Sympathy for the Devil: Satan, the Artist, and the Man who said “Christ was a bastard and his mother dishonest”

January 18, 2017 — Leave a comment
rodick_faithlessgrottoes_2007-love

Love, ©Frank Rodick, 2007

 

There’s a long standing  love affair between artists and the devil….

If Dr. Faustus is the first modern man, it’s because he is the first of a modern type: the artist. The bohemian archetype has long been understood as a devilish one. Where once the individual was but a conduit for God, with Faustus he began to serve a different master, either his own consciousness or, well, Satan. Or maybe those are really the same thing. Dr. Faustus during the witching hour, with his leatherbound tomes and his scrying mirrors, scribbling furiously on vellum and divinating with the sacred geometry, wasn’t a mad scientist: he was the artist. He was Marlowe himself.

A worthwhile read: Ed Simon examines four centuries of Christopher’s Marlowe’s The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus in his article One Devil Too Many. Even if you never read the original, chances are you’ve come across the good doctor more times than you know.

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