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

By Thomas Mann, John E. Woods

"John E. Woods is revising our influence of Thomas Mann, masterpiece through masterpiece."  --The New Yorker

"Doctor Faustus is Mann's private creative gesture. . . . Finely translated by way of 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 contemporary remodeling of the Faust legend, within which Germany sells its soul to the satan. Mann's protagonist, the composer Adrian Leverkühn, is the flower of German tradition, a super, remoted, overreaching determine, his radical new tune a breakneck online game performed via artwork on the very fringe of impossibility. In go back for 24 years of remarkable musical accomplishment, he deals away his soul--and the facility to like his fellow guy.

Leverkühn's existence tale is an excellent allegory of the increase of the 3rd Reich, of Germany's renunciation of its personal humanity and its embody of ambition and nihilism. it's also Mann's such a lot profound meditation at the German genius--both nationwide and individual--and the poor tasks of the actually nice artist.

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Leaning there were several specimens of the violone, the giant violin, the cumbersome double-bass, capable of majestic recitatives, whose pizzicato is more sonorous than the roll of a tuned kettledrum, and from which one would never expect the veiled magic of its flageolet­ like tones. And likewise present in quantity was its counterpart among the woodwinds, the contrabassoon, its sixteen feet of tubing robustly augmenting the basses in tones an octave lower than the notes as writ­ ten, in every dimension double the size of its little brother, the jesting bassoon-and I call it that, because it is a bass instrument without the power of a real bass, strangely weak in tone, a bleating caricature.

The enchanting violins were hung behind glass or lay bedded in cases that, like mummy-coffins, took the shape of their oc­ cupants; some were lacquered more yellowish, some more brownish, D O C T O R F A U S T U S 45 and their slender bows fitted securely into the lid, with silver wire en­ twining the nut-Italian violins, whose purity of form would have told the expert that their origin was Cremona, but also violins from Tyrol, Holland, Saxony, Mittenwald, plus those from Leverkiihn's own workshop.

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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