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Doctor Faustus

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  7,261 Ratings  ·  344 Reviews
Opera tra le più significative di un grande scrittore, il "Doctor Faustus" è la tragica storia di Adrian Leverkuhn, un musicista tedesco che come Faust ottiene dal demonio anni di meravigliosa attività intellettuale in cambio della dannazione eterna. Scritto alla fine dell'ultima guerra e nell'immediato dopoguerra, il libro non poteva esprimere meglio l'atmosfera disperata ...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published 1998 by Mondadori (first published 1947)
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Oratorio in Five Parts.

Composer: M.

Conductor’s Edition.

Dynamics and Mood: Melancholia.

Tonality: G** minor.

Venue: Church of St. Thomas, Leipzig.

Date: 23rd May 1943.

Duration: The Hour-Glass will determine its Time.

Première: Serenus Zeitblom as Conductor.

Singers: Tanya Orlanda (a dramatic soprano and a stupendous woman with a heroic voice).

Harald Kjoejelund (as Heldentenor, a quite rotund man with pince-nez and voice of brass. (p. 293)


I, John Serenus
Reviewed in May 2014
Spring cleaning my gr shelves recently, I noticed the absence of a review of this book. Truth to tell I was well aware of its absence as the thought of reviewing Doctor Faustus had haunted me since I finished the book over two months ago. But spring cleaning is still a useful analogy. When the stronger rays of the sun hit our window panes at this time of the year, they reveal the layers of dust that have built up on the glass over the winter which block our view of the outsid
Mar 25, 2015 Geoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"No, to the very end, this dark tone poem permits no consolation, reconciliation, transfiguration. But what if the artistic paradox, which says that expression, the expression of lament, is born out of the construct as a whole, corresponds to the religious paradox, which says that out of the profoundest irredeemable despair, if only as the softest of questions, hope may germinate? This would be hope beyond hopelessness, the transcendence of despair - not its betrayal, but the miracle that goes b ...more
Jul 10, 2014 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Got up before dawn this morning to finish the last two chapters with coffee, knew I wouldn't be able to read the final 17 pages last night -- didn't really want to put the book down over the past few days as it started to take off towards its finale thanks to way more dramatization than in, well, most of it. Like all Mann I've read it requires and it rewards patience. Like in The Magic Mountain, if you make it through the first 250–300 slow, dense pages, things take off at a pretty good upwards ...more
Oct 23, 2015 Eva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was not love at first sight. Thomas Mann (certainly, in retrospect, deserving of the second 'n' in his surname as he was no ordinary man) winked at me from a top shelf at the bookstore. I did not pay attention at first. He was not my type (more than 500 pages, hardcover, difficult to read in bed). But as my vision became blurred from all the glossy colourful covers of the other books I found myself being drawn to this simple Everyman's Edition Library book with its simple lettering and appear ...more
Tell me, what do you think about greatness? I find there is something uncomfortable about facing it eye to eye, it is a test of courage — can one really look it in the eye? You can't stand it, you give way. Let me tell you, I incline more and more to the admission that there is something very odd indeed about this music of yours.


I do not like to call it beautiful. The word 'beauty' has always been half offensive to me, it has such a silly face, and people feel wanton and corrupt when they s
Jan 13, 2014 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is it enough to say I loved it?

No, that won't do. Although, it seems silly to write a proper review. Oh, there are pages of notes stuck in the back: some pretension of understanding. But this is a book you could devote an entire academic life to. Or even be humbled in a group read with readers who know or can track down every clue.

(My thanks to all of you who enriched this read. And for letting me tag along. I don't know if all group reads are like this (I suspect not); but my sincere thanks to
Sep 26, 2016 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, in2dawoods

This is my third read of this novel, though my first with this translation. It is a little like that scene in teen movies where the (already beautiful) "awkward girl" descends the stairs post make-over, allowing one to see with glaring clarity the gorgeousness that was always already there.

