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Faust: A Modern Myth

20 10 2009
Series of lectures, conversations and concerts, plus a puppet theatre performance

Faust as a seminal mythological figure and its transformations from the Volksbuch of 1587 to Thomas Mann’s novel Doktor Faustus are the subjects of a series of lectures and conversations masterminded by Prof. Dr. Dieter Borchmeyer, German studies scholar at Heidelberg University and president of the Bavarian Academy of the Fine Arts. The series takes place in the framework of the “Heidelberg Lectures on Cultural Theory” initiated by the Manfred Lautenschläger Foundation. It begins on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 with a performance of the puppet play “Dr. Faustus’ Life and Descent to Hell”, which first inspired Johann Wolfgang von Goethe to write his two Faust plays. The performance by the renowned Bille Puppet Theatre (Saxony) will be given in lecture hall 14 of the New University, starting at 7 p.m.

The series taking place in the winter term 2009/2010 will focus mainly on Goethe’s Faust, investigating its aesthetic, political, social, economic and philosophical aspects and also outlining its afterlife in various arts and media. Professor Borchmeyer has invited a number of prominent guests to participate in the series. One highlight will be a concert of songs based on texts taken from Faust and given by the outstanding Austrian singer and Echo Classics Prize winner Christian Gerhaher. He will be joined by his regular accompanist Gerold Huber and two performers from Heidelberg, Silke Schwarz (soprano) and Joana Mallwitz (piano). The concert is scheduled for Friday, 4 December 2009 in the Great Hall of the Old University. On 13 January 2010 Professor Borchmeyer will be discussing the subject of “Faust and Money” with Heidelberg law professor Dr. Paul Kirchhof and Dr. h.c. Manfred Lautenschläger. Other events in the series are devoted to the impact of the Faust legend in the 19th and 20th centuries and cinematic versions of the myth.

Most of these events will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays in the New University building (Universitätsplatz). A concert interspersed with comments and explanations entitled “Faust and Music” is scheduled for Thursday, 17 December 2009 in the Great Hall of the Old University (Grabengasse 1).

Prof. Dr. Dieter Borchmeyer
Department of Germanic Studies
phone: +49 6221 543226

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