Faust Myth: Religion and the Rise of Representation
  • Faust Myth: Religion and the Rise of Representation
  • Faust Myth: Religion and the Rise of Representation

Faust Myth: Religion and the Rise of Representation

by David Hawkes
     
 

This book argues that the world has sold its soul to Satan. To make this case, Hawkes undertakes a careful, precise analysis of what the terms 'soul' and 'Satan' have meant historically. Focusing on the story of Dr. Faustus, which he argues is the definitive myth of the modern era, Hawkes claims that the autonomous, individual human subject has become dissolved in

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Overview

This book argues that the world has sold its soul to Satan. To make this case, Hawkes undertakes a careful, precise analysis of what the terms 'soul' and 'Satan' have meant historically. Focusing on the story of Dr. Faustus, which he argues is the definitive myth of the modern era, Hawkes claims that the autonomous, individual human subject has become dissolved in a sea of representation. The system of performative signs that we call 'the market' functions today as an openly magical power, existing only in our minds, but ruling the world nonetheless, and systematically extinguishing the essence of humanity. Hawkes describes how this situation has arisen using a wide-ranging, trans-national account of the versions of Faust presented by Marlowe, Calderon, Milton, Moliere, Goethe, Byron, Dostoevsky, Wilde, Thomas Mann, Ngugi Wa'Thiongo and Salman Rushdie. Literary scholars, historians, philosophers and even economists will find fascination and instruction in this comprehensive, original book.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The Faust Myth contains an astonishing thesis, which Hawkes presents with astonishing boldness... The book is, more than any other academic book I have encountered, a sensation... the pervasive application of his thesis to an extraordinary range of philosophical and (international) literary texts spanning several centuries is a testimony to his erudition, and his critical virtuosity and brilliance. But the almost monomaniacal power of this treatment may also cause uneasiness... " Ian MacAdam, Renaissance Quarterly

"The social engagement of Hawkes's scholarship is impressive and appealing, but The Faust Myth is strongest in its close textual analysis, revealing Faust's potency as an emblem of man's "prideful" preference for sign over reality." Elizabeth Scott-Baumann, Times Literary Supplement

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781403975591
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date:
01/23/2007
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.79(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.92(d)

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