So, because it amuses me, and in an effort to overdo an already rather rubbish analogy, on the left, ladies and gents, we have H. T. Lowe-Porter's version of the novel, on the right that of Mr Woods. Although
Aug 31, 2007 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for an intellectually-engaging read
Recommended to Rebecca by: DK
Shelves: fiction, music, 1001
It is rare that it takes three months for me to finish a novel, but I have a few theories as to why this was (aside from the rigors of a teaching schedule/adjunct commute).
The novel operates on so many levels it is difficult to read more than a few chapters before you need to stop to digest. Keeping track of the numerous secondary characters is a painstaking, but worthwhile, endeavor. Mann forms his environment with this multitude, presenting a photograph of German bourgeois life in the early 20
Nov 16, 2013 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have hesitated to write a review of this book because there is so much here and it is so difficult to know where to begin. Based on the Doctor Faustus story, it is the tale of one Adrian Leverkühn, born early in the 20th century, who trades his soul for the ability to compose brilliant music. Of course this is a limited pact, in his case for 24 years. His story is told by a childhood (and adult) friend Serenus Zeitblom, who also presents the changes in German culture during the years, ending w ...more
Jan 15, 2014 Elena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not a beach book. The literature on Thomas Mann's "Doktor Faustus" is huge, and I'm glad I didn't try to master it all. I tackled the novel (actually re-reading it after 40 years) with an untutored but relatively open mind. However, I needed a reading group to get through it, and here goodreads really came through for me with an international group of 14 close readers on the same schedule. They helped enormously.

Thomas Mann wrote his fiction in response to a heartbreaking reality: his b
Andrei Tamaş
Sep 18, 2014 Andrei Tamaş rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un vast studiu romanţat despre decăderea psihică a unui însetat de cunoaştere, a unui erudit ce nu se mulţumeşte cu telurica modalitatea de a cunoaşte, ci aspiră la absolut.
Unii văd în "Doctor Faustus" elemente ce ţin de fantastic, însă unui cititor acătării i-ar cădea mai degrabă să spună că în viaţa aceasta pragmatică, întâlnim -mai ales la un anumit stadiu al cunoaşterii- elemente ce unora, mai puţin iniţiaţi, li se par... supranaturale.
Un lucru foarte interesant: e uluitor cum Thomas Mann r
Jun 22, 2016 Sophie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Η λογοτεχνική μου κριτική έχει φιλοξενηθεί στη σελίδα της πολυαγαπημένης Ιωάννας και μπορείτε να τη βρείτε εδώ!

To έργο του Thomas Mann Doctor Faustus, με ολοκληρωμένο τίτλο Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkühn, Told by a Friend, αναμφισβήτητα ένα από τα πιο σημαντικά μυθιστορήματα του 20ου αιώνα, γράφεται από το 1943 και δημοσιεύεται το 1947. Για την ιστορία του πράγματος σκόπιμο είναι να σημειωθεί πως κατά τη διάρκεια συγγραφής του συγκεκριμένου έργου ο Thomas Mann κ
Jean-Paul Werner Walshaw-Sauter


»Nein, dieses dunkle Tongedicht lässt bis zuletzt keine Vertröstung, Versöhnung, Verklärung zu. Aber wie, wenn der künstlerischen Paradoxie, dass aus der totalen Konstruktion sich der Ausdruck – der Ausdruck als Klage – gebiert, das religiöse Paradoxon entspräche, dass aus tiefster Heillosigkeit, wenn auch als leise Frage nur, die Hoffnung keimte? Es wäre die Hoffnung jenseits der Hoffnungslosigkeit, die Transzendenz der Verzweiflung – nicht nicht der Verrat an ihr, sondern das Wunder, das über
Aug 16, 2016 Ahmed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
دكتور فاوستوس.....توماس مان

حفيد فاجنر وبيتهوفن وموتسارت يتحفنا بسيمفونية أدبية من أروع ما تكون،سيمفونية إنسانية مطرزة بإتقان وتفانييستحقان التبجيل،حياة كاملة مليئة بالمشاعر والتفاصيل والحكايات،مليئة بالبشر ومواقفهم وأفعالهم ،عمل اتخذ من الإنسان وروحه المقدسة محورًا وناقشت كل ما يدور حولها،ناقشت الدين والسياسة والموسيقى،صديق يحكي قصة حياة صديقه،عبقري الموسيقى نابغ العقل،كلاهما اندمج في الحياة بطريقته،فتابع أحدهما حياته والآخر خسرها.

