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Osman Durrani, University of Kent at Canterbury With contributions from Paul M. Malone, Derek Katz, Rolf Hellebust, Yoko Riley and Derek Sellen

Publication: November 2004, 456 pages . 120 black & white illustrations, ISBN 978-1-903206-15-7, RRP in UK: Ł45 [Purchase Online]

The story of the adventurous scholar who trades his soul for the fulfilment of his wishes has its roots in the Bible, in mystery plays and mediaeval legends. The original 'Faust Book' dates from the dawn of modernity. First printed anonymously in 1587, it introduces a doctor from Wittenberg who concludes a pact with one of Lucifer's minions. After travelling the world, meeting royalty and enjoying the favours of many beautiful women, he receives the ultimate punishment. The story was retold in many variants and reproduced in different media. Christopher Marlowe, who converted the crude moral fable into a poetic tragedy, initiated a process of rehabilitation for its hero. Some two hundred years later, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe concluded his greatest work with an apparent celebration of Faustian striving. Political and cultural factors generated a tide of admiration for the genius who had dared to extend the frontiers of knowledge in defiance of conventional virtue. More recently, the term 'Faustian' has once again become a byword for reckless expansionism, private immorality, and the indiscriminate pursuit of scientific experimentation regardless of all consequences.

Professor Durrani's study is the first in a new series of volumes devoted to the manner in which certain key figures are absorbed into our cultural awareness. Few individuals have remained as influential as the legendary doctor, in whom we have a character-sketch of modern man that is still valid today - restlessly inquisitive, overloaded with information, obsessed with the exploration of the world and space, and addicted to amorous conquests, all of which, as he himself realises, must fail to satisfy his deeper, spiritual needs. Each generation has developed it own strategies to make Faust an example of the extremes of brilliance and villainy of which the misguided genius is capable. How and why did the erstwhile transgressor come to attract sympathy during the Age of Reason? Wherein lay his appeal to Romantic poets, composers, and painters? Why did both National Socialists and Communists claim him as their own in the propaganda battles of the twentieth century? How is he viewed in Ireland, America, Russia and Japan? These and other issues are thoroughly investigated in a series of chapters devoted to the evolution of Faust's career from earliest times to the present, and to its recent impact on theatre, music, visual arts, and popular imagination in Europe and across the globe. The volume is accompanied by extensive bibliographies, numerous illustrations and a new verse translation of key scenes from Goethe's drama. 

Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Note on Author and Contributors
Editor's Preface

Chapter One: Faust's Ancestors: The Earliest Sources
The Myth is Born; The Rise of the Magus; An Itinerant Fortune-Teller; Luther's Demons; Literary Devils

Chapter Two: From Superstition to Scepticism
The Scholar as Villain; The History of Doctor John Faustus;
The Villain as Hero; Faust in Prose

Chapter Three: An Icon is Born
Doctor Faustus Recycled; Faustus becomes Faust

Chapter Four: Romantics to Realists
Restless Titans; Impassioned Romantics; Goethe's Faust Revisited
A Literary Parody; The Social Novel

Chapter Five: Humanists and Brown Shirts: Fausts for the Twentieth Century
The Collective Ideal; The Invention of 'Faustian Man'; Faust and Fhrer; Trapped in a Meaningless Universe; Faust under Socialism; A Postmodern Faust

Chapter Six: From Bare Boards to Computer Graphics: Faust in Performance
First on the Stage: Marlowe in London; Return to Continental Europe; From Scene Selection to Total Theatre; National Drama of the Reich; From Farce to Spectacle and back: English-language Productions; New German Minimalism; The Socialist Stage; Puppet Shows, Experimental Theatre, Commedia dell'arte, Laser Spectacular

Chapter Seven: Musical Fausts: Broadsheet to Rock Opera
The Devil's Tunes; Ballads and Ballets; Lied and Singspiel;
Symphonic Fausts; Grand Opera; From Chromatic Scales to Rock Musical
Faust as Rock Opera by Paul M. Malone

Chapter Eight: From Woodcut to Manga: One Hundred Images of a Magus
Early Illustrators; Substitutes for Drama; 'De luxe' Editions;
The Twentieth Century

Chapter Nine: The Moving Image
A Challenge for Illusionists; The Golden Age; Postwar Glitz;
Foreign and Arthouse; Horror and Pornography
Jan Svankmajer's Faust by Derek Katz

Chapter Ten: Faust Globalised
The Anglo-Saxon World; North American Fausts;
Three Irish Fausts; Faust in Verse; Across the Continents
Faust and the Russian Revolutionary Hero by Rolf Hellebust

Chapter Eleven: The Popular Imagination
Science and Politics; Faust for Tourists: Museums, Memorials, Festivals; Merchandising; The Leisure Industry; Exhibitions and 'Fringe' Theatre

Chapter Twelve: Cartoons and Comics
Retold in Pictures; Kids' Stuff: Educational Comics;
Comics for Grown-ups; Rewritten for Laughs
Faust through the Eyes of a Japanese Cartoonist by Yoko Riley
Conclusion: Faustus and the Potters by Derek Sellen
Postscript: 'Some little well-made Flask'

Biographical note on Author and Contributors

 Osman Durrani holds a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford, where he completed a thesis on Faust and the Bible. He lectured at Durham, UK, before becoming Professor of German at the University of Kent at Canterbury. His research has focused on many aspects of the Enlightenment, Romanticism and the twentieth century, and includes Anglo-German relations, popular culture, cabaret, and computer-assisted learning. Fictions of Germany. Images of the Nation in the Modern Novel was published by Edinburgh University Press in 1994.

