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Doctor Faustus (Everyman's Library Classics) [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Thomas Mann

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4. Juni 1992 Everyman's Library Classics
A portrayal of genius possessed, through the biography of the composer Adrian Leverkuhn, narrated by his friend Zeitblom in the years 1943-45, as Germany faces ruin.

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A portrayal of genius possessed, through the biography of the composer Adrian Leverkuhn, narrated by his friend Zeitblom in the years 1943-45, as Germany faces ruin.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Thomas Mann was born in 1875 in Germany. He was only twenty-five when his first novel, Buddenbrooks, was published. In 1924 The Magic Mountain was published, and, five years later, Mann was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Following the rise of the Nazis to power, he left Germany for good in 1933 to live in Switzerland and then in California, where he wrote Doctor Faustus (first published in the United States in 1948). Thomas Mann died in 1955. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .

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Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen  17 Rezensionen
33 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Nearly flawless 9. Dezember 1997
Von "wessels" - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
There are certain myths that seem to center a culture, stories that define and create a nation's heritage. The Great Gatsby defines the central american mythos. The Brothers Karamazov centers the Russian canon; and without a doubt the Fausus legend is at the heart of Germany's entire history, both political and cultural. Thomas Mann's retelling of the Faust legend for the twentieth century rarely misses a beat in its probing inquiry into the nature of Aesthetics, Sexuality, and Politics. And while the central questions on the role of power in relation to morality and the limits of artistic freedom that are the center of the Faust legend are here, Mann also manages to bring originality and his literary gifts to this retelling. What is remarkable about this narrative is that it tells you as much about the narrator as our Fausus himself. The narrator, Dr. Serenus Zeitblom, is just as central to this tale. His relation to our Faustian composer provides much of the dramatic tension as well as a human element in the esoteric wars over the nature of artistic power. Mann is among the greatest novelists of our century, and this is an unflinching novel that strives for meaning while within the echo of the Nazi guns that are the testament to the power of Faust and the darkness that the human soul must resist.
22 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen One of the best books you've never thought to read! 23. Juli 1997
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Forget preconceptions about this book. This is not a dry, stylistic, modernist retelling of the Faust story, but rather, and more effectively it is an investigation of evil, how it seems to strike everywhere and when least expected, from the minor deceptions committed daily to a country being led to ruin by a megalomanical leader, and how evil is often inexplicible, random, hardly satanic at all. Mann is an author of ideas but he is also a master of description. The novel is filled with wonderful, dark, and thought provoking images and scenes. And although the devil seems to abound, a sense of hope rings throughout Dr. Faustus. Reading this book gives insight into the seduction of evil as well as the need for evil to be explained. A difficult book with great rewards, many of its images will remain long after the last page. An astonishing creation
12 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Artist meets Scientist 2. Mai 2004
Von Alan Mason - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
In Doctor Faustus, arguably his greatest book if not the greatest book ever, all of Mann's formidable gifts come together. Lying at the heart of Mann's concern is the central figure of Adrian Leverkuhn, theologian turned composer. In him all the warring impulses, all the contradictions of our age are focused. "Cold" by nature, inclined to mathematics and to "speculate the elements" as scientists do, he yet craves the freedom and unrestraint of art, specifically music, the most demonic of the arts. But the fearful complexities of modern composition and his own innate coldness form an insuperable barrier, he needs something to kindle him to his destiny as a great composer. This turns out to be the Devil, who in a memorable interview heavy with fate offers him a quick way out of his difficulties.

The book teems with unforgettable images. To pick a few at random: the extended description of Adrian's sojourn in the Italian countryside, where he meets the Devil and his fate is sealed; the wintry excursion to the Bavarian Alps; the vision of the children in the choir singing a motet to Adrian, bedecked with rubies on their fat hands while little yellow worms crawl from their nostrils down into their chests in the finest diabolic style. The density and vividness of Mann's imagery, its capacity to fill the mind and linger there, is Shakespearean.

