The story of the learned Johannes Faust, who sold his soul to the devil for ultimate knowledge, was dramatized in Marlow's Tragical History of Dr. Faustus (ca. 1589) and Goethe's Faust (1780-1833). Marlow's play is said to have influenced German and Dutch puppeteers, who in turn influenced Czech puppeteers. Czech marionette plays began appearing in the 17th and 18th centuries and Faust became a puppet-stage blockbuster. A dozen or more puppeteering families orally passed down their own versions of the play and one version, signed only with the initials A.B., was finally published in Prague in 1862, the same year in which publisher Vilimek issued a not very authentic transcript of Faust attributed to the legendary puppeteer Matej Kopecky. The text by A.B. was adapted into English in 1990 by Vit Horejs and published by Dilia, Prague in 1993.
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