Posted by: Nyxks | December 14, 2007

Gnostic Faustus, The

Gnostic Faustus, The
by Ramona Fradon © 2007
Inner Traditions
ISBN 978-1594477204-7
370 pages
$19.95 (U.S.)
Reviewed by: Mike Gleason

This is NOT a book for the casual reader. If you don’t have a good, basic understanding of Gnostic literature, alchemy and/or the Faust legend you will rapidly find yourself playing catch-up.

This book is predominantly a comparison, section by section (and sometimes line for line) between the original “Faust book” (Anonymous, circa 1570) and major Gnostic and alchemical writings, many of which were known only by reputation until the late 19th century and later. Each chapter is introduced with a short overview, and then the reader is left to read the do*****ent (in a series of side-by-side columns) and to make his own comparisons and draw his own conclusions.

Written by an author who has devoted almost three decades to her investigation of the Faust legend, this book should be a valuable addition to the libraries of those individuals interested in any of the major topics covered. It is not a book I would recommend for someone just beginning their studies, however.

The imagery contained in the Faust legend is thoroughly explored, and some aspects are brought forward which have not, to my knowledge, been discussed in works available to a general readership. And that is the best thing about this book. While a basic background is necessary, the reader need not be a specialist in medieval literature to be able to make sense of it.

At the risk of being accused of being in the employ of the publisher (I have been so accused in the past, with other publishers) I really must recommend Inner Traditions ( as a valuable source of well-written books. Their emphasis appears, to me at least, to be less on introductory works, and more on books which make the reader think, and encourage further research.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: