California Haunting: Mann, Schoenberg, Faustus
This introductory chapter provides the necessary context for the two protagonists (Arnold Schoenberg and Thomas Mann), as well as the leading supporting figure (Theodor Adorno). It aims to guide readers through the thicket of acquaintances, old grudges and new anxieties, problems of politics and aesthetics that resonate—sometimes faintly, sometimes clearly—between the lines in the essays and exchanges gathered in this volume. These are, after all, one reason scholars, students, and lay readers have returned to the Faustus controversy time and time again. The other is that rarely has a literary controversy spoken so directly to a unique place and time: Faustus could not have been written, and Faustus could not have generated the controversy that it did, outside of the highly peculiar setting of Southern California during the Second World War.
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