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Selling your Soul for Fun and Profit: Faustian Bargains

January 10 - February 7, 2024, Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m. (five sessions)
925 SW Washington Street Portland, OR 97205


The Faust Legend takes up the question of selling your soul to the devil for magical success in this world. This Delve seminar looks at the legend in three famous instantiations: in the German chapbook, in Christopher Marlowe’s tragedy, and in Goethe’s iconic drama. We can trace these authors’ evolving view of evil, sin, the soul, and salvation. How seriously we take the afterlife has everything to do with what we aspire to in this one.

Depending on interest, this seminar will prepare participants with the necessary background for a reading of Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus. We can then follow up with this difficult but deeply rewarding novel.


Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus. Ed. D. S. Kastan. Norton Critical Edition, 2005.

Goethe Faust Part One Trans. D. Luke. Oxford World Classics, 1987.

Access Program
We want our writing classes and Delves to be accessible to everyone, regardless of income and background. We understand that our tuition structure can present obstacles for some people. Our Access Program offers writing class and Delve tuitions at a reduced rate. Most Delves  have at least one access spot available.

Please apply here for access rate tuition. Contact Susan Moore at susan@literary-arts.org if you have questions.

Liaison position
Every in-person class and seminar at Literary Arts has one liaison position. Liaisons perform specific duties for each class meeting. If you are a liaison for a class or seminar, the full amount of your tuition is covered by Literary Arts.

Apply here for the liaison position.

Delve Cancellation Policy
If you register for a Delve and need to cancel your registration, here’s a link to our refund policy for Delves.


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$ 205.00
7 available

James Cohn

Jim received his B.A. from Dartmouth College in French and German. After a Fulbright scholarship in Germany, he went on to complete an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from the University of Chicago under the direction of Nobel Laureate Saul Bellow. As a tenured professor at St. John’s College, he spent 15 years teaching the Great Books curriculum in Santa Fe. In 2006, Jim moved to British Columbia to help found and then lead Quest University Canada, a new liberal arts and sciences college. He has traveled extensively in Europe, and has been fortunate enough to study Russian in Moscow, and to have had Visiting Professor positions in Germany, Bhutan, and Hong Kong. Twenty years ago, when living in Portland, Jim founded the Delve program with the Chairman of the Board and the Director of Literary Arts. He taught the first seminars in the pilot project, which has since flourished into the wonderful Portland institution it is today. He is delighted to return to Portland and to Delve.
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