Thomas Mann

“He remained seated on his revolving stool, turned toward us, hands between his knees, in a position the same as ours, and with a few words concluded his lecture on the question of why Beethoven had not written a third movement to Opus 111. We had needed only to hear the piece, he said, to be able to answer the question ourselves. A third movement? A new beginning, after that farewell? A return — after that parting? Impossible! What had happened was that the sonata had found its ending in its second, enormous movement, had ended never to return. And when he said, “the sonata,” he did not mean just this one, in C minor, but he meant the sonata per se, as a genre, as a traditional artform — it had been brought to an end, to its end, had fulfilled its destiny, reached a goal beyond which it could not go; canceling and resolving itself, it had taken its farewell - the wave of goodbye from the D-G-G motif, consoled melodically by the C-sharp, was a farewell in that sense, too, a farewell as grand as the work, a farewell from the sonata.”

Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
tags: farewell
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Doctor Faustus Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann
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