2012年8月20日 星期一

'The Genesis of Doctor Faustus' (1949). 出版瓦格納比不上周杰倫/插畫、名著和譯者


'The Genesis of Doctor Faustus'
翻過: Mann, Thomas. The Story of a Novel: The Genesis of Doctor Faustus (Alfred Knopf, New York 1961).


Doctor Faustus (in German, Doktor Faustus  此書中國有翻譯本;2015年臺灣出版彭淮棟的一本) is a German novel written by Thomas Mann, begun in 1943 and published in 1947 as Doktor Faustus. Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn, erzählt von einem Freunde ("Doctor Faustus. The Life of the German composer Adrian Leverkühn, told by a friend").


1st edition cover (jacket) in Europe
The novel is a re-shaping of the Faust legend set in the context of the first half of the 20th century and the turmoil of Germany in that period. The story centers on the life and work of the [fictitious] composer Adrian Leverkühn; his extraordinary intellect and creativity as a young man mark him as destined for success, but Leverkühn desires true greatness. Leverkühn strikes a Faustian bargain for creative genius: he intentionally contracts syphilis, which deepens his artistic inspiration through madness. In a scene strongly reminiscent of Ivan Karamazov's breakdown in Dostoevsky's novel, Leverkühn is subsequently visited by a very clever devil who says, in effect, "that you can only see me because you are mad, does not mean that I do not really exist." Leverkühn forges a deal with this Mephistophelean character: his soul, in exchange for twenty-four years of genius. His madness - his daemonic inspiration - leads to extraordinary musical creativity that parallels the innovations of Arnold Schoenberg.
Leverkühn's last creative years are increasingly occupied by his obsession with the Apocalypse and the Last Judgment. Leverkühn feels the inexorable progress of his neuro-syphilitic madness leading towards complete breakdown; in self-conscious imitation of certain of the Faust legends, Leverkühn calls together his closest friends to witness his final demise: at a chamber reading of his cantata "The Lamentation of Doctor Faust," he ravingly confesses his demonic pact before collapsing, incoherent. His madness reduces him to an infantile state in which he lives under the care of his relatives for another ten years.
The story is narrated by Leverkühn's childhood friend Serenus Zeitblom. Much like Settembrini and Naphta in “The Magic Mountain” the “serene” humanist Zeitblom and the tragical Leverkühn represent the dualism of the German character, its Apollonian (reason, democracy, progress) and Dionysian (passion, tragedy, fate) aspects. Writing in Germany between 1943 and 1946, Zeitblom describes the rise and downfall of Nazi Germany in parallel with his account of Leverkühn's life. Clearly Leverkühn's pact with the devil symbolizes Germany's "selling of its soul" to Hitler, and vice versa.
The interplay of layers between the narrator's historical situation (the demise of Nazi Germany), the progressive madness of Leverkühn, and the medieval legends with which Leverkühn self-consciously connects himself makes for an overwhelmingly rich symbolic network. The novel is not, however, mere political allegory, though readers have sometimes tried to reduce it to that[citation needed]; while it is doubtless a commentary on the madness of extremist politics, it is also a commentary on the artistic process, creativity, and the artistic life. Most of all, it is an extremely powerful piece of fiction whose power lies precisely in an ambiguous complexity that cannot be meaningfully reduced to a single interpretation.


