Thomas Mann, Doktor Faustus [Doctor Faustus]

Hannelore G. Mundt (University of Wyoming)
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

On 23 May 1943, while living in exile in Southern California, Thomas Mann began writing

Doktor Faustus: Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn erzählt von einem Freunde


Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkühn as Told by a Friend

]. Mann’s plan of a Faust-novel was conceived in 1904 when he contemplated turning the Faust theme, famed in German literature through the chapbook about Dr. Johann Faust (1587) and Goethe’s drama


(1808/32), into the narrative of an ambitious artist who, in contracting syphilis and conspiring with the devil, overcomes creative stagnation and produces innovative art. Mann’s desire to emulate Goethe, to underscore his own reputation as representative writer of Germany, and to join the ranks of European artists…

2513 words

Citation: Mundt, Hannelore G.. "Doktor Faustus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 September 2003 [, accessed 19 April 2024.]

11472 Doktor Faustus 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.