Devil's Contract: The History of the Faustian Bargain w/Ed Simon - Boston 7/14 @ 6pm

East End Books Boston Seaport presents: Devil's Contract: The History of the Faustian Bargain w/Ed Simon in conversation w/  Peter Bebergal   - Boston 7/14 @ 6pm.

Tickets: Devil's Contract: The History of the Faustian Bargain w/Ed Simon - Boston Tickets, Sun, Jul 14, 2024 at 6:00 PM | Eventbrite


Ed Simon is the executive director of Belt Media Collaborative and editor in chief of literary journal Belt Magazine. A staff writer for LitHub, his essays and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Paris Review Daily, the New Republic, and the Washington Post. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his family.

Peter Bebergal is the author of Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural, Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll, and his book All Our Famous Monsters is forthcoming from The University of California Press. His essays and reviews have appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Paris Review,, The Times Literary Supplement, Boing Boing, The Believer, and The Quietus. Bebergal studied religion and culture at Harvard Divinity School. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Review Quotes:

The Next Big Idea Club's July 2024 Must-Read Books


"Simon's probing curiosity conjures up an enjoyable grab-bag of arcane knowledge. It's a beguiling literary history of diabolical deals." - Publishers Weekly


"An undeniably fascinating read, as the author weaves literary and intellectual strands into a colorful tapestry. -- STARRED Kirkus Review


"Erudite, scintillating, amusing, and undeniably unsettling ... reveals the terms of the contract the devil is extending to every one of us: the false promise of limitless power and pleasure, in exchange for a mere trifle: our principles, our souls." - Carol Zaleski, author of The Book of Heaven


"I truly admire the hell out of this book. It's thrilling yet erudite investigation into the long history of a Faustian bargain with the devil. It uncovers the way the sinister transaction, however mythic, has been incorporated into literature, culture--and contemporary human nature. Eye-opening and pleasurable reading that is also cause for self-reflection." --Ron Rosenbaum, author of Explaining Hitler and The Shakespeare Wars


"The Faustian bargain is, of course, the very epitome of the fool's bargain; but there are moments in life when one might almost be persuaded that one's soul is not too exorbitant a price to pay for what one most keenly desires. Simon's survey of the long history and mysterious psychology of the notion of a deal with the devil is many things--wild, entertaining, absorbing, learned, witty, acute--but it is also, in its final movement, prophetic and charged with an unsettling moral clarity." --David Bentley Hart, author of That All Shall Be Saved

"In Devil's Contract, Ed Simon uncovers the shrouded history and enduring influence of the legend of Faust, the ambitious scholar who sold his soul to a demon in exchange for knowledge and power. Far more than a reception history, this haunting book not only traces the lineaments of this legend from its biblical roots to the modern day, but it also challenges readers to confront their own moral transactions, in particular how personal compromises made in our quest for capital and comfort have resulted in the calamities of our current age, which Simon provocatively calls the 'Faustocene.'" --Scott G. Bruce, editor, The Penguin Book of Hell

"Never before has the Faust legend has been studied in this context ... What is conjured by this study is a new perspective on the human condition." -- Joseph P. Laycock, author of Speak of the Devil

"An engaging, accessible, well-written, and more than timely reminder of the enduring propensity to trade our humanity for social, economic, or political gain ... persuasively and coherently argued." -- Philip Almond, author of Mary Magdalene: A Cultural History

"Ed Simon beautifully weaves a tale--at once ancient and contemporary -about human intoxication with quick-fix power. From Jesus in the desert to Robert Johnson at the Delta crossroads, to the swindles of Hollywood contracts, Simon gives us a compassionate tour of human vulnerability and craven desire. His masterful grasp of the literature and lore of Faustian bargains makes Simon a worthy guide, and his friendly style makes him a congenial companion as we enter the dark territories of unholy covenants." -- Stephen Asma, author of The Evolution of Imagination, and cohost of podcast Chinwag

Event date: 
Sunday, July 14, 2024 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Event address: 
300 Pier 4 Blvd
Boston, MA 02210
Devil's Contract: The History of the Faustian Bargain By Ed Simon Cover Image
ISBN: 9781685891046
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Melville House - July 9th, 2024

Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll By Peter Bebergal Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399174964
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: TarcherPerigee - October 13th, 2015

Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural By Peter Bebergal Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780143111832
Published: TarcherPerigee - October 4th, 2022

Event Image: 
Photo Credit: Meg Finan