The origins of the narrator and the hero in the (fictitious) small town of Kaisersaschern on the (Thuringian) Saale, the name of Zeitblom's apothecary father (Wohlgemut, 'welltempered'), and the description of Adrian Leverkühn as an old-fashioned German type, with a cast of features 'from a time before the Thirty Years War', evoke the old post-medieval Germany: in their respective Catholic and Lutheran origins, and theological studies, they are heirs to the German Renaissance and the world of Dürer and Bach, but sympathetic to, and admired by, the 'keen-scented receptivity of Jewish circles.'
They are awakened to musical knowledge by Wendell Kretzschmar, a German American lecturer and musicologist who visits Kaisersaschern. After schooling together, both boys study at Halle - Adrian studies theology; Zeitblom does not, but participates in discussions with the theological students - but Adrian becomes absorbed in musical harmony, counterpoint and polyphony as a key to metaphysics and mystic numbers, and follows Kretzschmar to Leipzig to study with him.
Zeitblom describes 'with a religious shudder' Adrian's embrace with the woman ('Esmeralda') who gave him syphilis, how he worked her name in note-ciphers into his compositions, and how the medics who sought to heal him were all prevented from effecting a cure by mysterious circumstances. Zeitblom begins to perceive the demonic, as Adrian develops other friendships, first with the translator Rüdiger Schildknapp ('Shield-bearer') (a loyal friend), and then after his move to Munich with the handsome young violinist Rudi Schwerdtfeger ('Sword-polisher', i.e. swordsmith), Frau Rodde and her doomed daughters Clarissa and Ines, Dr. Kranich ('crane') the numismatist, Leo Zink and Baptist Spengler (two artists).
Zeitblom insists, however, on the unique closeness of his own relationship to Adrian, who addresses only him as 'du' (rather than the more formal 'Sie').[1] Adrian also meets the Schweigestill ('silence-peace') family at Pfeiffering, in the country an hour from Munich, which later becomes his permanent home and retreat.
He lives at Palestrina in Italy with Schildknapp (as in reality Thomas Mann did 15 years earlier, with his brother Heinrich) in 1912, and Zeitblom visits them there. And it is there that Adrian, working on music for Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost, has his long dialogue with a Mephistopheles figure who appears either objectively or out of his own afflicted soul. These are the central pages of the novel, corresponding also to its central part.
Zeitblom transcribes Adrian's manuscript of the conversation, in which the demon claims Esmeralda as the instrument of his entrapment of Adrian's vainglory, ingenium and memoriam, and offers him twenty-four years of time gifted with genius (geniale Zeit),[2] a time of incubation (hochtragende Zeit)[3] from the date of his sexual embrace, if he will now renounce the warmth of love. This dialogue reveals the anatomy of Leverkühn's thought.
Adrian then moves permanently to Pfeiffering, and in conversations with Zeitblom reveals a darker view of life than his. Figures of a demonic type appear, such as Dr. Chaim Breisacher, 'a racial and intellectual type of reckless development and fascinating ugliness,' to cast down the idols of the older generation.
In 1915 Ines Rodde marries, but forms an adulterous love for Rudi Schwerdtfeger. Adrian begins to experience illnesses of retching, headaches and migraines, but is producing new and finer music, preparing the way for his great work Apocalypsis cum figuris. Schwerdtfeger woos himself into Adrian's solitude, asking for a violin concerto that would be like the offspring of their platonic union.
By August 1919 Adrian has completed the sketch of Apocalypse. There is also a new circle of intellectual friends, including Sextus Kridwiß ('kreideweiß = chalk-white') the art-expert, Chaim Breisacher, Dr. Egon Unruhe ('Unrest') the palaeozoologist, Georg Vogler ('fowler') (literary historian), Dr. Holzschuher ('Clogs') (a Dürer scholar), and the saturnine poet Daniel zur Höhe ('to height'). In their 'torturingly clever' discussions they declare the need for the renunciation of bourgeois softness and a preparation for an age of pre-medieval harshness. Adrian writes to Zeitblom that collectivism is the true antithesis of Bourgeois culture: Zeitblom observes that aestheticism is the herald of barbarism.
Apocalypse is performed in Frankfurt in 1926 under Otto Klemperer with Erbe (an allusion to Karl Erb, the famous Evangelist of Bach's St Matthew Passion) as the St John narrator. (As a music reviewer Thomas Mann had been witness to Erb's oratorio debuts in around 1916.) Zeitblom describes the work as filled with longing without hope, with hellish laughter transposed and transfigured even into the searing tones of spheres and angels.
Adrian attempts to obtain a wife by employing Rudi (who gets his concerto) as the messenger of his love, but she prefers Rudi himself, and not Adrian. Soon afterwards Rudi is shot dead in a tram by Ines, because of jealousy. As Adrian begins to plan the second oratorio The Lamentation of Doctor Faustus, in 1928, his sister's child Nepomuk is sent to live with him. This beautiful boy, who calls himself 'Echo', is beloved by all.
As the work of gigantic dimensions develops in Adrian's mind, the child falls ill and dies, and Adrian, despairing, believes that by gazing at him with love (contrary to his contract) he has killed him with poisonous and hellish influences.
The score of the Lamentation is completed in 1930, Adrian summons his friends and guests, and instead of playing the music he relates the story of his infernal contract, and descends into the brain disease which lasts until his death ten years later.
Zeitblom visits him occasionally, and survives to witness the collapse of Germany's 'dissolute triumphs' as he tells the story of his friend.

