Doctor Faustus : The Life of the German Composer Adrian by Thomas Mann, John E. Woods

By Thomas Mann, John E. Woods

"John E. Woods is revising our impact of Thomas Mann, masterpiece by way of masterpiece."  --The New Yorker

"Doctor Faustus is Mann's private inventive gesture. . . . Finely translated via John E. Woods." --The New Republic

Thomas Mann's final nice novel, first released in 1947 and now newly rendered into English via acclaimed translator John E. Woods, is a latest transforming of the Faust legend, during which Germany sells its soul to the satan. Mann's protagonist, the composer Adrian Leverkühn, is the flower of German tradition, an excellent, remoted, overreaching determine, his radical new track a breakneck video game performed via paintings on the very fringe of impossibility. In go back for 24 years of exceptional musical accomplishment, he offers away his soul--and the facility to like his fellow guy.

Leverkühn's existence tale is a superb allegory of the increase of the 3rd Reich, of Germany's renunciation of its personal humanity and its include of ambition and nihilism. it's also Mann's such a lot profound meditation at the German genius--both nationwide and individual--and the negative duties of the really nice artist.

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Extra info for Doctor Faustus : The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkuhn As Told by a Friend

Example text

But I was almost never present for that, since we normally arrived at Buche! only after services were over, and I can only say that I never heard Adrian speak one word that would lead me to conclude that his young mind had been affected in any way by the offerings of that j ourneyman, or, if that is scarcely probable, that he had taken any special note of the phenomenon of music in and of itself. As far as I can see, he failed to pay it any attention back then, or indeed for years af­ terward, and kept the idea hidden, even from himself, that he might have anything to do with the world of sound.

Her dark complexion, her almost black hair, and the quiet, friendly cast of her eyes might have led one to take her for an Italian, had that not been contradicted by a certain Germanic coarseness to the features of the face. It formed a shortened oval, her face did, with a chin that was rather pointed, a nose that was not quite regular, but slightly flattened and upturned at the end, and a demure mouth whose lines were neither sharp nor voluptuous. That dark hair I mentioned half-covered the ears, and as I grew older slowly turned silver; she wore it pulled back so tight that it shimmered and the part in it exposed white skin above her forehead.

It seems advisable to remark on my own that this anecdote about the man with the pediatrician is a digression, insofar as neither of them will ever appear again in this account. If that is an error, and if it was already a manifest error for me to succumb to my tendency to get ahead of my­ self and start in now about Pfeiffering and the Schweigestills, I beg the reader will attribute such irregularities to the agitated state in which I have found myself ever since beginning this biographical enterprise­ and not just during the hours spent writing it.

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