THOMAS MANN:DR.FAUSTUS

Stentorian prose…deliberate archaisms…mechanical in style yet occasionally moving…grand metaphors.The strengths of this book, almost impossible to write about, because of its unassailable place in the canon of literary history are its musical analysis(whether partly lifted from Schoenberg and Adorno or not), often a beautiful attempt to capture the elusive ineffability and transience of music via prose; and its dry humour(for example the portrait of the music master early on in the book);it also has, and I do not know if this is a successful thing or not, the usual Mannian layers of ambiguity re the sexual orientation of its protagonists,not least the droll, dead-pan narrator, in his passionate “love and fear” of the Mephistophelean composer, and the overt sexual and emotional love Adrian feels for the beautiful (male) violinist Rudiger(it is clear their love is physically consummated), of whom the sometimes arch narrator is decidedly jealous at times!. To me, however, it has an intrinsic deadness and coldness throughout its length, which, of course, Mann may well have intended, in order to convey his metaphor, via the composer, for the moral bankruptcy of the German leaders(and, at times, overtly)the German people as a whole, in the Third Reich

it took six months to read.

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Published by: decayetude

ENTHUSIASMS: CLASSICAL MUSIC, ESPECIALLY OBSCURE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS; BACH/HANDEL LITERATURE, ESPECIALLY THOUGHTFUL, WELL-WRITTEN(STYLISTICALLY)NOVELS W G SEBALD WALTER BENJAMIN THEODOR ADORNO(JUST BEGINNING!) AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHY GAY MEN'S WRITING;QUEER THEORY STIMULATING DISCUSSIONS(EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY) GOOD RICH THICK ESPRESSO MICHAEL PONTI SPRITUALITY/LIFE'S "AURA"(BENJAMIN), WHATEVER TRANSCENDENTAL THING YOU WANT TO CALL THIS MEMORY-the elusiveness thereof. LOST TIME AND AN ATTEMPT AT ITS REDEMPTION(NON THEISTICALLY/RELIGIOUSLY)

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3 thoughts on “THOMAS MANN:DR.FAUSTUS”

  1. Bravo for working through it… I’m half way up The Magic Mountain at the moment. They are long journeys to undertake, but I believe the view from the top is worth it. If only there were more time for reading!

  2. Thanks Gavin; I MAY try the “magic Mountain” one day; but “Faustus” did not make a great impresssion on me; all told. And such a confused person. I should read Klaus Mann next time!Thanks. Take care.Steve

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