I apologize for not blogging much this week. I have been working on two papers for my grad program, one on the Faust legend where I addressed one of the oft-unmentioned costs of Faust’s bargain. Thomas Mann makes it explicit in his Doctor Faustus : The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkuhn As Told by a Friend where his Faust-figure is forbidden love as part of his pact: “A total chilling of your life and of your relations to humans lies in the nature of things—indeed it already lies in your nature.” As part of his bargain with the devil, Adrian Leverkühn, Mann’s Faust, must renounce human relationships.
And while Goethe does not make this prohibition explicit, the tragedy of the First Part of his Faust involves how his actions lead to the dishonor and death of the one woman he truly loves, whose image provides him with a vision of domestic happiness. Like Leverkühn, Goethe’s Faust too must spend his life on earth without really relating to his fellow man. And that must truly be a bleak — and empty — existence.
I believe that human relationships are the very stuff of life; they make life worth living. Indeed, I would argue that all movies, indeed, nearly all great stories which truly move us have, at their core, a compelling relationship. I had hoped to blog more on this as I wrote, but that paper (as well as another) took a lot out of me and words did not seem to flow so easily this week.