Allusions and sources

Doctor Faustus is constructed in richly allusive and symbolic terms. H.T. Lowe-Porter refers to the three strands of the book:
'the German scene from within, and its broader, its universal origins; the depiction of an art not German alone but vital to our whole civilization; music as one instance of the arts and the state in which the arts find themselves today [sc. 1949]; and, finally, the invocation of the daemonic.' (Translator's note, vi.)
Mann wrote a book about the writing of this novel, 'The Genesis of Doctor Faustus' (1949).

Models for the composer-legend

In naming Leverkühn's projected work The Lamentation of Dr Faustus, Mann was echoing Ernst Krenek's Lamentatio Jeremiae prophetae, an oratorio of 1941-1942 which combines the Schoenbergian twelve-tone technique with modal counterpoint.
Although Leverkühn's visit to Palestrina with Schildknapp fully evokes the great early polyphonist named for this birthpace, (and Adrian's absorption in polyphonic theory), it also alludes to the opera Palestrina, premiered at Munich in 1917, and written by Hans Pfitzner. That opera is (outwardly) precisely about polyphonic music in relation to political environment, and Palestrina's attempt to hold together the diverging worlds of the Reformation epoch. Mann described Erb's 1917 debut as Palestrina in almost exactly the terms used for 'Erbe' in Apocalypse. Mann therefore also had Pfitzner in mind.
Palestrina is one of three characteristic German-language operas of the early 20th century, outside the main stream of opera, which deal with the isolation of the creative individual,[4] two others being Paul Hindemith's Mathis der Maler (about Matthias Grünewald), completed 1935,[5] and the Berlin-based Ferruccio Busoni's Doktor Faust, which was left unfinished in 1924. All are concerned with the German Protestant Reformation, as the root point leading to the ethical, spiritual and artistic crises confronting early 20th century creativity. Mann's Doctor Faustus strongly reflects this theme in German musical theatre.

Allusive naming; title

Names are important throughout. Serenus Zeitblom's father's forename Wohlgemut echoes the artist Michael Wohlgemuth, teacher of Albrecht Dürer. The name of Wendell Kretzschmar is probably borrowed from that of Hermann Kretzschmar, a founder of interpretative musical analysis, whose essays 'Guides to the Concert Hall' were widely read. Kretzschmar is half-American to indicate the world-historic context of musical culture. The names of other key characters reflect their roles, as in a morality play like Everyman, a mannerism suited to the Faust genre and its allegorical purposes.
The doomed child's name Nepomuk, in the 19th century quite popular in Austria and southern Germany and middle name of the composer Hummel and the playwright Johann Nestroy, can be seen as an allusion to the high rococo, the 're-echoing of movement', in the St John Nepomuk Church architecture by the Asam brothers in Munich (as described and interpreted by Heinrich Wölfflin[6]).
The title of the novel connects it of course with the most famous work, Faust I and Faust II, of the German poet Goethe, generally considered the absolute, unsurpassable climax of all German literature and the most deep and most true exploration and depiction of the German character. The relation with this work is indirect, mainly the Faustian character of Adrian Leverkühn, Faustian through his abnormal ambition. Moreover, the abnormality of Adrian Leverkühn is related to that of the German culture in view of Nazism.

Other composite elements

Mann's characters are composites, not specific counterparts to individuals. Where names do seem to allude to real persons (such as Spengler, to Oswald Spengler, or Kridwiß, to Ernst Kris) Mann is echoing in their names the philosophies and intellectual standpoints of their time (of which he was a part) without intending portraits or impersonations of the real persons. The homoerotic character of the violinist Rudi Schwerdtfeger is modelled on Paul Ehrenberg of Dresden, an admired friend of Thomas Mann's.
In preparation for the work, Mann studied musicology and biographies of major composers including Mozart, Beethoven, Hector Berlioz, Hugo Wolf, Franz Schreker and Alban Berg. He communicated with living composers, including Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg (see below), and Hanns Eisler. He also made a study of Friedrich Nietzsche, whose career including the supposed contracting of syphilis followed by complete mental collapse in 1889 at the height of his creative life prophesying the 'Anti-Christ', and his death in 1900, do present a pattern imitated in Leverkühn. The illnesses of Delius and Wolf also resonate here. In the death of the child there is an echo (appropriately) of the death of Mahler's daughter, after he had (in Alma's opinion) tempted fate by setting the Kindertotenlieder.
In Chapter XXII Leverkühn develops the twelve-tone technique or row system, which was actually invented by Arnold Schoenberg. Schoenberg lived near Mann in Los Angeles as the novel was being written. He was very annoyed by this appropriation without his consent, and later editions of the novel included an Author's Note at the end acknowledging that the technique was Schoenberg's intellectual property, and that passages of the book dealing with musical theory are indebted in many details to Schoenberg's Harmonielehre.[7]


