Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Special: The First Faust ...

I've always loved the legend of Faust: the man who sells his soul to the devil for some sort of worldly gain. I read a couple of different short variations of Faust in school, my favorite of these being The Devil and Daniel Webster. Years later I saw that version of Faust reprised in an episode of the Simpsons; it has definitely made its way into the popular psyche. I think the story resonates because we have all been faced with the temptation for worldly gain at a price that would forever change who we are. We've even seen people take that road. How many people have traded innocence for acceptance, or decency for popularity? It is a choice that everyone is faced with, and (being sinners) on some level we all take the bait.

But what was the origin of the Faust legend? We can trace Faust-like characters, even under the name "Faust", back to medieval Germany. But I suggest that there is a much older Faust story in Judeo-Christian literature. The first story about selling our souls for worldly gain: Adam and Eve.

Happy Halloween!

4 comments:

Tony-Allen said...

Happy Halloween!

One of my favorite interpretations of Faust is the original 1960's "Bedazzled" featuring Peter Cook as the Devil and Dudley Moore as a hapless chef who falls in love with a waitress but doesn't know how to approach her (AVOID the Elizabeth Hurley remake AT ALL COSTS). It has some hilarious bits, including one where Dudley Moore's wish goes wrong and he becomes a nun.

Weekend Fisher said...

I never saw the original Bedazzled. I saw the remake a few years ago, and enjoyed the part where a wish for prosperity goes badly wrong and he ends up a Columbian drug lord ...

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

Mark said...

Anne,
To things, at my alma mater (U of Chicago) when I was a student (the 80s) the studnt film organization showed Bedazzled as the last film of the spring term every year. It is a wonderful film.

I also saw/heard the Chicago Symphony last night showing Berlioz The Damnation of Faust, which alters Goethe's tale quite a bit, but was a treat nonetheless.

Weekend Fisher said...

I always have loved the Faust stories. The symphony sounds like a real treat.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF