Saturday, June 07, 2008
Faust (German for "fist") or Faustus (Latin for "auspicious" or "lucky") is the protagonist of a classic German legend in which he makes a pact with the Devil. The tale is the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic and musical works, such as those by Christopher Marlowe, Goethe, Mikhail Bulgakov, Thomas Mann, Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, Washington Irving, and Charles Gounod.
The name "Faust" has come to stand for a charlatan alchemist (some claim "astrologer and necromancer") whose pride and vanity lead to his doom. Similarly, the adjective "Faustian" has come to denote acts or constellations involving human hubris which lead eventually to nemesis.