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Political themes in Joseph Conrad’s Under Western Eyes and Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus Cobley, Evelyn Margot 1975

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POLITICAL THEMES IN JOSEPH CONRAD'S UNDER WESTERN EYES AND THOMAS MANN'S DOKTOR FAUSTUS by EVELYN MARGOT COBLEY B.A., Brigham Young University, 1972 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Programme in Comparative Literature We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August, 1975 In presenting t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n permission. Department of Comparative Literature The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date August 30, 1975 ABSTRACT This thesis focuses on the p o l i t i c a l themes of Thomas Mann's Doktor  Faustus and Joseph Conrad's Under Western Eyes; i t explores i n particular the similarities i n their treatment of p o l i t i c a l material. Because of their distinct aims and concerns, art and p o l i t i c s approach social r e a l i t y i n d i f -ferent ways. Topical p o l i t i c a l discourse especially tends to simplify and systematize l i f e , whereas literature retains and emphasizes i t s complexities and ambiguities. An examination of Thomas Mann's and Joseph Conrad's non-fic t i o n a l writings and biographical background indicates that the two authors held p o l i t i c a l views which were often biased and simplistic. Their f i c t i o n , however, mirrors p o l i t i c a l reality in a l l i t s complexity. Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes present and dramatize p o l i t i c a l problems without of-fering solutions or one-sided views. Through Adrian Leverkiihn and Razumov, the essentially demonic nature of the German and Russian national character is investigated. Leverkiihn i s the symbol and culmination of Germany's cul-tural history, and his pact with the devil i s a metaphor for Germany's move-ment towards Nazism. Razumov is a typical Russian whose fate embodies the dilemma of a country torn between cynical autocracy and lawless revolution. However, Leverkiihn'8 and Razumov's involvement with the anti-rational and demonic is not unequivocally condemned. The novels also bring out forcibly the s t e r i l i t y and complacency of Western c i v i l i z a t i o n . Western values are represented by the narrators, Zeitblom and the language teacher, whose c r i t -icism of Leverkiihn and Razumov is always tinged with their own humanistic tradition. While Mann and Conrad offer an indictment of p o l i t i c a l systems which threaten the freedom of the individual, they also express a deep-seated scepticism of a l l p o l i t i c a l solutions. i TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I Introduction . . . . . . . 1 II P o l i t i c s and L i t e r a t u r e . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 I I I Leverkiihn and Razumov 47 IV Zeitblom and the language teacher 82 V Conclusion 125 VI Selected Bibliography 130 i i A NOTE ON REFERENCES The edition of Conrad's Under Western Eyes cited throughout i s that of the Collected Edition published by J.M. Dent and Sons, Ltd. The edition of Mann's Doktor Faustus cited throughout is that of the Ges amine Ite Werke published by S. Fischer Verlag. ACKNOWLEDGMENT I wish to thank my director Mr. A. Busza for the insight and patient assistance that he has generously offered. i i i Chapter I Introduction Joseph Conrad's reputation i n Germany developed slowly and i n a rather unusual way. Before his death in 1924, Conrad's name was practi-cally unknown in Germany, and even obituaries in German newspapers were short and uninformed. Recognition did not begin u n t i l the second half of the nineteen twenties and was followed, in the t h i r t i e s , by a real surge of interest. Of the seven books published on Conrad i n German before 1970, 1 one appeared in 1926, one in 1959, and the other five in the t h i r t i e s . During the forties, however, Conrad's popularity was again minimal and pub-lications about him stopped almost completely. Finally, after the forties, Conrad's reputation in Germany was assured. The reasons for the fluctu-ations are complex. But i t seems relatively certain that the i n i t i a l lack of interest can be attributed to two related factors. F i r s t , the then pre-valent intellectual snobbishness in Germany was inherently hostile to Conrad's adventure plots. Secondly, Germany was not a sea nation and Conrad's sea settings, totally alien to German experience, were undoubtedly too strange to arouse interest. There were of course some exceptions to the general neglect and misunderstanding of Conrad's genius. The most prominent of these was Thomas Mann who was an early and perceptive reader of Conrad's works. Indeed, Mann was particularly instrumental in bringing about an eventual change in attitude toward Conrad. In 1926, the renowned publishing house S. Fischer decided to publish and advertise Conrad in Germany. The f i r s t works to appear were The Secret•:Agent; Chancet The Shadow-Line» and Youth. The decision to introduce two long psychological "land" novels, followed only then by two shorter sea stories, was obviously a concession to 1 2 German l i t e r a r y t a s t e . S. Fischer further insured Conrad's success by s o l i c i t i n g Thomas Mann f o r the intr o d u c t i o n to The Secret Agent and Jacob Wassermann f o r that to The Shadow-Line. The prestigious patronage Conrad's novels received obviously attracted the attention of many c r i t i c s who from then on commented abundantly on Conrad's achievement. Mann not only admired Conrad but also found that he had many things i n common with him. During a long stay at an American h o s p i t a l , Mann con-centrated on Conrad's novels because he detected a c e r t a i n a f f i n i t y between them and h i s own Doktor Faust us; ''"...so schienen noch immer die Romane Conrads die dem gegenwartigen Stadium meines eigenen 'Romans' angepassteste 2 oder doch am wenigsten storende Unterhaltung zu s e i n . . . " I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that Mann apparently admired Conrad f o r the adventure settings which alienated most other German readers. He describes h i s f a s c i n a t i o n with Conrad as follows: . . . i c h hatte mit Lord Jim begonnen, fuhr f o r t mit Victory und las i n Wochen die ganze Reihe dieser Romane durch, unterhalten, beeindruckt und als Deutscher irgendwie be-schamt durch eine mahnliche, abenteuerliche und sprachlich hochstehende, psychologisch-moralisch t i e f e Erzahlkunst, wie s i e b e i uns nicht nur selten i s t , sondern f e h l t . Mann's i n t e r e s t i n Conrad was, i n h i s own words, f i r s t aroused when he li s t e n e d to John Galsworthy lecture on Conrad and Tolstoy, and when he heard that Andre Gide "Englisch gelernt habe ausdriicklich, um Conrad im O r i g i n a l A lesen zu konnen." I t seems that Mann's enthusiasm f o r Conrad remained constant throughout his l i f e . In 1951, four years before h i s death, Mann s t i l l maintained that Conrad was a genius. Countering frequent claims that he, Thomas Mann, i s the "foremost n o v e l i s t of the age," he explained: I am no such thing; Joseph Conrad was, as people ought to know. I could never have written Nostromo, nor the mag-n i f i c e n t Lord Jim; and i f he i n turn could not have w r i t -ten The Magic Mountain or Doctor Faustus, the account balances out very much i n h i s favor.^ 3 Although this statement no doubt contains some false modesty on Mann's part, i t demonstrates clearly that Conrad was one of his favorite authors. Mann 6 was above a l l fascinated by Conrad as "ein Erzahlerphanomen." And, although he underestimated Conrad's intellectual depth, he fe l t that other qualities amply compensated for t h i s : "Er i s t ein ErzShler, der zu v i e l ausseres Leben aufgenommen hat, um sehr innerlich zu sein. Aber er is t ein 7 Mann und sehr oft ein wahrer Dichter." From the evidence i n letters and "Die Entstehung des Doktor Faustus," one can conclude that Mann thoroughly appreciated Conrad's achievement. In view of Mann's avowed admiration of Conrad, i t i s surprising that few c r i t i c s have concentrated on possible connexions between Mann's and 8 Conrad's works. The Conrad bibliographies -List only four relatively short studies on similarities between Mann and Conrad. Harvey Gross looks at Death in Venice and Heart of Darkness through Freud's Civilization and i t s Discontents; LB;lAd"dis.on also concentrates on the sublimation of the ego in the same two novels; Julian B. Kaye has contributed an Interesting though rather superficial study of Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes; and Jacqueline Viswanathan discussed point of view in Wuthering Heights, Under 9 Western Eyes, and Doktor: Faustus. None of these c r i t i c s claims a direct influence of Conrad on Mann—such an influence would indeed be d i f f i c u l t to establish—but they evidently feel that there i s sufficient evidence for at least the argument for an imaginative affinity between the two authors. Kaye is perhaps too hasty in calling Under Western Eyes a "source" for Doktor Faustus but the following point i s nevertheless well taken: It is obvious that Under Western Eyes is but one source, albeit an important one, of Mann's encyclopaedic synthesis of European history and culture. But i t is instructive to observe one writer using the literary experience of another to stimulate his own imagination.^ 4 An obvious point of contact between Mann and Conrad i s that they are both c r i t i c s of c i v i l i z a t i o n . E s p e c i a l l y Death i n Venice and Heart of Dark- ness can be seen as " a l l e g o r i e s of culture" that can be read " i n the o l d , 11 r i c h moral way." But the p o l i t i c a l themes i n Doktor Faustus and Under  Western Eyes r a i s e moral problems which also i l l u s t r a t e the d e f i c i e n c i e s of c i v i l i z a t i o n . They show i n p a r t i c u l a r that the i l l s of twentieth-century society and culture cannot be solved p o l i t i c a l l y . . There i s perhaps no be t t e r way to i l l u s t r a t e the tragedy of the modern predicament than the f r u s t r a t i n g conclusion that no external ( p o l i t i c a l ) influences can e i t h e r arrest or a l t e r the course of h i s t o r y , A p o t e n t i a l danger i n Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes i s the use of a p o l i t i c a l theme i n l i t e r a t u r e . I t i s generally believed that the basic assumptions that p o l i t i c s , on the one hand, and l i t e r a t u r e , o n the other, make about man and the world are at odds. P o l i t i c s i s narrowly systematic and t r i e s t o o f f e r absolute answers, whereas l i t e r a t u r e i s i n -geniously complex and demonstrates the i l l u s o r y nature of d e f i n i t e s o l u t i o n s . How can such contradictory tendencies be reconciled? Fixed i d e o l o g i c a l be-l i e f s have to be s a c r i f i c e d to art's more f l e x i b l e and complex v i s i o n of r e a l i t y . The personal, p o l i t i c a l prejudices Mann and Conrad betray i n non-f i c t i o n a l statements are transcended In Doktor Faustus and Under Western  Eyes. The novels r e f r a i n from endorsing any p o l i t i c a l system and i n v e s t i -gate instead the workings of p o l i t i c s as a general human phenomenon. The p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n s Mann and Conrad depict In Doktor Faustus and Under  Western Eyes are not assessed according to s i m p l i s t i c p o l i t i c a l prejudices but take i n t o account the complexities and ambiguities inherent i n a l l human manifestations. The object of t h i s study i s to show that the contra-d i c t i o n between p o l i t i c a l and l i t e r a r y aspects can be resolved s u c c e s s f u l l y . By means of s i m i l a r imaginative and t e c h n i c a l s o l u t i o n s , Mann and Conrad 5 achieve i n Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes a balance between the po-l i t i c a l concerns and the richness of human experience. In order to appreciate f u l l y the merits of Doktor Faustus and Under  Western Eyes as p o l i t i c a l novels, the problems associated with p o l i t i c a l themes i n l i t e r a t u r e must be considered c a r e f u l l y . The f i r s t chapter w i l l therefore concentrate on the problems of the p o l i t i c a l novel. This chapter does not pretend to be an exhaustive analysis of the p o l i t i c a l novel; i t s aim i s merely to give a general idea of the challenge t h i s type of l i t e r a -ture presents. Since one of the major d i f f i c u l t i e s the p o l i t i c a l n o v e l i s t faces i s the necessity to transcend h i s personal bias i n favor of a r e l a t i v e l y objective view, s p e c i a l emphasis w i l l be placed on the p o l i t i c a l opinions Mann and Conrad manifest i n n o n - f i c t i o n a l sources. Mann's p o l i -t i c a l p o s i t i o n i s e a s i l y established because he wrote extensively on p o l i -t i c a l i s s ues. But Conrad's a t t i t u d e i s more d i f f i c u l t to pinpoint. A l -though he has l e f t some p o l i t i c a l documents, a complete p i c t u r e of his views has to be i n f e r r e d with the help of a d d i t i o n a l b i o g r a p h i c a l information. The j u x t a p o s i t i o n of Mann's and Conrad's p o l i t i c a l attitudes w i l l also reveal that the two authors adhered to s i m i l a r conservative p r i n c i p l e s . This knowledge i s c r u c i a l to any i n t e l l i g e n t evaluation of the p o l i t i c a l implications i n Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes. The f i r s t chapter w i l l thus suggest the challenging nature of the p o l i t i c a l novel and provide a p o l i t i c a l p r o f i l e of Mann and Conrad which w i l l furnish a us e f u l back-ground to the study of Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes. The other two chapters w i l l focus on the novels themselves. The d i s -cussion w i l l center on the fundamental opposition between r a t i o n a l and a n t i - r a t i o n a l responses to the world, and on t h e i r p o l i t i c a l consequences. Mann and Conrad evaluate the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n i n Germany and Russia from 12 two a n t i t h e t i c a l s i d e s . Leverkiihn and Razumov, the demonic heroes of 6 Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes, are seen through the r a t i o n a l eyes of Zeitblom and the language teacher. The temperamental gap between hero and narrator permits a r e c i p r o c a l appraisal of Russia or Nazi Germany and of Western c i v i l i z a t i o n . I t i s not a coincidence that Mann and Conrad re-sorted to the same na r r a t i v e technique; t h e i r choice was imposed by the p a r t i c u l a r p o l i t i c a l i n t e n t i o n . The discussion of Leverkuhn and Razumov i n the second chapter, and of Zeitblom and the language teacher i n the t h i r d , w i l l i l l u s t r a t e the advantages of the narrative technique for meeting the complex challenge of the p o l i t i c a l novel. The second chapter w i l l discuss Leverkuhn as the symbolic German and Razumov. as the t y p i c a l Russian. Leverkuhn symbolizes the culmination of Germany's c u l t u r a l achievements and, at the same time, he anticipates and even prepares the way f o r Nazism, Mann thereby suggests that Germany's best q u a l i t i e s — i t s c u l t u r a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l achievements—were t r a g i c a l l y destined t o cause the country's p o l i t i c a l r u i n . Razumov, however, does not symbolize h i s country but i s a t y p i c a l Russian whose fate i l l u s t r a t e s the predicament of a country tor n between the equally i l l o g i c a l forces of auto-cracy and revolution. The representative q u a l i t y of the heroes, however, indicates that both Mann and Conrad f e l t that the p o l i t i c a l consequences have t h e i r source i n the n a t i o n a l character. Leverkiihn's decisions are de-termined by h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the mythical Faust figure and by Ger-many's need for a c u l t u r a l renewal. His music grows out of the d i a l e c t i c a l progress of Germany's c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y and represents a d i r e c t response to the country's modern r e a l i t y . Razumov's actions are motivated by less s ophisticated influences. He reacts primarily to external circumstances. But h i s reactions are conditioned by the knowledge of the p e c u l i a r l y Rus-sian nature of these circumstances. His mind works i n accordance with an i n s t i n c t u a l understanding of the Russian s o u l . In both Doktor Faustus and 7 Under Western Eyes, the hero's fate i s c l e a r l y determined by forces over which he has no c o n t r o l . This wins the sympathy of both the reader and the author. Indeed, Leverkiihn and Razumov are both condemned and saved by t h e i r authors. Mann's and Conrad's equivocal attitu d e toward t h e i r heroes thus suggests that a c l e a r and d e f i n i t e moral judgement of Germany and Russia i s ultimately impossible. The moral ambiguities inherent i n any p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n are further underlined by the often unfavorable treatment of the humanistic and demo-c r a t i c Western t r a d i t i o n . Zeitblom and the language teacher are contrasted with Leverkiihn and Razumov so that t h e i r Western values can function as a moral yardstick for Nazi Germany and Russia. But this y a r d s t i c k i s i t s e l f suspect. Mann and Conrad are often overtly i r o n i c toward t h e i r narrators and thereby undercut the assessments Zeitblom and the language teacher o f f e r . The narrator's p o s i t i o n i n both Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes i s p a r t i c u l a r l y undermined by h i s myopic v i s i o n and by the inadequacy of his own Western values. The hero n a t u r a l l y gains i n stature every time the nar-rator or h i s value system are shown to be d e f i c i e n t . The narrator's lim-i t e d understanding of the hero's world obviously weakens many of h i s nega-t i v e implications. S i m i l a r l y , the dangerous and e v i l p o l i t i c a l s o l u t i o n s , for which Nazi Germany and Russia are condemned, appear less objectionable when compared with the mediocrity and complacency of Western s o c i e t y . The conclusion one must draw from the narrator's function i n Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes i s again that the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n they depict does not admit easy answers because i t i s complex and often enigmatic. No a l t e r -native i s absolutely superior t o a l l the others so that the two novels demonstrate the inadequacies of a l l p o l i t i c a l s o l u t i o n s . 8 Footnotes 1 Gertrud Rucht Zeitveflauf und Erzahlerstandpunkt in Joseph Conrads Roroanen (Herrenstadt in Schlesien: Drache, 1926). Hildegard Bennewitz, Die Charak- tere in den Romanen Joseph Conrads (Greifswald; Dallmeyer, 1933). Elly Veto Mandl, Die Frau bei Joseph Conrad (Budapest; Druckerei der Pester-Lloyd Gesellschaft, 1934). Albert Wiischer, Schau und Veranschaulichung der Aus- senwelt bei Joseph Cbrirad (Theyngen: Augustin, 1934). Johanna Burkhardt Das Erlebriis der Wirklichkeit und seine kilnstlerische Gest altung i n Joseph  Conr ads Werk (Marburg: Bauer, 19 35"T^  Hermann Stresau, Joseph Conrad: der  Tragiker des Westens (Berlin: Verlag die Runde, 1937). Ruth Spoerri-Muller, Joseph Conrad: Das Problem der Vereinsamung (Winterthur: P.G. Keller, 1959). 2 Thomas Mann, "Die Entstehung des Doktor Faustus," Gesammelte Werke (Frank-furt: S. Fischer, 1960), XI, 287. 3 Ibid., p. 273. 4 Thomas Mann, "Vorwort zu Joseph Conrads Roman Der Geheimagent," Gesammelte  Werke (Frankfurt: S. Fischer, 1960), X, 645. 5 Richard and Clara Winston, Letters of Thomas Mann: 1889-1955, (New York: A. Knopf, 1970), pp. 628-29. 6 Mann, Gesammelte Werke, X, 645. 7 Thomas Mann, Briefe 1937-1947, ed. Erika Mann (Frankfurt: S. Fischer, 1963), p. 515. 8 Kenneth A. Lohf and Eugene P. Sheehy, Joseph Conrad at Mid-Century (Min-neapolis: Univ. of Minnesota, 1957). Theodore G. Ehrsam, A Bibliography  of Joseph Conrad (Metuchen, N.J.: The Scarecrow Press, 1969). Bruce E. Teets and Helmut E. Gerber, Joseph Conrad: An Annotated Bibliography of Writings About Him (De Kalb: Northern IllinoTs Univ., 1971). 9 Harvey Gross, "Aschenbach and Kurtz: The Cost of Civ i l i z a t i o n , " The Cen- tennial Review, 6, 131-43. B i l l Kaler Addison, "Marlow, Aschenbach, and We," Conradiana, 2, 79-81. Julian B. Kaye, "Conrad's Under Western Eyes and Mann's Doctor Faustus," Comparative Literature, 9, 60-65. Jacqueline Viswanathan, "Point of View and Unreliability in Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Conrad's Under Western Eyes and Mann's Doktor Faustus," Orbis Litterarum, 29, 42-60. 10 Kaye, p. 65. 9 11 Gross, p. 134. 12 Leverkuhn and Razumov are c a l l e d "demonic" i n that they manifest some of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s associated with Nietzsche's dionysian hero. P a r t l y modelled on Nietzsche's l i f e , Leverkuhn i s a prime example of the Dionysian hero. Of Conrad's heroes, Kurtz of Heart of'Darkness would be the most dionysian. But although Razumov lacks the genius of both Leverkuhn and Kurtz, he nevertheless shares enough of t h e i r i r r a t i o n a l and e v i l tendencies f o r the term "demonic" to be applied t o him also. Chapter II Politics and Literature In speaking of the "political novel," a critic immediately faces the problem of classification. In Politics and the Novel, Irving Howe suggests a pragmatic solution to this problem. Pointing out that "such loose terms as the political or the psychological novel" can hardly be defined as genres because they "do not mark any fundamental distinctions of literary 1 form," he proposes: Perhaps i t would be better to say: a novel in which we  take to be dominant political ideas or the political milieu, a novel which permits this assumption without thereby suffering any radical distortion and, i t fol-lows, with the possibility of some analytical profit,^ Unlike George Orwell in Animal Farm or in 1984, Thomas Mann and Joseph Con-rad did not support or oppose any one political system. Their novels are not as exclusively dominated by a political Idea as Orwell's. For them, politics was primarily a vital aspect of culture. Doktor Faustus and Under  Western Eyes use the political theme above a l l to illustrate certain truths about man and his world. The ethical and metaphysical examinations, how-ever, take place in a "political milieu" and a political analysis imposes itself. In fact, Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes cannot be discussed meaningfully outside the political realm. Political themes in literature are viewed today with much suspicion. Critics and writers feel that literature and politics are incompatible because either the political commitment is detrimental to aesthetic values or pure aestheticism is morally and socially irresponsible. The uneasiness about political themes in literature is a relatively recent phenomenon. In England, the eighteenth-century political satirists were not aware of the 10 11 problematical nature of their literature. Even early nineteenth-century p o l i t i c a l literature was not really conscious of i t s e l f . In Dickens, for instance, the social and p o l i t i c a l interests merge harmoniously with aesthetic considerations. What George Woodcock says about Hazlitt applies no doubt to many other figures of that time: For Hazlitt there was never any problem of making a choice between politics and literature, like that which has faced many contemporary writers. He saw the two forms of writing merely as differing expressions of the same a t t i -tude towards the world.3 The same can be said of eighteenth-century German literature. Schiller's p o l i t i c a l dramas, for instance, show no trace of aesthetic anxiety. But i n nineteenth-century Germany, the group "Junges Deutschland" i s at least intuitively aware of a gap between po l i t i c s and literature. The "Jung-deutschen" are known both as polemical pamphleteers and as romantic poets. Their attitude i s characterized by a "Zwiespalt von positiver, traditions-gebundener dichterischer und traditionsverneinender, negativer fe u i l l e t o -4 nistischer Aussage." The most prominent representative of the "Junges Deutschland" group was no doubt Heinrich Heine, whose bi t t e r and vehement p o l i t i c a l pamphlets contrast strangely with his l y r i c a l poetry. Even Georg Buchner, a writer of social dramas like Dantons Tod (1835), Leonce und Lena (1879), and Woyzeck (1879), contributed to a p o l i t i c a l pamphlet, Der hes- sische Landbote, although he was not associated with the "Junges Deutschland" group. But basically, the highly self-conscious scepticism toward p o l i t i c s i n art did not awaken i n either England or Germany u n t i l the turn of the century. The tension between literature and p o l i t i c s was especially apparent i n arguments for and against the autonomy of art. The problem was debated with particular passion i n the early decades of the twentieth-century when the neo-romantic theory of art for art's sake was opposed to the nineteenth-12 century conception of literature as a criticism of l i f e . Referring to Stephen Spender, B. Bergonzi has described the two trends as follows: Another usage has been suggested by Stephen Spender, who makes a distinction between the Modern and the Contempo-rary: in literature the Modern i s marked by aesthetic concentration, imaginative intensity and boldness, a stress on individual sensibility, a corresponding indif-ference to purely social values, and a certain contempt for the recent past (which may, however, be associated with attachment to a 'tradition' embodying the more re-mote past); the Contemporary writer, on the other hand, is not very interested i n a r t i s t i c innovation. He i s positively involved with the world he lives i n , i s a se-rious commentator on i t and i s inclined to activist and progressive social attitudes. Such writing i s perpet-ually i n danger of declining into journalism. If E l i o t and Pound and Joyce and Lawrence offer clear, though sometimes conflicting, versions of the Modern, the Con-temporary can be represented by Shaw and Wells and Gals-worthy and the Georgian poets; and, for that matter, by most living English novelists,5 The historical situation determined which of the two attitudes was dominant. The whole problem, however, is too complex for discussion here, especially because the exponents of one attitude tend to interpret the literary c l i -mate according to their own bias. Orwell, for instance, argued i n "The Frontiers of Art and Propaganda" that the advent of fascism inevitably put an end to the aesthete's social isolation: In a world in which Fascism and Socialism were fighting one another, any thinking person had to take sides, and his feelings had to find their way not only into his writings but into his judgements on literature. Liter-ature had to become p o l i t i c a l , because,anything else would have entailed mental dishonesty. But, on the other hand, John W. Aldridge's retrospective evaluation of the same period in literature sums up the aesthetes' feelings as follows: In witness of this we have the thoroughly depressing experience of the t h i r t i e s . Then we elevated quanti-ties of third-rate tractarian work to prominence simply because i t articulated the right social and p o l i t i c a l attitudes, while writers of first-rate novels having to do with subjects other than the sufferings of the pro-letariat and the corruption of the c a p i t a l i s t i c system 13 tended to be either ignored or dismissed as " i r r e l -evant" and "irresponsible." Great literature is of course both aesthetically and socially responsible. Orwell was well aware of this when he maintained that "Aesthetic scrupu-8 lousness is not enough, but p o l i t i c a l rectitude is not enough either." The famous Ezra Pound case illustrates best the distortions resulting from a one-sided interpretation of art's task. In an article discussing the Pound case, Theodore Ziolkowski points out that Pound was awarded the Bol-linger Prize in 1949 because his poetry was evaluated by an aesthetically oriented committee. But in 1972, Pound was turned down for the Emerson-Thoreau medal because this time he was judged on his p o l i t i c a l opinions rather than on his a r t i s t i c achievement. Ziolkowski therefore concludes that "'Aesthetic scrupulousness' awarded the Bollinger Prize to Pound, while 9 ' p o l i t i c a l rectitude' took away the Emerson-Thoreau medal." In Germany, aesthetic and socially committed movements also coexisted uneasily. Natu-ralism expressed the social problems of industrialization, and although Gerhardt Hauptmann, i t s main exponent, was not motivated by social problems alone, he depicted above a l l the misery of the lower classes. Expressionism was also a protest against industrialization and the impending holocaust of the Second World War. Especially the poetry of Georg Heym is permeated by the apocalyptic fear of mass society and war. But, during the same period, New Classicism looked to the past and revived classical forms. Stephan George's poetry addresses i t s e l f to an intellectual e l i t e and experiments extensively with form. New Romanticism also turned against the social consciousness of the present and immersed i t s e l f i n the traditional values of the past. Hugo von Hoffmannsthal f e l t strongly that i t is the artist's task to preserve the cultural heritage so that his work is characterized by - 10 a "biirgerliche 'SpMtzeitstimmung' mit ihrem elegisch-asthetischen Schmelz." 