"Dealing with the Devil: The Faust Motif"
Papers for this 2023 NEMLA Conference roundtable need not involve actual deals with the devil, though such papers are welcome. The session will explore works in which a character or multiple characters engage in an activity or agreement that puts them at risk or compromises them without their anticipating or possibly understanding the full consequences or their lack of control over them. There might be a paper on Marlowe’s version of the Faust tale; there might also be a paper on Breaking Bad. There might be papers on film noir and/or the novels that inspired the films, or The Godfather. What drives characters to make such choices? Is it for wealth or power or something more noble or desperate? What makes the devil in each case seem attractive, easy to outwit, or worth the risk? Must the power that comes with the deal lead to corruption? Who survives such deals and why? Papers on sources from a broad range of literature or popular culture are welcome.