Monday, 31 August 2009

Fuentes and Faust

In the short essay 'Time' (in This I Believe) Carlos Fuentes says "If I wanted to rid myself of an intolerably sad memory, my pact with God or the Devil would be this: relieve me of my memory and I'll give you my soul. But not even God can reverse what has been done. The Devil, on the other hand, claims that he can reverse what was into what wasn't. That is how God challenges and tempts man, for by forgetting an abominable fact, don't we risk forgetting the very best of our lives? ... That is the diabolical clause: forget everything or forget nothing."

So God does not claim to be able to reverse the past, but the devil does.

For Faust if he continues to live the life of hedonism and bliss he has swapped his soul for he must spend his afterlife in servitude to Mephistopheles, the devil. Could this be an allegory for the life we are currently living? Is Mephistopheles our fate if we do not change our ways of hedonistic consumption and waste? If we continue living this way, listening only to those who say that environmental disregard does not matter and living how we habitually do, then will we not be able to reverse our past, thus are we condemning ourselves to an apocalyptic future? Is it worth that risk?

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