14 Most of the twentieth-century writers were p o l i t i c a l l y conservative. This i s even true of Germany's l i t e r a r y e l i t e during the H i t l e r period. Although Fascism i n f l i c t e d much s u f f e r i n g and often death on those who re-mained i n Germany and uprooted those who l e f t , the majority of German writers stayed p o l i t i c a l l y to the Right. T h e i r l i t e r a t u r e often sought a new transcendence ( G o t t f r i e d Benn) or escaped i n t o r e l i g i o u s hope (Reinhold Schneider). With the notable exception of Brecht, German writers looked n o s t a l g i c a l l y back to Germany's c u l t u r a l heritage and, i n order to disso-ci a t e themselves and t h e i r t r a d i t i o n from H i t l e r ' s Germany, they d i f f e r -entiated between a good and a bad Germany. This d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n permitted them to be conservatives or even reactionaries and remain, at the same time, opposed to Nazism. In England, the e x p l i c i t l y or i m p l i c i t l y conservative tendencies of prominent figures l i k e Pound, Yeats, T.S. E l i o t , D.H. Lawrence, and Wyndham Lewis have puzzled many c r i t i c s . There has been a concentrated e f f o r t to explain why the Right i s usually more a t t r a c t i v e than the L e f t . In "Writers and P o l i t i c s , " Stephen Spender argues convincingly that conserva-t i v e writers "put l i t e r a t u r e before p o l i t i c s , and t h e i r f i r s t concern was to preserve the c i v i l i z a t i o n without which, as they thought, n e i t h e r past nor 11 future l i t e r a t u r e could survive." Spender believes that the " v i s i o n of 12^ the greatness of the European past" i s what decided men l i k e Yeats, Pound, or T.S. E l i o t against democracy and progress. David Daiches expands on Spender's explanation when he points out that although these conservatives looked to an apparently more organic s o c i a l order i n the past, they were at the same time h o s t i l e to t r a d i t i o n a l a r t i s t i c conventions. Daiches sums up t h i s paradox by saying: "So we can get reactionaries i n p o l i t i c s who are 1 3 -r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s i n a r t . " According to Daiches, the p o l i t i c a l Right s a t i s f i e s the creative mind's need f o r both order and disorder i n the f o l -. 1 5 lowing way: Art, then, i s bound up with a concept of order; the avant-garde artist rejects the order of the bourgeois world because i t i s hypocritical, unreal and s t u l t i -fying (not necessarily a l l these things simultaneous-ly) and turns to the visible order of the p o l i t i c a l Right, often a romanticized and p o l i t i c a l l y inaccu-rate concept of such an order, rather more often than he turns to the p o l i t i c a l Left. But this i s an over-simplified formula. For i n a sense the artist needs disorder as much as he needs order; he needs liberty for his imagination; he needs an independence, even an arrogance, of mind and heart that allows him to trust his own vision implicitly. And here, too, we have part of the explanation of why the modernist artist has turned to the Right more than to the Left.** The tensions necessary to art threaten to be destroyed by the equalizing and levelling effect of democracy. The artist feared that the result would be a r t i s t i c s t e r i l i t y . Contemporary art certainly lacks much of the ten-sion which was characteristic of earlier periods. John W. Aldridge a t t r i -butes the apparent s t e r i l i t y of today's literature to the absence of the individual and unique i n a society dominated by mass media which engender stereotype responses to l i f e . Moreover, the population explosion, with the inevitable conglomeration of people into large c i t i e s , has turned man into an alienated being without any real social t i e s . For Daiches, this modern predicament has i t s source in the Industrial Revolution during which "Man 15 has been dehumanized, individuals have become 'isolated, unrelated.'" Aldridge sees the tragedy of modern l i f e particularly i n the denaturalized relationship of man to other men and to his own experiences: It is also undoubtedly true that the conditions of l i f e in a mass society force us to do more and more of our living at secondhand, to relate to experience tangen-t i a l l y and voyeuristically, that because of the sheer density of population and our lack of access to popula-tion units of engageable size, we feel deprived of the traditional means of relating to others as private per-sons, and of valuing our relationship with others just because i t i s an intimate and precious ingredient of our total relationship to l i f e . 1 6 16 The conservative writers of the f i r s t h a l f of t h i s century obviously f o r e -saw the black picture Aldridge paints of modern l i f e and a r t . Their views should above a l l be appreciated as a v a l i d protest against p o l i t i c a l trends which would i n e v i t a b l y prove detrimental to l i f e and art. With Spender, one may w e l l say: "Often t h e i r p o l i t i c s only shows that they care less f o r 17 p o l i t i c s than f o r l i t e r a t u r e . " Both Thomas Mann and Joseph Conrad are c l e a r l y "reactionaries i n p o l i t i c s " and "rev o l u t i o n a r i e s i n a r t . " Their attitude toward art was bas-i c a l l y ambivalent because although they were committed to aesthetic values, they could not subscribe to the amorality demanded by art for art's sake. Mann was perhaps more disturbed and divided about t h i s problem. Although he often supports pure aestheticism, he j u s t as often argues f o r the a r t i s t ' s moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . He says, for instance, echoing Nietzsche: "Das Le-18 ben selbst i s t nur als aesthetisches Phanomen zu r e c h t f e r t i g e n . " And, Ernst Niindel concludes from a page in "Forderung des Tages" that art i s for Mann ."ein aussermoralischer, von Et h i k , von Lebensbefehl n i c h t s wissender Gesichts-19 punkt." But other statements t e s t i f y just as c l e a r l y to Mann's f i r m b e l i e f in the a r t i s t ' s s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . In one instance, he even claims that ethics represents the motivating force of his art: Was i c h suchte, was mich anging, worauf i c h Nachdruck legte, war S i t t l i c h e s , war Moral; und die m o r a l i s t i s c h getonte, die moralverbundene Kunst war es, zu der i c h a u f b l i c k t e , die i c h als meine Sphare, als das mir Zu-kommliche und Urvertraute empfand.20 Mann's moral feelings are, in his own opinion, the product of his middle class background. He came from a respectable business family and proudly maintained throughout h i s l i f e the bourgeois values of d i s c i p l i n e , duty, Puritanism, and s o l i d i t y . The symbol f o r t h i s type of "Burger" i s Thomas Buddenbrook whom Mann c a l l s a "Leistungsethiker," a description the author 17 i m p l i c i t l y applies also to himself. But Mann was also an a r t i s t and could never f e e l completely at home i n e i t h e r the bourgeois or the bohemian world. He therefore i d e n t i f i e d h i s predicament with a d e s c r i p t i o n of C F . Meyer by Franz Ferdinand Baumgarten because he saw himself also as "einen 21 v e r i r r t e n Biirger und einen Kiinstler mit schlechtem Gewissen." Conrad did not experience the gap between aestheticism and ethics as acutely as Mann. His b e l i e f i n both art and moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y never expresses i t s e l f i n c l e a r terms. Although he argues that i n "writing f i c -22 t i o n . . . f a c t s don't matter," he i s opposed to an amoral i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of a r t i s t i c freedom: " I t must not be supposed that I claim f or the a r t i s t i n 23 f i c t i o n the freedom of moral N i h i l i s m . " The aesthetic climate of h i s time obviously s t r i k e s him as too polemical and he therefore q u a l i f i e s h i s own commitment t o aesthetic craftsmanship as follows: In that uneasy s o l i t u d e the supreme cry of Art f o r Art i t s e l f loses the e x c i t i n g r i n g of i t s apparent immor-a l i t y . I t sounds f a r o f f . I t has ceased to be a cry, and i s heard only as a whisper, often incomprehensible, but at times and f a i n t l y encouraging. But Conrad was also against the excesses of committed l i t e r a t u r e and warned his f r i e n d Galsworthy against the dangers of being c a r r i e d away by moral fee l i n g s , unlike Mann, whose opinions on the subject of art and morality are contradictory, Conrad always searches f o r a compromise. Putting h i s 25 f a i t h i n "a few very simple ideas," he sees i n the seaman's code a para-digm f o r a r t i s t i c craftsmanship: "And I have c a r r i e d my notion of good 26 service from my e a r l i e r i n t o my l a t e r existence." Good service i n l i t e r -ature depends on a r t i s t i c s i n c e r i t y and on a c a r e f u l use of words. Conrad points to t h i s double challenge of l i t e r a t u r e by saying: "The things 'as they are' e x i s t i n words; therefore words should be handled with care l e s t the p i c t u r e , the image of t r u t h abiding i n f a c t s , should become d i s t o r t e d — o r 27 b l u r r e d . " Although Conrad believes i n the aesthetic purpose of language, 18 he s t i l l demands that words give a precise image of r e a l i t y . This a t t i t u d e underlies p a r t i c u l a r l y the t h e o r e t i c a l p o s i t i o n i n the famous Preface to the Nigger of the "Narcissus": A work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry i t s j u s t i f i c a t i o n i n every l i n e . And art i t s e l f may be defined as a single-minded attempt to render the highest kind of j u s t i c e to the v i s i b l e universe, by bringing to l i g h t the t r u t h , manifold and one, under-lyi n g i t s every aspect. 8 In an observation to Galsworthy, Conrad f i n a l l y demonstrates, i n no uncer-t a i n terms, that a r t f o r him consists i n a harmonious r e l a t i o n s h i p between form and content: "However, the whole of the truth l i e s i n the presentation; therefore the expression should be studied i n the i n t e r e s t of v e r a c i t y . 2 9 This i s the only morality of art apart from subject." The preference Conrad seems to give questions of " a r t " i n his n o n - f i c t i o n a l writings must be a t t r i b u t e d to the fact that he takes i t for granted that the choice of "subject" i s dictated by p r i n c i p l e s of good taste. The p o s i t i o n Conrad adopts, guarding against the excesses of both pure aestheticism and ten-dentious moralizing, i s perhaps best expressed by Conrad himself when he de-30 scribes himself as an "imperfect Aesthete." Aside from a s i m i l a r attitude toward a r t , Mann and Conrad also share s i m i l a r p o l i t i c a l convictions. Although H i t l e r ' s rule of t e r r o r convinced Mann eventually that democracy i s the only v i a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e to Fascism, his e a r l i e r p o s i t i o n was, and to some extent remained, conservative. A c l e a r s h i f t from the anti-democratic stance i n "Betrachtungen eines Unpoli-tischen" to an acceptance of democracy i n l a t e r essays and i n Doktor Faustus must be taken i n t o account i n any discussion of Mann's p o l i t i c a l views. "Be-trachtungen eines Unpolitischen" i s relevant to a study of Doktor Faustus because the novel refutes the opinions the p o l i t i c a l t r e a t i s e had defended e a r l i e r . Zeitblom's humanism, for instance, i s permeated with arguments 19 expressed i n "Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen," and the i n t e l l e c t u a l c i r c l e s , whose ideas prepare the way for Nazism, often l i t e r a l l y echo Mann's own p o s i t i o n i n the p o l i t i c a l t r e a t i s e . No p o l i t i c a l analysis of Doktor Faustus can in fact a f f ord to neglect a glance at "Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen." The main thrust of Mann's c r i t i c i s m i n "Betrachtungen eines U n p o l i t i -schen" i s dire c t e d against democracy, progress, and internationalism. The " Z i v i l i s a t i o n s r a t , " t y p i f i e d by Mann's brother H e i n r i c h , i s the symbol f or a l l undesirable changes i n the present and the future. His modern values impress Mann as dangerous to German l i f e and a r t . Mann believes i n "Be-trachtungen eines Unpolitischen" that a healthy atmosphere f or c u l t u r a l achievements could be provided only by an a r i s t o c r a t i c system: "Aber 'riick-31 wSrts g e r i c h t e t , ' reaktionSr, wird die Kunst immer s e i n . " Like Pound or E l i o t , Mann obviously cares more for l i t e r a t u r e than f o r p o l i t i c s because his primary p o l i t i c a l objective i s the preservation of the c u l t u r a l heritage which had produced Bach, Beethoven, Wagner, Goethe, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche. In l i n e with Daiches' explanation of why the p o l i t i c a l Right fascinates a r t i s t s , Mann objects to democracy on the following grounds: Eh re als Lebensreiz gibt es uberhaupt nur, wo es ar i s t o k r a t i s c h e Ordnung, Distanz-Kultur, Hierarchie g i b t ; demokratische Menschenwurde i s t im Vergleich damit das langweiligste und unlustigste Ding von der W e l t . 3 2 The s t e r i l i t y Mann associates with democracy manifests i t s e l f e s p e c i a l l y i n the "demokratische Moral" which s t r i v e s cowardly and without imagination f o r 33: " S i c h e r h e i t , UngefShrlichkeit, Behagen, L e i c h t i g k e i t des Lebens...." A l -though Mann knows that democracy w i l l eventually triumph, he welcomes any resistance to i t s progress. In "Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen" he therefore views e s p e c i a l l y the F i r s t World War as a legitimate struggle of the a r i s t o c r a t i c Germany against the democratic West. The agressor i n t h i s 20 war is for Mann not Germany but the West whose values threaten to destroy Germany's national character. Mann further supported the First World War because a l l wars represent a powerful antidote to bourgeois complacency. Echoing Nietzsche, Mann now argues for "eine Erhohung, Steigerung, Verede-34 lung des Menschen durch den Krieg." Moreover, contrary to popular belief, Mann maintains that man experiences " Z i v i l i s a t i o n , Fortschritt und Sicher-heit nicht als unbedingtes Ideal" because there remains within him a 35 primeval "Verlangen nach dem Furchtbaren." That the German people are particularly susceptible to the primeval c a l l is brought out by the popular-ity of Wagner's music. But the typical German is an anti-political i n t e l -lectual and is therefore not very well suited to warfare. Germany had i n the past remained outside the p o l i t i c a l power struggle in Europe but i t is now time that i t voice a "giiltigen Anspruch auf die Teilhaberschaft an der 36 Verwaltung der Erde, kurz, auf politische Macht." Rome, Spain, France and England have had their chance to rule the world and i t i s now Germany's turn because i t has "die hSchsten universalistischen Ueberlieferungen, die reichste kosmopolitische Begabung, das tiefste Gefuhl europHischer Verant-37 wortlichkeit." Mann contends that Germany must seize power even i f i t does not really desire i t . The West, symbolized especially by France, i s ridden by impotent rhetoric and only Germany is ready to act and to sacrifice i t s e l f for the necessary regeneration of Europe: Das deutsche Volk, als Volk durchaus heroisch gestimmt, bereit, Schuld auf sich zu nehmen und ungeneigt zu mo-ralischer DuckmMuserei, hat nicht geflennt iiber das, was die ihrerseits radikal erbarmungslosen Feinde seines Lebens ihm antaten, aber es hat auch an seinem Notrecht auf revolutionSre Mittel nicht gezweifelt, hat die Ver- ; Q i wendung solcher Mittel gebilligt und mehr als geb i l l i g t . • But Mann is sadly aware that the war can at best delay the victory of democ-racy. Expressing the basic f u t i l i t y of struggling against history, he therefore considers i t necessary to defend his position in "Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen" as follows: Man kann einen Fortschritt sehr wohl als unvermeidlich und schicksalsgegeben betrachten, ohne im mindesten ge-stimmt zu sein, mit Hurra und Hussa hinterdrein zu hetzen,~was, sollte ich denken, der Fortschritt auch gar nicht notig hat. 3^ History, of course, proved Mann's forebodings right. Democracy, condemned as a terrible leveller of existence in "Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen," is presented later, in Mann's radio messages from America, as the only alternative to Fascism. Ironically, Mann not only learned to tolerate but came to support democracy as the only system capable of ensuring the con-tinuation of literature. ^ But did Mann change his opinions about democracy as fundamentally as i t appears at f i r s t sight? Once the Nazis used his own and Nietzsche's views for their own purposes, Mann understood that a conservative position was no longer tenable. Faced with 7 the undesirable choice between Fascism and Socialism, Mann decided that the disadvantages of democracy by far out-weighed the advantages of the other p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Opposition to Nazism made i t expedient for Mann to leave Germany for Switzerland in 1933. In 1939 he went to the U.S.A. where he felt p o l i t i c a l l y at ease under the strong leadership of Roosevelt. But the McCarthy era, characterized by an atmosphere of irrational persecution, determined Mann to return to Switzer-land where he died in 1955. In the most important broadcast from America, "Deutschland und die Deutschen," Mann seeks to explain what has happened to Germany under Hitler. Especially in the context of Doktor Faustus, the f o l -lowing argument i s indeed significant: Eines mag diese Geschichte uns zu Gemute ftihren: dass es nicht zwei Deutschland gibt, ein boses und ein gutes,^son-dern nur eines, dem sein Bestes durch Teufels l i s t zum Bosen ausschlug. Das bose Deutschland, i s t das fehlge-gangene gute, das gute im Ungluck, in Schuld und Unter-gang.4P 22 Mann cannot forget the c u l t u r a l triumphs of Germany and deplores deeply the t r a g i c circumstances which had conspired to corrupt what was best i n t h i s country. There remains i n Mann a n o s t a l g i a for the a r i s t o c r a t i c past and, i n "Die Entstehung des Doktor Faustus" (published i n 1949), there are s t i l l traces of h i s old scepticism toward democracy. Speaking of some l e t t e r s he had received i n America, he says: Einer war dabei von Bert Brecht, streng, vorwurfsvoll, wegen meines Unglaubens an die deutsche Demokratie. Wie hatte i c h ihn merken lassen, diesen Unglauben? Und t r a f ./ der Vorwurf zu? V i e l l e i c h t schien mir, dass e i n zu fii r c h t e r l i c h e s Stuck Arbeit noch zu l e i s t e n s e i , bevor deutsche Demokratie uberhaupt zur Diskussion stehen wiirde.^1 Indeed, Mann's conversion to democracy never produced a s p i r i t e d defense of i t s values l i k e that of aristocracy i n "Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen." E r i c h H e l l e r i s p a r t i c u l a r l y conscious of Mann's half-hearted support of democracy: For the i r r i t a t i n g truth i s that he was an incompara-bly profounder p o l i t i c a l thinker when he was a 'non-p o l i t i c a l ' man, a p o l i t i c a l 'obscurantist' and 'reac-tionary', than ever as the advocate of democracy, progress and, more recently, 'co-existence'...^ Mann could not uphold democratic values e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y because they re-mained always a l i e n to his deepest convictions. Democracy was for him a compromise and not a conviction, and i t i s doubtful that he ever fundamen-t a l l y changed his reservations about i t . In the midst of apocalyptic events, Mann simply chose the lesser of two e v i l s . Mann's p o l i t i c a l a t t i t u d e i s thus b a s i c a l l y conservative. Compared to Mann's systematic p o l i t i c a l thought, Conrad's p o l i t i c a l views often appear confused and unclear. I t i s therefore much more d i f f i -c u l t to define Conrad's p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n . In h i s Conrad's P o l i t i c s , Avrora Fleishman argues: "The record of Conrad's p o l i t i c a l opinions i s a record of growth. I t shows no consistent a p p l i c a t i o n of f i r s t p r i n c i p l e s , 23 43 nor systematic doctrine, nor even a sustained temperamental a t t i t u d e . " However, broadly speaking, Conrad can be defined as a conservative. In the absence of a voluminous p o l i t i c a l study l i k e "Betrachtungen eines U n p o l i t i -schen," Conrad's views have to be pieced together from various b i o g r a p h i c a l and n o n - f i c t i o n a l w r i t i n g s . The r e s u l t i n g p i c t u r e reads very much l i k e Mann's conservative p o s i t i o n . In order to a r r i v e at t h i s conclusion, i t i s not enough t o r e l y only on Conrad's written statements. His a r i s t o c r a t i c background and heritage as w e l l as h i s l a t e r change of n a t i o n a l i t y had a strong bearing on his p o l i t i c a l a t t i t u d e and are h e l p f u l f o r a f u l l under-standing of h i s p o l i t i c a l views. Conrad was born as the son of Apollo and E v e l i n a Korzeniowski who 44 were both "members of the P o l i s h landowning n o b i l i t y . " His childhood coincided with a p o l i t i c a l l y very turbulent period i n P o l i s h h i s t o r y . The Korzeniowskis l i v e d i n that part of Poland which was under Russian rather than Prussian or Austrian r u l e . The Poles resented the Russian oppression most, and the population i n Conrad's part of Poland was e s p e c i a l l y r e s t l e s s . But although n a t i o n a l feelings were very strong, a l l revolutionary a c t i v -i t i e s were doomed to f a i l not only because of Russia's numerical s u p e r i o r i t y but also because of Poland's i n t e r n a l d i v i s i o n s . The "Appeasers," advoca-t i n g P o l i s h independence within the Russian Empire, were apparently without much influence. But the two strong groups, the "Whites" and the "Reds," could unfortunately not agree on a common p o l i c y against Russia. The "Whites" sympathized with a return to a p r e - p a r t i t i o n feudal system and wanted t o s p l i c i t foreign help. The "Reds," however, favored r a d i c a l so-45 c i a l reforms and demanded an i n t e r n a l "successful armed u p r i s i n g . " The P o l i s h struggle f o r independence was further complicated by s o c i a l and minority problems. The p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r a r e a l i s t i c r e a l i z a t i o n of P o l i s h aspirations t o freedom were obviously l i m i t e d . 24 But Apollo Korzeniowski, a prominent member of the "Reds," was not a realist. A romantic in both his creative and his p o l i t i c a l efforts, Korzeniowski combined old and new in an often contradictory manner. A. Busza stresses that Korzeniowski was "very sceptical of a l l new social de-velopments" and concludes: "This may be d i f f i c u l t to reconcile with his revolutionary tendencies, but Apollo Korzeniowski was a man of many contra-46 dictions." But, above a l l , Korzeniowski was a fervent patriot and a firm supporter of Polish "messianism." When the Crimean War raised Polish hopes for independence, he. decided to become involved i n revolutionary activities. In 1861 he therefore moved to Warsaw where he assisted in the preparations for the 1863 uprising. Unfortunately, he was arrested s t i l l in 1861 and imprisoned. The f i n a l verdict was exile to a distant province in Russia. Evelina accompanied her husband, probably not voluntarily as Baines con-tends, but because she "was co-accused in the t r i a l before a military t r i -47 bunal and sentenced together with her husband." The journey into exile turned into an unbelievable nightmare when both Evelina and Conrad became seriously i l l and were nevertheless forced to continue the t r i p . The ter-rors of Russian autocracy haunted the Korzeniowskis for the rest of their short lives. Although Conrad was s t i l l very young, he was painfully aware of the oppressive atmosphere surrounding him. He later recalled, for instance, the impression the end of a v i s i t to Thaddeus Bobrowski, Evelina's brother, left on him: I remember well the day of our departure back to exile. The elongated, bizarre, shabby travelling-carriage with four post-horses, standing before the long front of the house with i t s eight columns, four on each side of the broad flight of stairs. On the steps, groups of ser-vants, a few relations, one or two friends from the nearest neighbourhood, a perfect silence, on a l l the faces an air of sober concentration... ,T° When Conrad was only seven years old, his mother died of tuberculosis because 25 she had been denied s u f f i c i e n t medical help and a milder climate. Conrad's ea r l y childhood had thus been dominated by the atmosphere of revolutionary a c t i v i t i e s , the c r u e l t i e s of e x i l e , and the ea r l y death of his mother. Af t e r Evelina's death, Conrad l i v e d with his father i n an environment of melancholy and morbid mysticism. Korzeniowski's s p i r i t s were crushed a f t e r the death of his wife and the f a i l u r e of the 1863 i n s u r r e c t i o n . A b i t t e r l y disappointed man and s u f f e r i n g himself from t u b e r c u l o s i s , Korzen-iowski was obviously not a s u i t a b l e companion f o r h i s young son. Conrad was also without playmates so that h i s father's l i b r a r y provided the only source of entertainment. Eventually Korzeniowski was given permission to s e t t l e i n Austrian occupied G a l i c i a where the p o l i t i c a l climate was less oppres-s i v e . But the move came too latetfor Korzeniowski's health and he died shortly afterwards. Conrad was now eleven years old and an orphan. Although Conrad was s t i l l quite young when h i s father died, the pa-t r i o t i c heroism of Apollo Korzeniowski must have l e f t a strong imprint on the young mind. E s p e c i a l l y the enormous procession at Korzeniowski*s funeral, a moving t r i b u t e to "a man who had s a c r i f i c e d his l i f e to h i s con-49 ception of p a t r i o t i c duty," must have strengthened t h i s imprint. Conrad was further saturated with s t o r i e s of p a t r i o t i c martyrdom because, as Z. Najder points out, the 1863 i n s u r r e c t i o n brought tragedy t o both the Korzeniowski and the Bobrowski f a m i l i e s : Stefan Bobrowski was murdered by his right-wing p o l i t i c a l opponents i n a staged duel; his brother Kaziraierz was imprisoned; Apollo's father Teodor died on his way to j o i n the p a r t i s a n s ; one of Apollo's brothers, Robert, was k i l l e d i n b a t t l e ; another, H i l a r y , was sent i n t o e x i l e . ^ 0 Moreover, as Busza points out, Conrad was placed b r i e f l y under the guardian-ship of Stefan Buszczynski and Izydor Kopernicki so that " a f t e r Apollo Kor-zeniowski's death, Conrad remained f o r some time yet under the influence of 51 men s i m i l a r to his father." The influence of the P o l i s h revolutionary 26 s p i r i t on Conrad should not be underestimated. But Conrad was also s c e p t i c a l of h i s father's revolutionary hopes and i l l u s i o n s . This scepticism was fostered p r i m a r i l y by h i s l a s t guardian, Evelina's brother Thaddeus Bobrowski. Bobrowski was i n most ways the very opposite of Korzeniowski; he was reasonable, p r a c t i c a l , and opposed to revolutionary f o l l i e s . Although he freed the serfs on h i s esta t e , he was in favor of gradual change and was outspokenly anti-revolutionary. Accords ingrto Busza, he followed h i s own cou n c i l and thereby "alienated the reac-52 t i o n a r i e s by h i s s o c i a l views and the r a d i c a l s by h i s p o l i t i c a l outlook." Undoubtedly, the influence of t h i s r e a l i s t counteracted the romantic impres-si o n Korzeniowski had l e f t on h i s son. A s t r i c t man, Bobrowski d i d not t o l e r a t e the disordered l i f e s t y l e Conrad had become accustomed to i n h i s father's house. As a youth, Conrad rather resented h i s uncle's d i s c i p l i n a r y pressures so that Busza and Najder speculate that Conrad l e f t Poland p a r t l y i n order to escape Bobrowski's immediate c o n t r o l . In l a t e r years, however, Conrad learned t o appreciate h i s uncle's reasonable and pragmatic outlook on l i f e . Bobrowski was most c e r t a i n l y a father figure f o r Conrad and may have shaped the writer's attitude to l i f e .more than anyone e l s e . At any r a t e , Fleishman contends that Conrad's p o l i t i c a l views were b a s i c a l l y i n agreement with Bobrowski's: Conrad learned to recognize the obsoleteness of h i s father's theories both i n method and aim. Conrad's subsequent p o l i t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s and aversion to rad-i c a l violence were shaped by h i s uncle's mentorship, not by h i s father's example. ^3 However, i t would be dangerous t o assume that Bobrowski completely replaced Korzeniowski i n Conrad's l i f e . In actual f a c t , both influences contributed to the making of Conrad the n o v e l i s t : "Apollo Korzeniowski grounded Conrad i n P o l i s h romantic l i t e r a t u r e , w hilst Bobrowski i n h i s long l e t t e r s i n t r o -54 duced him to the p o s i t i v i s t mode of th i n k i n g . " 27 Despite the many d i f f e r e n c e s , an i n t e r e s t i n g l i n k between Korzeniowski and Bobrowski should not be overlooked: they were both a r i s t o c r a t s . A l -though Korzeniowski s a c r i f i c e d h i s l i f e f o r a revolutionary cause, he was one of the last exponents of a t r a d i t i o n "dominated by values commonly c a l l e d ' s o l d i e r l y ' and ' a r i s t o c r a t i c ' , descending from the medieval i d e a l s 55 of c h i v a l r y . " The conservative Bobrowski was p a r t i c u l a r l y conscious of the incongruity between Korzeniowski's revolutionary commitment and h i s deep conservative sympathies: Though he considered himself a sincere democrat and others even considered him 'extremist' and 'red' he had a hundred-f o l d more t r a i t s of the gentry i n him...than I had i n my-s e l f , though I was not suspected, e i t h e r by him or others, of being a democrat.56 Conrad saw h i s father very much i n the same l i g h t as Bobrowski. He con-s i s t e n t l y denied that Korzeniowski was a revolutionary because revolutionary p r i n c i p l e s were foreign t o his nature. E l o i s e Knapp Hay depicts Conrad's evaluation of h i s father's p o l i t i c a l mood as follows: Remembering h i s father's reverence for the old Republic and h i s i d e a l of s o c i a l cohesion, Conrad protested i n some fairness that he must not be i d e n t i f i e d with re v o l u t i o n -aries whose aim was the l i b e r a t i o n of one segment of a nation at the expense of any other. At the same time, p r o f i t i n g from his uncle's i n s t r u c t i o n , Conrad strength-ened h i s guard against the i d e a l i z a t i o n of society that had induced Korzeniowski to lose everything i n a q u i x o t i c gamble.57 Korzeniowski's revolutionary fervor was stimulated more by the struggle against Russian oppression than by opposition t o the s o c i a l order. It i s clear that Conrad learned from both h i s father and h i s uncle a conservative respect f o r Poland's c u l t u r a l heritage. Conrad's own conservatism i s perhaps best expressed i n h i s h o s t i l e attitude toward democracy and progress. Although, l i k e Mann, he came to accept the i n e v i t a b l e triumph of democracy, his i n i t i a l opposition was vehe-ment. In 1885, i n a l e t t e r to S p i r i d i o n