Events | Panel Discussion: The Doctor Faustus Dossier

Los Angeles | December 17, 2018 | 7:30 PM

On December 17, the Thomas Mann House is hosting a panel discussion with E. Randol Schoenberg and Marjorie Perloff on the ties between Arnold Schoenberg and Thomas Mann, most famously the Doctor Faustus dispute. The panel will be moderated by Marc Katz (Scripps College, Claremont).

Thomas Mann and Arnold Schoenberg, two of the most important figures of literature and music in their day, were neighbors in Pacific Palisades from 1941 to 1951. Thomas Mann had won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929 for his essays and novels, among them Buddenbrooks and Magic Mountain. By 1926, Schoenberg was teaching the master class in composition at the Prussian Academy of the Arts in Berlin. Each in their own métier, Schoenberg and Mann were at the pinnacle of German culture. However, both of them were ostracized shortly after by the Nazi regime: Schoenberg’s music was banned, Mann’s books were burned. Both of them fled from Germany in 1933. During their time in Los Angeles they met occasionally at social gatherings and hosted one another a couple of times. However, their respectful relations suffered severely with the publication of Mann’s Doctor Faustus. The work featured Schoenberg’s philosophy and particularly his twelve-tone technique prominently, but made no reference to Schoenberg or his oeuvre. A heated dispute ensued between the two great minds.

Randol Schoenberg, the grandson of Arnold Schoenberg, has edited The Doctor Faustus Dossier: Arnold Schoenberg, Thomas Mann, and their Contemporaries, 1930-1951, a complete edition of the correspondence between Schoenberg and Mann.

Marjorie Perloff, herself part of the émigré community in Pacific Palisades, is a scholar and critic who has written extensively on 20th and 21st century poetry and poetics.

Marc Katz, who will be moderating the event, is Associate Professor of German and the Chair of the Department of German Studies at Scripps.


Thomas Mann House, 1550 N San Remo Drive, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

(by invitation only)

An event in cooperation with the Wende Museum.

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