History, Myth, and Music

History, Myth, and Music

Thomas Mann's Timely Fiction

Susan von Rohr Scaff

Discussion of Thomas Mann's fiction (particularly Doctor Faustus), his preoccupation with redemption, and the connection in his work between myth and music.
Thomas Mann's response to the crisis of modernity and the catastrophe of fascism is defined by the thematic matrix of history, myth and music: this book is the first to explore the interrelations of the three — and the first study to approach the music in Mann's fiction through narrative theory. Discussion centers on Mann's preoccupation with redemption, which begins with his Nietzschean critique of Wagner's redemption motifs, and culminates in his radical questioning of the Christian myth in Doctor Faustus. The argument is developed through reference to four seminal figures, Nietzsche, Wagner, Weber and Tillich; while the centrality of Nietzsche and Wagner to Mann is well known,


"A superb study of the major themes of Thomas Mann's fiction." CHRISTIANITY & LITERATURE

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