A most important and direct contribution came from the philosopher and music critic Theodor Adorno, who acted as Mann's adviser and encouraged him to rewrite large sections of the book. Mann also read chapters to groups of invited friends (a method also used by Kafka) to test the effect of the text. He wrote, "Zeitblom is a parody of myself. Adrian's mood is closer to my own than one might – and ought to – think."


As a re-telling of the Faust myth, the novel is concerned with themes such as pride, temptation, the cost of greatness, loss of humanity and so on. Another concern is with the intellectual fall of Germany in the time leading up to World War II. Leverkühn's own moods and ideology mimic the change from humanism to irrational nihilism found in Germany's intellectual life in the 1930s. Leverkühn becomes increasingly corrupt of body and of mind, ridden by syphilis and insanity. In the novel, all of these thematic threads – Germany's intellectual fall, Leverkühn's spiritual fall, and the physical corruption of his body – directly correspond to the national disaster of fascist Germany. In Mann's published version of his 1938 United States lecture tour, The Coming Victory of Democracy, he said, "I must regretfully own that in my younger years I shared that dangerous German habit of thought which regards life and intellect, art and politics as totally separate worlds." He now realised that they were inseparable. In Doktor Faustus, Leverkühn's personal history, his artistic development, and the shifting German political climate are tied together by the narrator Zeitblom as he feels out and worries over the moral health of his nation (just as he had worried over the spiritual health of his friend, Leverkühn).


English translations

  • H. T. Lowe-Porter translated many of Mann's works, including Doctor Faustus, almost contemporaneously with their composition. Mann completed Doctor Faustus in 1947, and in 1948 Alfred A. Knopf published Lowe-Porter's English translation. The translator in her note remarked 'Grievous difficulties do indeed confront anyone essaying the role of copyist to this vast canvas, this cathedral of a book, this woven tapestry of symbolism.' She described her translation as 'a version which cannot lay claim to being beautiful, though in every intent it is deeply faithful.' She found a linguistic spirit comparable to Mann's intended authorial 'voice', and employed medieval English vocabulary and phrasing to correspond with those sections of the text in which characters speak in Early New High German.
  • John E. Woods' translation of 1997 is in a more modern vein, and does not attempt to mirror the original in this way.

See also


  1. ^ i.e. They were Duzfreunde, friends to a special degree.
  2. ^ H.T. Betteridge, ed., Cassell's New German Dictionary, 12th edition, 4th impression, 1972, 'genial', german adjective, 'highly gifted, ingenious, gifted with genius'.
  3. ^ Cassell's, ibid., 'hochtragend', adjective, 'great with young'.
  4. ^ D. Fischer-Dieskau, 'Reflections on "Palestrina"', in Insert to Hans Piftzner, Palestrina, Raphael Kubelik (Polydor International, 1973).
  5. ^ Claire Taylor-Jay, The Artist-Operas of Pfitzner, Krenek, and Hindemith: Politics and the Ideology of the Artist, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004.
  6. ^ H. Wölfflin, Principles of Art History 1915: Ch. 1, 'Architecture.'
  7. ^ A. Schoenberg, Harmonielehre (first published 1911). 3rd edition (Vienna: Universal Edition 1922). Translation by Roy E. Carter, based on the third edn., as Theory of Harmony (Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1978). ISBN 0-520-04945-4.


