• FSB
  • GIRA
  • KEUCO
POINTS of contactPOINTS of contact

Devil in the detail – Follow the little devil’s footsteps and find more than just details

7 min read

In some curious buildings, even the expression ‘the devil is in the details’ seems deliciously ironic. Stairways that end in walls, doors that do not let you exit, and taps installed beside rather than over a washbasin are not what you could call ‘minor’ problems!

mistake devil
The devil has already found his first mistake.

At this level, the work is bedevilled by more than detail problems. But what does this saying even mean? It suggests that something has not been thought through thoroughly, or unforeseen ‘supposed’ trivialities have major impacts on the result. These associations have brought the devil into play, with the mischievous nature attributed to him. We cannot say with certainty where the saying originated. It is assumed that the German version can be traced back to Goethe’s Faust. In the well-known tragedy, Dr Faust makes a deal with the devil Mephisto, without understanding the details and consequences that will affect him in the future. In his deliberations on early Renaissance art, art historian Warburg wondered whether God, not the devil, is in the details, as he saw them more as something important and beautiful. That gives the detailed positive connotations. However, Warburg’s approach unfortunately did not establish itself. In spite of his deliberations, the devil still has not been banished from this context today. Probably because too much meticulousness and precision are still generally seen as a negative, as evidenced by words like ‘narrow-minded’, ‘petty’ and ‘painstaking’. Perhaps, in certain situations, it is like a useful excuse when you have overlooked a detail yourself, causing unforeseen consequences. Then we magnanimously place the blame squarely on the unpredictable devil.

We want to combine the two here – and would welcome your help. For if we have nothing to fear from the devil, it can be fun to look for one. Especially as we have given him such a beautiful new outfit. But see for yourself...

How to get our little devil on your smartphone, tablet or PC.
How to get our little devil on your smartphone, tablet or PC.
Can the devil find the mistake? © reddit
Can the devil find the mistake? © reddit
Can the devil find the mistake? © reddit
Can the devil find the mistake? © reddit
Can the devil find the mistake? © reddit
Order Magazine