Doctor Faustus Quotes

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Doctor Faustus Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann
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Doctor Faustus Quotes Showing 1-30 of 41
“Technology and comfort - having those, people speak of culture, but do not have it.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“Genius is a form of the life force that is deeply versed in illness, that both draws creatively from it and creates through it.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“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.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“To allow only the kind of art that the average man understands is the worst small-mindedness and the murder of mind and spirit. It is my conviction that the intellect can be certain that in doing what most disconcerts the crowd, in pursuing the most daring, unconventional advances and explorations, it will in some highly indirect fashion serve man - and in the long run, all men.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“You will lead, you will strike up the march of the future, boys will swear by your name, and thanks to your madness they will no longer need to be mad.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“Disease, and most specially opprobrious, suppressed, secret disease, creates a certain critical opposition to the world, to mediocre life, disposes a man to be obstinate and ironical toward civil order, so that he seeks refuge in free thought, in books, in study.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“To be young means to be original, to have remained nearer to the sources of life: it means to be able to stand up and shake off the fetters of an outlived civilization, to dare -- where others lack the courage-- to plunge again into the elemental.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“There is a great deal of illusion in a work of art; one could go farther and say that it is illusory in and of itself, as a "work." Its ambition is to make others believe that it was not made but rather simply arose, burst forth from Jupiter's head like Pallas Athena fully adorned in enchased armor. But that is only a pretense. No work has ever come into being that way. It is indeed work, artistic labor for the purpose of illusion-and now the question arises whether, given the current state of our consciousness, our comprehension, and our sense of truth, the game is still permissible, still intellectually possible, can still be taken seriously; whether the work as such, as a self-sufficient and harmonically self-contained structure, still stands in a legitimate relation to our problematical social condition, with its total insecurity and lack of harmony; whether all illusion, even the most beautiful, and especially the most beautiful, has not become a lie today.”
thomas mann, Doctor Faustus
“However opinionated, perhaps even high-handed his presentations were, he was unquestionably an ingenious man--that was evident in the stimulating, thought-provoking effect his words had on a highly gifted young mind like Adri Leverkühn's. What had chiefly impressed him, as he revealed on the way home and the following day in the schoolyard, was the distinction Kretzschmar had made between cultic and cultural epochs and his observation that the secularization of art, its separation from worship, was of only a superficial and episodic nature. The high-school sophomore was manifestly moved by an idea that the lecturer had not even articulated, but that had caught fire in him:: that the separation of art from any liturgical context, its liberation and elevation to the isolated and personal, to culture for culture's sake, had burdened it with a solemnity without any point of reference, an absolute seriousness, a pathos of suffering epitomized in Beethoven's terrible appearance in the doorway--but that did not have to be its abiding destiny, its perpetual state of mind. Just listen to the young man! With almost no real, practical experience in the field of art, he was fantasizing in a void and in precocious words about art's apparently imminent retreat from its present-day role to a happier, more modest one in the service of a higher fellowship, which did not have to be, as at one time, the Church. What it would be, he could not say.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“But admiration and sadness, admiration and worry, is not that almost a definition of love?"
"There are people with whom it is not easy to live, but whom it is impossible to leave.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“Even the piquant can forfeit popularity if tied to something intellectual.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“These artists pay little attention to an encircling present that bears no direct relation to the world of work in which they live, and they therefore see in it nothing more than an indifferent framework for life, either more or less favorable to production.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“This old, folkish layer survives in us all, and to speak as I really think, I do not consider religion the most adequate means of keeping it under lock and key. For that, literature alone avails, humanistic science, the ideal of the free and beautiful human being.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“Aber für ihn war Musik - Musik, wenn es eben nur welche war, und gegen das Wort von Goethe: 'Die Kunst beschäftigt sich mit dem Schweren und Guten' fand er einzuwenden, daß das Leichte auch schwer ist, wenn es gut ist, was es ebensowohl sein kann wie das Schwere. Davon ist etwas bei mir hängengeblieben, ich habe es von ihm. Allerdings habe ich ihn immer dahin verstanden, daß man sehr sattelfest sein muß im Schweren und Guten, um es so mit dem Leichten aufzunehmen.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“İblis: "Müzik her ne kadar Hristiyanlık tarafından kullanılıp geliştirilse de, aynı zamanda reddedildi ve şeytani bir alan olarak dışlandı-işte görüyorsun. Müzik fevkalade teolojik bir mesele; tıpkı günah gibi, benim gibi...”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“boredom is the coldest thing in the world.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“Bei einem Volk von der Art des unsrigen”, trug ich vor, “ist das Seelische immer das Primäre und eigentlich Motivierende; die politische Aktion ist zweiter Ordnung, Reflex, Ausdruck, Instrument.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“›Nun, Neffe, was man da heut von dir hörte, darin hast du dich nicht zum ersten Male geübt.‹
›Wie meinst du, Onkel Niko?‹
›Wende nicht Unschuld vor! Du musizierst ja.‹
›Was für ein Ausdruck!‹
›Der hat schon für Dümmeres herhalten müssen [...].‹”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“For a brief moment I felt I was the older, the more mature.