  1. Giordano, Diego. Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus and the twelve-tone technique. From the Myth to the Alienation, in Calixtilia (n.3), Lampi di Stampa, 2010. ISBN 9-788848-811507.
  2. Mann, Thomas. Doktor Faustus. Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn erzählt von einem Freunde (S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1947).
  3. Mann, Thomas; translation by Lowe-Porter, H.T. (Helen Tracy). Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkühn, as Told by a Friend. Alfred A. Knopf, 1948. ISBN 0-679-60042-6.
  4. Mann, Thomas. The Story of a Novel: The Genesis of Doctor Faustus (Alfred Knopf, New York 1961).
  5. Mann, Thomas; translation by Woods, John E. (John Edwin). Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkühn, as Told by a Friend. Alfred A. Knopf, 1997. ISBN 0-375-40054-0.
  6. Reed, T.J. (Terence James). Thomas Mann: The Uses of Tradition. Oxford University Press, 1974. ISBN 0-19-815742-8 (cased). ISBN 0-19-815747-9 (paperback).





然而,如此的殫精竭慮卻並不意味著完美無瑕。事實上,以插畫家為主線的編輯方式,遭遇到的後續兩種,即名著與名譯之間的落差。曾經為馮像先生力荐的英國詩人丁尼生的《亞瑟王傳奇》,被目為英國國寶級的文學著作,但是在現代詩人文愛藝的翻譯之中,韻味全無,馬克•吐溫的《亞當夏娃日記》同樣遭遇翻譯瓶頸。於此忐忑的出版社,用了雙語來彌補。然而對於原文閱讀沒有障礙的人來說,對照閱讀就會發現現譯實在如同嚼臘。在電話那頭的武學因此很無奈。他也身處在這個時代之中,被現實推著走:出版社的人才流失,為了銷量而粗製濫造的暢銷書,翻譯稿費的低廉,現代作家和譯者創作激情的下降……“我也傾向於用舊譯本,那種時間沉澱的感覺。從前的翻譯家們很'傳神',而'神'這個東西,就不是每個翻譯者都能做得到的了。”也許,最關鍵的東西還不在於譯本。對於武學來說,只有當插畫、名著和譯者三者碰撞在一起的時候,他才能夠安心,這就是他對於《莎樂美》倍感自豪的地方。在我看來,武學似乎乃是要重新去尋找一種我們久已經失去了的閱讀體驗。按照他自己的話來說,閱讀乃是身心所有的感覺都放進去的事情,或者按照我的話說,是一種儀式。 “書本身是一種視覺的產品,但是書的紙張需要味覺,翻書的時候需要聽覺,把書放在手裡是一種觸覺,而閱讀本身需要的是感覺。它是一種綜合的體驗。”因此,當網絡來臨的時候,無論kindle和iPad,都已經不需要調動那麼多種的身心體驗。畢竟,年輕的一代已經習慣了在網絡上閱讀以及獲得知識。 “也許以後它們(Kindle和iPad)不再需要模擬書的感覺,因為大家都自然而然地接受了這樣的知識獲得方式。”可是我自己在想,有時候,形式即是內容,渠道即是文本。在王爾德或者比亞茲萊的時代,書籍本身是具有神聖感的,而閱讀乃是一種尊貴的行為,它既是獲得知識的一種方式,又是心靈修養的一種模式。結合了插畫、經典和名譯的一種文本,其本身是具有儀式感的。其實,《莎樂美》、丁尼生、歌德,在網絡上俯視遍是,根本無需勞神費力去買一本放在家裡。因此,這個文本的涵義並不在於獲得知識本身,而在其乃是對於心靈修養和愉悅的一種追求。而網絡閱讀能夠獲得如此完善的體驗麼?我和武學在談論這個問題的時候,彼此都有些傷感和無奈。因為世界確實已經變化了。儘管和網絡一代一樣我們都無法戒除從網絡上獲得信息和知識的需要(甚或我們比那些主要以網絡為娛樂和生活的一代更加依賴網絡的信息傳播,因為我們的職業需求所致),然而我們卻像落水的人一樣緊緊地抓著紙質書不肯放手。因為至少在我們這一代,我們靈魂的營養和對於知識的所有身心感覺,都來自於那一本本能夠摞起來的書裡,而不是刻意任意裝在一個U盤裡的電子書。它們,無法觸摸,無法感知,無法對話。同樣地,對於我們這一代人來說,王爾德、比亞茲萊、田漢不是,至少不僅僅是知識,他們又是對於自己成長的教育,對於世界的感受,對於靈魂的衝​​撞,對於生命的體驗我們因為他們,而更加完整,更加敏感,更加濕潤。......