You are not authorised for viewing the full article.i
Please send an email to the Amsterdam University Press.
Although many studies have been devoted to the role of music in the works of Thomas Mann, very little attention has been paid to this aspect in his novel Der Erwählte. This novel presents two main ideas, an ethical and an aesthetical one, which are connected with each other and with Mann’s critical attitude towards music, a criticism which he expressed in most of his works. Nevertheless, many remarks by Mann prove that he consciously strove for musicality in his writings, especially through textual stratification. The analysis of the subtexts of a fragment from Der Erwählte in this study serves to substantiate the argument that the fragment might be called ‘polyphonic’: the subtexts sound together simultaneously with the ‘supratext’, yet possess an identity of their own and form a harmonious entity. Mann’s ambiguous attitude towards music presented him with problems. The final discussion in this study deals with his attempts to resolve this dilemma.