John Hamilton

Oct 5, 2022

On Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "Faust"

A Discussion with John Hamilton

New Books Network 2022

Selling your soul to the devil in exchange for your deepest desire is a common theme in many western stories. The origins of this theme can be traced back to the German legend of Faust. The most well known version today is an epic poem, Faust, written by German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Part of the reason Faust continues to resonate with audiences is that everyone can relate to this feeling of striving against our own human limitations. John Hamilton is a professor of Comparative Literature in German at Harvard. He is the author of the books Music, Madness, and the Unworking of Language, Philology of the Flesh, and more. See more information on our website,

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