Kliszczewski, Conrad associates 28 "the day of universal brotherhood" with "despoilation and disorder" and 58 with "the ruin of a l l that is respectable, venerable and holy," Moreover, 59 li s t i n g together "robbery, equality, anarchy and misery," he seems to indicate that they have much in common. Democracy, however, is not only anarchic but paradoxically also leads to "the iron rule of a militarism 60 despotism" because "Socialism must inevitably end in Caesarism." The po-lemical invective against democracy in this letter f i n a l l y culminates i n the rhetorical question: "Where's the man to stop the rush of social-democratic 61 ideas?" In other letters, especially those to Cunninghame Graham, similar anti-democratic feelings are expressed more moderately. Conrad was con-vinced that his prominent socialist friend was a blind idealist. He de-tected in Graham the same mixture of revolutionary and aristocrat as in his father Apollo Korzeniowski: "Vous,—vous etes essentielLament un frondeur. Cela vous est permis. Ce sont les nobles qui ont fait l a Fronde, du 62 reste." Conrad was deeply sympathetic to Graham's pure idealism but could not share his optimism. A democratic society seemed to him only a wishful dream because he saw man as too weak and selfish for genuine brotherhood: 63 . "Into the noblest cause, men manage to put something of their baseness." Graham's admirable ambitions for man are therefore unrealistic and the 64 friend "misguided by the desire of the Impossible." Conrad defends his attitude with the argument that any genuine change in society must originate in man's inner nature and cannot be enforced by external p o l i t i c a l pressure. Graham's i d e a l i s t i c socialist zeal therefore exasperates Conrad: "Alas! what you want to reform are not i n s t i t u t i o n s — i t is human nature. Your faith w i l l never move that mountain. Not that I think mankind i n t r i n s i c a l -65 ly bad. It is only s i l l y and cowardly," In another letter to Graham, Conrad reiterates the same doubts about democratic and socialist principles. Stressing emphatically that he is "not a peace man, not a democrat," Conrad 29 announces proudly that he had abused the students at the university of 6 6 Warsaw "for their social democratic tendencies." Convinced that demo-crats are blind to man's true nature, Conrad derides "L'idee democratique" as merely a "trSs beau phantdme" and calls "international fraternity" an 6.7 i l l u s i o n which "imposes by i t s size alone." Arguing that "L'homme est un animal mgchant," who cannot even live in peace with immediate neighbours, 6 8 Conrad concludes: "La societe est essentiellement criminelle." In Fleish-man's words, Conrad evidently "employs the fatalism of the modern age to 69 counteract the Victorian optimism implicit in Utopian socialism." Al-though Conrad's late Victorian despair i s , as Ian Watt points out in "Joseph Conrad: Alienation and Commitment," counteracted by a sense of com-mitment, this commitment i s often individual rather than collective. During the long acclimatization in England, Conrad's anti-democratic sentiments slowly modified and a gradual change in attitude can be detected in his correspondence. The Boer war s t i l l i r r i t a t e s Conrad because, as 7 0 Kipling claims, " i t was undertaken for the cause of democracy." But a l -though Conrad believes that liberty "can only be found under the English flag a l l over the world," he nevertheless concedes that the Boers "are 71 struggling in good faith for their independence." By 1920, Conrad has warmed considerably to the idea of democracy, for he writes in a letter to the National Committee Polish Government Loan: "For the only sound ground 72 of democracy is that unselfish t o i l in a common cause." During the Gen-eral Election of 1922, Conrad finally applauds even the establishment of the Labour party as the o f f i c i a l opposition: The Labour party has attained by i t s numbers to the dignity of being the o f f i c i a l Opposition, which, of course, is a very significant fact and not a l i t t l e interesting. I don't know that the advent of class-parties into p o l i t i c s i s ab-stractly good in i t s e l f . Class for me is by definition a hateful thing. The only class really worth consideration 30 i s the class of honest and able men to whatever sphere of human a c t i v i t y they may b e l o n g — t h a t i s , the class of workers throughout the nation. There may be i d l e men; but such a thing as an i d l e class i s not thinkable; i t does not and cannot e x i s t . But i f c l a s s - p a r t i e s are to come i n t o being (the very idea seems absurd), w e l l then, I am glad that t h i s one had a considerable success at the e l e c -t i o n s . I t w i l l give Englishmen who c a l l themselves by that name (and amongst whom there i s no lack of i n t e l l i -gence, a b i l i t y and honesty) that experience of the r u d i -ments of statesmanship which w i l l enable them to use t h e i r undeniable g i f t s to the best p r a c t i c a l e f f e c t . For the same reason I am glad that they have not got the ma-j o r i t y . 7 3 Conrad's confidence i n the masses i s s t i l l q u a l i f i e d but he concedes that with experience a democratic or s o c i a l i s t government i s conceivable. From an i n i t i a l r e j e c t i o n of democracy, Conrad has c l e a r l y moved to i t s con-d i t i o n a l acceptance as a viable form of government. Fleishman depicts a s i m i l a r gradual acceptance of democracy i n Con-rad's attitude toward the P o l i s h question. Conrad's i n i t i a l s o l u t i o n to P o l i s h independence was the r e - i n s t i t u t i o n of a monarchy: At the outset of the war, Conrad advocated what ;has come to be c a l l e d the Austrian s o l u t i o n to the P o l i s h question: i t c a l l e d for the reconstruction of Poland as a semi-autonomous state of the Austro-Hungarian Empire....Their plan c a l l e d f o r the re-establishment of Poland as a mon-a r c h i a l state within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, not as a modern democracy. But t h i s s o l u t i o n d i d not f i n d favor with the B r i t i s h Foreign O f f i c e . Con-rad then proposed i n "Note on the P o l i s h Problem" that "England and France... should guarantee a P o l i s h state with semi-colonial s t a t u s — a new 'overseas' 75 t e r r i t o r y f o r the Western i m p e r i a l i s t nations," Fleishman emphasizes that "Conrad's mid-war p o l i t i c s can be considered a step forward" because "the new state he envisioned was n e c e s s a r i l y democratic" and thereby "marks an 76 advance over the royalism of h i s i n i t i a l s o l u t i o n . " But Conrad's con-fidence i n England and France was shaken when these powers did not act with the necessary urgency i n behalf of Poland. In "The Crime of P a r t i t i o n , " 31 Conrad i s b i t t e r l y d i s i l l u s i o n e d and accuses the a l l i e s of having been pre-77 pared to d e l i v e r "the fate of Poland i n t o the hands of Russian Tsarism." Poland escaped i t s disastrous fate not because the a l l i e s intervened but because tsarism was defeated within Russia. Poland therefore owes nothing to the West and i t s l o y a l t y to i t w i l l "be rooted i n the n a t i o n a l temperar 78 ment" and not i n "anything so trenchant and burdensome as the sense of 79 an immeasurable indebtedness." In s p i t e of Conrad's conviction that the a l l i e s betrayed Poland at V e r s a i l l e s , he s t i l l desired strong t i e s between his native and h i s adopted country. He f i n a l l y welcomed a democratic s o l u -t i o n to the P o l i s h problem. Conrad's resistance t o democracy was influenced by s i m i l a r conser-vative convictions as Mann's. He was firmly opposed to a l l forms of des-potism and ultimately came to accept democracy as the lesser e v i l . In "Autocracy and War," Conrad voices a scathing indictment of Russian des-potism. He claims that the Russian people i s r e a l l y divorced from i t s government and accuses the "ghost of Russian might" of having "buried m i l -80 lions of Russian people." The t r a g i c s p l i t between the r u l e r s and the ruled was p a r t i c u l a r l y apparent during the Russo-Japanese war: Never before had the Western world the opportunity to look so deeply i n t o the black abyss which separates a soulless autocracy posing as and even b e l i e v i n g i t s e l f to be, the a r b i t e r of Europe, from the benighted starved souls of i t s people.81 There i s no r a t i o n a l explanation for the emergence of autocracy i n Russia. Conrad argues that i t did not respond to any human need but descended upon a helpless people without cause or warning. Despotism i s not rooted i n the country's t r a d i t i o n so that "Russian autocracy succeeded to nothing; i t had no h i s t o r i c a l past, and i t cannot hope for a h i s t o r i c a l future. It can onlv 82 end," Devoid of human and h i s t o r i c a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n s , despotism w i l l ultimately destroy i t s e l f through i t s inherent cynicism. The v i s i o n of 32 autocracy as something a l i e n t o human experience manifests i t s e l f most f o r c e f u l l y when Conrad contends: The Russian autocracy as we see i t now i s a thing apart. I t i s impossible to assign to i t any r a t i o n a l o r i g i n i n the v i c e s , the misfortunes, the n e c e s s i t i e s , or the a s p i -rations of mankind. That despotism has neither an Euro-pean nor an O r i e n t a l partentage; more, i t seems to have no root e i t h e r i n the i n s t i t u t i o n s or the f o l l i e s of t h i s earth. What s t r i k e s one with a sort of awe i s j u s t t h i s something inhuman i n i t s character. I t i s l i k e a v i s i t a -t i o n , l i k e a curse from Heaven f a l l i n g i n the darkness of ages upon the immense p l a i n s of forest and steppe l y i n g dumbly on the confines of two continents: a true desert , harbouring no S p i r i t exther of the East or of the West. O J Like h i s father before him, Conrad associates the West with c i v i l i z a t i o n and Russia with barbarism. The deep and personal hatred he harbors against Russia n a t u r a l l y draws him to the West, even i f democracy i s the p r i c e he has to pay. Conrad's p o l i t i c a l opinions are often inconsistent because they are influenced by contradictory emotions. His scepticism about human nature compels him to oppose democracy but h i s hatred for Russia forces him t o en-dorse i t i n the end. But often Conrad's p o l i t i c a l convictions are also influenced by respect f o r Europe's c u l t u r a l past and by the a r t i s t ' s nat-u r a l h o s t i l i t y to narrow p o l i t i c a l views. The a r t i s t ' s complex v i s i o n of r e a l i t y does not permit i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with any s i n g l e p o l i t i c a l or s o c i a l ideology. In a l e t t e r t o E. Noble, Conrad states why a l l dogmatism i s foreign to him: Everyone must walk i n the l i g h t of his own heart's gospel ....That's my view of l i f e , — a view that re j e c t s a l l f o r -mulas, dogmas and p r i n c i p l e s of other people's making. These are only a web of i l l u s i o n s . We are too v a r i e d . 8 * Reality i s for Conrad not p r i m a r i l y p o l i t i c a l but metaphysical and e t h i c a l . He does not b e l i e v e that p o l i t i c a l ideologies can s i g n i f i c a n t l y a l t e r the universe or human nature, and consequently considers a l l fixed answers t o l i f e ' s problems s i m p l i s t i c and i l l u s o r y . Indeed, Conrad's v i s i o n of r e a l i t y 33 i s fundamentally opposed to a l l p o l i t i c a l s o l u t i o n s : I f we are 'ever becoming—never being,' then I would be a f o o l i f I t r i e d to become t h i s t h i n g rather than that; for I know I w i l l never be anything. I would rather grasp the s o l i d s a t i s f a c t i o n of my wrong-headedness and shake my f i s t at the i d i o t i c mystery of Heaven.^ When Conrad seems to give preference to one p o l i t i c a l s o l u t i o n over another, he does so not because he believes i t to be superior but only because he knows i t to be less harmful. He i s not so much a r a t i o n a l p o l i t i c a l thinker as a man whose feelings may coincide more with one school of p o l i t -i c a l thought than another. In Fleishman's opinion, Conrad's attitu d e cor-responds i n many ways t o Edmund Burke's s o c i a l organicism. Fleishman i s convincing because he does not pretend that Conrad chose to be a Burkian organicist but rather that his p o l i t i c a l views loosely f i t the tenets of , t h i s t r a d i t i o n . Contrary to Rousseau, who believed that the state imposes unity on soci e t y , Burke argues that i t i s an organic outgrowth of i n d i v i d u a l morality. Where Rousseau thought of the s o c i a l contract as a business 86 agreement, Burke saw i t as "a s p i r i t u a l and c u l t u r a l union." Burke em-phasizes that the source of s o c i a l unity i s a country's h i s t o r i c a l and c u l -t u r a l consciousness. S o c i a l order i s therefore not guaranteed by the i n -nate morality of some abstract "General W i l l " but rather by the ba s i c v i r t u e s of each i n d i v i d u a l member of society. Bertrand Russell e s s e n t i a l l y supports t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Conrad's attitu d e when he says: Conrad's point of view was f a r from modern. In the modern world there are two philosophies: the one, which stems from Rousseau, and sweeps aside d i s c i p l i n e as unnecessary; the other, which finds i t s f u l l e s t expression i n t o t a l i t a r i a n i s m , which thinks of d i s c i p l i n e as e s s e n t i a l l y imposed from with-out. Conrad adhered to the older t r a d i t i o n , that d i s c i p l i n e should come from wi t h i n . He despised i n d i s c i p l i n e , and w * hated d i s c i p l i n e that was merely external.87 Not unlike Mann, Conrad subscribed to p o l i t i c a l opinions which were favor-able to the maintenance of c u l t u r a l values, the dig n i t y of the i n d i v i d u a l , 34 and the defense of a sense of hierarchy h i s s e a - l i f e had developed. Democ-racy's promise of s o c i a l equality was a threat to the i n d i v i d u a l , to c u l -t u r a l excellence, and to s o c i a l hierarchy. But although Conrad was appre-hensive about democracy, h i s conservative views d i d not favor the despotism of the f a r Right. Conrad and Mann therefore shared a conservative attit u d e which was sympathetic to nineteenth-century p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s because they demonstrated respect f or the i n d i v i d u a l and showed a deep concern for the c u l t u r a l heritage. In w r i t i n g a p o l i t i c a l novel, Mann and Conrad had to be c a r e f u l that t h e i r p o l i t i c a l and aesthetic commitments d i d not c o n f l i c t . They had to reconcile the p e c u l i a r i t i e s of p o l i t i c s and of art i n various ways. Even on the l e v e l of language, a compromise between p o l i t i c a l r h e t o r i c and the cre-ative imagination had to be found. The p o l i t i c i a n addresses himself to the masses and uses words to sway and persuade them. He i s fond of c l i c h e s and appeals to commonplace emotions because the majority of people respond best to the f a m i l i a r . But poetic language s o l i c i t s the attention of a more or less l i m i t e d group of i n i t i a t e s . The poet d i s p i s e s c l i c h e s and searches constantly for fresh ways of expressing ideas. Moreover, p o l i t i c a l r h e t o r i c i s p r e s c r i p t i v e i n that i t establishes norms which t e l l men how to think and act. Poetic language, however, i s d e s c r i p t i v e i n that i t shows l i f e as i t i s or might be. Jacques Ehrmann characterizes the difference between p o l i t -i c a l and poetic language as follows: P o l i t i c a l language i s thus r e a l i s t i c i n the only acceptable sense of the word: that which subordinates r e a l i t y to an ideology. It i s therefore a means. Through i t laws are made and c a r r i e d out, and (world) order established. For l i t e r a t u r e , on the contrary, to h i s t o r i c i z e i s to use the world to conquer language; i t i s the attempt to i n -j e c t man (the world, r e a l i t y ) i n t o h i s language. Poetic language i s thus the "elsewhere" of the world. From t h i s point of view, and i n s p i t e of traces of "realism" (that i s , of ideology, whose mark language i n e v i t a b l y bears) which do 35 enable the h i s t o r i a n t o s i t u a t e i t i n h i s t o r y , p o e t i c language i s U t o p i a n . ^ The a e s t h e t i c a l l y committed w r i t e r w i l l avoid p o l i t i c a l language even i f h i s a r t i s t i c emphasis threatens to obscure the p o l i t i c a l message. The author's p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n i s often hidden and he w i l l r a r e l y make d i r e c t p o l i t i c a l statements. In Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes, p o l i t i c a l r h e t o r i c i s rare and, when i t does occur, i t i s spoken, as a r u l e , by a character i n a dramatized s i t u a t i o n . The p o l i t i c a l n o v e l i s t i s further confronted with the problem of subject matter. Although both p o l i t i c s and l i t e r a t u r e profess to have man and his world as the b a s i c concern, l i t e r a t u r e emphasizes the ambiguity and complexity of l i f e whereas p o l i t i c s focuses on absolute p r i n c i p l e s and truths. Instead of embracing l i f e i n i t s f u l l n e s s , p o l i t i c a l ideologies usually s i m p l i f y i t . Daiches says about this discrepancy between l i t e r a t u r e and p o l i t i c s : Great l i t e r a t u r e m i l i t a t e s against abstractions, against any reduction of human experience to formulae, and works always with the concrete and l i v e l y . In that sense a l l great l i t e r a t u r e i s a n t i - p o l i t i c a l , turning away from statements about how society should be governed, turning away from slogans and p o l a r i z a t i o n s between "goodies" and "baddies," i n order t o project and illuminate the ambigu-i t i e s and ambivalences of human character. In that sense a l l p o l i t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e i s bad l i t e r a t u r e . ^ Aldridge makes a s i m i l a r point when he claims that "The w r i t e r . . . i s commit-ted to a b e l i e f i n the i n d i v i d u a l person and i n the primacy of i n d i v i d u a l experience over c o l l e c t i v e experience, l i v i n g human fact over s o c i a l doc-90 t r i n e . " I f the a r t i s t ' s aim i s t o mirror r e a l i t y , a strong p o l i t i c a l bias would ne c e s s a r i l y f a l s i f y the r e f l e c t e d impression. I t i s therefore only natural that great writers l i k e Mann and Conrad are extremely c a r e f u l not to l e t t h e i r p o l i t i c a l sympathies d i s t o r t the truth of t h e i r f i c t i o n . In order to avoid the p i t f a l l s of the p o l i t i c a l novel, they seek to e s t a b l i s h some 3 6 distance between themselves and t h e i r work. In the intr o d u c t i o n to Under Western Eyes, Conrad speaks of his " e f f o r t of detachment: detachment from a l l passions, prejudices, and even from personal memories"(p." v i i i ) ' i Such n e u t r a l i t y or o b j e c t i v i t y i s perhaps ultimately impossible but the success of a p o l i t i c a l novel depends on the degree to which i t i s achieved. Mann approaches aesthetic distance p r i m a r i l y through irony, which explains why 91 he admired Conrad for h i s "moderne Doppelgesichtigkeit." The a b i l i t y to see both s i d e s , however, leads to ambiguities and concentrates on questions rather than answers. But p o l i t i c s i s int e r e s t e d i n answers and the p o l i t i -c a l novel therefore works against the tendencies of i t s subject matter. Does t h i s imply that an a e s t h e t i c a l l y successful treatment of a p o l i t i c a l theme i s impossible? I r v i n g Howe does not think so and asserts that the wr i t e r can p r o f i t a b l y e x p l o i t the inco n g r u i t i e s between l i t e r a t u r e and po-l i t i c s : The c o n f l i c t i s inescapable: the novel t r i e s to confront experience i n i t s immediacy and closeness, while ideology i s by i t s nature general and i n c l u s i v e . Yet i t i s pre-c i s e l y from t h i s c o n f l i c t that the p o l i t i c a l novel,gains i t s i n t e r e s t and takes on the aura of high drama.92 In L i t e r a t u r und P o l i t i k , Walter Jens reaches a s i m i l a r conclusion. In ad-d i t i o n to the inherent contradictions between l i t e r a t u r e and p o l i t i c s , Jens emphasizes that l i t e r a t u r e i s being pushed i n t o the background by the sciences. For answers to human problems, man turns today t o the behavioral s c i e n t i s t , the psychologist, the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l researcher, the p h i -losopher, and even the natural s c i e n t i s t . Jens therefore contends: Kein Z w e i f e l , der Raum der Dichtung i s t schmaler geworden;r im Jahrhundert der Wissenschaften b l e i b t i h r nicht gerade v i e l P l a t z . Die Gelehrten s i t z e n i n unserer Z e i t auf den Stiihlen, die einst den Dichtem vorbehalten waren; s i e ge- ^  ben dem Tag das Gesicht, s i e g i l t es zu fragen, wenn man wissen w i l l , wer wir s i n d . ^ J But there are areas of human experience the sciences cannot usurp. L i t e r -37 ature retains i t s place i n the modern world because i t depicts p o e t i c a l l y what cannot be analyzed s c i e n t i f i c a l l y : Heute, wo man dabei i s t , die Wi r k l i c h k e i t auf die Kiirze von Formeln zu reduzieren, wo der Fanatismus zu Simplifizierungen fiihrt und das "Entweder-Oder" die Stunde r e g i e r t , v e r t r i t t der grosse S c h r i f t s t e l l e r , als Beschworer des Janusgesichts und Verteidiger der T o t a l i t a t , i n Leben und Werk jenes "So-wohl als auch" und "E i n e r s e i t s - a n d e r e r s e i t s " , das, a l i e n Leugnungen zum Trotz, unsere Z e i t i n besonderem Mass charak-t e r i s i e r t , Voraussetzung eines lebenswvirdigen Daseins i s t und deshalb, im Wort der Poesie komplex gespiegelt, vor a l -lem bewahrt werden s o l l t e . ^ The n o v e l i s t cannot compete with the p o l i t i c a l analyst i n providing p o l i t i -c a l explanations but he can portray how man i s caught up i n a world of po-l i t i c a l contradictions. In Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes, the c r i t i c i s m i s dire c t e d both against a p a r t i c u l a r p o l i t i c a l system and against p o l i t i c a l systems i n general. Mann and Conrad depict man as a v i c t i m of p o l i t i c a l forces beyond h i s power of understanding. In Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes, p o l i t i c a l questions emerge pri m a r i l y as an i n t e r e s t i n g aspect of human experience i n general. It has often been pointed out that Conrad's p o l i t i c a l novels center around the same metaphysical and moral problems as h i s sea s t o r i e s . George Goodin even argues that Conrad's i n t e r e s t i n Under Western Eyes i s not p o l i t i c a l but moral: What we w i l l f i n d i s that Conrad uses character, action, and imagery to suggest the p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s underlying Russian l i f e , and that t h i s p o l i t i c a l content figures forth the moral r e a l i t i e s found i n human l i f e i t s e l f . 9 5 The i n t u i t i o n that Conrad's p o l i t i c a l themes are above a l l pardigms f o r larger issues i s widespread. Lois A. Michel, for instance, says: ...because Conrad's cosmic view i s subtle and complex, cer-t a i n of i t s facets and values appear most c l e a r l y i n depth through intensive and i n d i v i d u a l i z e d approaches employing philosophic and p o l i t i c a l terms.^6 S i m i l a r l y , G.H. Bantock believes that "The world of the ship, for Conrad, 38 97 provides a microcosm of a right ordering of s o c i a l l i f e . " Indeed, the p o l i t i c a l novels are permeated by the same themes of i s o l a t i o n , egotism, i l l u s i o n s , and moral r e h a b i l i t a t i o n as Conrad's other works. In Doktor Faustus, the p o l i t i c a l theme i s also paradigmatic f o r questions a r i s i n g i n Mann's other novels. Mann measures Germany's g u i l t not through a p o l i t i c a l analysis but i n terms of moral, metaphysical, and aesthetic considerations. The p o l i t i c a l dimension of Doktor Faustus i s ultimately only an extension of Mann's t y p i c a l theme of the a r t i s t ' s r o l e i n s o c i e t y . Mann and Conrad undoubtedly c a p i t a l i z e on the p o l i t i c a l c o n f l i c t i n order to i l l u s t r a t e the dilemma of human experience as such. The paradigmatic nature of the p o l i t i c a l theme, however, opens espe-c i a l l y Under Western Eyes to the c r i t i c i s m of an inadequately integrated structure. Conrad has often been wrongly attacked f o r an apparent lack of unity between the personal and the p o l i t i c a l theme i n Under Western Eyes. Bantock, for instance, contends that Conrad "has misjudged h i s theme" be-cause, a f t e r a very successful f i r s t p a r t , the novel "degenerates i n t o a 98 v a r i a t i o n of the Lord Jim theme." Under Western Eyes consequently leaves the impression that "There are, i n f a c t , two themes: one i s the s o c i a l - p o -l i t i c a l dilemma with i t s personal implications of loneliness and i s o l a t i o n ; 99 the other i s the one of r e l a t i o n s h i p between Razumov and N a t a l i a . " Fred-e r i c k R. K a r l also argues that there are two contradictory themes i n Under  Western Eyes. He implies that the personal theme i s more successful so that "This novel demonstrates, i n f a c t , that those sections devoted e x c l u s i v e l y 100 t o p o l i t i c a l events are e s t h e t i c a l l y detrimental to the whole." No such c r i t i c i s m i s usually l e v e l l e d at Mann. In Doktor Faustus, the p a r a l l e l be-tween the personal and the p o l i t i c a l theme i s indeed almost too t i d y and systematic. The reader i s continually reminded that the aesthetic and the p o l i t i c a l subject matter are one and the same. Mann p a r t l y achieves the 39 t i g h t unity of Doktor Faustus by means of the almost excl u s i v e l y symbolic value of Adrian Leverkiihn. Leverkiihn i s not a character of f l e s h and blood but, i n Mann's words, "eine I d e a l g e s t a l t " who r e s i s t s c o n c r e t i z a t i o n : "Dabei, merkwurdigerweise, gab ich ihm kaum ein Aussehen, eine Erscheinung, 101 einen Korper." Mann c l a r i f i e s that Leverkiihn has to remain intangible i n order to r e a l i z e f u l l y h i s symbolic r o l e : Ein Verbot war h i e r einzuhalten—oder doch dem Gebot grosster Zuriickhaltung zu gehorchen b e i einer ausseren Verlebendigung, die sofort den seelischen F a l l und seine Symbolwiirde, seine Reprasentanz mit Herabsetzung, Banalisierung b e d r o h t e . 1 0 2 Undoubtedly, Mann establishes a more obvious l i n k between the p o l i t i c a l and the personal theme than Conrad. But Under Western Eyes also retains i t s unity f o r , although Razumov i s a more tangible p h y s i c a l presence than Adrian, his personal fate i s c l e a r l y representative of the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n i n Russia. The contention that Under Western Eyes lacks unity i s largely un-founded and seems to be based on a misreading of the novel. The following two chapters w i l l now demonstrate that Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes successfully avoid a s i m p l i s t i c explanation of the p o l i t i c a l questions they investigate and that the complexities of r e a l i t y are always preserved. I t w i l l also be seen that the p o l i t i c a l v i s i o n i n the novels does not necessarily r e f l e c t Mann's and Conrad's conservative views. And i t w i l l become evident that Mann and Conrad paint a p o r t r a i t of Germany and Russia which does not compete with the p o l i t i c a l analysis pro-vided by s p e c i a l i s t s ; i t renders a more s e n s i t i v e account of the often contradictory aspects involved i n a p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n . Against the back-ground of Mann's and Conrad's personal feelings and the general problems associated with the p o l i t i c a l novel, Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes can now be analyzed i n more d e t a i l . AO Footnotes 1 Irv i n g Howe, P o l i t i c s and the Novel (Cleveland: World Publishing, 1957), p. 16. 2 I b i d . , p. 17. 3 George Woodcock, The Writer and P o l i t i c s (London: Porcupine, 19A8), p. 12. A Hermann Glaser, Jakob Lehmann, and Arno Lubos, Wege der deutschen L i t e r a t u r (Frankfurt: U l l s t e i n , 1961), p. 202. 5 Bernard Bergonzi, "The Advent of Modernism 1900-1920," i n The Twentieth  Century (London: Barrie and Jenkins, 1970), pp. 17-18. 6 Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus, ed., The Collected Essays, Journalism, and  Letters of George Orwell (London: Seeker and Warburg, 1968), I I , 126. 7 John Aldridge, The Devil in the F i r e (New York: Harper & Row, 1972), p. 3A7. 8 Orwell, p. 126. 9 Theodore Ziolkowski, "Nonpartisan Thoughts on P o l i t i c s and L i t e r a t u r e , " Comparative Li t e r a t u r e Yearbook, (1972), p. 8. 10 Glaser, p. 288. 11 Stephen Spender, "Writers and P o l i t i c s , " Partisan Review, 3A (1967), 381. 12 I b i d . , p. 373. 13 David Daiches, " P o l i t i c s and the L i t e r a r y Imagination," i n Liberations\, New  Essays on the Humanities"in/Revolution, ed. Ihab Hassan (Middleton: Wes-ley an U n i v e r s i t y , 1971), p. 103. 1A Ibid . , pp. 106-107. 15 I b i d . , p. 105. 41 16 Aldridge, p. 349. 17 Spender, p. 373. 18 Thomas Mann, Gesammelte Werke (Frankfurt: S. Fi s c h e r , 1960), X, 668. 19 Ernst Niindel, Die Kunsttheorie Thomas Manns (Bonn: Bouvier, 1972), p. 27. 20 Thomas Mann, Gesammelte Werke, XII, 5 37. 21 I b i d . , XII, 541. 22 Walter F. Wright, ed., Joseph Conrad ort F i c t i o n (Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 1964), p. 10. 23 I b i d . , p. 80. 24 Joseph Conrad, The Nigger of the 'Narcissus' (London: Dent, 1949), p. xv. 25 Wright, p. 124. 26 I b i d . , p. 122. 27 I b i d . , p. 20. 28 Conrad, Nigger, p. x i . 29 Wright, p. 21. 30 I b i d . , p. 124. 31 Mann, Gesammelte Werke, XII, 396. 32 I b i d . , p. 481. 33 Ibid . , p. 492. 42 34 Mann, Gesammelt e Werke, XII, 461. 35 I b i d . , p. 463. 36 I b i d . , p. 205. 37 I b i d . , p. 207. 38 I b i d . , p. 338. 39 I b i d . , p. 67. 40 I b i d . , XI, 1146. 41 I b i d . , XI, 188. 