Asymptote Podcast: The Devil

New Year, new podcast episode!

This month, we examine a character who has been influencing the minds of authors for thousands of years: the Devil. We’ll be taking a look at that fiery hell-demon we all know and love to hate (or fear), but we’ll also discuss how other cultures view this figure. We first consider Maximon, a Guatemalan saint not recognized by the Catholic Churcha fusion of Satan, Judas, Cortes, and the Mayan trickster god Mam. Then we’ll move on to Russia, where we will look at how the Devil influenced two hundred years of their literature. We’ll end with an exploration of the Voodoo religion, which isn’t as devilish as you may think.

Works Mentioned in this Episode:

The Wisdom Books: Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes: A Translation with Commentary translated by Robert Alter

Inferno by Dante Alighieri translated by Robert Pinsky

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov translated by Diana Bugin

The Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende translated by Margaret Sayers Peden

Additional Translations:

The Book of Luke King James International Version

Prayer to the Pure One translated by Steven Goulden

Voice Actors:

Alessio Franko reading The Book of Luke and The Book of Job

Emily Hooper reading The Brothers Karamazov and The Master and Margarita

Piyali Syam reading Prayer to the Pure One and The Island Beneath the Sea

All music in this episode, credited below, is from and provided under a Creative Commons License.

No Sudden Moves by Dengue Fever

Little Lily Swing by Tri-Tachyon

Malako (Live) by Samba Mapangala and Occidental Brothers Dance Band International

Balkan Qoulou by Watcha Clan

Russian Dance by Yair Yona

Momento by Toms Tello

Mr. Franklin by Steve Gunn

Produced by: Daniel Goulden with the help of Sally Decker.


Daniel Goulden is Asymptote’s new Podcast Editor and former Assistant Editor. He currently lives in Brooklyn, where he works on a variety of new media projects including an upcoming podcast and the  webseries Between the Sidewalk and the Street, as well as old media projects including translations from Russian and good old-fashioned writing.