
untruth
grotesque, unreal/untrue face (Fratze)

in your second instance:
fratzenhaft (scary)


http://www.archive.org/stream/goethesfaust00goetuoft/goethes...
„So mag es bei der Fratze bleiben.“

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/faust05.html
Let us agree and put the farce to this odd use.

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/faust22.html
But such a fright that all men start.

http://www.archive.org/stream/goethesfaust00goetuoft/goethes...
German version

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 44 mins (2010-04-04 03:08:46 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

here realized as absurd / absurdity:

translated by:
ANNA SWANWICK
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Swanwick

http://www.bartleby.com/19/1/3.html
MEPHISTOPHELES

Wherefore thy passion so excite
And thus thine eloquence inflame? 1410
A scrap is for our compact good.
Thou under-signest merely with a drop of blood.

FAUST

If this will satisfy thy mind,
Thy whim I’ll gratify, howe’er absurd.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day11 hrs (2010-04-05 14:07:22 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

@Yorrick:
I wasn't going to suggest my own version, but this is what you find on the internet and, as an example, I believe it does convey the meaning correctly. "Nothing true", "nothing serious", "just a gimmick (Mätzchen)" that's Faust's opinion on signing this pact with his blood but it is much more than that, it was a betrayal, a trick but all these expressions can be rolled into one with "Fratze" a mask that conceals the truth, for fun, for laughter, or for deceit.
Mephistopheles hints at that with the famous phrase in the next sentence:
"Blut ist ein ganz besondrer Saft."
Selected response from:

Bernhard Sulzer
United States
Local time: 12:45
Grading comment
Viele Danke. All answers seem ok, but This is my preference.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +4Let us agree and put the farce to this odd use.
Bernhard Sulzer
3Let us keep within gesticulation and grimace
YorickJenkins
3So then let this farce remain
Thayenga
1 -1"This is after all nothing but a grimace."
andres-larsen


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


31 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5 peer agreement (net): -1
"This is after all nothing but a grimace."


Explanation:
Up until the nineteenth century, the word "grimace" also meant a (devilish) work of deception. Goethe frequently and emphatically used it in this sense throughout his Faust: In the first part, when the Professor seals his pact with the Devil in blood without taking himself too seriously, he says: "This is after all nothing but a grimace." In the second part, when Mephistopheles disguises himself as a fool, the statement comes from him: "He is all spruced up, / But his grimace looks so grotesque, that everybody is taken aback."

andres-larsen
Venezuela
Local time: 12:45
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Kim Metzger: Grimace doesn't work at all for this special meaning of Fratze.
6 mins

disagree  Ulrike Kraemer: with Kim; your translation doesn't convey the meaning of the German phrase at all
6 hrs

agree  Barbara Wiebking: Why not? I think it is in accordance with the third definition that the Century Dictionary gives here: http://www.wordnik.com/words/grimace/definitions
18 hrs
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
So then let this farce remain


Explanation:
One way to phrase it.

Thayenga
Germany
Local time: 17:45
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Barbara Wiebking
8 hrs

disagree  YorickJenkins: I don't see a justfiication for translating Fratze as farce
1 day 1 hr
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33 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Let us agree and put the farce to this odd use.


Explanation:
as in joke, charade, or
untruth
grotesque, unreal/untrue face (Fratze)

in your second instance:
fratzenhaft (scary)


http://www.archive.org/stream/goethesfaust00goetuoft/goethes...
„So mag es bei der Fratze bleiben.“

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/faust05.html
Let us agree and put the farce to this odd use.

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/faust22.html
But such a fright that all men start.

http://www.archive.org/stream/goethesfaust00goetuoft/goethes...
German version

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 44 mins (2010-04-04 03:08:46 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

here realized as absurd / absurdity:

translated by:
ANNA SWANWICK
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Swanwick

http://www.bartleby.com/19/1/3.html
MEPHISTOPHELES

Wherefore thy passion so excite
And thus thine eloquence inflame? 1410
A scrap is for our compact good.
Thou under-signest merely with a drop of blood.