42 E r i c h H e l l e r , The Ironic German (London: Seeker & Warburg, 1958), p. 127. 43 Avrom Fleishman, Conrad's P o l i t i c s : Community and Anarchy i n the F i c t i o n  of Joseph Conrad (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1967), p. 23. 44 Zdzislaw Najder, Conrad's P o l i s h Background (London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y , 1964), p. 2. 45 Ib i d . , p. 3. 46 Andrzej Busza, Conrad's P o l i s h L i t e r a r y Background and some I l l u s t r a t i o n s  of the Influence of P o l i s h L i t e r a t u r e on h i s Work (Rome: Instituturn HistoricumPolonicum Romae, 1966), p. 123. 47 Najder, p. 6. 48 Joseph Conrad, A Personal Record (London: Dent, 1946), p. 64. 49 Jocelyn Baines, Joseph Conrad: A C r i t i c a l Biography (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1971), p. 40. 43 50 Najder, p. 7. 51 Busza, p. 143. 52 I b i d . , p. 148. 53 Fleishman, p. 8. 54 Busza, p. 161. 55 Najder, pp. 2-3. 56 Baines, p. 21. 57 E l o i s e Knapp Hay, The P o l i t i c a l Novels of Joseph Cbrirad (Chicago and London: University of Chicago, 1963), p."~4*8. 58 G. Jean-Aubry, Joseph Conrad: L i f e and Letters Vol. 1 (Garden C i t y , N.Y.: Doubleday, 1927), p. 84. 59 I b i d . 60 I b i d . 61 I b i d . 62 I b i d . , p. 269. 63 I b i d . , p. 229. 64 I b i d . 65 I b i d . , p. 269. 66 I b i d . 44 67 Aubry, Vol. 1, p. 269. 68 I b i d . 69 Fleishman, p. 27. 70 Aubry, Vol. 1, p. 284. 71 I b i d . , p. 288. 72 I b i d . , Vol. 2, p. 240. 73 I b i d . , p. 285. 74 Fleishman, pp. 16-17. 75 I b i d . , p. 17. 76 Ib i d . 77 Joseph Conrad, Notes on L i f e and Letters (London: Dent, 1949), p. 126. 78 I b i d . , p. 129. 79 I b i d . 80 I b i d . , p. 86. 81 I b i d . , p. 89. 82 I b i d . , p. 97. 83 Ibid. , p. 98. 84 Aubry, Vol. I, p. 184. 45 85 Aubry, Vol. 1, p. 186. 86 Fleishman, p. 57. 87 Bert rand R u s s e l l , P o r t r a i t s from Memory and Other Essays (London: George Al l e n & Unwin, 1956), p. 84. 88 Jacques Ehrmann, "On A r t i c u l a t i o n : The Language of History and the Terror of Language," i n L i t e r a t u r e and'Revolution (Boston: Beacon Press, 1970), p. 24. 89 Daiches, pp. 109-110. 90 Aldridge, p. 349. 91 Mann, Gesammelte Werke, X, 654. 92 Howe, p. 20. 93 Walter Jens, L i t e r a t u r und P b l i t i k ( P f u l l i n g e n : Gunther Neske, 1963), p. 24. 94 Jens, p. 32. 95 George Goodin, "The Personal and the P o l i t i c a l i n Under Western Eyes," Nineteenth-Century F i c t i o n , 25 (1970-71), p. 328. 96 Lois A. Michel, "The Absurd Predicament i n Conrad's P o l i t i c a l Novels," College E n g l i s h , 23 (November 1961), p. 131. 97 G.H. Bantock, "Conrad and P o l i t i c s , " ELH, 25 (1958), p. 125. 98 I b i d . , p. 133. 99 I b i d . , p. 135. 100 Frederick R. K a r l , "The Rise and F a l l of Under Western Eyes," Nineteenth- Century F i c t i o n , 13 (1958-59), p. 313. 46 101 Mann, Ges ammelte Werke, XI, 20 4. 102 Ib i d . , p. 204. Chapter III Leverkiihn and Razumov A major concern of both Under Western Eyes and Doktor Faustus i s c i v i l i z a t i o n and, more s p e c i f i c a l l y , the p o l i t i c a l problems of Russia and Germany. Mann and Conrad do not merely want to i n d i c t H i t l e r ' s Germany or pre-revolutionary Russia but seek to comprehend the deeper causes for the two countries' p o l i t i c a l conditions. In the introduction to Under Western Eyes, Conrad states e x p l i c i t l y that h i s novel "was an attempt to render not so much the p o l i t i c a l state as the psychology of Russia i t s e l f " ( p . v i i ) . Mann's attitude i s b a s i c a l l y the same for he says i n "Deutschland und die Deutschen," an essay of s p e c i a l relevance to Doktor Faustus, that he wanted to deal with Germany " r e i n psychologisch" i n order to discover "das Ratsel 1 im Charakter und Schicksal dieses Volkes." But Mann's aim i s to explain and account for the German tragedy i n terms of the nation's c u l t u r a l past, whereas Conrad i s more interested i n diagnosing Russia's s i t u a t i o n i n order to warn against the threat posed by that country. For both authors, how-ever, the " p o l i t i c a l s t a t e " e s s e n t i a l l y grows out of some innate q u a l i t i e s of the Russian or German mind. And i t i s through Adrian Leverkiihn, the symbol for Germany, and Razumov, the t y p i c a l Russian, that these q u a l i t i e s manifest themselves i n the two novels. Adrian's symbolic function i s made convincing through the method of "mythic i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . " Influenced by Freud and even more by Jung, Mann was p a r t i c u l a r l y fascinated by the concept of the archetype. Freud's "ar-chaic remnants" are for Jung "mental forms whose presence cannot be explained by anything i n the i n d i v i d u a l ' s own l i f e and which seem a b o r i g i n a l , innate, 2 and i n h e r i t e d shapes of the human mind." In the essay "Freud und die Zu-47 48 kunft," Mann adapts Jung's archetype to h i s own purposes and speaks of "mythic i d e n t i f i c a t i o n " i n terms of "Leben im Mythus, das Leben als weihe-3 v o i l e Wiederholung." Each i n d i v i d u a l i s conceived as a combination of 4 "formelhaften und i n d i v i d u e l l e n Elementen" so that Adrian's l i f e i s deter-mined by h i s Faust i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and yet remains i n d i v i d u a l . By patterning himself on the Faust model, Adrian becomes an expression of Germany and, at another l e v e l , of the human mind i n general. Mann chose Faust as h i s mythic figure because he i s f o r him most representative of the German character. This i s underlined when he explains i n "Deutschland und die Deutschen": Und der T e u f e l , Luthers T e u f e l , Faustens T e u f e l , w i l l mir als eine sehr deutsche Figur erscheinen, das Biindnis mit ihm, die Teufelsverschreibung, um unter Drangabe des Seelenheils f i i r eine F r i s t a l l e Schatze und Macht der Welt zu gewinnen, als etwas dem deutschen Wesen eigentiimlich Naheliegendes. Ei n einsamer Denker und Forscher, e i n Theolog und Philosoph in seiner Klause, der aus Verlangen nach Weltgenuss und Welt-herrschaft seine Seele dem T e u f e l v e r s c h r e i b t , — i s t es nicht ganz der rechte Augenblick, Deutschland i n diesem B i l d zu sehen, heute, wo Deutschland buchstSblich der T e u f e l hole? Indeed, i t i s astonishing j u s t how c l o s e l y Mann adheres to the p l o t of the 6 old chapbook Faust. G u n i l l a Bergsten's Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus de-monstrates conclusively the exact chronological correspondences between the chapbook and Doktor Faustus. But Adrian i s more than a simple reincarnation of the old myth. Since several characters i n German h i s t o r y , e s p e c i a l l y Beethoven, Wagner, Luther, and Nietzsche, were f o r Mann Faust reincarnations, Adrian emerges as the culmination of German i n t e l l e c t u a l and c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y . Aside from the novel's agreement with the chapbook Faust, Adrian's l i n k with the Faust myth i s stressed by h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p to Faustian figures l i k e Beethoven and Luther, and by the way i n which his fate repeats incidents i n the l i f e of another Faust reincarnation: Nietzsche. Moreover, Adrian's own father i s presented as a Faustian searcher. He i s described as a man 49 "besten deutschen Schlages" who has a "Physiognomie, wie gepragt von ver-gangenen Zeiten"(p. 20) and who has a weakness for "die elementa spekulie-ren"(p. 22). Obsessed by forbidden speculations about the world, Jonathan Leverkiihn demonstrates that inorganic matter can look and act as i f i t were organic and thereby anticipates his son's later attempts to make art behave as i f i t were l i f e . The Faustian essence Adrian has inherited from his father is enhanced by the atmosphere of his native town Kaisersaschern, an "altstSdtische Umgebung...deren Erinnerungen und Baudenkmale weit in vorschismatische Zeiten, in eine christliche Einheitswelt zuriickreichen" (p. 15). Through Kaisersaschern, situated "mitten im Reimatbezirk der Re-formation, im Herzen der Luther-Gegend"(p. 15), Adrian i s associated with both the present and the past, for the reformation is a bridge to both "unsere Welt freien Denkens" and "zuriick ins Mittelalter"(p. 15). Mann's use of "mythic identification," lending i t s e l f to a very complex structure of references and associations, thus produces a hero of rich and far-reaching symbolic significance. Razumov i s not a symbol for his country in the same way that Adrian is for his. As a typical Russian, he both incorporates and is the victim of Russian qualities. Nevertheless, he identifies strongly with his country and draws a l l his strength from i t . Conrad informs us that, stripped of a l l family and social t i e s , Razumov's "closest parentage was defined in the , statement that he was a Russian"(pp. 10-11). This concurrence of man and country is further stressed when Razumov t e l l s Haldin: "You come from your province, but a l l this land is mine—or I have nothing"(p. 61). But the most emphatic expression of Razumov's consciousness as a Russian occurs when he exclaims to Peter Ivanovitch: "I don't want anyone to claim me. But Russia can't disown me. She cannot.'...I am i t " ( p . 209). Significantly, this "I am i t " corresponds exactly to Mann's' characterization of mythic i d e n t i f i -50 cation with Charlemagne, he says i n "Freud und die Zukunft": "Ich bin K a r l der Grosse." Wohl gemerkt—nicht etwa: "Ich erinnere mich an i h n " ; n i c h t : "meine Stellung i s t der s e i -nen ahnlich." Auch n i c h t : "Ich b i n wie e r " ; sondern e i n -fach: "Ich bin's." Das i s t die Formel des Mythus. 7 But Conrad's irony constantly undercuts Razumov's fusion with Russia. Adrian's conscious r e p e t i t i o n of the Faust myth i s heroic but Razumov's i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with his country only serves t o r a t i o n a l i z e h i s personal, less than sublime motives. Conrad obviously wants t o expose the absurdity and i n a u t h e n t i c i t y of the Dostoevskian type of mysticism. Moreover, unlike Germany's tragedy, Russia's p o l i t i c a l state i s not the r e s u l t of i t s i n t e l -l e c t u a l past. Russia i s depicted as unfathomable and mysterious; i t s po-l i t i c a l dilemma i s seen more i n terms of moral and i d e o l o g i c a l h i s t o r y . Razumov never a r t i c u l a t e s the essence of Russia c l e a r l y but embraces i t through the land's p h y s i c a l presence: Razumov received an almost p h y s i c a l impression of endless space and of countless millions....Under the sumptuous im-mensity of the sky, the snow covered the endless f o r e s t s , the frozen r i v e r s , the p l a i n s of an immense country, o b l i t -e r a t i ng the landmarks, the accidents of the ground, l e v e l -l i n g everything under i t s uniform whiteness, l i k e a mon-strous blank page awaiting the record of an inconceivable h i s t o r y ( p . 3 3 ) . Like the Golfo Placido or the mountain Higuerota i n Nostromo, Russia i s ever-l a s t i n g , enduring i n d i f f e r e n c e . Having established the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the hero and h i s country i n Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes, i t i s now possible to analyze Adrian and Razumov i n d e t a i l . In the case of Doktor Faustus, i t i s necessary t o discuss what intentions Adrian Leverkuhn was to r e a l i z e f o r the author. In Mann's opinion, H i t l e r was possible because even the best German q u a l i t i e s , e s p e c i a l l y those revealed by the country's achievements i n art and r e l i g i o n , contributed t r a g i c a l l y to an atmosphere congenial to the r i s e of a d i c t a t o r . In Doktor Faustus, Mann wanted t o demonstrate that, because of the c y c l i c a l 51 nature of h i s t o r y , Nazism was e s s e n t i a l l y a r e p e t i t i o n of e a r l i e r periods i n the country's development. The novel points out that r e l i g i o u s and aesthetic attitudes anticipated Nazi ideology throughout h i s t o r y . This complex i n -tention required, of course, the technique of the Faust i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . However, since Mann f e l t that music was more t y p i c a l of the German character than science, Faust's t r a d i t i o n a l r o l e was inadequate. Music i s not only an area i n which German a r t i s t s have always e x c e l l e d , but i t i s also c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to theology, another f i e l d of German achievement. Although music has often g l o r i f i e d the d i v i n e , i t i s at the same time a "damonisches,Ge-8 b i e t " and a " c h r i s t l i c h e Kunst mit negativem Vorzeichen." This l i n k be-tween music and r e l i g i o n i n both i t s divine and demonic aspects i s further strengthened by Adrian's t h e o l o g i c a l studies p r i o r t o h i s f i n a l commitment to music. Adrian's stay at Halle permits a discussion of Germany's r e l i g i o u s h i s t o r y and of contemporary t h e o l o g i c a l a t t i t u d e s . S i m i l a r l y , the hero's i n t e r e s t i n music evokes Germany's c u l t u r a l past and suggests the dangers inherent i n a modern aesthetics based on s i m i l a r p r i n c i p l e s as Nazism. Through the Faust i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , Adrian thus j o i n s Germany's past, present, and future. The richest symbol f o r Adrian's l i f e and art i s the magic square which constantly dominates the w a l l above the piano. Incorporating both mathemat-i c a l l o g i c and enigmatic numerology, the magic square embodies Adrian's cold i n t e l l e c t and i n t o x i c a t i n g demonism. I d e a l l y , Adrian would l i k e to harmon-ize his.^rational and i r r a t i o n a l tendencies so as to achieve the p e r f e c t i o n symbolized by the complementarity of a n t i t h e t i c a l categories i n the magic square. But he discovers not only that one of the two sides tends to dom-inate but also that a breakthrough i n art i s at t h i s time possible only with the dangerous and destructive help of the d e v i l . The f i r s t part of Doktor  Faustus i s designed t o show how Adrian's e a r l y experiences and influences 5 2 teach him that, at c e r t a i n points i n h i s t o r y , the demonic becomes a neces-s i t y . The second part of the novel then focuses on the good and e v i l which the pact with the d e v i l e n t a i l e d i n both art and p o l i t i c s . That Adrian has the p o t e n t i a l to achieve the balance represented by the magic square i s obvious from h i s b a s i c character t r a i t s . From e a r l i e s t youth he manifests excessive i n t e l l e c t u a l i t y and an equally excessive fas-cination with the demonic. Too i n t e l l i g e n t t o be i n t e r e s t e d i n school, he i s nevertheless curious about mathematics because of i t s concern with order and systems. The extent of t h i s c u r i o s i t y i s evident from the statement that "eine alberne Ordnung i s t immer noch besser als gar keine"(p. 94). The immediate re s u l t of t h i s exaggerated fascination with the abstract' and i n t e l -l e c t u a l i s Adrian's coldness. I n s i s t i n g on emotional distance, he p e r s i s t s i n a formal type of address even with h i s closest f r i e n d s . This withdrawal from the world betrays a proud scorn f o r mankind and alienates the composer from the human community. Adrian i s w e l l aware of the negative implications of his need for distance: " . . . i c h b i n e i n schlechter K e r l , denn i c h habe keine Warme....Lau mochte ic h mich nicht nennen; i c h b i n entschieden k a l t . . . " (p. 174). But i n t e l l e c t u a l pride and emotional coldness are counterbalanced i n Adrian by a propensity for the demonic. We have seen already that he has i n h e r i t e d a Faustian character from h i s father. Aware of his demonic ten-dencies, Adrian laughs uncannily during h i s father's forbidden experiments and su f f e r s from h i s father's type of headache the moment he begins h i s own speculative work with music. The primary tension between Adrian's r a t i o n a l and i r r a t i o n a l sides i s c l e a r l y consonant with the image of the magic square. Although the l o g i c a l and yet enigmatic nature of music corresponds to Adrian's temperament, he f i r s t turns t o theology. The novel offers several reasons for this choice. Adrian himself claims that he hoped a career i n theology would curb h i s pride and cure his coldness. But Zeitblom suspects 53 "dass er s e i n e r s e i t s seine Wahl aus HOchmut getroffen hatte"(p. 110). S i m i l a r l y , the d e v i l i s convinced that Adrian's i n t e r e s t i n theology was r e a l l y the r e s u l t of a f a s c i n a t i o n with the demonic. In the end, Adrian him-s e l f subscribes to this explanation f o r i n h i s address at P f e i f f e r i n g he says: "...und war mein Gottesstudium heimlich schon des Bundnisses Anfang und der verkappte Zug zu Gott n i c h t , sondern zu Ihm"(p. 661). Independent of Adrian's i n i t i a l motive, his studies at Halle c l e a r l y i n i t i a t e him i n t o the demonic. The two theology professors he meets at the u n i v e r s i t y i n t r o -duce him, each i n his own way, to the d e v i l . They are associated with d i f -ferent r e l i g i o u s periods i n Germany's h i s t o r y and o f f e r divergent attitudes to the demonic. Professor Kumpf i s an obvious parody of Luther. He not only imitates Luther's language and gestures but he i s , l i k e his model, "mit dem T e u f e l auf sehr vertrautem, wenn auch n a t i i r l i c h gespanntem Fusse"(p. 130). Zeitblom characterizes t h i s attitude to the d e v i l as "gehassige R e a l i -tats-Anerkennung"(p. 131). Kumpf i s also a "massiver N a t i o n a l i s t l u t h e r i -scher Pragung"(p. 130), who i s generally a n t i - i n t e l l e c t u a l and anti-meta-p h y s i c a l . Through Kumpf, Luther i s c l e a r l y seen to have anticipated Nazism i n two ways: l i k e H i t l e r , he disparaged reason and, through his separation from Rome, gave r i s e to nationalism, a concept which was to become c e n t r a l to H i t l e r ' s campaign. Adrian's encounter with Kumpf thus f a m i l i a r i z e s him with the idea of a ph y s i c a l d e v i l and re-emphasizes Adrian's p o s i t i o n between Germany's past and future. A more sophisticated exponent of demonism i s professor Schleppfuss, whose very name and p h y s i c a l appearance suggest the d e v i l . Schleppfuss' ad-vantage over the simple Kumpf i s that he explains his "dMmonische Welt- und Gottesauffassung psychologisch"(p. 134). But i n s p i t e of t h i s suggestion of modernism, his doctrines reach back to St. Augustine and to the I n q u i s i t i o n . He argues that the d e v i l i s " e i n unvermeidliches ZubehSr der h e i l i g e n E x i -54 stenz Gottes selbst"(p. 135) and claims that human freedom i s "die F r e i h e i t zu siindigen"(p. 137), Virtue consists of not using the freedom God was forced to grant man. Schleppfuss consequently asserts that "die T a t i g k e i t der I n q u i s i t i o n von ruhrendster Humanitat beseelt gewesen s e i " ( p . 137), be-cause, through t o r t u r e , the sinner was permitted to see the errors of h i s ways. But, more s i g n i f i c a n t l y , Schleppfuss' clever theodicy o f f e r s also a sophisticated j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r e v i l , a j u s t i f i c a t i o n Adrian i s to r e l y on l a t e r : "Die wahre Rechtfertigung Gottes i n Ansehung des SchSpfungsjammers... bestehe i n seinem VermSgen, aus dem B6sen das Gute hervorzubringen"(pp. 139-140). Adrian's stay at Halle thus teaches him the r e a l existence of the d e v i l and provides him with a r e l i g i o u s j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r making a pact with him. Adrian resorts to a pact with the d e v i l because he cannot achieve the regeneration of art without demonic help. As a member of a decadent and sophisticated c i v i l i z a t i o n , Adrian lacks the elemental energy t o l i b e r a t e music from i t s exhausted conventions. Indeed, s t e r i l e art forms rule so supreme that Adrian r e a l i z e s that "auf fromrne, nuchterne Weis, mit rechten Dingen, kein Werk mehr zu tun und die Kunst unmoglich geworden i s t ohne T e u f e l s h i l f " ( p . 662). The desired a r t i s t i c breakthrough i s possible only i f Adrian i s w i l l i n g to s a c r i f i c e soul and body to destructive powers. In t h i s way, Mann shows that, i n order t o regenerate dead art forms, the genius must in e v i t a b l y turn to forbidden and dangerous sources. Adrian's c r i t i c a l mind i s quick t o discover that e x i s t i n g art forms are indeed s t e r i l e . Instead of leading to authentic expression, even his own experiments with conventional devices always result i n parodies of t r a d i t i o n -a l music. In despair, Adrian therefore wonders: "Warum imissen fast a l l e Dinge mir als ihre eigene Parodie erscheinen? Warum muss es mir vorkommen, als ob fast a l l e , nein, a l l e M i t t e l und Konvenienzen der Kunst heute nur noch 55 zur Parodie taugten?"(p. 180). Parody, however, signals not only the end of old conventions i n a r t , but also the beginning of a search for new de-v i c e s . Adrian's penchant f o r parody therefore suggests that he i s strugg-l i n g f o r new ways of expression. But u n t i l the composition of "Dr. Fausti Weheklage," marking hi s a r t i s t i c breakthrough, Adrian i s confined t o parody, an art form the d e v i l characterizes as " a r i s t o k r a t i s c h e n Nihilismus"(p. 322). Adrian feels f r u s t r a t e d and s t i f l e d by t h i s n i h i l i s m and seeks t o transcend i t . In order to do so, he f i r s t attempts to account for the sources of art's s t e r i l i t y . He i s f i r s t of a l l convinced that art i s at variance with modern r e a l i t y and asks himself: ...ob das Werk als solches, das selbstgeniigsam und harmonisch i n s i c h geschlossene Gebilde, noch i n irgendeiner legitimen Relation steht zu der v S l l i g e n Unsicherheit, Problematik und Harmonielosigkeit unserer g e s e l l s c h a f t l i c h e n Zustande...(p. 241). But during the dialogue with the d e v i l , a second reason emerges. Speaking of the "UnpSsslichkeit, von der die Idee des musikalischen Werkes b e f a l l e n i s t , " the d e v i l argues: Schiebe s i e nicht auf g e s e l l s c h a f t l i c h e Zustande.' Ich weiss, du neigst dazu und p f l e g s t zu sagen, dass diese Zustande nichts vorgeben, was v e r b i n d l i c h und bestStigt genug w3re, die Harmonie des selbstgeniigsamen Werks zu gewMhrleisten. Wahr, aber nebensMchlich. Die p r o h i b i t i v e n Schwierigkeiten des Werks liegen t i e f i n ihm selbs t . Die h i s t o r i s c h e Bewe-gung des musikalischen Materials hat sich gegen das geschlos-sene Werk gekehrt(p. 320). Art's dynamic p o t e n t i a l i s consequently i n h i b i t e d by external as w e l l as i n t e r n a l circumstances. Music can regain i t s a u t h e n t i c i t y , and thereby escape from parody, only by transcending e x i s t i n g conventions. Kretschmar's discussion of Beethoven indicates that art's c y c l i c a l motion leads i n e v i t a b l y to a regeneration. Speaking of Beethoven's farewell to the sonata convention, Kretschmar ex-claims : 56 Horen Sie die stehengelassene Konvention? D a — w i r d — d i e Sprache—nicht mehr von der F l o s k e l — g e r e i n i g t t sondern die F l o skel—VOID S c h e i n — i h r e r subjektiven—Beherrscht-h e i t — d e r S c h e i n — d e r Kunst wird a b g e w o r f e n — z u l e t z t — w i r f t irnmer die Kunst—den Schein der Kunst ab(p. 75). But every renewal of art i s d i f f e r e n t ; what li b e r a t e s Beethoven's music suffocates Adrian's. Beethoven's r e j e c t i o n of the sonata convention i n t r o -duces a new convention which i s i n i t s turn rejected by Adrian. Indeed, Adrian maintains that a l l e x i s t i n g art i s a r t i f i c i a l : An einem Werk i s t v i e l Schein, man konnte weitergehen und sagen, dass es scheinhaft i s t i n s i c h s e l b s t , als 'Werk*. Es hat den Ehrgeiz, glauben zu machen, dass es nicht ge-macht, sondern entstanden und entsprungen s e i . . . ( p . 241). The romantic i l l u s i o n of the instantaneous and i n s p i r e d work of art i s no longer congruous with modern requirements. Music needs a new raison d'etre: "Schein und S p i e l haben heute senon das Gewissen der Kunst gegen s i c h . Sie w i l l aufhSren, Schein und S p i e l zu s e i n , s ie w i l l Erkenntnis werden"(p. 242). Beethoven's devices are now an obstacle t o authentic art whose new demands are summarized by the d e v i l as follows: "Zulassig i s t a l l e i n noch der nicht f i k t i v e , der nicht v e r s p i e l t e , der u n v e r s t e l l t e und unverklSrte Ausdruck des Leides i n seinem realen Augenblick"(p. 321). This means that art should be l i f e rather than t o remain i t s mirror. Symbolic representation must there-fore y i e l d to i m i t a t i v e form. In "Dr. Fausti Weheklage," Adrian ultimately achieves t h i s i m i t a t i v e form,for Zeitblom intimates that "die Klage i s t der Ausdruck s e l b s t " ( p . 644). But "Dr. Fausti Weheklage" i s Adrian's l a s t work and before producing i t he has to divest himself slowly of art's burdensome a r t i f i c i a l i t y . Adrian blames modern s o p h i s t i c a t i o n for the lack of spontaneity i n a r t . He feels that c i v i l i z a t i o n has alienated man from h i s n a t u r a l origins and has thereby contributed to the f a l s i f i c a t i o n of a r t i s t i c experience. Adrian even wonders whether modern c i v i l i z a t i o n deserves the name of " c u l t u r e " at a l l : 57 Ich mochte wissen, ob Epochen, die Kultur besassen, das Wort viberhaupt gekannt, gebraucht, itn Munde gefuhrt baben. Naivi-t3t, Unbewusstheit, SelbstverstSndlichkeit scheint roir das erste Kriterium der Verfassung, der wir diesen Namen geben. Was uns abgeht, i s t eben dies, Naivitat, und dieser Mangel, wenn man von einem solchen sprechen darf, schiitzt uns vor . mancher farbigen Barbarei, die sich mit Kultur, mit sehr ho-her Kultur sogar, durchaus vertrug. Will sagen: unsere Stufe i s t die der Gesittung,-—ein sehr loberiswerter Zustand ohne Zweifel, aber keinem Zweifel unterliegt es auch wohl, dass wir sehr v i e l barbarischer werden mussten, um der Kul-tur wieder fShig zu sein(p. 83). And, since music is a product of this sophisticated but decadent c i v i l i z a -tion, i t too must return to i t s primitive sources. When Kretschmar intro-duces the strange American Johann Conrad Beissel, Adrian is immediately fas-cinated by the composer's primitive music. Beissel's music shows that art embraces the elemental and demonstrates that i t has the capacity always "von vorn zu beginnen, aus dem Nichts, bar jeder Kenntnis ihrer schon durchlau-fenen Kulturgeschichte, des durch die Jahrhunderte Errungenen, sich neu zu entdecken und wieder zu erzeugen"(p. 87). And Beissel's primitive system of "master" and "servant" notes corresponds undoubtedly to the "Idee des Ele-mentaren, des Primitiven, des Uranfanglichen"(p. 86). Adrian imitates the American's return to the sources of art with his own recourse to old texts. Especially fond of mythic subjects, he clearly models himself on Wagner, whose "Ring des Nibelungen" Kretschmar characterizes as "die Musik des An-fangs...und auch der Anfang der Musik"(p. 87). Adrian echoes Wagner further when he argues that only "Stoffe der romantischen Sage, der Mythenwelt des Mittelalters entnommen.. .der Musik wiirdig, ihrem Wesen angemessen seien" (p. 425). But the return to mythic materials is only a superficial immersion in the elemental. The true return can only be accomplished with the devil's help, for he alone can guarantee the "Lebenswirksamkeit"(p. 324) capable of penetrating "das Archaische, das Urfrtihe, das IMngst nicht mehr Erprobte" (p. 316). Through the demonic, Adrian w i l l experience "echte, aIte, urtQm-58 l i c h e Begeisterung" and "prangende Unbedenklichkeit"(p. 316), for the d e v i l promises him: "...die Epoche der Kultur und ihres Kultus wirst du durch-brechen und dich der Barbarei erdreisten"(p. 324). Adrian thus succumbs to the d e v i l ' s temptation i n order to s t r i p himself of the accoutrements of c i v i l i z a t i o n and i t s decadent a r t . But the return to s i m p l i c i t y the d e v i l promises does not imply an actual return to e a r l i e r art forms because man's f a l l i nto consciousness i s i r r e v e r -s i b l e . From h i s comments about K l e i s t ' s Marionettentheater, i t i s s u f f i c i e n t -ly evident that Adrian has no i l l u s i o n s about the p o s s i b i l i t y of recapturing l o s t s i m p l i c i t y : Dabei i s t nur von Aesthetischem die Rede, von der Anmut, der f r e i e n Grazie, die e i g e n t l i c h dem Gliedermann und dem Gotte, das h e i s s t dem Unbewusstsein oder einem unendlichen Bewusstsein vorbehalten i s t , wahrend jede zwischen N u l l und Unendlichkeit liegende Reflexion die Grazie t b t e t . Das Be-wusstsein miisse. ..durch e i n Unendliches gegangen se i n , damit die Grazie sich wiedereinfinde, und Adam miisse e i n zweites Mai vom Baum der Erkenntnis essen, urn i n den Stand der Un-schuld zuriickzufallen(pp. 410—11). Since Adrian i s neither God nor puppet, he must follow Adam's example. For him, spontaneity i s not attainable through primeval disorder but through the most r a t i o n a l and highly self-conscious musical system. The basic p r i n c i p l e of t h i s system i s "die vollstandige Integrierung a l l e r musikalischen Dimen-sionen, ihre Indifferenz gegeneinander k r a f t vollkommener Organisation"(p. 255). For Mann, the paradigm for a t o t a l l y r a t i o n a l music i s Schoenberg's twelve-tone system, on which Adrian's music theory i s based. Instead of t r i a d s , Adrian s t i p u l a t e s a row of twelve tones i n which no note may be r e -peated before the other eleven have been played. A tonal center i s avoided because no note i s emphasized through r e p e t i t i o n . Moreover, atonal s e r i a l music permits no free notes so that Zeitblom fears that the "rat i o n a l e Durch-organisation" might l i m i t creative freedom. Adrian argues, however, that the self-imposed order allows f o r an almost unlimited number of compositional 59 combinations. In order to demonstrate the richness of Adrian's theory, i t i s perhaps useful to quote a d e s c r i p t i o n of Schoenberg's s e r i a l music: While the tone-row technique may appear l i m i t e d at f i r s t glance, i t has been calculated that there are 479,001,600 d i f f e r e n t tone rows av a i l a b l e . And each row can be treated i n countless ways. It can appear v e r t i c a l l y i n chords as w e l l as h o r i z o n t a l l y i n melodies. The row can be trans-posed, or i t can be moved to a d i f f e r e n t octave. It can be subdivided i n t o phrases of d i f f e r e n t lengths.' This technique, which has for Zeitblom something "ungreifbar und vag DMmoni-sches"(p. 258), triumphs completely i n "Dr. Fausti Weheklage" because "ver-moge der Restlosigkeit der Form eben wird die Musik als Sprache b e f r e i t " (pp. 646-47). From Mann's de s c r i p t i o n of "Dr. Fausti Weheklage" i t i s c l e a r that he wants the reader t o see i n i t a s i g n i f i c a n t breakthrough i n a r t . But i n spite of the aesthetic triumph, Adrian's l i f e i s not an unequivocal success. Not only i s the composer p h y s i c a l l y and mentally destroyed, but h i s theories also form a close p a r a l l e l to disastrous p o l i t i c a l doctrines. However, be-fore the morality of Adrian's pact with the d e v i l can be analyzed, the nature of the p a r a l l e l between aesthetics and p o l i t i c s i n Doktor Faustus must f i r s t be established. The p a r a l l e l between Adrian and Nazi Germany manifests i t s e l f above a l l through the novel's p e c u l i a r time structure. Zeitblom describes the time levels i n Doktor Faustus as follows: Ich weiss n i c h t , warum diese doppelte Zeitrechnung meine Auf-merksamkeit f e s s e l t , und weshalb es mich drangt, auf s i e h i n -zuweisen: die persSnliche und die sachliche, die Z e i t i n der der Erzahler s i c h fortbewegt, und d i e , i n welcher das Erzahlte sich a b s p i e l t . Es i s t dies eine ganz eigentiiroliche VerschrMnk-ung der Z e i t l a u f t e , dazu bestimmt ubrigens, sich noch mit einem Drit t e n zu verbinden: nSmlich der Z e i t , die eines Tages der Leser s i c h zur geneigten Rezeption des M i t g e t e i l t e n nehmen wird, so dass dieser es also mit einer dreifachen Zeitordnung zu tun hat: seiner eigenen, derjenigen des Chronisten und der historischen(p. 335). The time structure r e i t e r a t e s Adrian's p o s i t i o n between Germany's past and 60 future. As we have seen already, Adrian is associated with the Reformation period and with the time of the Inquisition. Similarly, his music echoes that of Beissel, Beethoven, Wagner, Monteverdi, and the Romantics. And Adrian's choice of l i b r e t t i connects him with European literary history as far back as the medieval legends. The time structure obviously reinforces the fact that Adrian's music is the culmination of German cultural history. At the same time, Nazism is the f i n a l result of Germany's disastrous p o l i t i -cal course. The parallel between aesthetics and p o l i t i c s in Doktor Faustus now suggests that the paradoxical combination of the highest sophistication and the most primitive barbarism is the source of both Germany's cultural leadership and i t s p o l i t i c a l tragedy. The f i r s t dangerous p o l i t i c a l opinions are voiced during an excursion organized by the Winfried theology students at Halle. The students are pre-sented as young intellectuals who foretell the future without realizing the terrifying implications of their words. Fond of academic jargon, they mani-fest an intellectual distance from real l i f e and a careless pleasure in argument for i t s own sake. The students' basic innocence now contrasts strangely with the perverted content of their discussion. Equating Germany with youth, they proudly announce that "die deutschen Taten immer aus einer gewissen gewaltigen Uhreife [geschahen]"(p. 158). They see themselves as healthy rebuilders whose strength i s their immaturity. Exuberantly they predict: "Wir werden ihr [der Welt} in unserer Uhreife noch manche Erneue-rung, manche Revolution bescheren"(p. 158). Obviously tired of Germany as i t i s , they long, like Adrian, for a regeneration which cannot be achieved through c i v i l i z a t i o n : Jung sein heisst ursprunglich sein, heisst den Que lien des Lebens nahe geblieben sein, heisst aufstehen und die Fessein einer Qberlebten Zivi l i s a t i o n abschutteln konnen, wagen, wo-zu anderen die Lebenscourage fehlt, nMmlich wieder unterzu-tauchen im Elementaren(p. 159). 