"A gift of life," I responded, "if not to say, a gift of God, such as music, should not have the mocking charge of paradox leveled at it for things that are merely evidence of the fullness of its nature. One should love them."

"Do you believe love is the strongest emotion?" he asked.

"Do you know any stronger?"

"Yes, interest."

"By which you probably mean a love that has been deprived of its animal warmth, is that it?"

"Let's agree on that definition!" he said with a laugh.

"Good night!"

We had arrived again at the Leverkühn house, and he opened his front door.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“The past was only tolerable if one felt above it, instead of having to stare stupidly at it aware of one’s present impotence.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“But a man of tender sensitivities finds disruption unpleasant; he finds it unpleasant to break in on a well-constructed train of thought with his own logical or historical objections culled from memory, and even in the anti-intellectual he will honor and respect the intellect. Today we can see clearly enough that it was the mistake of our civilization to have been all too generous in exercising such forbearance and respect—since on the opposing side we were indeed dealing with naked insolence and the most determined intolerance.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“Feci per uscire, ma egli mi trattenne, chiamandomi col cognome:
– Zeitblom! – e anche questo richiamo fu duro. Quando mi volsi, disse:
– Ho trovato che non dev’essere.
– Che cosa, Adrian, non dev’essere?
– Ciò che è buono e nobile, – mi rispose – ciò che si dice umano, benché sia buono e nobile. Ciò per cui gli uomini hanno combattuto, per cui hanno dato l’assalto alle rocche, ciò che i vincitori hanno annunciato trionfanti, ecco, non deve essere. Viene ritirato. Io lo voglio ritirare.
– Scusa, caro, non ti comprendo del tutto. Che cosa vuoi ritirare?
– La Nona Sinfonia – rispose. E non disse altro, per quanto io stessi aspettando.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“It seems to me, however, that despite the logical, moral rigor music may appear to display, it belongs to a world of spirits, for whose absolute reliability in matters of human reason and dignity I would not exactly want to put my hand in the fire. That I am nevertheless devoted to it with all my heart is one of those contradictions which, whether a cause for joy or regret, are inseparable from human nature.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“ceea ce te’nalta, ceea ce iti sporeste sentimentul de putere si vigoare si dominare, la dracu asta’i adevarul – chiar daca vazut din punctul de vedere al moralei ar fi de zece ori minciuna. ce vreau sa spun este ca un neadevar de natura a produce o sporire a puterii se poate masura cu orice adevar virtuos dar sterp.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“That music is ambiguity as a system. Take this note or this one. You can understand it like this or, again, like this, can perceive it as augmented from below or as diminished from above, and, being the sly fellow you are, you can make use of its duplicity just as you like.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“...music has always seemed a magical union of theology and the fine sport of mathematics. Item: There is about it a great deal of the dogged pursuit and laboratory work of the alchemist and sorcerer of ages past, which likewise stood under the sign of theology, but at the same time under that of emancipation and apostasy--and it was apostasy, not from the faith, that was not possible, but rather in the faith. Apostasy is an act of faith, and everything is and happens in God--falling away from Him most especially.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“Art's vital need for revolutionary progress and achievement of the new depends on the vehicle of the strongest subjective sense for what is hackneyed, for what has nothing more to say, for those standard, normal means that have now become 'impossible'.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“Art, in its will to live and progress, puts on the mask of these dull-hearted personal traits in order to manifest, objectivize, and fulfill itself in them.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“Leider sei eben heute alles Politik, es gebe keine geistige Reinheit mehr.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus
“This was in fact the book's crude and intriguing prophecy: that henceforth popular myths, or better, myths trimmed for the masses, would be the vehicle of political action--fables, chimeras, phantasms that needed to have nothing whatever to do with truth, reason, or science in order to be productive nonetheless, to determine life and history, and thereby to prove themselves dynamic realities.
...It made it possible to understand that truth's fate was closely related to that of the individual, indeed identical with it--and that fate was devaluation. The book opened a sardonic rift between truth and power, truth and life, truth and community. Its implicit message was that community deserved far greater precedence, that truth's goal was community, and that whoever wished to be part of the community must be prepared to jettison major portions of truth and science, to make the sacrificium intellectus.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus

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