الرواية عبارة عن مجموعة متناسقة من الأفكار النيّرة والعرض الفلسفس
K.M. Weiland
Feb 16, 2017 K.M. Weiland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an extraordinary book. Thomas Mann—even translated into English—has such an immersive and yet easy style of writing. He’s a pleasure to read even when he’s not saying anything interesting, which he certainly is here with this deeply symbolic web of personality and history. Most interesting of all, however, is his deft use of a highly unreliable but entirely earnest non-protagonist narrator. I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as Magic Mountain, but it cements Mann as one of my favorite classi ...more
Ana-Maria Cârciova
Patience. That's the word.
Arax Miltiadous
Oct 10, 2012 Arax Miltiadous rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ολοκληρώθηκε μέσα από δυο συνολικά προσπάθειες παρότι με είχε απόλυτα κερδίσει από την πρώτη.
Η ανάγνωση του συγκεκριμένου βιβλίου με ενθουσίαζε ανατριχιαστικά καθ' όλη την διάρκεια, ενώ ταυτόχρονα με καταπονούσε βαθύτατα, εχοντας επίγνωση της κατάστασης του ήρωα, μεσα από την αφήγηση του αφοσιωμένου φίλου του καθώς και από την ογκώδη προέκταση των περιγραφών και των αλληγοριών της ( παρά τα ολιγοσέλιδα διαχωρισμενα κεφάλαια.).
Εν αρχής, η μετάφραση του Παρασκευόπουλου είναι άξια επαίνου εφόσον
Sep 02, 2015 Sinem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Faust miti yüzünden ilgimi çekmişti. Ancak çok daha fazlası var; Almanya tarihi ve özellikle müzik adına. Mite gelince; onun da her açıdan bir yorumu olarak okunabilir kitap.
Feb 16, 2008 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Classical Music and German History
Mann is Teutonic Melville, and like Moby-Dick this book is filled with digressions and discussions alongside the unavoidable plunge toward madness and doom. These digressions interweave the narrative with images of Dante’s Inferno, Dürer woodcuts, puppet theater, fairy tales, German culture during the period through the World Wars, lengthy discussions of Classical music, and apocalyptic and prophetic literature. Written in the waning of the Second World War as the narrator tries to understand th ...more
Megan Baxter
Mar 11, 2014 Megan Baxter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My initial reaction to being done this book is relief. Like the other Thomas Mann book I've read, I've found this a slog at times. It was one where I had to give myself permission to read around 20 pages a day and no more, or else I never would have sat down with it in the first place. But despite that, despite how long it took me to read, and how I was never quite eager to get back to it, I am glad I read it. A difficult read, but still, a worthwhile one.

Note: The rest of this review has been w
Stephen Durrant
Aug 07, 2013 Stephen Durrant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hardly ever give up on a novel. Somehow I always hear my late mother's voice telling me to "bite off more than you can chew and chew it." Well, Thomas Mann's "Doctor Faustus" was perhaps more than I could chew, but at least I kept chewing to the end. And I'm glad I did. As all Mann readers know, his books can be terribly slow and sometimes maddeningly ponderous, but I invariably reach the final page, having resisted the inclination to throw the book aside forever, feeling that my time has been ...more
A daunting masterwork which I feel hopelessly unqualified to describe, this is in part a retelling of the Faust legend, in part a meditation on the nature of classical music, genius and creativity, and part an inditement of Mann's Germany at the time of its creation, in the latter stages and immediate aftermath of the Second World War, centred on the life of an imaginary radical German composer of the early 20th century, told by a friend who knew him from his schooldays.

