1 hour ago
Lily continued to meet his expostulations with a smile. 'I don't know why I should regard myself as an exception--' she began.
'Because you are; that's why;...'There is something special about Lily. And so, when something bad happens to her, it's at least potentially tragic.
"...this strategy was a bitter necessity in order to achieve a certain humorous leavening of the somber material..."
"There is nothing sillier, in a novel about an artist, than merely to assert the existence of art, to talk about genius, about works, to hail these and rave about their effects upon the souls of the audiences. No, concrete reality, exactitude, were needed--this was utterly clear to me."But short of including a score or a CD, the reader can only estimate musical works from the description of their effects on others. Doctor Zhivago includes Zhivago's poems and we can judge of them, though less so in my case, since I have no Russian. But a novel about a musician? Music is inherently harder. Is Mann's the right approach? I think a lot of people don't read Mann because of his difficulty, because of all that music theory, but then I think hardly anybody reads Rolland at all. (Which is a shame.)
How much Faustus contains of the atmosphere of my life! A radical confession, at bottom. From the very beginning that has been the shattering thing about the book.
Has any man who ever bore the incubus of creation on his back, always concerned, obsessed, preoccupied with the the work of days and years--has any such man ever been an enjoyable companion? Dubito.
Protracted psychological low, intensified by horror at the misguidedness of the novel I began with so zestful a sense of experiment.
Why, yes. Certainly! On with it! We'll cut a page and a half; we'll cut three pages. That will make it more readable, somewhat more readable.
The fact remains, never before has any work so agitated and moved me!But also these, more general:
Switzerland is where the most gloriously un-German things are said in German.
People who feel held back and not given their due, and who at the same time present a distinguished appearance, often seek redress in racist self-assertion.
Life is pain, and we only live as long as we suffer. [Ouch! Tell me it ain't so, Tom!]
There is no doubt in my mind to whom we are indebted for this victory. It is Roosevelt.Mann was an enthusiastic American citizen at the time and a great partisan of FDR. Still the House Un-American Activities Committee hounded him out of the country a couple of years later.
|Humpty's eyes may look a little dazed.|