Thursday, January 9, 2014

Doctor Faustus : chapter 23 : A presentation of a handfull of new characters and scenes

Thomas Mann and Paul Ehrenberg

23.1 “No shouldring the wheel, no budging the cart”

23.2 Capital of Bavaria : Munchen! Birthplace of Richard Strauss & Carl Orff, Heinrich Himmler & Eva Braun, Werner Herzog & Andreas Baader. 

Mann lives in Munich from 1894 ( 19 years old ) until 1933 ( his exile )

23.4 3 relic of some forgotten enthusiasm…Giacomo Meyerbeer… Leverkuhn sits with his back to the painting of the French Opera composer , author of "Robert le Diable" !

Giacomo Meyerbeer (born Jacob Liebmann Beer; 5 September 1791 – 2 May 1864) was a Prussian opera composer of Jewish birth who has been described as perhaps the most successful stage composer of the nineteenth century. With his 1831 opera Robert le diable and its successors he gave the genre of grand opera 'decisive character'. Meyerbeer's grand opera style was achieved by his merging of German orchestra style with Italian vocal tradition.

Apart from around 50 songs, Meyerbeer wrote little except for the stage. The critical assaults of Wagner and his supporters, especially after his death, led to a decline in the popularity of his works; his operas were suppressed by the Nazi regime in Germany, and were neglected by opera houses through most of the twentieth century. Meyerbeer's works are only infrequently performed today.

23.4 Harmonium & a Bechstein grand piano in the house

23.5 badly darkned painting ( 1850 ) picturing the Golden Horn with a view of Galata. Horns ?

23.6 Meet de Rodde’s

Widow (Frau Senator) Rodde ; dark eyes, brown hair…she wanted to enjoy them herself… amused by slightly off-color but never vulgar remarks…

Daughter Inez, the older one… destine for a tragic deed…, a blond… writer of well crafted letters

Daughter Clarissa, the younger one, aa blond training for a dramatic career… penchant for the whimsical and the macabre… ( a Gothic avant la lettre with the Skull fanaticism of the nazi’s ).. she has a hollow book of Hippocrates containing poison.  Clarissa will take her own life… SZ will get the book as a memento.

23.7 The room was the stage of social gatherings…

23.8 list of person associated with the Rodde salon

A married couple by the name of Knöterisch … he looking a perfect Teuton ( Sugambrian or Ubian )… a savage cello – player

Dr. Kranisch the scholar…numismatist

The painter friends Leo Zink and baptist Spengler; An Austrian funny faunish fellow & a German hypochodrial sneak

Rudolf Schwerdtfeger, a talented young violonist… blissfully applying himself to flirting with the fair sex…even mature women ( hint hint )… is about to die early and tragically…shrouded in uncanny horror…with a pout and steelblue eyes … a good, technically brillant musician…Likes AL

In these social gatherings, at least three attendents will have a dramtic end : Inez, clarissa and rudolf schwerdtfeger

23.9 Rudiger Schildknapp the anglophile translator will move to Munich too. He is a real buddy to AL

23.10 Schildknapp visits other artistic – bourgeois salons meets other people who he introduces to AL ( and probably SZ too )

The Publisher  of Radbruch & co
Elderly wealthy couple SChlaginhaufens
His excellency von Riedesel
Herr Bullinger a rich industrialist
Wagnaerian heroine Tanya Orlanda
Felix mottl
Schiller’s great –grandson
Herr von Gleichen –Russwurm , a historian
Jeanette Scheurl, a woman of peculiar charm and trustworthiness, highly intelligent but fashionably ugly , an author , a novelist…trusting and devoted friend of Al for many years…

23.11 the city I speak is Munich at the end of the regency…( 1910 )… the southern city of carnival

Mann, describes an artistic and intellectual milieu he knew well enough. Widow Rodde's salon closely resembles the ones by Mann’s mother Julia ( also a Senator widow). The daughters Inez and Clarissa are modelled on Mann’s sisters Julia ( Lulu ) and Carla. Both sisters committed suicide, Carla in 1910 and Julia in 1927.

Rudiger Schildknapp is modelled after Hans Reisiger, Mann’s parasitic friend...

