Deleuze, Mann and Modernism: Musical Becoming in Doctor Faustus

Deleuze Studies 4 (3):412-431 (2010)
Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus traces the life of the composer Adrian Leverkühn, whose career culminates in the compositions Apocalipsis cum figuris and The Lamentation of Doctor Faustus. Mann treats Apocalipsis as the endpoint of a dangerous modernism allied to fascism, and The Lamentation as its partial antidote. From Deleuze and Guattari's perspective, however, Apocalipsis is a positive musical becoming-other and The Lamentation a regression. Crucial to the contrasting interpretations of Apocalipsis are two very different conceptions of modernity and fascism, that of Deleuze and Guattari providing a means of valorising becoming as a mode of aesthetic and political invention and redefining modernism and fascism.
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