FAUST

If this will satisfy thy mind,
Thy whim I’ll gratify, howe’er absurd.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day11 hrs (2010-04-05 14:07:22 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

@Yorrick:
I wasn't going to suggest my own version, but this is what you find on the internet and, as an example, I believe it does convey the meaning correctly. "Nothing true", "nothing serious", "just a gimmick (Mätzchen)" that's Faust's opinion on signing this pact with his blood but it is much more than that, it was a betrayal, a trick but all these expressions can be rolled into one with "Fratze" a mask that conceals the truth, for fun, for laughter, or for deceit.
Mephistopheles hints at that with the famous phrase in the next sentence:
"Blut ist ein ganz besondrer Saft."


Bernhard Sulzer
United States
Local time: 12:45
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 55
Grading comment
Viele Danke. All answers seem ok, but This is my preference.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kim Metzger: Better translation than "If this will satisfy thy mind, Thy whim I'll gratify, howe'er absurd."
7 mins
  -> thank you, Kim!

agree  Ulrike Kraemer: mit Kim
6 hrs
  -> vielen Dank, U.!

agree  Ingeborg Gowans (X): mit beiden Vorgängern / Frohe Ostern!
8 hrs
  -> danke, Ingeborg! Dir auch Frohe Ostern!

agree  Rebecca Garber
10 hrs
  -> thank you, Rebecca!

disagree  YorickJenkins: Stylistically this is sorry to say this, very poor. I also don't think that Fratze could possibly mean farce
1 day 10 hrs
  -> please see my add-on notes.

agree  Annett Kottek (X): Explanation above.
1 day 12 hrs
  -> danke, Annett! Auch für die hilfreiche Diskussion oben.
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1 day 11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Let us keep within gesticulation and grimace


Explanation:
Faust is saying here that he sees no need for formal confirmation. The gestures/outward appearances are enough.

I thought the quotation below was revealing-especially as Faust's pact is a caricature of what happens at Easter. Fratze DOES mean grimace in my opinion and I do not agree with the disagreements given to Andres. I think his "grimace" is correct but didn't like "this is nothing but.." because that is not in myopinion what Faust is saying. He is stressing that the appearance of intent requires no formal /ceremonial confirmation.

Here is the description of the Fratze in Medieval legend from which Goethe probably drew inspiration for the line in question:

Wer in früheren Zeiten das erstmals 1267 urkundlich erwähnte Ostertor passierte, begegnete dort einer hölzernen Fratze aus dem 17.Jahrhundert, die als Schreckdämon bei jedem Glockenschlag den Vorübergehenden die Zunge herausstreckte.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 Tage8 Stunden (2010-04-06 11:17:47 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I took the trouble to read the surrounding text intensively and concede that Faust regards the entire proceedings including the signing of the document as hocus-pocus, (I thought on a first reading it that he was excluding the signing of the document from the meaning of "Fratze" but Faust includes the gestures with the formal confirmation. They are all one to him). I think this is a parody of Lutheran "justifcation by faith" versus Roman Catholic finding the way to Heaven through good deeds, the devilish contrast here being the Faustian "word" versus Mephistopheles' need for deeds. I would make a small but significant change to my suggestion and that is to replace "gesticulation" with gesture, thereby including the signing of the document in the meaning of "Fratze". I can think of no English word which conveys the double meaning of Fratze as grimace and gesture. My understanding of "farce" is that it is something pitiful, humorous, unacceptable-I don't see that in the word "Fratze" (well perhaps a little of the humorous). To sum up-I agree that I had a too narrow interpretation of "Fratze" but I still don't like "farce" at all, I don't think it conveys anything of the menace and Gothic of the original.

YorickJenkins
Local time: 17:45
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 3

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Bernhard Sulzer: the asker referred to this wikpedia page and based on that, I do see it as being a "Posse", a "joke". a "ridiculous farce" (in the first instance): http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fratze
12 mins

neutral  Annett Kottek (X): I don't follow your reasoning. Faust agrees (and goes on) to sign the pact as requested.
2 hrs
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