 Hans Reisiger (1884–1968) was a German writer and translator. Mann had met him by at least 1913 and in the years that followed, until 1933, he was a close friend of Mann and his family. His translation of selected poems from Leaves of Grass, which appeared in 1919, left no discernible impression on Mann, who seems not to have read it. (Walt Whitman, Grashalme: Neue Auswahl, trans. Hans Reisiger [Berlin: S. Fischer, 1919]). But the second collection of writings by Whitman that he published three years later, Walt Whitmans Werk (or Walt Whitman's Work), elicited Mann's interest even before it was published. On 31 May, 1921 (ten months before its publication), Mann noted in his diary: "On Sunday evening Reisiger visited us and read some of his translations, which led on to discussions of Whitman's love of men." 

Schwerdtfeger, the handsome virtuoso violonist  might be Paul Ehrenberg, the musician whom Mann had loved when he was a young man.

Paul Ehrenberg (1876–1949) was a German violinist and impressionist painter, brother of Carl Ehrenberg and half-brother of Hilde Distel.
Ehrenberg was a student of the painter Heinrich von Zügel. He was a member of the Luitpoldsgruppe and Künstlergenossenschaft. His work, shown in many Munich exhibitions, included portraits, still lifes, landscapes, and animal paintings. He married the painter Lilly Teufel.

Ehrenberg was an excellent violinist, who often played chamber music with Thomas Mann. Based on the evidence of Thomas Mann's letters and diaries, Mann was infatuated with Ehrenberg, and they had an intense personal relationship from 1899 to about 1903. Mann based several characters in his published writings on him.

Nepomuk, Al’s nephew is drawn after Mann’s favourite grandson Frido

Mann lived in the same street as AL : Ramberg strasse

( source Todd Kontje, The Cambridge introduction to Thomas Mann )

23.12 Excursions with Schildknapp on the bicycle

23.13 theatrical castles of the people’s favourite madman : Ludwig 2 , King of Bavaria, sponsor of Wagner’s niebelungen and the Bayreuth festival

23.14 Adrian made an acquintance of a spot that he would one day choose as the framework for his personal life : Pfeiffering near Waldshut and the Schweigestill farm.

23.15 …Klammer Pool … the Rohmbühel…a tree-crowned hill…a barefoot dairymaid… ahuge tree in the courtyard…: all similarities of the buchel farm of AL’s youth…

23.16 Notice the chained dog “Kaschperl” which is a particularity not remembered from his childhood

23.17 1 winged victory of Samothrace ( discoverd in 1863 and now at the Louvre in Paris )

23.18 Dark brown piano

23.19 Schweigestill : be silent / silence

23.20 Farm had once been a cloister : holy ground ?  Abott of the Augustinian monks
The previous borders are from the dark melancholy Romanticist type : a brooding artist, an aristocratic madwoman and a girl who dies after abondoning her fatherless child…

23.21 The summer before last an artist fellow from Munchen had rented space here… wanted to paint… Waldshuter Moor … ended up a little mournful, all gray on gray… : Adolf Hitler who was in Munich in 1913 ? or one of the German avantgarde like Lovis Corinth, Vassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee or Franz Marc.
Hitler frequented the artists' cafes in Munich in the unfulfilled hope that established artists might help him with his ambition to become a painter.

From 1908 to 1913, Hitler tinted postcards and painted houses for a living. He painted his first self-portrait in 1910 at the age of 21. Samuel Morgenstern, an Austrian businessman and a business partner of the young Hitler in his Vienna period, bought many of the young Hitler's paintings. According to Morgenstern, Hitler came to him for the first time in the beginning of 1910s, either in 1911 or in 1912. When Hitler came to Morgenstern's glazier store for the first time, he offered Morgenstern three of his paintings. Morgenstern kept a database of his clientele, through which it had been possible to locate the buyers of young Hitler's paintings.

23.22 Musicians are better than painters !

23.23 A crazy Baroness von Handschuchsheim lived once in the Abott’s study,

Handschuscheim -> Handschue ( glove ) and heim ( home ). A marriage with the glove ?

A young lady of the best social circles came to the place to bring her baby to the world.
The girl, a daughter of a high ranking judge in Bayreuth, was made pregnant by her father’s driver. Baby has been given to the Gray sisters of Bamberg. The woman dies in Davos ( on the magic Mountain ) from consumption.

23.24 in a letter to SZ, AL confesses that his work has come to a standstill… + he is searching  for a place where he can bury himself away from the world…

23.25 Then AL leaves to Italy together with Rudiger Schildknapp !