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The Faust Myth: Religion and the Rise of Representation

The Faust Myth: Religion and the Rise of Representation
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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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