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Faust Chronology

Variations of the Faust Myth

A Chronological, International Overview

Second half of the 15th Century
Several historical persons have been put forward as the source of the early Faust legends. The little available documentary evidence seems to point to a Georg born in Helmstadt near Heidelberg in 1466 (and later variously refered to as Georgius Faustus or Georg Helmstetter) as the most likely candidate.

1480
According to a competing version of events most widely cited today, the historical Faust is believed to have been born in 1480 in Knittlingen.

1483
Georg Helmstetter enrolled at Heidelberg University. He earned his Master’s Degree in philosophy in 1487 and was held to be well-versed in astrology.

1540

In a letter from Venezuela, Philip von Hutten writes that an earlier prediction by Georgius Faustus has come true.

The Faust from Knittlingen is said to have died that year, perhaps in an accidental explosion while practising alchemy.

1587
The anonymous German Volksbuch (chapbook) Historia von Johann D. Fausten/dem weitbeschreyten Zauberer unnd Schwartzkünstler … was published in Frankfurt/Main.

1588
Probable year of the first printing of the chapbook’s English translation, The Historie of the damnable life, and deserved death of Doctor John Faustus. The earliest extant edition is from 1592.

1588-92
Christopher Marlowe’s drama Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus was written, performed, and published in London.

1724
Harlequin Doctor Faustus. Pantomime composed by John Thurmond. London.

1730
Performance of a ‘musical-pantomimic ballet’ entitled “D. Faust” in the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna, produced by Borosini and Sellier.

1790
The first publication of a version of Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s Faust drama as Faust. Ein Fragment in a collection of his writings in Leipzig.

1791
Friedrich Maximilian Klinger published Fausts Leben, Thaten und Höllenfahrt in fünf Büchern [Faust's Life, Deeds and Going to Hell in five Books].

1808
Goethe published Faust. Eine Tragödie. Tübingen: Cotta. This would become known as Faust I after the publication of the second part.

1817
George Lord Byron, Manfred.

1825
Henry Bishoph composed Faustus, music to accompagny a drama by George Soane.

1826
Puschkin, “Scene from Faust.”

1828
Hector Berlioz, Huit scènes de Faust [Eight Scenes of Faust]. Opera.

1829

  • Premiere of Goethe’s Faust I in Braunschweig.
  • Christian Dietrich Grabbe, Don Juan und Faust. Drama.

1831
Goethe completes Faust II.

1832
Goethe’s Faust II is published shortly after his death.

1840
First version of Richard Wagner’s Faust Ouverture.

1843-53
Robert Schumann composes Scenes from Goethe’s Faust.

1846
Hector Berlioz, La Damnation de Faust. Opera.

1851
Heinrich Heine’s ballet Doctor Faust: Ein Tanzpoem [A Dance Poem], written in the mid-1840s, is published.

1854
Premiere of Goethe’s Faust II in Hamburg.

1856
Ivan Turgenev, Faust. A Story in nine Letters.

1859
Premiere of Gounod’s opera Faust et Marguerite in Paris.

1868
Arrigo Boito, Mefistofele. Opera in four acts after Goethe’s Faust I and II.

1869
Hervé (Florimond Ronger), Le petit Faust. Opéra bouffe.

1897

  • Faust et Marguerite. Silent film. Directed by Georges Méliès. With Jeanne d’Alcy. France.
  • Cabinet de Méphistophélès. Silent film. Directed by Georges Méliès.

1898

  • Faust and Mephistopheles. Silent film. Directed by George Albert Smith. UK.
  • La Damnation de Faust. Silent film. Directed by Georges Méliès. France.

1900
Faust and Marguerite. Silent film. Directed by Edwin S. Porter. USA.

1903

  • Faust aux enfers. Silent film. Directed by Georges Méliès. France.
  • Faust et Méphistophéles. Silent film. Directed by Alice Guy. France.

1908-1933
Fernando Pessoa works on Faust. A subjective Tragedy.

1909
Faust. Silent film based on Goethe. Directed by Edwin S. Porter. With: William Sorelle. USA.

1909-11
Max Reinhardt directs Goethe’s Faust I and II on a rotating stage in the Deutsches Theater, Berlin.

1910
Faust. Silent film based on Gounod’s opera. Directed by Henri Andréani and David Barnett. With Fernanda Negri Pouget, Tom Santschi. UK, France.

1911
Faust. Silent Film based on Gounod’s opera. Directed by Cecil M. Hepworth. With: Hay Plumb, Claire Pridelle, Jack Hulcup, Frank Wilson. UK.

1913

  • Der Student von Prag [The Student of Prague]. Dir. Stellan Rye, Script by Hanns Heinz Ewers.
  • Lili Boulanger composed the dramatic cantata Faust et Hélène, based on a French adaptation from Goethe’s Faust II.

1918
Anatolij Lunacarski, Faust and the City. Drama.

1920
Sergej Rachmaninov composed his piano sonata op. 28, No. 1: After reading Faust.

1922
Don Juan et Faust. Silent film. Directed by Marcel L’Herbier. France.

1923
Faust. Silent Film. Directed by Bertram Phillips. Written by Frank Miller III. UK.

1925
La Damnation de Faust. Silent film. Directed by Victor Charpentier and Stéphane Passet. France.

1926
Faust – eine deutsche Volkssage [a German Folk Legend]. Silent film. Dir. Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau. Perf. Gösta Ekmann, Emil Jannings und Camilla Horn. Germany

1932-33
Gustaf Gründgens plays Mephisto in the Prussian State Theater, Berlin.