61 And i f the r e j e c t i o n of c i v i l i z a t i o n means the acceptance of the demonic, the students are apparently as w i l l i n g to make that step as Adrian. When faced with the a l t e r n a t i v e between soc i a l i s m and nationalism, the majority are deaf to the s o c i a l i s t ' s argument that the idea of "Deutschtum" might create a "Mythos von zweifelhafter Echtheit" which would put Germany in t o "eine entschieden damonisch bedrohte Position..."(p. 167). But they enthusi-a s t i c a l l y approve of Deutschlin (obviously a symbolic name) who counters: "Nun, und?...Damonische Krafte stecken neben Ordnungsqualitaten i n jeder v i t a l e n Bewegung"(p. 167). The s i m i l a r i t y between Deutschlin's statement and Adrian's music theory i s , of course, immediately apparent.. And so, long before H i t l e r ' s usurpation of power, ideas favorable to h i s ascendancy are beginning to germinate. At a l a t e r stage, Adrian i s juxtaposed to the h i s t o r i a n Dr. Chaim B r e i -sacher. With his "wittemde Fuhlung mit der geistigen Bewegung der Z e i t " (p. 371), Breisacher i s an excellent recording meter f o r German i n t e l l e c t u a l opinions i n Munich j u s t before the F i r s t World War. Like Adrian and the Winfried students, he i s p a r t i c u l a r l y opposed to c i v i l i z a t i o n . Claiming that c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y i s "nichts als einen Verfallsprozess"(p. 371), he supports t h i s assertion with evidence which i s absurd but not i l l o g i c a l . Unopposed, he argues that the "Uebergang der Musik von der Monodie zur Mehrstimmigkeit, zur Harmonie, den man so gem als einen k u l t u r e l l e n F o r t s c h r i t t betrachte... gerade eine Akquisition der Barbarei gewesen sei " ( p . 372). Indeed, the h i s t o r i a n observes a s i m i l a r a l i e n a t i o n from healthy origins i n r e l i g i o n . David and Solomon are already "ursprungsfremd und verdummt"(p. 376) because they transformed C h r i s t i a n i t y i n t o a symbolic r e l i g i o n . Breisacher objects to this transformation on the following grounds: "Kurzum, Volk und Blut und r e l i g i o s e Wirklichkeit i s t das langst nicht mehr, sondern humane Wassersup-pe..."(p. 375). O r i g i n a l r e l i g i o u s v i t a l i t y i s , moreover, also weakened by 62 the new emphasis on ethics, another humanistic influence. Breisacher's glo-r i f i c a t i o n of the primitive is clearly reminiscent of Adrian's insistence on the elemental in music. The last significant p o l i t i c a l discussion takes place between the two World Wars. As Germany is hastening toward i t s catastrophic end, Adrian is working on his "Apocalypse." The parallel between art and p o l i t i c s , at f i r s t only hinted at, is now made much more explicit. Zeitblom explains that he deals with the Kridwiss circle and the "Apocalypse" in the same chapter be-cause he feels strongly that the two subjects are really one. Since Krid-wiss intellectuals voice opinions Adrian had pronounced earlier, Zeitblom now sees "Aesthetizismus als Wegbereiter der Barbarei"(p. 495). Zeitblom is f i r s t of a l l disturbed by the Kridwiss members' "heiteren Genugtuung"(p. 486) about their own dark forebodings. But even more disquieting is that they suggest actual means for the realization of an "intehtionelle Re-Barbarisie-rung"(p. 491). Instead of parliamentary discussion, the Kridwiss circle posits "die Versorgung der Massen mit mythischen Fiktionen...die als primi-tive Schlachtrufe die politischen Energien zu entfesseln, zu aktivieren be-stimrnt seien"(p. 486). In order to prove the effectiveness of such myths, the intellectuals stage a fake t r i a l which demonstrates the helplessness of rational argument against the persuasiveness of myths. Reason i s , moreover, further undermined by the corruption of language. Words cherished by Western liberalism have taken on unintended meanings and are suddenly used in the service of despotism. Zeitblom summarizes the atmosphere in Munich by obser-ving despairingly: "Rttckschritt und Fortschritte, das Alte und Neue, Ver-gangenheit und Zukunft wurden eins"(p. 489). This atmosphere has of course been anticipated by Adrian some years before: Interessantere Lebenserscheinungen...haben wohl immer dies Doppelgesicht von Vergangenheit und Zukunft, wohl immer 63 sind sie progressiv und regressiv in einem. Sie zeigen die Zweideutigkeit des Lebens selbst(p. 258). Undoubtedly, Adrian's aesthetics are meant to parallel and perhaps prepare for German p o l i t i c a l opinions. But what are the moral implications of the parallel between aesthetics and politics? Frank Kermode's The Sense of an Ending gives us some perti-nent insight into this question. Differentiating between fic t i o n and myth, Kermode explains: "Fictions can degenerate into myths whenever they are not consciously held to be f i c t i v e . In this sense anti-Semitism is a degenerate 10 f i c t i o n , a myth; and Lear is a f i c t i o n . " What makes the degeneration into 11 myth dangerous is that myths "rearrange the world to suit them." Ideas acceptable as recognized fictions can therefore be unacceptable as p o l i t i c a l myths. But i s the artist morally responsible for the fictions he exposes to mythic interpretation? Mann evidently wants to find some moral justification for Adrian. Toward the end of Doktor Faustus, Adrian becomes a mirror image of Christ. Like Christ, he takes the suffering of his time upon himself and dies as a martyr for the sake of art. Adrian's redemption is further sug-gested by the unusual and paradoxical salvation of his soul. This salvation is based on religious sophistries perpetrated by Schleppfuss. Speculating on his chances for redemption, Adrian has earlier posited the following possibility: Die contritio ohne jede Hoffnung und als vdlliger Unglaube an die MSglichkeit der Gnade und Verzeihung, als die f e l -senfeste Ueberzeugung des Sunders, er habe es zu grob ge-macht, und selbst die unendliche Gtite reiche nicht aus, seine Sunde zu verzeihen,—erst das i s t die wahre Zerknir-schung(p. 329). Discouraging Adrian, the devil had then pointed out that the mere specula-tion on such a possibility must necessarily rule i t out. But contrary to the devil's expectations, Adrian ultimately does qualify for the "contritio ohne Hoffnung." At the end of Doktor Faustus, the tortured genius rejects 64 s a l v a t i o n "nicht nur aus formeller Treue zum Pakt und w e i l es 'zu spat' i s t , sondern w e i l er die P o s i t i v i t a t der Welt, zu der man ihn retten mochte, die liige i h r e r G o t t s e l i g k e i t , von ganzer Seele verachtet"(p. 650). But i f Adrian i s indeed saved, the question arises whether Mann suggests that Ger-many i s also saved. I t i s not easy to know how f a r Mann wants the reader to take the p a r a l l e l between Adrian and Germany. At any rate, i n the assess-ment of h i s country's g u i l t , Mann i s at least searching for mitigating c i r -cumstances. In the course of the novel, Germany i s described as an excep-t i o n a l , i f misled, nation. Zeitblom adds to Adrian's contention that the Germans "wollen immer eins und dans andere, s i e wollen a l l e s haben"(p. 115) the following: Ja, wir sind ein ganzlich verschiedenes, dem Nilchtem-Uebli-chen widersprechendes. Volk von machtig tragischer Seele, und unsere Liebe gehort dem S c h i c k s a l , jedem S c h i c k s a l , wenn es nur eines i s t , s e i es auch der den Himmel mit Gotterdamme-rungsrote entziindende Untergang(p. 232). This t r a g i c v i s i o n suggests that Germany i s a dynamic nation and the German "der ewige Student, der ewig Strebende unter den Volkern"(p. 159). Germany has brought destruction upon i t s e l f and others because i t h e r o i c a l l y defied the s t e r i l e complacency of the West. Although Mann i s f a r from absolving his country, he suggests that something good might yet come out of i t s aber-rations. When Zeitblom speaks of a "Hoffnung j e n s e i t s der Hoffnungslosig-k e i t " ( p . 651), he obviously refers back to Schleppfuss' contention that God has the power "aus dem Bosen das Gute hervorzubringen"(p. 140). I f Adrian's music j u s t i f i e s his dangerous course of acti o n , Germany's future may some day redeem the t e r r i b l e present. Unlike Adrian, who i s an outstanding i n d i v i d u a l , Razumov i s an average Russian who wants to defend himself against the unpredictable and i r r a t i o n a l . Conrad stresses Razumov's normalcy when he says i n the Preface: 65 He i s an ordinary young man, with a healthy capacity for work and sane ambitions. He has an average conscience. I f he i s s l i g h t l y abnormal i t i s only i n h i s s e n s i t i v e -ness to h i s position(p, i x ) . The same point i s brought home i n Under Western Eyes i t s e l f . Razumov be-lieves that he can e s t a b l i s h an i d e n t i t y through d i l i g e n t work and a sober attitude to d a i l y l i f e . He i s a serious student who i s concerned about his future. Wishing to pursue an academic c a r e e r — f o r "a celebrated professor was a somebody"(p. 13)—Razumov p a r t i c i p a t e s i n a coveted p r i z e essay com-p e t i t i o n . His concerns are purely p r i v a t e and he avoids p o l i t i c a l involve-ment. This quiet and reserved student therefore keeps "an i n s t i n c t i v e hold on normal, p r a c t i c a l , everyday l i f e " ( p . 10) and does not choose t o search below the surface of his t r a n q u i l existence. Razumov's c a r e f u l l y planned and r a t i o n a l existence, however, i s upset by Haldin's v i s i t . Haldin i s the i r r a t i o n a l element which intrudes on Razumov's protected world. What confounds Razumov i s neither Haldin's crime nor revolutionary fanaticism but the incomprehensible coincidence that brought Haldin to h i s rooms. Razumov i s quite i n d i f f e r e n t toward the moral implications of Haldin's act but i s angered by the i r o n i c misunderstanding which made Haldin mistake him for a fellow-revolutionary. Razumov i s imme-dia t e l y conscious of the threat Haldin presents to h i s future. Born i n Russia, Razumov has "an hereditary and personal knowledge of the means by which a h i s t o r i c a l autocracy represses ideas, guards i t s power, and defends i t s existence"(p. 25). Razumov's comprehension of h i s country's moral vacu-i t y overwhelms him with "the sentiment of h i s l i f e being u t t e r l y ruined by this contact with such a crime"(p. 16). In p r a c t i c a l terms, Haldin's i n t r u -sion now forces Razumov to abandon h i s p o l i t i c a l aloofness i n order to choose between Haldin and autocracy. Frustrated by the choice he must make, Razumov i s unable to think 66 r a t i o n a l l y . His f i r s t r e l a t i v e l y c l e a r decision i s to help Haldin escape i n order to remove him from the premises. But he i s uneasy about t h i s s o l u t i o n , for " t h i s evening's doings could turn up against him at any time as long as t h i s man l i v e d and the present i n s t i t u t i o n s endured"(p. 21). Fear and anger obviously cloud Razumov's judgment and, driven by a "desperate desire to get r i d of [Haldin's] presence"(27), Razumov dir e c t s his steps toward Ziemia-nitch's inn. Devoid of " r a t i o n a l determination"(p. 27), he acts as i f i n a trance and, i n the end, madly beats the drunken " d r i v e r of d e v i l s . " On the way back, Razumov walks "heedlessly"(p. 31), even moving i n the wrong d i r e c -t i o n . But i n spite of t h i s t r a n c e l i k e s t a t e , his thoughts begin to assume a certain l o g i c . He suddenly sees himself caught between "the drunkenness of the peasant" and the "dream-intoxication of the i d e a l i s t " so that he now longs for "the s t i c k , the s t i c k , the stern hand"(p. 31). From here i t i s only one step to Razumov's conversion to autocracy. He convinces himself that Russia "wanted not the babble of many voices, but a man—strong and one" (p. 33).' Through r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n , Razumov c l e a r l y extends his personal hatred for Haldin i n t o a p o l i t i c a l conviction. In his newly formed opinion, "Haldin means disruption" (p. 34) and represents a "withered-member which must be cut o f f " ( p . 36). The p r a c t i c a l decision to betray Haldin i s clothed i n i d e a l i s t i c motives and, i n order to remain under the i l l u s i o n that he i s master of his own f a t e , Razumov convinces himself that he has w i l l e d his choice: " I f I must s u f f e r let me at least s u f f e r for my convictions, not for a crime my reason—my cool superior r e a s o n — r e j e c t s " ( p . 35). Conrad d i s -d a i n f u l l y concludes about Razumov's l o f t y t r a i n of thought that he "had simply discovered what he had meant t o do a l l along"(pp. 38-39). The betray-a l i s c l e a r l y not a r a t i o n a l act but the emotional r e j e c t i o n of the man who threatens Razumov's future. The tragedy of Razumov's betrayal i s that, forced out of h i s chosen 67 aloofness, he i s presented with two equally disagreeable p o l i t i c a l choices. Haldin's revolutionary fanaticism and the government's repressive methods are similar in that they are both based on arbitrariness, injustice, and im-morality. Razumov's original choice of a rational and practical l i f e i s inevitably alien to both p o l i t i c a l alternatives: "The true Razumov had his being i n the willed, in the determined f u t u r e — i n that future menaced by the lawlessness of autocracy—for autocracy knows no law-- and the lawlessness of revolution"(p. 77). No matter which way he turns, Haldin's v i s i t has pushed Razumov into a position where he must act against his own good. The f u l l extent of the hero's dilemma w i l l become evident once the nature of both revolution and autocracy in Under Western Eyes is c l a r i f i e d . Revolution in Under Western Eyes is based on abstract concepts and on a contempt for reason. Haldin's faith in the "Russian soul that lives i n a l l of us"(p. 22) represents the purest example of the true revolutionary's mystical belief in his mission. Willing to die for his cause, Haldin is convinced that, although his body w i l l be destroyed, his soul w i l l continue to haunt "the destroyers of souls which aspire to perfection of human dig-nity"(p. 58). With such Utopian hopes, Haldin can afford to be indifferent toward the present. He silently accepts his martyrdom and rejoices in Rus-sia's messianic mission: "The modern c i v i l i z a t i o n is false, but a new re-velation shall come out of Russia"(p. 22). Haldin is undoubtedly a living testimony to his sister's optimistic statement that "men serve always some-thing greater than themselves—the idea"(p. 352). Haldin's dedication to the cause, however, i s equalled only by Sophia Antonovna. She also believes in Russia's glorious future and is willing to sacrifice her happiness and, i f necessary, her l i f e for i t . But the other revolutionaries i n Under  Western Eyes are caricatures of this idealism. Peter Ivanovitch's feminism is a mere pretense,^ashis treatment of Tekla demonstrates. He i s an auto-68 crat in the disguise of a revolutionary for not only can there "never be too many disciples"(p. 237) but his hypocritical faith in "a people as great and incorruptible as the ocean"(p. 119) is exposed when he inadvert-ently betrays his real attitude: "I believe, f i r s t , that neither a leader nor any decisive action can come out of the dregs of a people"(p. 211). Excluded from the "dregs of a people" are the nobility and the peasantry. It is significant that these two classes have traditionally been opposed to liberalism and would therefore be sympathetic to Peter Ivanovitch's anti-socialism. In Razumov's eyes, both the genuine and the false idealist i s , of course, odious and dangerous. The revolutionary in Under Western Eyes is further misguided in his be-l i e f that a better future w i l l emerge from the ashes of the existing order. Haldin is again the tragic victim of this misconception. He emphasizes that the destruction of the established system is a weary i f necessary task. Re-garding the assassination of Mr de P- as his duty, Haldin selflessly sees himself only as a stepping stone for better men: "Men like me are necessary to make room for self-contained, thinking men like you [Razumov]"(p. 19). He is convinced that the only way to "make room" is through violence because, in Russia, the government lacks the necessary internal mechanism for peace-fu l reform: The degradation of servitude, absolutist lies must be up-rooted and swept out. Reform is impossible. There is nothing to reform. There is no legality, there are no institutions. There are only arbitrary decrees. There is only a handful of cruel—perhaps b l i n d — o f f i c i a l s against a nation(p. 133). Haldin's philosophy that the end justifies the means is also endorsed by the gentle Natalia and by the self-effacing Tekla. They believe that their personal love for mankind can be universalized through p o l i t i c a l change and to this end Natalia is perfectly willing to condone violence: "I would take 69 l i b e r t y from any hand as a hungry man would snatch at a piece of bread. The true progress must begin a f t e r " ( p . 135). S i m i l a r l y , Tekla t r u s t s n a i v e l y that "wretchedness and s u f f e r i n g " are the " l o t of a l l us Russians, nameless Russians....Unless a l l these people with names are done away with"(p. 236). But the outsider, the language teacher, understands and analyzes r e v o l u t i o n i n i t s p r a c t i c a l implications: . . . i n a r e a l revolution the best characters do not come to the f r o n t . A v i o l e n t revolution f a l l s i n t o the hands of narrow-minded fanatics and of t y r a n n i c a l hypocrites at f i r s t . Afterwards comes the turn of a l l the pretentious i n t e l l e c t u a l f a i l u r e s of the time. Such are the chiefs and the leaders. You w i l l notice that I have l e f t out the mere rogues. The scrupulous and the j u s t , the noble, hu-mane, and devoted natures; the u n s e l f i s h and the i n t e l l i -gent may begin a movement—but i t passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are i t s victims: the victims of disgust, of disenchantment—often of remorse. Hopes grotesquely betrayed, ideals c a r i c a -t u r e d — t h a t i s the d e f i n i t i o n of revolutionary success (pp. 134-35). The abstract idealism, the i n t o x i c a t i n g mysticism, and the f u t i l e utopianism of revolution are obviously a n t i t h e t i c a l to Razumcjv's p r a c t i c a l and r a t i o n a l outlook on l i f e . Autocracy resembles revolution i n that i t too i s based on mysticism, fanaticism, and a n t i - r a t i o n a l i s m . Mr de P-*s "mystic acceptance of the p r i n c i p l e of autocracy"(p. 7) rests not on "Reason but Authority which ex-pressed the Divine Intention"(p. 8). But unlike the revolutionary, the auto-crat resorts t o mysticism i n order to maintain and j u s t i f y the status quo. Far from endorsing a Utopian b e l i e f i n a b e t t e r future, General T- i s " i n -accessible to reasonable argument"(p. 85) because of the autocrat's immediate "unbounded power over a l l the l i v e s i n Russia"(p. 306). Razumov regrets that this omnipotence i s "unable to understand a reasonable adherence to the doctrine of absolutism"(p. 84) and feels that i t i s as emotional and f a n a t i -c a l as Haldin's revolutionary z e a l . Indeed, Haldin's f a n a t i c a l devotion to 70 the p r i n c i p l e s of revolution can only be compared t o the autocrat's b l i n d l o y a l t y to the doctrine of absolutism. General T's existence, for instance, "has been b u i l t on f i d e l i t y " ( p . 51) and M i k u l i n , the " f a i t h f u l o f f i c i a l " (p. 305), s t o i c a l l y goes t o prison f o r a transgression he has not committed. Conrad sees i n Mikulin's stoicism the t y p i c a l example of "a Russian o f f i -c i a l ' s i n e r a d i c a b l e , almost sublime contempt for truth"(pp. 305-306). In the absence of a sound moral foundation, Russia i s governed by unpredictabi-l i t y and i n j u s t i c e . Autocracy controls not only i t s own o f f i c i a l s but t e r r o r i z e s every l i v i n g soul in Russia. Not even those who have f l e d the country can escape from i t completely. Observing N a t a l i a i n Geneva, the language teacher re-marks s Whenever two Russians come together, the shadow of autocracy i s with them, tinge ing; "their thoughts, t h e i r views, t h e i r most intimate f e e l i n g s , t h e i r p r i v a t e l i f e , t h e i r p u b l i c ut-terances—haunting the secret of t h e i r s i l e n c e s ( p . 107). The accuracy of t h i s observation i s born out by various incidents i n Russia. There i s a f r i e n d who no longer checks i f Haldin picks up h i s mail because "he was a f r a i d of compromising himself"(p. 109). There i s also an o l d , bewildered p r i e s t who warns N a t a l i a and her mother that he i s forced to spy on them. And there i s Natalia's fear about her brother's s i l e n c e . Even Razumov i s paralyzed by the thought that "General T- was p e r f e c t l y capable of shutting him up i n the f o r t r e s s for an i n d e f i n i t e time"(p. 85). I t i s evident that the i r r a t i o n a l i s m and a r b i t r a r i n e s s of autocracy i s no more con-geni a l to Razumov's nature than i s revolution. His allegiance to the govern-ment i s influenced by purely p r a c t i c a l and not by i d e a l i s t i c considerations. Whether Razumov turns t o revolution or t o autocracy, he i s i n each case confronted with a mode of existence a l i e n t o his temperament. I t i s there-fore not s u r p r i s i n g that he finds i t d i f f i c u l t to cope with the new r e a l i t y . 71 He i s particularly unnerved because reason, his former foothold, has been unable to safeguard him against the inroads of the irrational. Finding him-self in a situation in which ordinary rational thought and action have no value, he is momentarily completely discouraged: Rest, work, solitude, and the frankness of intercourse with his kind were alike forbidden to hinu Everything was gone. His existence was a great cold blank, something like the enormous plain of the whole of Russia levelled with snow and fading gradually on a l l sides into shadows and mists (p. 303). But soon Razumov understands that his survival depends on his ability to create a new existence for himself. His safety w i l l be ensured only i f he can manage to satisfy and deceive both Mikulin and the revolutionaries. He therefore intends to win the confidence of both parties as a double agent. The creation of this new and "safe" existence requires a l i f e of secrecy and deception. Razumov's naturally honest disposition makes i t di f -f i c u l t for him to adjust to this odious way of l i f e . The betrayal of Hal-din, instead of putting an end to fear and anger, only leads to new anxie-ties. Knowing that he is a suspect in the eyes of the government ,• Razumov is disconcerted and uneasy in the presence of every government o f f i c i a l . General T- f i l l s him with an intense dislike and he is angered that, i n con-versation, he has to control his impulses and watch his every word and ges-ture. To complicate matters, the revolutionaries mistakenly assume that Razumov was Haldin's accomplice and thereby force him into the role of revo-lutionary. The tremendous stress this false double identity puts on Razumov manifests i t s e l f through dangerous slips in conversations with o f f i c i a l s and through a suspicious and rude behavior at the university. The pressure finally becomes so unbearable that Razumov, awaiting his departure for Ge-neva, hides from the outside world in his rooms. By the time he arrives in Geneva^ Razumov is almost resigned to the 72 fact that "secrecy should play such a large part i n the comfort and safety of l i v e s " ( p . 52). Nevertheless, he remains nervous and apprehensive. Often his i n s u f f i c i e n t l y c o n t r o l l e d reactions threaten t o betray him and i t i s only through the blindness of h i s associates that he i s saved from detection. N a t a l i a , f o r instance, naively mistakes a movement of t e r r o r f o r a sign of Razumov's friendship f o r her brother, and the language teacher f a i l s t o guess the reasons f o r the Russian's "moody brusqueness"(p. 193) and "boorish-ness"(p. 197). Razumov learns t o hide h i s " f e e l i n g of nausea"(p. 215) and "his angry c u r i o s i t y and h i s mental disgust"(p. 214) under a composed f a c i a l expression but deep i n s i d e he i s never sure of himself. He therefore often wonders, as he had done e a r l i e r i n the presence of government o f f i c i a l s , " i f he were saying the right things"(p. 207) and "whether he had not said there something u t t e r l y unnecessary—or even worse"(p. 256). C o n t r o l l i n g his impulses and feelings eventually becomes an almost mechanical process but the e f f o r t Razumov expends on i t begins to t e l l . Not only does the language teacher observe that "Mr Razumov's face was older than h i s age" (p; 181) but Razumov himself shows signs of tiredness. During a confronta-t i o n with Sophia Antonovna, his most dangerous enemy, Razumov "was conscious of an immense lassitude under h i s e f f o r t to be s a r c a s t i c " ( p . 240). Longing f o r peace and sleep, he i s generally worn out by the necessity t o "preserve a c l e a r mind and to keep down h i s i r r i t a b i l i t y " ( p . 248). In view of such mental and p h y s i c a l exhaustion, i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g that Razumov " f e l t the need of perfect safety"(p. 278). The desire f o r safety i s no longer d i c t a -ted by the determination to survive but by the promise of "independence from that degrading method of d i r e c t l y i n g which at times he found i t almost impossible to practice"(pp. 279-80). Eventually circumstances and the g u l -l i b i l i t y or f o l l y of the revolutionaries b r i n g Razumov so close to safety that "the strength of falsehood seemed i r r e s i s t i b l e " ( p . 