9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 21. Mai 2000
The work itself has been well-reviewed here. But Woods's translation, at least in the hardcover edition, makes some huge mistakes with musical terminology. The worst is the translation of the German pitch "B" as B in English: it should be B-flat, as the German pitch "H" is our B. This makes a world of difference in the discussion of musical passages, and in general one finds that Woods is not the most felicitous translater of musical concepts. It's a shame, because musical concepts are absolutely central to the concerns of the novel.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 13. März 2000
Study the mind of a genius and the soul of a mad man. Witness the depths of depression and heights of creation with demonic infection. In Thomas Manns epic rewrite of Goethes Faust we meet a musical genius through the academic eyes of his best friend. A fascinating and disturbing biografy telling the story of Adrian Leverkuhn whose lifespan was shortened by intellectual exhaustion and led towards distanced insanity.
The novel is written during world war II, and the storyteller condemnes the German aggression and nationalsosialism, while he slowly paints a picture of the growth our genius experiences during his development from innocent childhood towards phsycological corruption and breakdown.
A definite read for the "depths of mind"-oriented.
0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 5. Januar 2000
For those of you who have not done so already, I would highly recommend reading Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus" and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "Faust" before taking this one on. It will make more sense that way and will also provide a remarkable opportunity to see the evolution of a wonderful myth. Now, to attempt to summarize a masterpiece like this in a few words is absurd, but I will do my best. Marlowe's Faust is the most straightforward of the three (not that it is not a great work of literature itself, mind you). Faust is an absolutely brilliant character who is so brilliant, in fact, that he is bored with life. So he makes a deal with Mephistopheles (one of Satan's demons) that he will have 25 years of almost omnipotence, being able to do anything and possessing almost god-like powers. However, when the 25 years are up, his soul will belong to the devil. Goethe's Faust is one of the top 5 or so greatest exemplars of literature ever written. It is, quite simply, astounding. In short, the plot is kinda/sorta the same, only in Goethe there is no time limit in the agreement with Mephistopheles. Rather, at the point when Faust ceases to press on and becomes sedentary, the devil has him. It is the moment in which Faust utters "Stay, moment, stay....thou art so fair" that he will be doomed. I do not want to say anything more about Goethe's Faust so that I can refrain from giving anything away. At any rate, enter Thomas Mann with a 20th century twist on the myth. Adrian Leverkuhn sells his soul to the devil for a new form of music. Satan grants his wish and gives him Schoenberg's 12 tone. (Of course, it is Leverkuhn's 12 tone in the novel). For Mann, this was symbolically a representative of how 20th century man sells his soul to the devil; it is thru the trivialization of art. The 12 tone, although a brilliant conception, is none-the-less something other than music for Mann (and for myself, if I may add). Mirrored to Leverkuhn's fate is the seduction of the German people by Adolf Hitler. Hitler promised them great glories and a feeling of invincibility. For a brief time (like in a Faustian pact) he delivered on his promise. However, in the end, the Germans paid dearly for their hubris. The end of the war brought along with it the destruction of Her Dresden China; Dresden, the very cultural and artistic heart and soul of Germany, was all but destroyed. This book is truly an epic and is not for leisure or light reading. However, it is a must for anyone interested in the Faustian myth, World War II, German history, Thomas Mann or any combination thereof. A tremendous novel.