Rolf Hellebust is an Associate Professor in the Department of Germanic, Slavic and East Asian Studies at the University of Calgary. He has written articles on Russian literature and culture for journals including Style, the Slavic Review, the Russian Review, and the Slavic and East European Journal. His book Flesh to Metal: Soviet Literature and the Alchemy of Revolution was published by Cornell University Press in 2003, and he is currently completing a monograph on the nineteenth-century literary tradition in Russia.

Derek Katz is an Assistant Professor of Music History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has specialised in Czech music and culture, especially the operas of Leos Jan 1ek. He has written on music for The New York Times, the Bard Festival, the San Francisco Opera and Lincoln Center in New York, and has given pre-concert lectures at venues across America, including the Ojai Festival in California and at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York.

Paul M. Malone is an Associate Professor of German in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Waterloo, Canada. He holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia and is a certified translator. In addition to his book, Franz Kafka's The Trial: Four Stage Adaptations (2003), he has published on literature, film, theatre-performance theory, and virtual reality computer technology, and is the current editor of Germano-Slavica: A Canadian Journal of Germanic and Slavic Comparative and Interdisciplinary Studies.

Yoko Riley holds an M.A. from Seijo University in Tokyo and a B.L.S. from the University of Ottawa. She now works in the Department of Germanic, Slavic and East Asian Studies at the University of Calgary, where she teaches courses in Japanese civilisation, language and film. She has co-written a two-volume multimedia Japanese language course. Her research has been on pre-twentieth-century Japanese history and civilisation, with a focus on the Sengoku and Tokugawa periods and their influence on present-day Japanese culture and society.

Derek Sellen lives and works in Canterbury, where he teaches English language and literature to foreign students. His poems have been published in various magazines and anthologies and have won national and international awards. He has read from his works on BBC Radio Three, and his plays have been performed in Canterbury and Brighton.

Professor Durrani's engrossing Faust sets a high standard for the Series it inaugurates, portraying figures from myth and history who "populate the collective consciousness and provide it with essential points of reference." Few have invaded the public awareness as aggressively as Faust, or so accurately mirrored in their transmutations the receiving societies.
Durrani first traces the evolution of the Faust theme, beginning with its sources in myths of the magus, in historical "splinters" regarding itinerant charlatans, in allusions by Martin Luther and other Reformation theologians, and in popular "devil books" of the 16th century. From there the story follows a well-trodden path from the chapbook of 1587 and Marlowe's Doctor Faustus to the prose versions of the 17th century. Durrani offers reliable recapitulations of the principal texts enlivened by extensive quotations, while assessing the differences between the German and English chapbooks or the shift from the Christian conflict of good and evil to Marlowe's view of Faust as tragic hero.
The thoughtful discussion of Goethe's Faust is followed by a survey of Romantic Fausts, including the parodies of F. T. Vischer and Ida Hahn-Hahn. In the 20th century the striving artist of Romanticism gives way to the seeker after social and political activity. Oswald Spengler featured Faust, with his yearning for totality, as the appropriate image of the modern age—an image perverted by Alfred Rosenberg for Nazi expansionism and applied by Thomas Mann in Doktor Faustus. While Valary's Mon Faust (1946) exemplified postwar existentialist pessimism, Georg Lukács and Ernst Bloch socialized the icon for use in the GDR.
Durrani then traces the icon in non-literary modes, beginning with stage performances from the traveling players and puppet shows to the mammoth productions of the entire Faust at the Swiss Goetheanum or Hanover's "Expo 2000." Accounts of productions are accompanied by enlightening quotations from contemporary reviews. A chapter on music, from the early ballads and ballets to later symphonies, dozens of operas and hundreds of Lieder, is followed by Paul M. Malone's capsule chapter on "Faust as Rock Opera" (by Rudolf Volz).
The earliest images of Faust, decorating the chapbook of 1588, grew through the Romantic depictions by Peter Cornelius and Delacroix to the Prachtausgaben of the late 19th century and the obsessions of German Expressionists. Durrani appraises the impact of visual images on theatrical productions and the shifting focus from Faust to Mephistopheles to Gretchen. Faust was apparently the first book to be filmed (as early as 1896), and even before Murnau's Faust of 1926 over thirty versions had appeared. The appeal has continued, by way of Gorski's Faust with Gründgens, Coghill's Doctor Faustus with Richard Burton, and István Szabó's brilliant Mephisto down to Švankmajer's unsettling Faust of 1994 (discussed in Derek Katz's capsule sketch).
The globalization of the theme—Faust's enormous popularity in the United States, England and elsewhere in Europe—is exemplified by Rolf Hellebust's capsule chapter on "Faust and the Russian Revolutionary Hero." While the modern imagination sees Faust as the prototype of the scientist who sells his soul in order to pursue his research, the subject also appeals to the hordes of tourists visiting museums in sites associated with his legend, and has spawned industries, from Mephisto shoes to Faust beers and cosmetics. Inevitably the theme has been reduced to comic books, from "Classics Illustrated" to such raw parodies as Flix's Who the Fuck Is Faust? or Karl Lagerfeld's trivialization featuring celebrities. The chapter ends with Yoko Riley's account of "Faust through the Eyes of a Japanese Cartoonist" (Osamu Tezuka). Derek Sellen's short story "Faustus and the Potters" concludes the book.
While the volume offers original insights, its main achievement is the monumental one of assembling and integrating an enormous amount of existing material on the Faust legend, thus providing a well-nigh inexhaustible source enhanced by bibliographies appended to each chapter. The few comparable works are exhibition catalogues—e.g., Faust: Annäherung an einen Mythos, ed. Frank Möbus (Göttingen: Wallstein, 1996)—whose contributions by various hands, for all their authority, lack the coherence of Durrani's sustained and lively view.
Prof. THEODORE ZIOLKOWSKI, Princeton University

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