THOMAS MANN; The World As Will and Representation by Fritz Kaufmann

THOMAS MANN; The World As Will and Representation

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The philosophy of Thomas Mann as a factor in his creative writing has sometimes diverted his critics from their own line of analysis. Now Professor Kaufmann, of the University of Buffalo, uses this as his basic aim, and delves deeply and profoundly (too much so for the average reader, I fear) into the roots of Mann's thinking, his passionate intellectual struggle, his groping from the ethos of self realization into a dedication to mankind. His work seems at times arrant mockery of the story of man, but Kaufmann explores the sources of this phase. Part I takes Mann's philosophy from his early revolt against ""the principle of individuation"", exploring his Protestant inwardness, his bondage in youth to a bourgeois society, his growing concept of spirit and nature and the artist's relation to the whole, in the struggle of man ""to overcome the demonic forces within and without him..."" While Part I refers continually to his works, Part II is specifically concerned with them, from the Buddenbrooks' period to the tragic Doctor Faustus..... May I confess to finding this way beyond my depth. Kaufmann is an authority on Mann; he teaches Philosophy; but he is certainly writing here for a sharply defined and limited scholarly market.

Pub Date: July 15th, 1957
Publisher: Beacon