I was prompted to read i
Doktor Faustus is – besides Zauberberg and the Josef novels – one of Thomas Mann’s great novels (and yes I’m aware that most people would add Buddenbrooks to that list or even have it solely consist of that novel – for my part, however, I think it is very overrated and one of Mann’s lesser efforts) – and has a reputation of being inaccessible even by his standards. This reputation is not completely undeserved, it is a complex and difficult book and takes some effort to get into – on the other ha ...more
Κατερίνα Μαλακατέ

Στην αρχή, και μέχρι να συνηθίσει κανείς τον αργό ρυθμό, το βάθος, τους μουσικούς όρους και τον διανοητικισμό του Μαν, το βιβλίο μοιάζει βασανιστικό. Αφηγητής είναι ο φιλόλογος Τσάιτμπλομ, ο πιο στενός παιδικός φίλος του ιδιοφυούς συνθέτη Λέβερκυν που αποφασίζει να μας εξιστορήσει την βιογραφία του. Από τα παιδικά τους χρόνια, όπου ήδη η ιδιοφυΐα, αλλά και η παγερή ιδιοσυγκρασία του Λέβερκυν ξεχώριζε, ως τα χρόνια της ακμής και τελικά της πτώσης του συνθέτ
Andrés Cabrera
May 10, 2016 Andrés Cabrera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Existen obras que ponen a prueba todo lo que se entiende por ser un "lector". El "Doktor Faustus", sin lugar a dudas, es una de ellas. Su complejidad conceptual (argumentativa, si se quiere) es impresionante. De hecho, Mann logra desplegar con maestría toda su erudición en temas tan variados como la filosofía (sobre todo del medioevo), la teoría musical, la psicología e, incluso, el devenir histórico de Alemania. De entrada, me reconozco avasallado por todo el despliegue conceptual de la obra. S ...more
Justin Evans
May 03, 2012 Justin Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read this when I was an undergrad; you remember, back when it was great fun to torture yourself by reading 500 page books you could barely understand? Loved it.

I flatter myself that I understood much more this time round: the way that the two levels of time interact (the narrator writes in the closing year of world war two, the story takes place in the twenties); the music theory and, much more importantly, modernist aesthetic theory; the reflections of those theories in the book (two charact
Oct 10, 2009 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was only a matter of time before I re-read Mann's Dr. Faustus, one of the handful of novels that made me a lifelong reader of literary fiction. Besides, Alex Ross kept mentioning it in "The Rest Is Noise," which I took up about a month or so ago, an excellent book in its own right, tho hardly literary fiction, details of which to follow.

Mann writes the unwriteable, expresses the inexpressable and does the undoable. Not only does he manage to capture and communicate the notoriously difficult a
Baxevanidou Faye
Δεν ξέρω τι λένε για αριστούργημα αλλά εγώ παραιτούμαι!!!!!
Σελίδες επί σελίδων με μουσικές λεπτομέρειες που πρέπει να είσαι το λιγότερο με 10 χρόνια μουσικών σπουδών για να ακολουθήσεις. Ο ψυχαναγκασμός μου να τελειώνω τα βιβλία έχει και ένα όριο.....
Επιφυλάσσομαι να ξαναδοκιμάσω σε καμιά δεκαετία....
Aug 09, 2009 Josh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dry. Mann writes several engaging passages concerning his characters and plot which hold the reader's attention. They are very good. But most of this book is him expostulating about music theory, German religious history and other random subjects in the most complex language possible. The book seems almost hostile in how much it requires the reader to work to follow tangents that really do not make the story progress. It made me very mad. I actually punched the book. Maybe I'm over-emotional. Ma ...more
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Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intel
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“Technology and comfort - having those, people speak of culture, but do not have it.” 20 likes
“What an absurd torture for the artist to know that an audience identifies him with a work that, within himself, he has moved beyond and that was merely a game played with something in which he does not believe.” 15 likes
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