Topics in Germanic Literatures: Faust and the Terror of the Modernity (LA)

Subject associations
GER 324 / COM 319
Fall 2022
Joel B. Lande
Registrar description

No text in the German tradition has impacted World Literature as much as Goethe's Faust. The first half of this seminar will engage in a close reading of the play's first and second parts, exploring key themes that have shaped modern society: the quest for knowledge, erotic desire, the invention of paper money, the human destruction of the environment, and war. In the second half of the seminar, we will study landmark "adaptations" of the Faust story, including texts by Valéry, Pessoa, and Mann as well as films by Murnau and Szábó.