360). But falsehood 73 is no more conducive to a peaceful existence than was his honest student l i f e . With the reward for his efforts of deception i n hand, Razumov is again surprised by the unexpected. Discovering his love for Natalia, he confesses his spying activities to the revolutionaries. Razumov's confession is portrayed as a liberation from the world of appearances and falsehood. It i s not a purely impulsive act but has been prepared for by Razumov's basic truthfulness. His "mortal distaste"(p. 282) for lies has often tempted him to t e l l the truth and he has felt frustrated by the reflection: " A l l sincerity was an imprudence. Yet one could not renounce truth altogether"(p. 209). The self Razumov is forced to repress s t i l l makes i t s e l f f e l t . The extent of Razumov's distaste for the role he must play in Geneva is obvious from the resentment of "being dealt with in any way by these people"(p. 278) and from the sensation of suffocating in "the choking fumes of falsehood"(p. 269), Razumov is now ready to liberate himself from his false identity. The confession i s specifically referred to as an escape "from the prison of lies"(p. 36 3). But Conrad makes i t clear that this escape is not a willed act. In anticipation of being established as an irrefutably trust-worthy revolutionary, Razumov vi s i t s Natalia's house, not to t e l l the truth but to unburden himself of the last l i e . However, overpowered by love for Natalia—an emotion that i s new to the orphan—Razumov is no longer master of his w i l l . In the written confession to Natalia, Razumov explains how she compelled him to t e l l the truth: "You fascinated me—you have freed me from the blindness of anger and hate—the truth shining in you drew the truth out of me"(p. 361). Surprised once more by the unexpected, Razumov does not despair this time but welcomes the new danger to his l i f e . In'the letter to Natalia he rejoices: "You were appointed to undo the e v i l by making me be-tray myself back into truth and peace"(p. 358). Through the confession 74 Razumov i s restored to h i s true s e l f and, i n addition, h i s old desire f o r an i d e n t i t y i s f u l f i l l e d . Proud of the new consciousness of himself, Razumov explains to the r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s : "To-day, of a l l days since I came amongst you, I was made safe, and to-day I made myself free from falsehood, from r e -morse—independent of every s i n g l e human being on t h i s earth"(p. 368). But l i b e r a t i o n goes hand i n hand with destruction. Razumov i s acutely aware of the double-edged nature of h i s new found freedom: "I am independent—and therefore p e r d i t i o n i s my l o t " ( p . 362). The instrument of p e r d i t i o n i s the jealous N i k i t a who reduces Razumov to a deaf c r i p p l e . Under Western Eyes closes with Razumov l i v i n g under the care of Tekla i n the south of Russia. He i s slowly dying, but i s at peace with himself and i s often v i s i t e d by various revolutionaries who l i k e to l i s t e n to his ideas. The f i n a l image of the helpless Razumov as a deaf oracle i s not without irony but Conrad surely wants the reader to share Sophia Antonovna's admiration,for the courageous act of s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n at the very moment when safety was almost assured. Through h i s unusual experiences, the average Russian of the f i r s t pages has acquired h e r o i c stature. But how does Razumov's story explain the "psychology of Russia?" Con-rad's juxtaposition of Russia and the West suggests that Russia shares Razumov's compulsion for s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n . Unlike the West, Russia i s dy-namic and has the p o t e n t i a l f or both exceptional greatness and u t t e r misery. Above a l l , Russia re j e c t s the s t e r i l i t y of the West which N a t a l i a character-izes as "a bargain with fate"(p. 114). The cold and unimaginative p h y s i c a l s e t t i n g and the dullness of the people i n Switzerland are the outward signs of t h i s bargain. The "orderly roofs lopes" of Geneva impress Razumov as "comely without grace, and hospitable without sympathy"(p. 141). Equally un-a t t r a c t i v e i s the view of lake and harbor: "He thought i t odious—oppres-s i v e l y o d i o u s — i n i t s unsuggestive f i n i s h : the very pe r f e c t i o n of mediocrity 75 attained at la s t a f t e r centuries of t o i l and culture"(p. 203). The i n d i f -ference expressed i n the landscape repeats i t s e l f i n the people which the language teacher describes: "...I observed a s o l i t a r y Swiss couple, whose fate was made secure from the cradle t o the grave by the perfect mechanism of democratic i n s t i t u t i o n s i n a republic that could almost be held i n the palm of one's hand"(p. 175). Contemplating the s t e r i l i t y of Western demo-cracy, N a t a l i a r e f l e c t s that Russia has indeed done w e l l to rej e c t Western p o l i t i c a l solutions because: "We Russians s h a l l f i n d some bet t e r form of na t i o n a l freedom than an a r t i f i c i a l c o n f l i c t of parties-—which i s wrong be-cause i t i s a c o n f l i c t and contemptible because i t i s a r t i f i c i a l " ( p . 106). In s p i t e of Conrad's admiration f o r Western p o l i t i c a l s t a b i l i t y , he suggests that a case could be made f o r Russia's r e j e c t i o n of easy compromises i n favor of a more dangerous but energetic and i d e a l i s t i c a t t i t u d e i n p o l i t i c s . I t follows that what a nation or an i n d i v i d u a l gains from existence i s pro-p o r t i o n a l to the r i s k one i s w i l l i n g to take. In t h i s sense Razumov and Russia are f i n a l l y linked i n the statement that "the terms men and nations obtain from Fate are hallowed by the p r i c e " ( p . 114). The ju x t a p o s i t i o n of Adrian and Razumov i n t h i s chapter has suggested many s i m i l a r i t i e s between Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes. Adrian, as the symbolic German, and Razumov, as the t y p i c a l Russian, are obviously s e l f -destructive heroes. This t r a g i c fate i s i n t e r n a l l y conditioned i n Adrian and externally imposed on Razumov. Adrian i s bom with an i r r a t i o n a l side which t y p i f i e s the German people throughout h i s t o r y whereas Razumov i s con-fronted with and vi c t i m i z e d by the i r r a t i o n a l elements i n the n a t i o n a l char-acter of the Russian people. Adrian i s immediately eager to accept demonic help, whereas Razumov s e l l s h i s soul only gradually. This dif f e r e n c e i n attitude i s p a r t i c u l a r l y brought out i n the d e v i l scenes i n Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes, which are both modelled on Ivan's confrontation with 76 the d e v i l i n Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. The d e v i l ' s v i s i t i n Doktor Faustus c l e a r l y functions within the novel's archetypal patterns. For Mann the pact with a highly sophisticated d e v i l , whose temptation repre-sents a v i a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e to the hero's impass, i s a serious matter which i s supposed t o i l l u s t r a t e Germany's precarious s i t u a t i o n . In Under Western  Eyes j on the other hand, the a l l u s i o n to The Brothers Karamazov i s h i g h l y i r o n i c . The narrator's tone, describing the demonic type of discussions be-tween Razumov and C o u n c i l l o r Mikulin, leaves no doubt about Conrad's con-temptuous attitude toward Dostoevsky: To the morality of a Western reader an account of these meetings would wear perhaps the s i n i s t e r character of old legendary t a l e s where the Enemy of Mankind i s represented holding subtly mendacious dialogues with some tempted s o u l . I t i s not my part t o protest. Let me but remark that the E v i l One, with h i s s i n g l e passion of satanic pride for '. the only motive, i s y e t , on a l a r g e r , modern view, allowed to be not quite so black as he used to be painted(pp. 304-305). Through the i r o n i c a l l u s i o n to Dostoevsky, Conrad indicates that Razumov i s morally responsible f o r h i s reprehensible b e t r a y a l of Haldin. He w i l l not allow the d e v i l t o take the blame f o r the hero's actions as do, to some extent, Dostoevsky and Mann. Where Mann's d e v i l i s an i n f l u e n t i a l presence Doktor Faustus, Conrad's d e v i l i n Under Western Eyes i s at best r i d i c u -lous. In the context of g u i l t and r e t r i b u t i o n , i t i s important t o understand that Adrian w i l l s h i s fate whereas Razumov r e s i s t s h i s . Because he i s cons-cious of c i v i l i z a t i o n ' s s t e r i l i t y , Adrian sympathizes from the beginning with demonic forces and ultimately refuses to be saved. But Razumov i s or wants to be b l i n d to the f a u l t s and weaknesses of c i v i l i z a t i o n . His f a i t h i n r a t i o n a l behavior i s conditioned by the pleasant and comfortable l i f e the i l l u s i o n s of c i v i l i z a t i o n promise. Only at the end of Under Western Eyes i s he ready to accept the t r u t h about himself and l i f e . The penetration of 77 the surface illusions i s , of course, a destructive, or more precisely, a self-destructive act. Both Razumov and Adrian are tortured by guilt feel-ings; Adrian convinces himself that he was bom e v i l and Razumov is haunted by Haldin's phantom. But moral and physical pain are necessary for they heighten Adrian's already exceptional nature and turn Razumov's fate into "the story of a not uncommon man whom chance and suffering render extraordi-12 naryv" It is indispensable that Adrian should pass through the supreme agony of Echo's death in order to create "Dr. Fausti Weheklage" and that Razumov should suffer in the "prison of l i e s " before he can experience a sense of liberation. Guerard succinctly summarizes Razumov's case when he 13 says that "the crime which had broken Razumov has now fully made him." Denied a normal existence, both Adrian and Razumov eventually strike us as tragic heroes who are destroyed because of their unusual fate. The authors of Doktor Faustus and of Under Western Eyes are i n various degrees sympathetic toward their tragic heroes and the unhappy nations their fate characterizes. Russia and Germany must be condemned because of the despotism and terror they spread. But at the same time they deserve to be pitied because they courageously reject the s t e r i l i t y of c i v i l i z a t i o n . Mann sees in Germany a nation with great intellectual and a r t i s t i c capacities which has been misled tragically by i t s own ambitions. Mann is himself the product of German cultural values and as such he is torn between an outright condemnation of Nazism and a tentative j u s t i f i c a t i o n for his country's ter-rible errors. Similarly, Conrad's hatred for Russia is not unequivocal. Although Russia has posed a threat to Conrad's native Poland for centuries, the author of Under Western Eyes was nevertheless sensitive to something admirable in this nation. In order to do justice to Russia, Conrad "had never been called before to a greater effort of detachment: detachment from a l l passions, prejudices, and even from personal memories"(p. v i i i ) . Critr 78 i c s , among them Irving Howe, have sometimes argued that Conrad "has failed to accept the challenge of his own book: to confront the revolutionists in 14 their strength and not merely in their weakness.,.." Although Conrad admittedly did not approve of revolutionary ideals, he was nevertheless sympathetic to misled idealists like Haldin and Sophia Antonovna. The f o l -lowing statement by Guerard therefore sums up Conrad's a r t i s t i c feat most accurately: The novel's enormous personal achievement is to have done so much justice to Russia and things Russian. It reminds us, as we recall Conrad's hatred and disgusts, how great must have been the share of conscious imaginative integri-ty as well as how great the devil's share of unconscious sympathy.15 In two different ways, Conrad's often favorable portrayal of Russia despite his natural antipathies, and Mann's condemnation of Germany despite his love for i t s past reveal the same attempt to achieve distance through a r t i s t i c control. And, independent of their emotional commitment, both authors hope, perhaps to a different extent, that a better future may grow out of the present situation. Mann ends Doktor Faustus with Zeitblom's moving question: Wann wird aus letzter Hoffnungslosigkeit, ein Wunder, das iiber den Glauben geht, das Licht der Hoffnung tagen? Ein einsamer Mann faltet seine Hande und spricht: Gott sei euerer Seele gnadig, mein Freund, mein Vaterland(p, 676). In Under Western Eyes, Conrad sees even less hope for Russia's future; the guarded optimism in the last few pages is clearly tinged with irony. But Natalia's undiminished hope for "the day when a l l discord shall be silenced" (p. 376) is nevertheless a sentiment compatible with Conrad's "vision of 16 community," a vision Avrom Fleishman discusses with much insight. It is at any rate possible to consider Adrian's ambivalent salvation and Razumov's questionable liberation as a sign that perhaps Germany w i l l be cleansed and Russia w i l l find some peace through the simple brotherhood of individuals. Adrian and Razumov are neither unequivocally condemned or unequivocally 7 9 absolved from guilt so that Germany and Russia are evaluated as f a i r l y as possible and that the complexities of p o l i t i c a l reality can be maintained. But the quite favorable treatment of Adrian and Razumov contains a tacit criticism of Western c i v i l i z a t i o n . This imbalance i s rectified through Zeitblom and the language teacher who are both exponents of Western values. Through them, Western c i v i l i z a t i o n loses some of the extremely negative aspects the discussion of Adrian and Razumov has suggested. The next chap-ter w i l l therefore concentrate on Zeitblom and the language teacher, both as narrators and as characters in the unfolding drama. It should then be-come obvious that Zeitblom and the language teacher are similar types of narrators and that they are both juxtaposed to the heroes in order to pro-vide a more dialectical and comprehensive view of the p o l i t i c a l picture i n Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes. 80 Footnotes 1 Thomas Mann, Gesammelte Werke (Frankfurt: S. Fischer, 1960), XI, 1121. 2 Carl G. Jung, "Approaching the Unconscious," i i i Mail' and His Symbols (New York: D e l l , 1964), p. 57. 3 Mann, Gesamine 1 te Werke, IX, 494. 4 I b i d . , p. 492. 5 Ibid. , XI, 1131. 6 G u n i l l a Bergsten, Thomas Mann's''Doctor Faustus': The Sources and Structure . of the Novel (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1969). 7 Mann, Gesammelte Werke, IX, 496. 8 I b i d . , XI, 1131. 9 Charles R. Hoffer, The Understanding of'Music (Belmont: Wadsworth, 1967), p. 370. 10 Frank Kermode, The Sense of an Ending (New York: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 39. 11 I b i d . , p. 41. 12 Albert J . Guerard, Conrad the Novelist (New York: Atheneum, 1967), p. 231. 13 I b i d . , p. 239. 14 Irving Howe, P o l i t i c s and the Novel (Cleveland and New York: Meridian, 1964), p. 97. 15 Guerard, pp. 221-22. 81 16 See Avrom Fleishman's Confad's P o l i t i c s : Community'and Anarchy i n the  F i c t i o n of Joseph Conrad (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 19677!! Chapter IV Zeitblom and the language teacher The s i m i l a r i t i e s between the narrators in Doktor Faustus and Under  Western Eyes are more immediately obvious than those between the heroes. 1 They provide the grounds of comparison in a study by Jacqueline Viswanathan 2 and convince J u l i a n Kaye of " i n t e r n a l evidence of influence." Zeitblom and the language teacher are a l i k e i n personality and a t t i t u d e . They also f u l -f i l l t h e i r n a r r a t i v e task i n s i m i l a r ways. Apart from d i r e c t remarks i n the n a r r a t i v e , Zeitblom and the language teacher comment on t h e i r subject through the contrast they unconsciously provide between t h e i r own i d e o l o g i c a l and moral convictions and those of the heroes. But i s Kaye right i n p o s t u l a t i n g that Mann was influenced by the n a r r a t i v e technique i n Under Western Eyes? Although Conrad's use of the n a r r a t i v e device may have suggested the choice of Zeitblom, the d i f f i c u l t y of the p o l i t i c a l theme i t s e l f may e a s i l y account for the narrator. The highly explosive p o l i t i c a l subject and the author's emotional involvement required a distancing device i n both Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes. The use of an intermediary narrator, who could be treated i r o n i c a l l y by the author, made i t possible to avoid a biased t r e a t -ment of the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n . The s i m i l a r i t i e s between Zeitblom and the language teacher could therefore be accounted for by the background and temperament of the authors and by the problematical nature of p o l i t i c a l themes i n l i t e r a t u r e . Kaye's theory that Conrad influenced Mann d i r e c t l y i s perhaps put i n question by the fact that the n a r r a t i v e technique i n Doktor Faustus and Under  Western Eyes has been anticipated i n e a r l i e r novels. Marlow, the narrator of Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim, functions c l e a r l y as a distancing device. He 82 83 i s an eye-witness reporter whose o r a l l y communicated story i s recorded by one of his l i s t e n e r s . Conrad's own personality i s thereby twice removed. S i m i l a r l y , Zeitblom's self-consciousness as a narrator has been prefigured i n Die Erwahlten and Die Vertauschten Kopfe where the narrator addresses himself d i r e c t l y to the reader, and the f i c t i v e biography i n Doktor Faustus i s surely the l o g i c a l extension of the f i c t i v e autobiography i n Bekenntnisse  des Hochstaplers F e l i x K r u l l . It i s undeniable that the na r r a t i v e technique i n Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes has to a large extent been suggested by the authors' e a r l i e r experiments with narrators. Both Zeitblom and the language teacher have been subjected to c r i t i -cism. Ignace Feuerlicht argues that the "humoristisch-auktoriale E r z a h l -weise," successful i n other works by Mann, has f a i l e d i n Doktor Faustus; Diese Erzahlweise hatte e r i n seinen grossen Romanen, dem Zauberberg und Joseph, v i e l e Jahre lang geiibt, und s i e war ihm l i e b und vertraut geworden, so dass er s i e auch einmal benutzen w o l l t e , wo s i e v i e l l e i c h t nicht ganz am P l a t z war. S i m i l a r l y , i t i s sometimes believed that Marlow would have served Conrad's purposes better than the language teacher. J.I.M. Stewart, for instance, complains that "the narrator's i s i n no sense, as Marlow's frequently i s , a growing and changing s e n s i b i l i t y i n i t s own r i g h t ; nor does he enrich or 4 d i v e r s i f y the architecture of the book l i k e Captain M i t c h e l l i n Nostromo." An even more common reservation about Zeitblom and the language teacher i s that , although perhaps appropriate n a r r a t i v e voices, they are i n e f f i c i e n t and b l i n d as characters. It i s , of course, true that they are l i m i t e d i n t h e i r perspective but c r i t i c s who t r e a t them as ignorant fools who blunder insen-s i t i v e l y i n t o Adrian's and Razumov's l i v e s are s i m p l i f y i n g the case. Z e i t -blom i s often described as a cowardly and passive spectator of apocalyptic events he i s unable, or at least slow, to understand: Aber er i s t schiichtern, i s t a n g s t l i c h , i s t der Routine an-heimgefallen und gelangt schwer—immerhin gehort er aber zu 84 den Wenigen, die uberhaupt dahin gelangen—zu einem umfas-senderen Zweifel; und zwar dort, wo ein etwas lebhafterer Geist spontan aufbegehrt hStte. The language teacher is perhaps considered an even greater fool than Zeit-blom. Indeed, his unfavorable reception prompted Conrad to write i n the introduction to Under Western Eyest "He himself has been much c r i t i c i z e d ; but I w i l l not at this late hour undertake to j u s t i f y his existence"(p. v i i i ) . Tony Tanner i s , of course, not wrong i n saying that the language teacher 6 "describes with amazed non-comprehension" what he observes about Russia. But to characterize him as an "impercipient, incredulous narrator" who "be-7 comes, as he always appears to Razumov, a vague peripheral fatuous presence" does underplay the language teacher's importance and perceptiveness. His limitations are imposed on him by the different world he lives i n . And, a l -though both Zeitblom and the language teacher are i n i t i a l l y unaware of the dark and irrational side of l i f e , through Adrian and Razumov they slowly be-come conscious of i t s existence. They clearly gain some insights into the shadowy regions of the demonic but choose to remain on the side of light and reason. This choice is obviously determined by their basic character and is certainly not altogether deliberate. Nevertheless, because of the glimpse into Adrian's and Razumov's world, Zeitblom and the language teacher affirm their own values no longer blindly but with a new consciousness of the alternatives. No matter how unfavorably some cr i t i c s react to Zeitblom and the lan-guage teacher, they were important to Mann and Conrad. In the introduction to Under Western Eyes, Conrad j u s t i f i e s his narrator's presence by pointing out: "He was useful to me and therefore I think that he must be useful to the reader both in the way of comment and by the part he plays in the devel-opment of the story"(pp. v i i i - i x ) . The narrator i s further necessary to "produce the effect of actuality"(p. ix) and functions as a f o i l v f o r Natalia 85 who would otherwise be "too much alone and unsupported to be p e r f e c t l y cred-i b l e " ( p . i x ) . And, when Conrad announces that he w i l l show things Russian "as they appeared t o the Western Eyes of the old teacher of languages"(p. v i i i ) , he f i n a l l y suggests the narrator's importance as a contrast to the hero. Mann attributes perhaps less s i g n i f i c a n c e to the i l l u s i o n of r e a l i t y Zeitblom creates and stresses above a l l the p o s s i b i l i t y "das Damonische 8 durch ein exemplarisch undSmonisches M i t t e l gehen zu lassen." But the nar-rators are also designed to t r a n s l a t e the extraordinary experiences of Adrian and Razumov i n t o ordinary language. Indeed, as Jacqueline Viswanathan i n -dicates, "As embodiments of conventional and e a s i l y acceptable emotions and thoughts, the narrators are suited t o t h e i r r o l e as intermediaries between 9 the actors and readers." Although Zeitblom and the language teacher are li m i t e d i n t h e i r perception, within the f i c t i o n a l framework of the novels they are indispensable f o r an understanding of Adrian's and Razumov's fate. Mann and Conrad were both i n t r i g u e d by the p o s s i b i l i t y of using a nar-rator who i s at the same time an actor i n the drama. Zeitblom and the lan-guage teacher r e l a t e and evaluate events of the past, i n which they them-selves have played a part, from a l a t e r and therefore more informed point of view. The narrator's double role permits Mann and Conrad to tr e a t Zeitblom and the language teacher i r o n i c a l l y . Zeitblom narrates the story of Doktor  Faustus consistently from a moment during the Second World War. Aside from references t o the war and to the task of w r i t i n g , the novel i s t o l d i n the past tense. The informed narrator consequently often comments on h i s own part i n the story and does not leave a gap between h i s present and his past knowledge. Zeitblom i s p r i m a r i l y i r o n i c because he i s out of key with the events i n Doktor Faustus so that the irony i s introduced by the author who t e l l s the reader, by means of symbolic patterns, more than the narrator him-s e l f knows. In Under Western Eyes, however, the irony originates p a r t l y from 86 another source. Like Zeitblom, the language teacher i s also l i m i t e d because the reader sees more than the narrator i s aware of. But Conrad c a p i t a l i z e s further on the discrepancy between the knowledge of the narrator and that of the actor. Unlike Doktor Faustus, Under Western Eyes i s mostly t o l d i n the present tense. With the exception of the language teacher's remarks t o the reader, the story i s not t o l d from the informed narrator's point of view but from that of the less informed actor. Often the narrator disappears a l t o -gether; i n reconstructing Razumov's dia r y , f o r instance, Conrad lets the characters speak almost i n t h e i r own voices. The part the language teacher himself p l a y s , however, i s always presented i n s t r i c t accordance with the lim i t e d knowledge he had i n the past. Moreover, the time s h i f t s i n Under  Western Eyes accentuate the dramatic irony;. "The i l l u s i o n of presentness," writes Guerard, " a l s o permits the narrator's blundering unconscious i r o n i e s . For he i s reconstructing a time when the f i r s t part of his n a r r a t i v e was un-10 w r i t t e n . " Mann and Conrad used l i m i t e d narrators i n order t o introduce i r o n i e s which could undermine the framework from which Adrian and Razumov are evaluated. I t i s important, however, t o d i s t i n g u i s h between the narrator and the author. Although the narrators often express opinions we know t h e i r authors share, Mann's and Conrad's i r o n i c a t t i t u d e toward them compels us t o view them as d i s t i n c t characters. Without t h i s distance between author and nar-r a t o r , Mann's or Conrad's bias would i n t e r f e r e and sim p l i f y the novels' p o l i t i c a l complexities. By preventing the reader from i d e n t i f y i n g the author with the na r r a t o r , the novels remain, to some degree, p o l i t i c a l l y n e u t ral and non-partisan. The language teacher i n Under Western Eyes i s c l e a r l y c e n t r a l t o Conrad's " e f f o r t of detachment"(p. v i i i ) . I r ving Howe, for i n -stance, stresses that "The narrator i s not simply an awkward i n t r u s i o n : he s i g n i f i e s a wish on Conrad's part t o d i s s o c i a t e himself from his own imagi-87 11 nation." Guerard makes the same point perhaps even more s u c c i n c t l y . Re-f e r r i n g t o the " l a s t meeting between Razumov and Nathalie Haldin" the lan-guage teacher witnesses, Guerard says: But h i s presence, and the fact that t h i s interview nominally occurred i n the past, were extremely important to Conrad. They permitted him t o keep h i s saving distance, and so per-mitted him t o write coherently of violence and without embar-rassment of passion. Told by an omniscient narrator, the p o l i t i c a l comments i n the novel would almost automatically be att r i b u t e d to the author. And t o l d by Razumov, a n o n - p o l i t i c a l man, the events i n Under Western Eyes could no longer be viewed p o l i t i c a l l y . In addition, therefore, to h i s n e u t r a l i z i n g purpose, "one of the main functions of the narrator i s to keep suggesting that we 13 view the action p o l i t i c a l l y . " Through the language teacher, Conrad can thus control the novel's emotional and p o l i t i c a l l e v e l . Zeitblom also creates a "saving distance" f o r Mann and i s at the same time instrumental i n p o l i t i c i z i n g the events i n Doktor Faustus. Mann needed a distancing device l i k e Zeiblom perhaps even more than Conrad. Not only did he take Germany's fate to heart but he claims that no other f i c t i o n a l f igure i n h i s works has fascinated him as much as Adrian. In order to re-main i n a r t i s t i c control of h i s m a t e r i a l , he therefore had to di s s o c i a t e him-s e l f from i t . In "Die Entstehung des Doktor Faustus" he leaves no doubt about the advantages Zeitblom's mediating voice o f f e r s : ...und uberdies war die Massnahme b i t t e r notwendig, urn eine gewisse Durchheiterung des diisteren Stoffes zu e r z i e l e n und mir s e l b s t , wie dem Leser, seine Schrecknisse ertrMglich zu machen. Das Damonische durch e i n exemplarisch undSmonisches M i t t e l gehen zu lassen, eine humanistisch fromme und s c h l i c h -t e , liebend verschreckte Seele mit seiner Darstellung zu be-auftragen, war an sich eine komische Idee, entlastend gewis-sermassen, denn es erlaubte mir, die Erregung durch a l l e s Direkte, PersSnliche, Bekenntnishafte, das der unheimlichen Konzeption zugrunde l a g , ins Indirekte zu schieben und s i e i n der Verwirrung, dem Handezittern jener bangen Seele t r a -vestierend sic h malen zu lassen."if-^ 88 Through Zeitblom, a narrator who i s representative of Mann's own humanistic s i d e , the author i s able t o parody many of h i s own a t t i t u d e s . The element of self-parody in Doktor Faustus represents an important aspect of Mann's need for distance. Speaking again of Zeitblom, whose s t y l e parodies that of Goethe, Mann explains: Seine Erregung aber war die meine, ich parodierte die e i -gene E r f u l l t h e i t und empfand als sehr wohltatig die R o l l e , das Schreibenlassen, die I n d i r e k t h e i t meiner Verantwort-l i c h k e i t b e i so v i e l Entschlossenheit zum Direkten, zum Einsatz von W i r k l i c h k e i t und Lebensgeheimnis. But, apart from the advantages of i n d i r e c t i o n , Zeitblom's presence also i n -troduces the novel's p o l i t i c a l theme. Like Razumov, Adrian i s a n o n - p o l i t i -c a l man and i s consequently not inter e s t e d i n the p o l i t i c a l implications of his aesthetic theories. The important p a r a l l e l between art and p o l i t i c s i s obviously drawn by Zeitblom alone. Mann himself points to Zeitblom as the p o l i t i c i z i n g agent when he says: Was i c h durch die Einschaltung des Narrators gewann, war aber vor allem die MBglichkeit, die ErzShlung auf doppel-t e r Zeitebene spielen zu lassen, die E r l e b n i s s e , welche den Schreibenden erschiittern, wahrend er s c h r e i b t , poly-phon mit denen zu verschranken, von denen er b e r i c h t e t , also dass s i c h das Z i t t e r n seiner Hand aus den V i b r a t i o -nen ferner Bombeneinschlage und aus inneren Schrecknissen zweideutig und auch wieder eindeutig e r k l a r t . The i n d i r e c t approach to a p o l i t i c a l theme i n Doktor Faustus and Under  Western Eyes i s achieved through the use of a narrator who cannot be iden-t i f i e d with the author and who i s responsive to p o l i t i c a l dimensions the heroes themselves ignore. Since the reader i s almost e n t i r e l y dependent on the narrator for the p o r t r a i t of the heroj Zeitblom's and the language teacher's temperament and personal opinions are of the utmost s i g n i f i c a n c e . I t i s even necessary to ask i f they are capable of evaluating the s i t u a t i o n i n Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes accurately and i f they can be trusted. Although a nar-89 rator may be honest, i t i s poss i b l e that he i s nevertheless u n r e l i a b l e i n the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of assimilated f a c t s . Authors l i k e Ford Maddox Ford and Scott F i t z g e r a l d , both influenced by Conrad, have actually exploited the p o t e n t i a l u n r e l i a b i l i t y of a f i r s t person narrator who i s p r i m a r i l y t a l k i n g about a t h i r d person. In The Good S o l d i