- Hardcover: 249 pages
- Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2007 edition (April 12, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1403975590
- ISBN-13: 978-1403975591
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,365,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Faust Myth: Religion and the Rise of Representation 2007th Edition
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First, Hawkes' historically based definition of magic, and his discussion of how objections to "magical" elements of medieval sacramental practice and ideology were at the center of Protestant protest, is highly informative, well-written, well-researched, and insightful. This discussion forms a solid basis for discussing magic in the Faust myth.
Hawkes, in spite of what previous reviewers have said, entirely "gets" Goethe. Much serious Goethe criticism has come to the conclusion that for Goethe, the ending of "Faust II" is not meant as a positive affirmation of his character. Capitalist enterprise in Goethe's Faust goes hand in hand with murder, and Faust really loses his sanity at the end. He is a sad figure and experiences, in the very process of being raised up by feminie grace to a very ironically described, saccharine heaven, a truly pathetic end, a worthy humbling for a man of such hubris.
Hawkes' larger critique of postmodern deconstruction and of capitalism, which substitute the sign for real presence/substance, is engrossing, thoughtful, philosophically and theologically sophisticated, and absolutley relevant for the world we inhabit. In Goethe's Faust II, Faust invents paper money in order to help the corrupt German emperor secure a kind of artificial power. It is no accident that Goethe associates capitalism with magic and depicts its consequences as catastrophic. Hawkes has it absolutely right.
This is a riveting and deeply meaningful book. I highly recommend it!