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Title: Dealing with the devil : a critical and creative look at the diabolical pact
Author: Percak, Eric Charles
ISNI:       0000 0004 5917 0426
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis is comprised of three parts: a critical dissertation, a creative work of fiction and a bridge piece that connects the two. The critical work is an examination of the Devil as a satirist in Faustian bargains. Through the usage of the Devil as a literary figure, his character has become a more secular being: a trickster rather than evil incarnate—a facilitator of sin rather than its originator. In the tragicomedy of pacts with the Devil, he acts as a mirror, reflecting mankind’s foibles and vanity, while elevating the reader in the process. The thesis considers the language, tone, purpose and conceits of several versions of the story. While the focus is primarily on American Literature, the influence of English, Scottish, French and German folklore and fiction are recognized as an essential component of the theme’s evolution. In the bridge piece, the pact with the Devil is literalized in a modern context; a corporate business of reaping souls is theorized in which techniques of persuasion are streamlined into an effective formula. Whether immersive or expository in approach, the portrayal of the supernatural depends on the literary principles of science fiction and fantasy in order to manipulate the reader and allow irrational concepts to obey rational laws. Such theories are cited to support how the Devil functions as a believable character. The novel, Could Be Much Worse, relates the story of an egocentric boss and his dependable employee, a scout who disguises himself as a taxi driver and seeks candidates who may succumb to temptation. Passengers’ monologues of desperation and pathos are interspersed throughout the protagonist’s day-to-day narrative. At times, the work is experimental, utilizing irregular storytelling techniques, alternative forms and conceits. Light-hearted, but nonetheless poignant, the story serves as a cautionary tale, illustrating the tedium of a bureaucratic job in a transmundane existence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN Literature (General) ; PN0441 Literary History ; PS American literature