Thomas Mann's Concept of the Artist in Doctor Faustus and Related Works

Publication Year



literature, Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus, artist, artistic ability, expression


Art and Design | Comparative Literature | English Language and Literature


The world of the artist has been pictured as anywhere from the best to the worst of all possible conditions when judged through autobiography, biography, and the works he has created over the centuries. Few artists have used their talents to express their own unique condition thematically in their works--or haven't they? If the artist's measure lies in his ability to capture universal truth in an aesthetic instant, he must have a thorough understanding of what the universal condition of man--the ordinary man--is and can be. And if the artist has knowledge of both worlds, that of the ordinary and that of the extraordinary, using one to depict the other, there must be some basis for their relatedness; that connecting thread is the mutual humanity of the extraordinary and the ordinary, the artist and the bourgeois.

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