e r , Ford characterizes the na r r a t o r , John Dowell, as a man who i s confused about what he has witnessed and who i s temperamentally unsuited t o t e l l a " t a l e of passion." The reader therefore questions the accuracy of the p o r t r a i t Dowell draws of Edward Ashburnham and of the other characters. S i m i l a r l y , F i t z g e r a l d conveys the story of The  Great Gatsby through the eyes of Nick Carraway whose s c e p t i c a l and often passive nature renders his impressions of the passionate and romantic Gatsby suspect. Does a s i m i l a r contrast between the hero and the rather d u l l and col o r l e s s narrator i n both Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes i n e v i t a b l y suggest that Zeitblom and the language teacher cannot be trusted? This question can only be answered when the author's tone i s analyzed. In The  Good S o l d i e r and The Great Gatsby the author purposely a l e r t s the reader to Dowell's and Carraway's u n r e l i a b i l i t y . Through Dowell's shortcomings, Ford wants to demonstrate, above a l l , the r e l a t i v i t y of t r u t h or knowledge, and Fi t z g e r a l d makes Carraway blunder i n order to heighten Gatsby's appeal. But in Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes, where the irony directed, at the narrator i s p a r t l y auto-irony on the author's part, the author i s gener-a l l y i n much greater agreement with the narrator than i n The Good S o l d i e r or The Great Gatsby. At any rate, neither Mann nor Conrad presents us with a code or a frame of reference which would substantiate doubts about the b a s i c r e l i a b i l i t y of Zeitblom and the language teacher. Unlike Ford and F i t z -gerald, Mann and Conrad do not d i s c r e d i t the information furnished by the narrators but simply reveal the l i m i t a t i o n s under which they describe a world a l i e n t o them. 90 The gap between the world of the narrator and that of the hero i s p r i m a r i l y produced by d i f f e r e n t value systems. As exponents of Western c i v -i l i z a t i o n , Zeitblom and the language teacher are mostly antagonistic toward Adrian's and Razumov's demonic t r a i t s . But, on a more personal and human l e v e l , they f e e l a ttracted to these men of extraordinary s u f f e r i n g . I t i s immediately obvious that Zeitblom i s emotionally much cl o s e r to Adrian than the language teacher i s to Razumov, The diary and l e t t e r s , c o n s t i t u t i n g a large part of Under Western Eyes, permit a d i r e c t i n s i g h t i n t o Razumov which often dispenses with the language teacher's presence over long periods of time. But i n Doktor Faustus only a few, although often key passages, are supposedly based on l e t t e r s or other f i r s t - h a n d documents. Mann therefore r e l i e s heavily on a narrator who can penetrate the hero's mind because he can claim to experience v i c a r i o u s l y what the composer contends with. Z e i t -blom sympathizes with Adrian on an emotional rather than i n t e l l e c t u a l l e v e l and loves the childhood f r i e n d more than the uncanny musical genius. This i s announced already i n the opening s e c t i o n of Doktor Faustus where the nar-ra t o r , unsettled about the nature and morality of genius, feels reassured by the following r e f l e c t i o n : Letztens und erstens aber—und diese Rechtfertigung war noch immer die g i i l t i g s t e , wenn nicht vor den Menschen, so doch vor Gott: i c h habe ihn g e l i e b t — m i t Entsetzen und Z S r t l i c h -k e i t , mit Erbarmen und hingebender Bewunderung—und wenig : dabei gefragt, ob er im min des ten mir das Gefuhl zurSckgab (p. 12). Mann constantly stresses Zeitblom's a b i l i t y t o sympathize with Adrian's s i t u a t i o n . In accordance with the Faust myth, the narrator i s a Wagner figure and i s perceived as such by Adrian who c a l l s him a " h e r z l i c h getreuen Famulus"(p. 657). In the r o l e of Wagner, Zeitblom subordinates h i s own l i f e almost e n t i r e l y to Adrian's career. Already during childhood, Zeitblom speaks of Adrian as someone "an dem i c h hing, j a dessen Sein, dessen Werden, 91 dessen Lebensfrage mich im Grande mehr interessierte als meine eigene" (p. 118). In spite of military duties, a teaching profession, and married l i f e , Zeitblom never actually loses sight of his friend. Like a shadow, the timid humanist follows the daring and defiant composer through every demonic twist of his destiny. Zeitblom's self-effacement is supposed to convince us that his identification with Adrian establishes him as an authoritative com-mentator. Referring to Adrian's report of the brothel incident, he claims, for instance, that he himself f e l t the consequences of Esmeralda's touch: "Tagelang spurte ich die Beriihrung ihres Fleisches auf meiner eigenen Wange und wusste dabei mit Widerwillen, mit Schrecken, dass sie seither auf der seinen brannte"(p. 198). Seeing himself as "Adrians anderes Ich"(p. 595) or "Mundstiick"(p. 574), Zeitblom continues to consider himself a substitute for Adrian even after the composer's death. Speaking of the horrors of the Sec-ond World War, he remarks: Es i s t mir, als stSnde und lebte ich fur ihn, statt seiner, als triige ich die Last, die seinen Schultern erspart geblie-ben, kurz, als erwiese ich ihm ein Liebes, indem ich's ihm abnahme zuleben; und diese Vors t e l lung, so i l l u s o r i s c h , ja narrisch sie s e i , tut mir wohl, sie schmeichelt dem stets gehegten Wunsch, ihm zu dienen, zu he If en, ihn zu schiitzen,— diesem Bediirfnis, dem zu Lebzeiten des Freundes nur so ge-ringfiigige Befriedigung vergSnnt war(p. 337). Zeitblom's devotion to Adrian is in fact so great that he expects nothing in return. Conscious of Adrian's unconcern and disregard for himself, Zeitblom comments on his decision to attend Adrian's theology lessons in the following way: Ich tat es aus vollkommen freien Stficken, nur aus dem unab-weislichen Wunsche, zu horen, was er hSrte, zu wissen, was er aufnahm, kurz: auf ihn achtzuhaben,—denn das erschien mir immer hSchst notwendig, wenn auch zwecklos(p. 150). Zeitblom never presumes to influence or even advise the*composer. When Adrian expressly asks him i f a career i n music is advisable, Zeitblom re-frains from any active approval or disapproval: 92 ...ich fand es beruhigend in aller freudigen Beunruhigung, mir sagen zu konnen, dass ich an der Ueberredung keinen T e i l gehabt,—hochstens durch ein gewisses fatalistisches Verhalten...ihr allenfalls Sukkurs geleistet hatte(p. 185). Zeitblom finally j u s t i f i e s his acquiescence in such a one-sided friendship by saying; "Es gibt Menschen, mit denen zu leben nicht leicht, und die zu lassen unmoglich ist"(p. 294). The friend's devotion to Adrian the man and the humanist's frequent h o s t i l i t y to Adrian the composer convince the read-er that Zeitblom i s a privileged narrator whose reservations about the 17 composer's music tend to emphasize i t s forbidden nature. Razumov's diary and letter in Under Western Eyes permit Conrad to main-tain a certain distance between the narrator and the hero. The language teacher is always acutely aware of his status as an outsider and essentially passive onlooker. Although interested in Razumov because of his friendship for Natalia, he declares that he has "no comprehension of the Russian char-acter"^. 4). The emphatic disavowal of familiarity with things Russian is overstated. In spite of a Western background, the narrator has stronger ties with Russia than he cares to admit openly. But he betrays incidentally that he was "born from parents settled in St Petersburg" where he had "ac-quired the language as a child"(p. 187). And, even after leaving Russia as a child, the language teacher frequented Russian circles in Geneva and has renewed his "acquaintance with the language"(p. 187). Often the language teacher even demonstrates shrewd insights into the situation in Geneva. His grasp of the essence of revolution, for instance, i s more accurate than anybody else's. Occasionally, he demonstrates a real insight into Razumov's predicament. He i s certainly right to capture Razumov's sleeplessness i n the image of "a man who lies unwinking in the dark, angrily passive in the t o i l s of disastrous thoughts"(p. 183). And he further calculates with a "sudden approach to hidden truth" that Razumov's "scorn and impatience" are related to the "same thing which had kept him over a week, nearly ten days indeed, from coming near Miss Haldin"(p. 197). At the same time the lan-guage teacher i s , of course, more often than not wrong i n h i s assessment of Razumov. The young Russian's obstinate s i l e n c e , designed to deceive the world, appears to the narrator as "a favourable t r a i t of character. It was associated with s i n c e r i t y — i n my mind"(p. 173). And, when Natalia's pres-ence reminds Razumov of Haldin, the language teacher misconstrues the Rus-sian's " i n c i p i e n t frown"(p. 179) as a sign that the younger man disapproves of Natalia's association with " t h i s e l d e r l y p e r s o n — t h i s foreigner.'"(p. 179). But even though the narrator's Western values l i m i t his understanding of the East, he i s also c l e a r l y unwilling to comprehend too much. Because of the disturbing and i r r a t i o n a l elements he suspects i n things Russian, he i s frightened and determined to play the role of " s i l e n t spectator"(p. 345) and "mute witness"(p. 381), However, he communicates the news about Haldin's death, consents to t a l k to Razumov i n Natalia's name, and helps N a t a l i a locate Razumov. But when N a t a l i a thanks him f o r h i s understanding friendship and help, he defensively r e p l i e s : "I have done l i t t l e else but look on" (p. 134). Even when the catastrophic events begin t o gravitate toward t h e i r i n e v i t a b l e conclusion, the language teacher, drawn i n t o them by N a t a l i a , again di s s o c i a t e s himself: " I made up my mind t o play my part of helpless spectator to the end"(p. 336). The r e f u s a l t o p a r t i c i p a t e i s at the same time a r e f u s a l to see c l e a r l y and t o know the t r u t h . The n a t u r a l l i m i t a t i o n s imposed on the narrator by his background are therefore coupled with a de-termined e f f o r t to take refuge i n the cowardly role of the passive spectator. The language teacher's i n s i s t e n c e on d i s s o c i a t i n g himself from the dramatic action i n Under Western Eyes i s often interpreted as a sign of i g -norance. C r i t i c s have argued that the Englishman i s i n s e n s i t i v e to the t r a g i c implications of what he witnesses. They support t h i s theory e s p e c i a l -94 ly with the narrator's behavior a f t e r Razumov's confession i n Natalia's house. They see the t r i v i a l exclamation "That miserable wretch has c a r r i e d o f f your v e i l " ( p . 356) as evidence of the narrator's b a s i c blindness. Hay, for instance, contends that the language teacher "seems i n t e r e s t e d only i n 18 the t h e f t " and Secor considers the episode "a b r i l l i a n t exposure of the narrator's distance from any understanding of the drama he has j u s t recre-19 ated for us." I t i s , however, pos s i b l e to see t h i s scene i n a d i f f e r e n t l i g h t . The narrator i s c l e a r l y b a f f l e d by the moving spectacle of Razumov's confession and, because of h i s adopted r o l e of spectator, cannot cope ade-quately with an experience which suddenly forces him to see c l e a r l y . Taken unawares by a nightmarish v i s i o n , h i s t r i v i a l remark betrays a desire to impose some order or normalcy and to postpone f u l l cognizance of an impos-s i b l e s i t u a t i o n . The language teacher i s not i n s e n s i t i v e or b l i n d t o the tragedy but t r i e s t o preserve his sanity and a r a t i o n a l hold on existence. To a c e r t a i n extent, the narrator's apparent obtuseness t o the story he nar-rates i s therefore a s e l f - p r o t e c t i v e mask. What sympathy the narrator i n Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes manifests f o r Adrian or Razumov i s always q u a l i f i e d by h i s own r a d i c a l l y d i f -ferent values. Both novels are therefore characterized by a dichotomy be-tween what one might c a l l the hero's Eastern a f f i n i t i e s f o r the i r r a t i o n a l or demonic and the narrator's Western f a i t h i n reason or c i v i l i z e d behavior. Each value system i s thereby illuminated by the other and the author's i r o n i c attitude tends to undercut both. Indeed, the c e n t r a l dichotomy in both Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes permits an i r o n i c v i s i o n which Kierke-gaard would characterize as cosmic: Irony i n the eminent sense di r e c t s i t s e l f not against this or that p a r t i c u l a r existence but against the whole given a c t u a l i t y of a c e r t a i n time and s i t u a t i o n . . . . I t i s not t h i s or that phenomenon but the t o t a l i t y of existence which i t considers sub specie i r o n i c a e . 95 In Compass of Irony, D. C. Muecke argues that t h i s type of irony i s neit h e r negative nor n i h i l i s t i c . Growing out of German Romantic t h e o r i e s , cosmic irony has fascinated modern authors, Muecke mentions s p e c i f i c a l l y Thomas Mann, because: Romantic irony i s not negative; i t does not, f o r example, negate s u b j e c t i v i t y by o b j e c t i v i t y , the imaginative by the c r i t i c a l , the emotional by the rational....Schlegel's meaning i s that irony does not take sides but regards both sides c r i t i c a l l y . 1 Through t h i s type of i r o n i c v i s i o n , Mann and Conrad can do j u s t i c e to the p o l i t i c a l complexities i n Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes. In the two novels, the p o l i t i c a l a lternatives are exposed i n both t h e i r strengths and t h e i r weaknesses. Viewed through the "Western eyes" of the n a r r a t o r s , Adrian's and Razumov's course of action appears unwise, destructive, and morally reprehensible. But, by undercutting the narrators themselves, Mann and Conrad show at the same time the shortcomings of the Western t r a d i t i o n . Through Zeitblom's and the language teacher's gradual awareness of the inade-quacy and obsolescence of t h e i r own values, the p o l i t i c a l dilemma i n the two novels appears i n a l l i t s t r a g i c implications. To speak of a dichotomy between East and West seems appropriate f o r Under Western Eyes, though less accurate for Doktor Faustus. However, Mann's rather e s o t e r i c view of Germany s t i l l imposes or permits t h i s dichotomy. Mann puts h i s t o r i c a l considerations above geographical ones and maintains that Germany has always maintained an exceptional p o s i t i o n between Eastern and Western Europe. The d i s t i n c t i o n Mann draws between German culture and European c i v i l i z a t i o n i n "Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen" manifests i t s e l f in the "unsterblich wahre Gegensatz von Musik und P o l i t i k , von Deutschtum 22 und Z i v i l i s a t i o n . " Mann's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of h i s t o r y emphasizes Germany's e s s e n t i a l l y anti-humanistic t r a d i t i o n . Humanism was a foreign influence i n Germany which was unable to break the b a s i c a l l y a n t i - r a t i o n a l dominance of 96 music. Even the Enlightenment, generally an i n t e l l e c t u a l and s o c i a l move-ment, was in Germany an emotional and r e l i g i o u s phenomenon. Contrary to popular opinion, Mann sees the Reformation i n the following l i g h t : ...und keineswegs erscheiht Luthers Werk uns als ein reines Werk der Befreiung im Sinne der Z i v i l i s a t i o n und der Aufkla-rung. Die Reformation als Fortsetzung, Folge oder E r s c h e i -nungsform der Renaissance zu nehmen, scheint uns nur sehr bedingungsweise erlaubt: Eine Storung und Unterbrechung, einen Ruckfall ins M i t t e l a l t e r , eine konservative, j a reak-tionare Bewegung i n i h r zu sehen i s t mindestens i n demselben Grade s t a t t h a f t ; . . , 2 3 Mann reverses here the conventional association of protestantism with re-strained soberness and Catholicism with emotional exuberance. Moreover, i n Mann's view of h i s t o r y , Luther's Reformation c l a r l y anticipates H i t l e r ' s National Socialism. In Doktor FaUstus, professor Kumpf is a Luther c a r i c a -ture who i s f a m i l i a r with the d e v i l . And Zeitblom sees the Reformation i n the following u n f l a t t e r i n g l i g h t : Und meinesgleichen mag s i c h wohl fragen...ob nicht die Refor-matoren eher als r i i c k f a l l i g e Typen und Sendlinge des Ungliicks zu betrachten sind. Es i s t j a wohl k e i n Zweifel, dass der Menschheit unendliches Blutvergiessen und die e n t s e t z l i c h s t e Selbstzerfleischung erspart geblieben ware, wenn Martin Luther die Kirche nicht wiederhergestellt hatte(pp.,119-20). In Mann's eyes, Germany's hi s t o r y of "regressive progress" c l e a r l y d i s t i n -guishes t h i s country from the other Western nations. A dichotomy between East and West corresponds therefore very much to Mann's own thinking.: The opposition between humanism and the Reformation operates i n Doktor  Faustus on a symbolic l e v e l . The humanist Zeitblom i s a c a t h o l i c who asso-ciates himself with the famous c a t h o l i c humanist Erasmus. Adrian i s a pro-test ant and a student of professor Kumpf. What further places him within the protest ant t r a d i t i o n i s his music because Mann argues: "Die Erziehung 24 der Deutschen zur Musik begann mit Martin Luther." In order to in d i c a t e the common temporal and geographical origins of humanism and protestantism i n Germany, Mann makes the medieval c i t y of Kaisers as chem the bi r t h p l a c e of 97 both Zeitblom and Adrian. H i s t o r i c a l l y , humanism was indeed i n many ways a p a r a l l e l movement t o protestantism. The humanists p a r t l y paved the way f o r Luther but few leading humanists ac t u a l l y joined protestantism. The d i s -agreement between humanists and protestants grew out of Luther's r e l i g i o u s emphasis which was a n t i t h e t i c a l to the humanists* i n t e r e s t i n i n t e l l e c t u a l , educational, s o c i a l , and p o l i t i c a l freedom. Zeitblom refers to these p r i n -c i p l e s of enlightened progress when he c a l l s himself a "Nachfahre der deut-schen Humanisten aus der Z e i t der 'Briefe der Dunkelmanner'"(p. 10). The "Men of Obscure Le t t e r s " reacted, l i k e Luther, against the suppression of the German people by Rome. But although t h e i r l e t t e r s , celebrated as the greatest s a t i r e of the time, are directed against the c a t h o l i c theologians at the University of Cologne, Hutten and Rubianus were not i n s p i r e d by r e l i -gious motives but by indignation against the Church's p o l i t i c a l power and i n -tolerance. Cooperation between the humanists and Luther ended i n mutual 25 disillusionment. Mann underlines Zeitblom's humanism above a l l by the nar-rator's i n d i f f e r e n c e to r e l i g i o n . At the University of H a l l e , Zeitblom emphasizes that "die theologische Luft mir nicht gemass, nicht geheuer war" (p. 118) and explains his a l i e n a t i o n there as follows: Ich f i i h l t e mich zu H a l l e . . . e i n wenig wie einer meiner wissen-sc h a f t l i c h e n Ahnen, Crotus Rubianus, der um 1530 zu H a l l e Canonicus war, und den Luther nicht anders als 'den Epikuraer Crotus' oder auch 'Dr. Krote, des Cardinals zu Mainz T e l l e r -lecker' nannte(p. 118). But Zeitblom's humanism i s i n r e a l i t y only a modified version of the old s p i r i t of exploration and enlightenment. Generally timid and devoid of c u r i o s i t y , Zeitblom betrays a fear of the unknown which i s a n t i t h e t i c a l to the true humanist's mind. Adrian i n s i s t s that the narrator's aversion to his own t r a v e l s i n t o space and toward the center of the earth i s reminiscent of the medieval clergyman's emphasis that man should remain ignorant: "Du s i e h s t , dein Humanismus i s t reines M i t t e l a l t e r " ( p . 364). Even the humanistic 98 t r a i t s , which Zeitblom stresses in a self-description, point toward a pale conception of the once energetic European tradition: Ich bin eine durchaus gemassigte und, ich darf wohl sagen, gesunde, human temperierte, auf das Harmonische und Ver-nilnftige gerichtete Natur, ein Gelehrter und conjuratus des 'Lateinischen Heeres', nicht ohne Beziehung zu den Schonen Kiinsten... aber ein Musensohn im akademischen Sinne des Wor-tes...(p. 10). Zeitblom depicts himself here as the typical modern German scholar who is intelligent but can neither create nor participate actively in l i f e . Proud of his quite mediocre existence, the narrator compares himself at least once favorably with Adrian: "Aber wieviel besser i s t es doch, habe ich mir oft gesagt, der Welt Vertrauen einzuf lessen, als ihre Lei dens chaf ten zu erregen.' Wieviel besser, ihr 'gut', als ihr *sch8n* zu erscheinen"(p. 388).' This "good-ness," however, i s at best self-gratifying and has no power to combat e v i l or to inspire good. Zeitblom is a helpless spectator who cannot protect his friend and country. Even in small matters, the humanist avoids any decisive action. In the case of the Rodde sisters, he insists on his position "des Dritten, des Vertrauten, des Guten, zu dem, mit dem man dartiber sprechen konnte"(p. 442). But he does nothing to prevent the two sisters' tragic fate. Moreover, through his noncommittal mediation between Adrian and Marie Godeau, Zeitblom actually helps to prepare Schwerdtfeger's death. Although Zeitblom's moral position shields him from committing e v i l , i t prevents him also from doing good and from protecting others. Zeitblom's moral passivity extends also to his p o l i t i c a l attitudes. The humanist's respect for reason and insistence on tolerance preclude an effec-tive opposition even to anti-humanistic theories. Confronted with Breisa-cher's absurd but potentially dangerous opinions, the narrator explains: Aber dem zarter empfindenden Menschen widersteht es, zu sto-ren; es widersteht ihm, mit logischen oder historischen Ge-generinnerungen in eine erarbeitete Gedankenordnung einzubre-chen, und noch im Anti-Geistigen ehrt und schont er das Geist-99 ig e , Heute sieht man wohl, dass es der Fehler unserer Z i v i l i -s a tion war, diese Schonung und diesen Respekt a l l z u hochherzig geubt zu haben,~wo s i e es doch auf der Gegenseite mit barer Frechheit und der entschlossensten Intoleranz zu tun hatte(pp. 377-78). The humanist's strength, his f a i t h i n human reason, becomes h i s weakness when faced with the i r r a t i o n a l . Mann's point i s that Germany succumbed to Nazism p r e c i s e l y because the country's humanistic forces were too weak. In t o l e r a t i n g the i r r a t i o n a l with a b l i n d f a i t h i n reason's ultimate triumph, they f a i l e d to act when there was s t i l l time. Zeitblom's weaknesses are here Mann's own. The popular argument that "Zeitblom i s t j a Manns zweites, huma-26 n i s t i s c h e s Selbst" i s at least substantiated by a cl e a r correspondence be-tween Mann's early opinions i n "Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen" and Z e i t -blom's attitude toward the F i r s t World War. What characterizes both "Be-trachtungen eines Unpolitischen" and Doktor Faustus i s the attempt t o r a t i o n -a l i z e Germany's aggressive p o l i c i e s during the early part of the twentieth-century. Like Mann as a young man, Zeitblom argues, f o r instance, that "Deutschlands sakulare Stunde geschlagen habe; dass die Geschichte i h r e Hand uber uns h a l t e ; dass nach Spanien, Frankreich, England wir an der Reihe s e i -en, der Welt unseren Stempel aufzudriicken.. ."(p. 401). The deterministic course of hist o r y w i l l thus coerce other nations i n t o voluntary submission. Zeitblom again echoes Mann when he argues t o th i s e f f e c t : Mochten die VSlkerschaften dort draussen uns fur Rechts- und FriedensstSrer, f(ir unertragliche Lebensfeinde h a l t e n , — w i r hatten die M i t t e l , die Welt auf den Kopf zu schlagen, b i s sie anderer Meinung uber uns wurde und uns nicht nur bewunderte, sondern auch liebte(pp. 401-402). Both Mann and Zeitblom l a t e r changed t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l outlook. But the expe-rience of the F i r s t World War anticipates the humanists' f a i l u r e during the Nazi period. The humanist's f a s c i n a t i o n with r a t i o n a l and abstract argument c l e a r l y induces the usually gentle Zeitblom to advocate war and destruction i n 1914. And, although l a t e r Zeitblom does not support Nazism, h i s humanism 100 immobilizes him and contributes t o i t s own defeat. The t r a g i c i n e f f i c i e n c y of the German humanist i s v i v i d l y portrayed by Zeitblom's often ignoble and r i d i c u l o u s attitude toward the Kridwiss c i r c l e . Although unnerved by the ideas c i r c u l a t i n g i n Munich, the narrator maintains an uneasy s i l e n c e . Witnessing the v i c t o r y of mass myths over parliamentary r u l e , he consoles himself with the f u t i l e hope that the t e r r i f y i n g implica-tions of the fake t r i a l w i l l never m a t e r i a l i z e : Obgleich mir unwohl war i n der Magengrube, durfte i c h nicht den Spielverderber machen und mir von Widerwillen n i c h t s an-merken iassen, sondern musste i n die allgemeine H e i t e r k e i t einstimmen, so gut es ging, zumal j a diese nicht ohne wei-teres Zustimmung, sondern, wenigstens vorderhand, nur lachend geistesfrohe Erkenntnis des Seienden oder Kommenden bedeutete (p. 488). A f r a i d to understand f u l l y what he has witnessed, he takes cowardly refuge i n s o c i a l rules of good behavior. He never voices a determined and convincing protest against the in c r e a s i n g l y more persuasive influence of Nazi ideology and, a f t e r H i t l e r seizes power, he prefers hiding t o active opposition. In-deed, Zeitblom refuses consistently to comprehend that Germany's greatness has turned completely sour. With the world crumbling around him, he s t i l l maintains some f a i t h i n Germany's e s s e n t i a l genius. Referring to Germany's invention of a new torpedo, he says: " . . . i c h kann eine gewisse Genugtuung nicht unterdrucken uber unseren immer regen Erfindungsgeist"(p. 229). He i s further proud of a "Robot-Bombe" which appears to him as a "bewunderungswiir-diges Kampfmittel, wie nur h e i l i g e Not es dem Erfinder-Genius eingeben kann" (p. 448). Zeitblom does not want to admit that Germany has completely be-trayed i t s humanistic past, and he therefore often chooses to be b l i n d to Germany's moral and i n t e l l e c t u a l depravity. But towards the end of Doktor Faustus, the collapse of Germany forces Zeitblom to confront r e a l i t y . Aside from the m i l i t a r y defeat, Zeitblom slow-ly r e a l i z e s and admits that h i s own humanistic heritage has ou t l i v e d i t s day. 101 Not only was i t helpless in the face of Nazism but the Germany that w i l l emerge after the war w i l l have severed a l l ties with i t . Zeitblom's growing uneasiness about Adrian's music suggests cleverly that the humanist is less and less capable of understanding and appreciating the world mirrored in the music. Zeitblom finally concedes that the "Apocalypse" i s "ein Erlebnis, das wohl meiner liebenden Ergebenheit fur seinen Urheber zukam, aber eigent-lich uber meine seelischen MSglichkeiten ging..."(pp. 476-77). The f u l l extent of Zeitblom's alienation from his time and country, and that country's alienation from i t s own past, i s fi n a l l y revealed when Zeitblom confesses to the "Gefiihl, dass eine Epoche sich endigte, die nicht nur das neunzehnte Jahrhundert umfasste, sondern zuriickreichte bis zum Ausgang des Mittelal-ters...kurzurn, die Epoche des burgerlichen Humanismus..."(pp. 468-69). The humanist's situation after the war is precarious and his views are antiquated and superfluous. Zeitblom therefore asks himself sadly: Werde ich wieder einer humanistischen Prima den Kulturgedanken ans Herz legen, in welchem Ehrfurcht vor den Gottheiten der Tiefe mit dem sittlichen Kult olympischer Vernunft und Klar-heit zu einer FrSmmigkeit verschmilzt? Aber ach, ich furchte, in dieser wilden Dekade i s t ein Geschlecht herangewachsen, das meine Sprache so wenig versteht wie ich die seine, ich furchte, die Jugend meines Landes i s t mir zu fremd geworden, als dass ich ihr Lehrer noch sein kSnnte.,.(p. 669). Zeitblom's ina b i l i t y to understand the new age suggests that his appreciation of Adrian's music and psyche are necessarily limited. His evaluative state-ments are always colored by his own ironic situation, so that Adrian appears in an ambivalent light. Although Zeitblom often censures Adrian's amorality, his own cowardice and inefficiency tend to undermine his criticism of the composer. In Under Western Eyes, the dichotomy between East and West is both geo-graphical and ideological. Stretching to the east of Europe, Russia's immen-sity implicitly always contributes to the narrator's ina b i l i t y to understand 102 the country's enigmatic nature. I d e o l o g i c a l l y , Russia's long h i s t o r y of autocracy i s obviously a n t i t h e t i c a l to the language teacher's l i b e r a l t r a -d i t i o n . The hero's story i n both Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes i s thus t o l d by a narrator who i s by temperament and t r a d i t i o n very d i f f e r e n t from him. The s i m i l a r i t y between the two narrators, however, i s astonishing and begins with t h e i r r a t i o n a l and scholarly attitude to l i f e . Like Zeitblom, the language teacher also stresses his own mediocrity: "My physiognomy has never been expressive, I b e l i e v e , and as to my years I am not ancient enough as yet t o be s t r i k i n g l y decrepit....I am o l d , a l a s , i n a b r i s k , commonplace way"(p. 143). This modest s e l f - a p p r a i s a l underlines the language teacher's role as a passive spectator and suggests that he plays the narrator's part in much the same way as Zeitblom. In spite of the language teacher's p a s s i v i t y , the Russian drama comes to l i f e only through his Western consciousness. In h i s eyes, Russia i s simple and mystical whereas the West i s sophisticated and r a t i o n a l . The narrator often draws attention to t h i s dichotomy between East and West. Watching Ma-dame de S- and Peter Ivanovitch pass by i n an open carriage, the language teacher remarks: But i t i s a vain enterprise for sophisticated Europe to try and understand these doings.... t h i s quaint display might have pos-sessed a mystic s i g n i f i c a n c e , but to the corrupt f r i v o l i t y of a Western mind, l i k e my own, i t seemed hardly decent(p. 126). The narrator i s often contemptuous of Russia's mystical and emotional essence. With a f e e l i n g of Western s u p e r i o r i t y , he observes about Haldin's revolution-ary z e a l : "To us Europeans of the West, a l l ideas of p o l i t i c a l p l o t s and con-sp i r a c i e s seem c h i l d i s h , crude inventions f o r the theatre or a novel"(p. 109). S i m i l a r l y , he characterizes Natalia's conviction that "something quite d i f -ferent" than a Western type of compromise w i l l come out of Russia as absurdly Russian: "That propensity of l i f t i n g every problem from the plane of the 103 understandable by means of sowe sort of mystical expression, i s very Russian 1 (p. 104). What disturbs the narrator's Western s e n s i b i l i t i e s irost, however, i s Russia's c y n i c a l contempt for l i f e : 1 suppose one must be a Russian to understand Russian s i m p l i c -i t y , a t e r r i b l e corroding s i m p l i c i t y i n which mystic phrases clothe a naive and hopeless cynicism. T think sometimes that the psychological secret of the profound d i f f e r e n c e of that people consists i n t h i s , that they detest l i f e , the irremedi-able l i f e of the earth as i t i s , whereas we westerners cherish i t with perhaps an eoual exaggeration of i t s sentimental value (p. 104). The key word "cynicism" i s in another context c a l l e d "the mark of Russian autocracy and of Russian r e v o l t " ( p . 