Thursday, 2 June 2011

Queer Faust

Faust was gay? Ah, apparently so: amongst the very few documents to do with the life of the historical Dr. Johann Georg Faust (1480 – c. 1540) is a proclamation by the Mayor of Nürnberg, dated 1532, to "deny free passage to the great nigromancer and sodomite Doctor Faustus" ('Doctor Faustus, dem großen Sodomiten und Nigromantico in furt glait ablainen').

What interests me is that nobody (so far as I'm aware) has followed through the implications of this. When I've time I'll write a story called 'Queer Faust', in which the famous three-part contract Faust agrees with the devil is revealed in its true colours. Faust asks for the most beautiful woman in the world; but no actual woman emobodies the perfection of beauty, since they all necessarily fall into the mutability of physical incarnation: the 'most beautiful woman' is defined as the woman more beautiful than all women, which in turns is revealed to mean: a man. Faust asks to live forever, and the Devil reveals the true nature of this request, which is to circumvent life and death altogether; to avoid the trap of generation, fertility, childbirth and its necessary correlatives of decay and death. Faust asks to rule the world, and the Devil reminds him that all the councils and cabals of Earthly power, from princely conclaves to Freemason lodges, are the exclusive privileges of manhood.

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