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Pacts with the devil - 22

My first introduction into the idea of making deals with the devil was with Robert Johnson and the Cross Road Blues. This was before rock and metal had been invented, let alone stigmatized, and Blues was considered "the devil's music". As the myth goes Robert Johnson was a middling to shoddy guitar player who went away for a year and when he came back, he was able to do things with the guitar that stunned other players. It quickly built up that Johnson had traded his soul for the ability to play music like a virtuoso.

I later discovered the Goethe play about Faust, the doctor who made a deal with the devil to give up his soul so that he could learn all there was to learn about earthly science. He wanted to learn more than any other human in history has been able to learn and the devil takes him on quite a wild ride indeed.

I very recently came across an article that was talking about how a particular European folktale pre-date the Bible and Greek myths. This one is so old it existed before written record and was passed down largely intact by oral storytelling tradition. This tale was of a blacksmith who made a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for the power to weld any materials together, then fixes the devil to an immovable object so the devil can't collect on his soul.

There are many more examples of people making deals with devils, and with mischievous elves, and with djinni which offer a similar take on making deals with supernatural beings and the good and bad ways those deals can end up.


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