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The Faust Legend

Popular Formula and Modern Novel


Marguerite D. Allen

Allen reevaluates the Historia von D. Johann Fausten as a work of formulaic fiction which inverts the structural pattern of the medieval saints' legends, subverting Catholic values in favor of Lutheran ones. This reevaluation makes possible a new reading of Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus. Mann adopted the Historia's basic structural pattern of hagiography-antihagiography and rewrote the Faustian pact as Nietzschean ressentiment period. Mann recognized that the Historia had a montage technique of its own and this substantially affected the development of his montage technique in Doktor Faustus.
Contents: The Faustian Reversal of the Saint's Life - The Montage Technique: The Making of a Legend - Hagiography/Antihagiography: Narrative Voice and the Question of Salvation - The Pact: The Faustian Reversal as Nietzschean Ressentiment.