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About the Author: Thomas Mann

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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 intellectual. His analysis and critique of the European and German soul used modernized German and Biblical stories, as well as the ideas of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer. His older brother was the radical writer Heinrich Mann, and three of his six children, Erika Mann, Klaus Mann and Golo Mann, also became important German writers. When Hitler came to power in 1933, Mann fled to Switzerland. When World War II broke out in 1939, he emigrated to the United States, from where he returned to Switzerland in 1952. Thomas Mann is one of the best-known exponents of the so-called Exilliteratur.

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Goodreads rating: 4.07

Paperback, Published in Jul 1999 by Vintage

ISBN10: 0375701168 | ISBN13: 9780375701160

Page count: 535

Thomas Mann's last great novel, first published in 1947 and now rendered into English by acclaimed translator John E. Woods, is a modern reworking of the Faust legend, in which Germany sells its soul to the Devil. Mann's protagonist, the composer Adrian Leverkühn, is the flower of German culture, a brilliant, isolated, overreaching figure, his radical new music a breakneck game played by art at the very edge of impossibility. In return for twenty-four years of unparalleled musical accomplishment, he bargains away his soul - and the ability to love his fellow man.

Leverkühn's life story is a brilliant allegory of the rise of the Third Reich, of Germany's renunciation of its own humanity and its embrace of ambition and its nihilism. It is also Mann's most profound meditation on the German genius - both national and individual - and the terrible responsibilities of the truly great artist.

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