Overturning Dr. Faustus

Overturning Dr. Faustus

Rereading Thomas Mann's Novel in Light of Observations of a Non-Political Man

Frances Lee

Hardback
$80.00

Camden House

Overview

Overview

A radically new view of Mann's last major novel.
Thomas Mann's last major novel, Doktor Faustus, revolves around the transformation of traditional German culture into Hitler's fascist Germany, a process that intrigues and confounds thinking people still today. Mann has always been considered an exemplary and authoritative portrayer of German culture, and his opinion on the rise of fascism carries considerable weight. Unfortunately, the novel has always been interpreted as saying the opposite of what it does in fact say. Frances Lee provides a radically new interpretation by relating in a detailed manner to the text of Doktor Faustus the arguments expressed by Mann in his Observations of a Non-Political Man -- a book of political essays published in 1918. This approach resolves many of the features that have been seen by critics as flaws or contradictions in the novel. Lee establishes what is actually happening in the novel in its historical setting, showing Mann's view of how the acceptance of fascism occurred and the determining role he attributed to the academic community in bringing about the disaster. Her book will be of interest to both amateur and professional students of Mann, particularly because it points to rich new directions for study.

Frances Ann Ray Lee received the Ph.D. in German literature from the University of Toronto in 2005.

Details

March 2007
317 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571133564
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BIC DSRC, 1DFG, 2AB, 3JJH
BISAC LIT004170, HIS014000
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Table of Contents

Introduction
Die Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen
The Reception of Die Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen
The Significance of Die Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen for Doktor Faustus
Going to Leipzig
Adrian's Studies in Leipzig
Adrian's Strenger Satz
Zeitblom's Propensity to Demonology
Interlude
The Outbreak of the First World War
The End of the First World War
Adrian's Apocalipsis cum figuris
Adrian's Devil
The Story of Marie
Adrian's Last Speech and Final Defeat
Doktor Faustus: A New Perspective
Bibliography
Index

Reviews

Arguing that early critics failed to read Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus (1947) carefully enough, generating commentary that has blinkered scholars ever since, Lee offers a fresh perspective by analyzing it through the lenses of Thomas Mann's life and his stylized (and, to her mind, equally misinterpreted) collection of essays on German nationalism and character. ... HNET-GERMAN

Lee's reading of Thomas Mann's novel Doktor Faustus contradicts the vast majority of interpretations and throws overboard a number of assumptions often taken for granted. . (H)er book is an important contribution to Thomas Mann studies, provocative and refreshing in its rejection of largely accepted stereotypes.. GERMAN QUARTERLY

(A)n important contribution to Thomas Mann studies, provocative and refreshing in its rejection of largely accepted stereotypes.. GERMAN QUARTERLY

Also in Series