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"John E. Woods is revising our impression of Thomas Mann, masterpiece by masterpiece." The New Yorker
"Doctor Faustus is Mann's deepest artistic gesture. . . . Finely translated by John E. Woods." The New Republic
Thomas Mann's last great novel, first published in 1947 and now newly rendered into English by acclaimed translator John E. Woods, is a modern reworking of the Faust legend, in which Germany sells its soul to the Devil. Mann's protagonist, the composer Adrian Leverkühn, is the flower of German culture, a brilliant, isolated, overreaching figure, his radical new music a breakneck game played by art at the very edge of impossibility. In return for twenty-four years of unparalleled musical accomplishment, he bargains away his souland the ability to love his fellow man.
Leverkühn's life story is a brilliant allegory of the rise of the Third Reich, of Germany's renunciation of its own humanity and its embrace of ambition and nihilism. It is also Mann's most profound meditation on the German geniusboth national and individualand the terrible responsibilities of the truly great artist.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This translation, by H. T. Lowe-Porter, was done during Mann's lifetime. He and Mrs. Lowe-Porter knew one another and he was aware of her method of translation. I find her rendition to be more in the spirit of Thomas Mann than later ones, if only because it is through her translations that I became aware of his work. If you compare her lines to those of other translators, she seems more intellectual, or, if you will, academic, and Mann was nothing if not an academic writer. It's a shame this translation is being shunted away into history. In a sense, she was his collaborator. This novel is a bit like MOBY-DICK in that there are several chapters of narrative and then several chapters of technical description. In the case of MOBY-DICK, the technical descriptions are of whale biology and in the case of DOCTOR FAUSTUS, the technical descriptions are of music. I learned an incredible amount about music history, theory and practice from this stunning epic. It is also a tragic story. Anybody with a serious interest in the mid-20th-century crisis in Europe should read this novel.