Doctor Faustus

Doctor Faustus

Summary

A masterpiece of German modernism and one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.

Adrian Leverkühn is a young man destined for success. He is a composer - creative and brilliant, but he will stop at nothing to achieve greatness. Intentionally contracting syphilis in order to deepen his creative potential through madness, Adrian makes his pact with nature. Mann's interpretation of the Faustian legend is a story of madness and sanity, genius and corruption, intellectual attainment and Germany's moral fall.

'Arguably the great German novel' New York Times

Reviews

  • John E. Woods is revising our impression of Thomas Mann, masterpiece by masterpiece.
    The New Yorker

About the author

Thomas Mann

Thomas Mann was born in 1875 in Lubeck, of a line of prosperous and influential merchants. He was only twenty-five when Buddenbrooks, his first major novel, was published. Before it was banned and burned by Hitler, it had sold over a million copies in Germany alone.

His second great novel, The Magic Mountain, was published in 1924 and the first volume of his tetralogy Joseph and his Brothers in 1933. In 1929 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. In 1933 Thomas Mann left Germany for Switzerland. Then, after several previous visits, in 1938 he settled in the United States, where he wrote Doctor Faustus and The Holy Sinner. Among the honours he received in the US was his appointment as a Fellow of the Library of Congress. He revisited his native country in 1949 and returned to Switzerland in 1952, where The Black Swan and Confessions of Felix Krull were written and where he died in 1955.
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