Mann's treatment of his characters is sensitive, fine-grained, subtly ironic, and humanly engaging, with much wry humor. The amazing chapters dealing with Schwerdtfeger's vicarious wooing of Marie Godeau for Adrian, the piling up of layers of meaning and subcontext (including the latent homosexuality that runs like a provocative thread throughout Mann's writings), amount to a virtuoso performance whose incredible, sustained brilliance is rivaled only by Joseph's interview with Pharaoh in Joseph and His Brothers, also by Mann. Those readers who complain that the narrator Serenus Zeitblom is a tedious boor, that the other characters are lifeless cardboard cutouts, and that nothing ever happens, simply haven't gotten to first base with this novel.

What then is the problem? It is one that Mann himself wrestled with and which for a time led him to consider the work a failure, although he was determined to finish it. The problem is that the story cannot just unfold naturally and tell itself. A certain amount of history, of context, is needed to motivate the character of Adrian Leverkuhn; readers must be made to understand why the problems he wrestled with are not peculiar to him but arise inevitably and are universal -- in short, our problems as well. This context-building necessitates a rather long, abstract, and careful development. With his daughter Erika's help, the original manuscript was cut extensively to leave only the most essential material, but even so this development occupies the first third of the book. Anyone interested in Western history will find it fascinating, while those who aren't will be richly rewarded for persisting, for the narrative pace, at first imperceptible, does pick up and toward the end becomes irresistible, like the final running out of the sand in Adrian's hourglass.

Given that Adrian's concerns are ours as well, what are we to do about them in our own very different age? What meaning does the concluding high G on the cello in Adrian's final work, that abides like a light in the night, hold for us? When we strip away all the inanity, futility, and trash of our era, what is left? Not art, alas, for art is a finite store that has been exhausted. But there is science, which is unlimited and inexhaustible, and it is specifically the scientific aspect of Adrian's nature, his tendency to "speculate the elements", that is meaningful for us. Modern biology now offers the prospect of understanding and manipulating the essence of life itself. Will it just be more "devil's juggling", more falling down in the dust to worship the quintillions, from which Zeitblom protested nothing human can ever emerge? Can man be trusted to resist temptation in carrying out such a program? Can the devil and the humane even be separated from this vital substance? No one can tell us, yet the essence of the problem is already fully present in symbolic form in Doctor Faustus. This is the triumph of Mann's representative art, of the Artist way. As we continue on the precarious, ever-changing path of self- and world-discovery, Mann's book stands as a guidepost and a warning. This is the enduring significance of Doctor Faustus and the reason why it will always be with us for as long as we remain recognizable as a species.
21 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen great and dark novel 24. August 2005
Von Jack Alan Robbins - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Thomas Mann was one of the greatest writers of the 20th century and this was his last and perhaps his greatest novel. Reading it is a daunting challenge as it merges history with philosophy and religion with music history and composition. This novel requires great concentration. Sustained reading is however greatly rewarded. I am still mulling over much that is in this novel. Written and presented against the backdrop of the closing years of World War II and the horrors of Nazi Germany, the novel is also clearly a statement against Hitler and the Nazis, and Mann from exile was a determined opponent of the Nazis. A very important work of literature on several levels!!
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen One of the greatest books ever written. 10. Oktober 1995
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
A story about a fictious German composer who had signed
a contract with the devil to grant him 24 years of
music-making of extreme genius. In return...
Well, read for your self. Thomas Mann excels himself in
describing human nature, the world aroung a human being
and his verbal descriptions of both real and fictious
classical music pieces makes one wonder whether a human mind
wrote these masterpieces of description...
The book is not so great for the story as for HOW the story
is told. Of course, the plot is very interesting, but as usual
in great works of art, it is not the WHAT that is important
but the HOW.
Easily comparably to "Crime and Punishment"...
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