1936
Klaus Mann, Mephisto. Roman einer Karriere [Novel about a Career].

1937-38
The first uncut productions of Goethe’s Faust I and II in Paris and Dornach by Rudolf and Marie Steiner.

1940

  • Paul Valéry, Mon Faust.
  • Bulgakov writes Master i Margarita.

1941
All that Money can buy/The Devil and Daniel Webster. Directed by William Dieterle. Written by Dan Totheroh and Stephen Vincent Benet, from the story by Benet. With: Walter Huston, Edward Arnold, James Craig, Anne Shirley, Simone Simon. USA.

1941/42
Gründgens directs Goethe’s Faust I und II at the Deutsches Theater, Berlin.

1947
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus. Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn, erzählt von einem Freunde [The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkühn, as told by a Friend].

1948
La Leggenda di Faust. Directed by Carmine Gallone. Written by Léopold Marchand. Italy.

1949

  • Alias Nick Beal. Directed by John Farrow. Written by Jonathan Latimer, from a story by Mindret Lord. With: Ray Milland, Thomas Mitchell, George Macready, Audrey Totter. USA.
  • Got, mentsch un tayvel [God, Man, and Devil]. Film in Yiddish. Directed by Josef Seiden.

1950
La Beauté du Diable [The Beauty of the Devil]. Dir. René Clair. Perf.: Michel Simon, Gérard Philippe, Nicole Besnard. France, Italy, 1950.

1952

  • Hanns Eisler, Johann Faustus. Opera libretto.
  • Ikuru. Dir. Akira Kurosawa. Perf. Takashi Shimura, Miki Odagiri, Yunosuke Ito. Japan.

1952-53
Bertolt Brecht directs Goethe’s Urfaust in Potsdam and Berlin.

1955
Marguerite de la Nuit [Margarete of the Night]. Dir. Claude Autant-Lara. Perf. Yves Montand, Michèle Morgan, Pierre Palau, Jean-François Calvet. France, Italy.

1957-58
Gründgens directs Goethe’s Faust I at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hamburg.

1958

  • Damn Yankees. Directed by George Abbott and Stanley Donen. Written by Abbott, from the play by Douglas Wallop and Abbott, from “The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant” by Wallop. Perf. Tab Hunter, Gwen Verdon, Ray Walston. USA.
  • Faustina. Directed by José Luis Saenz de Heredia. Spain.

1960

  • Release of the film of Gründgens’ production of Faust I in Hamburg, directed by Peter Gorski.
  • Michel Butor (lyrics) und Henri Pousseur (music), Votre Faust. Fantaisie variable genre opéra. Postmodern pastiche. Premiere in 1969.

1966
Faust XX. Fantasy film. Directed by Ion Popescu-Gopo. Romania.

1967

  • Bedazzled. Dir. Stanley Donen. Perf. Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Eleanor Bron, Raquel Welch, Barry Humphries. UK.
  • Dr. Faustus. Directed by Richard Burton and Neville Coghill. Written by Neville Coghill, from the play by Christopher Marlowe. With: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Andreas Teuber. UK.

1971
Mephisto Waltz. Directed by Paul Wendoks. Based on the novel by Fred M. Stewart. Perf. Alan Alda, Jacqueline Bisset, Barbara Parkins, Curd Jürgens.

1976
Faust. TV film. Directed by Grzegorz Królikiewicz. Poland.

1980
Mephisto. Film based on Klaus Mann’s novel. Dir. István Szábo. Perf. Klaus Maria Brandauer, Rolf Hoppe, Krystyna Janda.

1982
Slobodan Snajder’s drama The Croatian Faust premieres in Split.

1986

  • Václav Havel, Temptation. Drama.
  • Angel Heart. Dir. Alan Parker. Perf. Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Charlotte Rampling, Lisa Bonet. USA.

1993

  • Needful Things. Directed by Fraser C. Heston. USA.
  • Krystyna Kofta, Salon Profesora Mefisto. Drama in Polish.

1994

  • Lekce Faust [Lesson Faust]. Dir. Jan Švankmajer. Perf. Petr Cepek, Jan Kraus, Vladimir Kudla. Czech Republic, UK, France.
  • Nina Fitzpatrick, The Loves of Faustyna. Novel.

1995
Faust. Musical. Texts, Lyrics, and Music by Randy Newman.

1996
Faust. TV film of Goethe’s drama. Directed by Eva Bergman. Sweden.

1997

  • Faust – The Rock Opera. Music and Dir. Rudolf Volz.
  • Faust – The Musical. Book and lyrics by Kirk Wood Bromley. Music by Chris Sanderson and Chris Barron.
  • Faustorama. Musical written by John Maxwell Taylor.

1999
Faust. Video game. France.

2000

  • Near-uncut production of Goethe’s Faust I and II under the direction of Peter Stein. Premiered at the EXPO 2000 exhibition in Hannover.
  • Faust: Love of the Damned. Directed by Brian Yuzna. Written by Tim Vigil and David Quinn. USA, Spain.
  • Bedazzled. Remake of the 1967 film. Directed by Harold Ramis. With Brendan Fraser, Elizabeth Hurley, Frances O’Connor. USA.

2001
I was a Teenage Faust. TV film. Directed by Thom Eberhardt. Canada.

 

Last modified: May 13, 2005