67) and obviously represents a summary d e f i n i t i o n of Russia as such. The Russians i n Under Western Eyes, with the possible exception of Haldin, N a t a l i a , and Sophia Antonovna, are indeed a l l cynics. The revolutionaries are power-hungry opportunists and moral n i h i l -i s t s , whereas the autocrats are scrupulously e x p l o i t i n g Razumov and each other. Mikulin's acceptance of an unjust sentence, f o r instance, t e s t i f i e s v i v i d l y t o a scorn f o r l i f e and t o the n i h i l i s t i c conviction that nothing matters. And Razumov himself, of course, i s a cynic whose lack of moral and i d e o l o g i c a l p r i n c i p l e s induces him to act as a double agent. Judged from h i s VJestern standards, the language teacher's assessment of Russia i s undoubtedly r i g h t . But the language teacher's Western s o p h i s t i c a t i o n i s also a curse. Tt puts him at a disadvantage for i t does not allow him to penetrate the deeper essence of Russia. Tn his capacity as narrator, he feels therefore compelled to apologize f o r his shortcomings as an observer of things Russian by saying: " . . . f o r t h i s i s a Russian story for Western ears, which...are not attuned to certain tones of cynicism and c r u e l t y , of moral negation, and even moral d i s -tress already silenced at our end of Europe"(pp, 163-64). Although the lan-guage teacher maintains a conscious distance between himself and things Rus-104 sian, he is nevertheless disturbed by his lack of understanding. He con-sequently often regrets his alienation by lamenting that the "Difference of nationality i s a terrible obstacle for our complex Western natures"(p. 116). Frustrated by his inadequacy as an observer, he describes himself as M a traveller in a strange country"(p. 169) and a "disregarded Westerner"(p. 329). The world he describes i s , in fact, so totally different from his own that he imagines himself "altogether out of i t , on another plane"(p. 170). The strange and disturbing discoveries he makes in Geneva often confound him, so that, when he is unexpectedly confronted with Razumov's "expression of a somnambulist," he ruefully admits that "The Westerner in me was discomposed" (p. 317). Indeed, even his most personal relationships are impaired by the difference of nationality. Delivering the sad news about Haldin's death, the language teacher realizes that his Western mind cannot form an exact concep-tion of the tragedy that has aff l i c t e d his two friends: I confess that my very real sympathy had no standpoint....It was, i f I may say so, the want of experience... .But the grief I had brought to these two ladies had gruesome associations. It had the associations of bombs and gallows—a luri d , Russian colouring which made the complexion of my sympathy uncertain (p. 112). Communication between East and West always takes place on different wave lengths so that the apparent agreement between the language teacher and Razumov about Russia being "under a curse"(p. 194) does not have the same meaning for both. The language teacher draws attention to the illusory na-ture of this agreement when he contends that i t did not make Razumov "less enigmatical in the least"(p. 194). Although the Western mind can analyze the surface truths of things Russian, i t cannot grasp the hidden meanings. This is most vividly brought home when Natalia complains: "The English press is wonderful. Nothing can be kept secret from i t , and a l l the world must hear. Only our Russian news i s not always easy to understand"(p. 114). Factual 105 knowledge, on which Western s o p h i s t i c a t i o n prides i t s e l f , i s i n Under Western  Eyes shown to be quite inadequate. The language teacher's decision t o be a mere observer i s therefore not only his choice but a l s o imposed on him by circumstances. Aside from h i s i n a b i l i t y to cope with things Russian, he i s also helpless and superfluous: Removed by the d i f f e r e n c e of age and n a t i o n a l i t y as i f i n t o the sphere of another existence, I produced, even upon myself, the e f f e c t of a dumb helpless ghost, of an anxious immaterial thing that could only hover about without the power to protect or guide by as much as a whisper(p. 126). But, i n spite of his shortcomings, the language teacher i s an important pres-ence i n Under Western Eyes. Through him, at least part of Russia's essence can be tr a n s l a t e d i n t o Western concepts. Obviously cast as a mediator be-tween East and West, he sees himself in t h i s role when he says about the ac-c i d e n t a l discovery he and N a t a l i a make of a c o n s p i r a t o r i a l meeting: "I thought that the old, s e t t l e d Europe had been given i n my person attending that Russian g i r l something l i k e a glimpse behind the scenes"(p. 330). Con-rad obviously e x p l o i t s the language teacher's i n e v i t a b l e l i m i t a t i o n s to pro-duce a r e a l i s t i c p i c t u r e of a country whose p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n i s extremely complex. The complexity of the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n i n Under Western Eyes i s further stressed by the language teacher's gradual r e a l i z a t i o n that h i s own p o l i t i c a l t r a d i t i o n i s suspect. The narrator's i n i t i a l feelings of s u p e r i -o r i t y slowly erode u n t i l he awakens to the weaknesses of democracy. This awakening manifests i t s e l f through an attitude toward Switzerland which i s very s i m i l a r to Razumov's. Struck by the s t e r i l i t y and dullness hovering over Geneva, the n a r r a t o r observes about a place where N a t a l i a and Razumov are to meet: I t was here, then, I thought, looking round at that p l o t of ground of deplorable b a n a l i t y , that t h e i r acquaintance w i l l begin and go on i n the exchange of generous indignations 106 and of extreme sentiments, too poignant, perhaps for a non-Russian mind to conceive(p. 175). Geneva appears to the language teacher as a "town of prosaic virtues and universal hospitality"(p. 336) which is "indifferent and hospitable in i t s cold, almost scornful, toleration—a respectable town of refuge to which a l l these sorrows and hopes were nothing"(p. 338). The "desolation of slumbering respectability"(p. 335) is further accentuated by the Swiss couple "whose fate was made secure from the cradle to the grave"(p. 175). The language teacher's criticism of Geneva clearly echoes statements about the levelling effects of democracy in Conrad's letters. Conrad always fel t acutely that the price for democracy would be cultural mediocrity. This, however, does not mean that he was contemptuous of liberalism. On the contrary, Conrad is known for his fondness for England's freedom. It must be remembered that Under Western Eyes is a novel about Russia and not about the West. The West-ern standards are solely evoked in order to illuminate the exceptional nature of Russia. Extremely careful to assess Russia f a i r l y , Conrad consciously stresses the weaknesses of Western liberalism so as to emphasize the strengths of the East. Western sophistication not only makes i t d i f f i c u l t to understand Adrian's or Razumov's world but i t also complicates the simple task of communicating through words. Possibly influenced by Nietzsche, both Mann and Conrad were highly sceptical of language. They were not alone in this attitude and at the beginning of the twentieth-century Ferdinand de Saussure verbalized what many writers and thinkers had felt before him. De Saussure argues that "the linguistic sign is arbitrary," that i s , that "The bond between the si g n i f i e r 27 and the signified is arbitrary." It follows from de Saussure's discovery that language can never be but only imitate the reality i t denotes. Language is therefore always more or less a r t i f i c i a l and the literary work i s always 107 a f i c t i o n . Aside from the a l i e n world confronting them, Zeitblom and the language teacher are also faced with the problem of t r a n s l a t i n g any kind of experience i n t o words. Convinced that l i f e has higher claims than a r t , they deplore the necessity of an a r t i s t i c medium and d i s c l a i m a l l aesthetic i n -tentions. Zeitblom i s a man who i s devoted to l i f e and who despises a l l a r t i f i c e . The necessity of organizing Adrian's l i f e i n t o an a r t i s t i c composition d i s -tresses him and he therefore prefers the more objective form of the biography to the novel. He believes that the requisites of art i n t e r f e r e with h i s task and f a l s i f y h i s message. Uneasiness and discomfort consequently domi-nate his attitude to w r i t i n g : Fur einen Menschen wie mich i s t es sehr schwer und mutet ihn fast wie F r i v o l i t S t an, zu einem Gegenstand, der ihm lebens-teuer i s t und ihm auf den NSgeln brennt wie d i e s e r , den Stand-punkt des komponierenden Kvinstlers einzunehmen und ihn mit der spielenden Besonnenheit eines solchen zu bewirtschaften (P. 11). The same f e e l i n g about the indirectness and i n a u t h e n t i c i t y of art i s l a t e r r e i t e r a t e d when Zeitblom fears that h i s deep love f o r Adrian might i n t e r f e r e with aesthetic demands: Mein Gegenstand steht mir zu nahe. Allzusehr f e h l t es h i e r wohl uberhaupt an dem Gegensatz, dem blossen Unterschied von S t o f f und Gestalter. Habe i c h nicht mehr als einmal gesagt, dass das Leben, von dem i c h handle, mir naher, teu r e r , er-regender war als mein eigenes? Das NMchste, Erregendste, Eigenste i s t kein ' S t o f f ; es i s t die Person—und nicht da-nach an pet an, eine kiinstlerische Gliederung von i h r zu empfangen(p. 235). What disturbs Zeitblom i s the need t o plan and organize h i s m a t e r i a l . He yearns for the i l l u s i o n , popularized by the Romantics, that the work of art i s not created but creates i t s e l f . The a r t i s t i s i n the Romantic view only an i n s p i r e d t o o l . But h i g h l y self-conscious about h i s part as a r t i s t , Z e i t -blom asks himself i f he i s "der rechte Mann"(p. 9) and wonders "ob i c h mich zu der h i e r i n A n g r i f f genommenen Aufgabe e i g e n t l i c h berufen fuhlen darf" 108 (p. 10). The self-doubts and the lack of confidence i n a r t , growing out of Zeitblom's conventional misconceptions about the nature of f i c t i o n , are of course used p a r o d i c a l l y . Hans Eichner points to t h i s when he remarks: I t w i l l be remembered that i n the pages of t h i s novel the charge i s l e v e l l e d against the bourgeois work of art that i t purports to have come i n t o being of i t s own accord, to be 'nicht gemacht, sondern entstanden', whereas i t i s r e a l -ly 'Arbeit, Kunstarbeit zum Zweck des Scheins',28 Zeitblom's timid approach to writing heightens, by contrast, Adrian's dar-ing aesthetic experiments. Where Zeitblom reverts to a l o s t innocence, Adrian presses forward toward a new innocence that w i l l grow out of height-ened self-consciousness. Zeitblom's h o s t i l i t y toward art reasserts i t s e l f throughout Doktor Faustus. He wants to depict l i f e d i r e c t l y and without d i s t o r t i o n s . I n s i s t -ing on the biographer's right "die Dinge unmittelbar bei Namen zu nennen" (p. 393), he resorts t o the most objective method of presentation p o s s i b l e . Zeitblom does not b e l i e v e that the truth about Adrian can be discovered from the outside. He wants t o give an inner p o r t r a i t of the composer and t o t h i s end he recounts i n what way and t o what purpose Adrian became f a m i l i a r with the influences which have shaped him. I d e a l l y , Zeitblom would l i k e to i n -clude every d e t a i l of Adrian's l i f e . But the task at hand forces him to select h i s b i o g r a p h i c a l material from the facts surrounding Adrian. The process of s e l e c t i o n obviously f r u s t r a t e s the i d e a l conception of an objective and d i r e c t presentation. In s p i t e of t h i s , Zeitblom r e s i s t s , at least ver-b a l l y , the temptations of f i c t i o n . This resistance i s evident when he states emphatically: "Dies i s t kein Roman, bei dessen Komposition der Autor die Herzen seiner Personnagen dem Leser i n d i r e k t , durch szenische Darstellung er-s c h l i e s s t " ( p . 393). Aside from dramatizations, Zeitblom considers n a r r a t i v e omniscience p a r t i c u l a r l y a r t i f i c i a l and fraudulent: "Nochmals, i c h schreibe keinen Roman und s p i e l e n i c h t allwissende Autoreneinsicht i n die dramatischen 109 Phasen einer intimen, den Augen der Welt entzogenen Entwicklung vor"(p. 439). But t h i s h o s t i l i t y toward f i c t i o n i s not convincing. There i s a disturbing discrepancy between Zeitblom's verbal assertions and the actual w r i t i n g of Doktor Faustus. The temptation to equate Zeitblom with Mann as the creator of the novel i s , of course, dangerous. Doktor Faustus i s ultimately w ritten by the author and often his p a r t i c u l a r narrative technique forces him to compromise h i s n a r r a t o r . When Feuerlicht c r i t i c i z e s Zeitblom's unaccounted 29 for knowledge of the content of a l e t t e r , he f a i l s t o point out that t h i s i s not so much Zeitblom's as Mann's shortcoming. Nevertheless, the reader wants to protest against Zeitblom's a n t i - f i c t i o n statements because the text i s ostensibly w ritten by the narrator. Moreover, Zeitblom occasionally be-trays an e x p l i c i t concern f o r aesthetic form. A n t i c i p a t i n g the t e r r i f y i n g things to come, f o r instance, he appeals to the Muses: "Mir i s t , als s o l l t e i c h Apollon und die Musen anrufen, dass s i e mir bei der M i t t e i l u n g jenes Ge-schehnisses die lauter s t e n , schonendsten Worte eingeben m8gen"(p. 204). Z e i t -blom's h o s t i l i t y toward f i c t i o n i s above a l l a manifestation of the acute i n -security he experiences toward language and i t s highly s u b i e c t i v e nature. Zeitblom's f r u s t r a t i o n with language i s undoubtedly caused or at least accentuated by the incomprehensible world he describes. Aside from Z e i t -blom's emotional a l i e n a t i o n , Mann underlines the inadequacy of the humanistic t r a d i t i o n i n twentieth-century Germany when he parodies Zeitblom's humanistic s t y l e . The narrator's use of a r t i s t i c conventions, popularized e s p e c i a l l y by Goethe, creates a tension between form and content which i s p a r t i c u l a r l y con-ducive to parody. According t o Niindel, t h i s divergence i s indeed the very content of parody: "So wird das gewollte MissverhSltnis zwischen Form und 30 Inhalt der ei g e n t l i c h e Inhalt der Parodie." That Goethe's s t y l e , the c u l -mination of the humanistic t r a d i t i o n , should be the subject of Mann's parody i s , of course, not s u r p r i s i n g . This does not mean that Mann di d not appre-110 c i a t e Goethe. Tynjanov r i g h t l y observes i n the essay "Dostoevsky und Gogol Zur Theorie der Parodie" that parodies of a work "gehen Seite an Seite mit 31 ih r e r hohen WertschStzung." Mann simply indicates that Goethe's world i s irrevocably l o s t . The most i n t e r e s t i n g discussion of Mann's Goethe parody : perhaps Eichner's "Aspects of Parody in the Works of Thomas Mann." Eichner shows, for instance, that the p a r o d i s t i c i n t e n t i o n i n Doktor Faustus i s cle from the beginning: ...the f i r s t page i s once more designed to bring the p a r o d i s t i c intentions of the novel home to any but the d u l l e s t reader: Zeitblom loses himself in a maze of i n t e r j e c t i o n s and s u b s i d i -ary clauses and has t o repeat part of h i s sentence before he can bring i t to an end. 3^ The parody i s maintained r e l e n t l e s s l y throughout the novel. E s p e c i a l l y the many references t o " a r t i s t i s c h e r Verfehlung und Unbeherrschtheit"(p. 11), to the "Fehler des Vorgreifens"(p. 14), to an "Abschweifunp"(p. 40) and "Un-regelmassigkeiten"(p. 41), and to a "'fehlerhaften' Vortragstechnik"(p. 380) are undoubtedly p a r o d i s t i c in intention. Zeitblom's self-conscious use of chapter d i v i s i o n s i s , according to Eichner, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n d i c a t i v e of the Goethe parody: Another connexion i n which Mann adopts in a s p i r i t of parody Goethe's habit of e x p l i c i t l y commenting on h i s own methods i s the d i v i s i o n of his story into chapters. Zeitblom feels that no chapter should exceed a certain length, so as not to t i r e the reader, but holds that every chapter should be homo-geneous i n i t s subject-matter and deal with i t completely— c o n f l i c t i n g demands which he i s quite unable to resolve. 3 3 Zeitblom's constant apologies for his inadequacies as a w r i t e r serve not only the purpose of parody but often draw attention t o apparently i n s i g n i f i c a n t episodes. In one instance, Zeitblom dismisses the observation about Ines' behavior toward Schwerdtfeger as "Quisquilien und Kriimel-Abfalle meiner Be-obachtung"(p. 397). But the very attempt to make the observation look as i f i t had been included by mistake a l e r t s the reader to the importance of the 35 sub-plot. Indeed, as Eichner puts i t , Zeitblom c l e a r l y "protests too much." I l l Zeitblom's lack of confidence in the linguistic medium is understandable once the portrayal of language in Doktor Faustus is analyzed. Usually lan-guage is compared to music, and i t appears that although i t lacks the direct appeal of music, i t i s better suited for normal communication. The inade-quacies of language are particularly prominent when dealing with the non-rational. Zeitblom's d i f f i c u l t i e s are at their peak when he tries to convey either Adrian's music or demonism. Indeed, Zeitblom agrees with Adrian "dass es in der Nusik.. .Dinge gibt, fiir die im ganzen Bereich der Sprache beim besten Willen kein wirklich charakterisierendes Beiwort, auch keine Kombina-tion von Beiworten aufzutreiben ist"(p. 213). Similarly, the essence of h e l l escapes the grasp of words so that even the devil is unable to describe i t : .. .eigentlich kann man iiberhaupt und ganz und gar nicht da-von reden, weil sich das Eigentliche mit den Worten nicht deckt; man mag v i e l Worte brauchen und raachen, aber a l l e -samt sind sie nur stellvertretend, stehen fur Namen, die es nicht gibt, kSnnen nicht den Anspruch erheben, das zu be-zeichnen, was nimmermehr zu bezeichnen und in Worten zu de-nunzieren ist(p. 326). The example of hell's resistance to linguistic categories demonstrates a truth about language in general. Words are never more than symbolic imita-tions of objects as such. The act of naming cannot evoke the "Ding an sich" and this is true of a table as much as i t is of h e l l . Zeitblom experiences the inadequacy of language particularly when he f a i l s to convey an exact image of Echo and complains: "Wie viele Schriftsteller vor mir schon mogen die Untauglichkeit der Sprache beseufzt haben, Sichtbarkeit zu erreichen, ein wirklich genaues Bi l d des Individuellen hervorzubringen"(p. 612)1 Zeit-blom's complaint indicates, moreover, that, in addition to the arbitrary nature of the linguistic sign, linguistic conventions frustrate the use of words in an original way. The dependence on words imposes therefore a s e r i -ous limitation on the imagination. 112 But is music then superior to language? Although the immediacy of music is certainly preferable to the indirectness of language, music is un-fortunately ambiguous and vague. Adrian therefore dreams of combining lan-guage and music in a "Wort-Ton-Werk"(p. 217) which would be superior to either of i t s constituent parts. The "Wort-Ton-Werk" is in Adrian's opinion only the reconstruction of an already existing, intimate connexion: Musik und Sprache.,.gehBrten zusammen, sie seien im Grunde eins, die Sprache Musik, die Musik eine Sprache, und getrennt berufe immer das eine sich auf das andere, ahme das andere nach, bediene sich der Mittel des anderen, gebe immer das e i -ne sich als das Substitut des anderen zu verstehen(p. 217). It is significant that Adrian's ideal of the "Wort-Ton-Werk" is never success-fully realized. In "Dr. Fausti Weheklage," articulate speech is conspicuous-ly lacking and the human voice as such i s unnatural and inhuman. Zeitblom describes the echo effect as "das Zuriickgeben des Menschenlautes als Natur-laut"(p. 644), draws attention to the replacement of the earlier "Engelskin-der-Chor" by "HollengelSchter"(p. 645), and portrays the lament as an example "des Ausdrucks in seiner Erst- und Urerscheinung"(p. 647). "Dr. Fausti Wehe-klage" obviously represents a return to pre-lingual expressions and as such i t parallels the Kridwiss circle's contention that modern abstract language ought to return to "den Wortschriften der Urv81ker"(p. 490). Zeitblom's reaction to the Kridwiss argument anticipates what "Dr. Fausti Weheklage" ultimately achieves: "Wozu uberhaupt Wdrter, wozu Schreiben, wozu Sprache? Radikale Sachlichkeit miisste sich an die Dinge halten, an diese allein"(p. 490). Adrian's attempt to merge language and music has thus ended with the unequivocal triumph of inarticulate music for i t alone can grasp the "Ding an sich." Language is not only a problem because i t cannot cope with the essence of things but also because i t is often not equivocal enough. Its shortcoming is that i t misrepresents reality without, however, being able to suggest the 113 truth ambiguously like music. Adrian tries to circumvent the merciless power of language to expose the truth by resorting to an archaic language whose sound pattern i s musical and whose vocabulary is no longer immediately recognized. Archaic language is used whenever Adrian confesses a decisive step towards the demonic. It is therefore prominent in Adrian's letter to Kretschmar about the decision to make music his career, i n the letter to Zeitblom about the brothel incident, in the document about the dialogue with the devil, and in the confession delivered at Pfeiffering. Although the ar-chaic language s t i l l communicates the intended meaning, i t s unconventionality minimizes the impact of the terrible disclosures. Related to the use of ar-chaisms is also Adrian's slurred speech. Zeitblom suspects that, although Adrian's speech d i f f i c u l t y is related to his il l n e s s , he accentuates i t in order to confound his listeners: ...aber andererseits hatte ich zuweilen den Eindruck, dass er sich der Hemmung geradezu bediente, und sich in ihr g e f i e l , um auf eine gewisse nicht ganz ausgebildete, nur halb zum Ver-standenwerden bestimmte Weise, wie aus dem Traume redend, Dinge zu sagen, fur die ihm diese Mitteilungs art passend schien(pp. 456-57). Zeitblom himself is often afraid of the outspokenness of plain language. But instead of resorting to a subterfuge like Adrian, he chooses silence. Having read in Adrian's eyes that he had premeditated Schwerdtfeger's murder, Zeit-blom decides that the terrible truth "in Stummheit verharren m8ge, da ich nicht der Mann bin, ihr Worte zu geben"(p. 587). The undesirability of lan-guage's revelatory power, however, is best demonstrated by Zeitblom's reaction to Adrian's confession at Pfeiffering. Pained by the shocking admissions, Zeitblom hopes that Adrian w i l l let the piano communicate what is too poig-nant for words: Nie hatte ich starker den Vorteil der Musik, die nichts und alles sagt, vor der Eindeutigkeit des Wortes empfunden, j a , die schiitzende Unverbindlichkeit der Kunst iiberhaupt, im 114 Vergleich mit der blossstellenden Krudheit des uniiber-tragenen Gestandnisses(p. 659). The shortcomings of language in Doktor Faustus are c l e a r l y contradictory. Zeitblom is f r u s t r a t e d because words are never what they name and because they name too w e l l what would be t t e r remain hidden. The p h i l o l o g i s t Zeitblom and the language teacher share an i n t e r e s t i n language which i s scholarly rather than a r t i s t i c , and they are both s c e p t i c a l of f i c t i o n . Zeitblom i n s i s t s that he i s an unimaginative biographer and the language teacher protests that he is not a n o v e l i s t . Already the f i r s t sen-tence of Under Western Eyes introduces the language teacher's preoccupation with the n a r r a t i v e process: To begin with I wish to disclaim the possession of those high g i f t s of imagination and expression which would have enabled my pen to create for the reader the personality of the man who c a l l e d himself, a f t e r the Russian custom, C y r i l son of I s i d o r — K i r y l o Sidorovitch—Pazumov(p. 3). Although Under Western Eyes i s not ca l l e d a biography, i t has many character-i s t i c s of this genre. The introductory sentence makes i t clear that the story concentrates on the l i f e of a p a r t i c u l a r young Russian. What d i f f e r -entiates Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes i s that Zeitblom t e l l s Adrian's l i f e from beginning to end, whereas the language teacher r e s t r i c t s the ac-count of Pazumov's l i f e to a r e l a t i v e l y short period. But i n s p i t e of the limited scope, Razumov's story i s recorded i n a biographical fashion. The lan-guage teacher often uses various kinds of documents and r e l i e s otherwise on his or other people's eye-witness accounts. The form of the biography appears best suited to the language teacher's p r a c t i c a l and unadventurous attitud e to w r i t i n g . He i s consciously maintaining the image of a c a r e f u l and responsible reporter of facts and says about Razumov: "Even to invent the mere bald facts of his l i f e would have been u t t e r l y beyond my powers"(p. 3). The motivation for w r i t i n g Under Western Eyes has not been di c t a t e d by aesthetic 115 considerations but by inner compulsion. The language teacher s p e c i f i c a l l y i n s i s t s : But t h i s i s not a work of imagination; I have no t a l e n t ; my excuse for t h i s undertaking l i e s not in i t s a r t , but i n i t s artlessness. Aware of my li m i t a t i o n s and strong i n the s i n -c e r i t y of my purpose, I would not t r y (were I able) t o invent anything. I push my scruples so far that I would not even i n -vent a t r a n s i t i o n ( p . 100). In order to give more weight to his bias against f i c t i o n , the language teach-er constantly draws attention t o his d e f i c i e n c i e s as a w r i t e r . He apologizes, for instance, f o r a digression(p. 4) and groans under the " d i f f i c u l t y of the task"(p. 66). At the same time he i s ca r e f u l to safeguard himself against charges of a r t i s t i c l i b e r t y . J u s t i f y i n g h i s knowledge of Madame de S-'s past, he defends himself: Wonder may be expressed at a man i n the p o s i t i o n of a teacher of languages knowing a l l this with such definiteness. A nov-e l i s t says t h i s and that of his personages, and i f only he knows how to say i t earnestly enough he may not be questioned upon the inventions of his brain i n which his own b e l i e f i s made s u f f i c i e n t l y manifest by a t e l l i n g phrase, a p o e t i c image, the accent of emotion. Art i s great.' But I have no a r t , and not having invented Madame de S-, I f e e l bound to explain how I came to know so much about her(p. 162). The fear of being mistaken f o r an omniscient consciousness i s perhaps equal-led by the dread of being accused of over-dramatizing events. This explains why he says about the v i v i d representation of Natalia's v i s i t t o the Chfteau Borel: "The above r e l a t i o n i s founded on her n a r r a t i v e , which I have not so much dramatized as might be supposed"(p. 161). But, as in the case of Z e i t -blom, the narrator, who claims to be an enemy of f i c t i o n , apparently writes an a e s t h e t i c a l l y highly successful novel. And, as we have already seen with Doktor Faustus, the narrator should not be confused with the author. I t i s not the language teacher but Conrad who e d i t s the diary and who dramatizes Razumov's experience of going deaf. Although the discrepancies between the narrator's assertions and the text he writes are undoubtedly d i s t u r b i n g , i t 116 i s an unavoidable t e c h n i c a l flaw which should not be taken too s e r i o u s l y . As in Doktor Faustus, the narrator's uneasiness about w r i t i n g betrays the author's scepticism towards language. Conrad's pri v a t e correspondence abounds i n complaints about the opacity and inadequacy of words, and Under  Western Eyes provides a serious i n v e s t i g a t i o n i n t o the nature of language. Conrad i s p a r t i c u l a r l y interested in the r e l a t i o n s h i p between p o l i t i c a l r h e t o r i c and action. In a p o l i t i c a l context, words are expected t o prepare men for e f f e c t i v e protest and a decisive involvement towards changing the e x i s t i n g order. But in the Russia of Under Western Eyes, words are merely a substitute for action. Among the re v o l u t i o n a r i e s , only Haldin acts success-f u l l y . The others are i n a c t i v e and even Sophia Antonovna's "true s p i r i t of destructive revolution" i s encumbered by " r h e t o r i c , mysticism, and theories" (p. 261). Peter Ivanovitch represents a t y p i c a l example of the Russian's p r e d i l e c t i o n f o r empty r h e t o r i c . In a comment about the "chasm between the past and the future" i n Russia, he t h e o r e t i c a l l y advocates action: "...whole cartloads of words and theories could never f i l l that chasm. No meditation was necessary. A s a c r i f i c e of many l i v e s could alone..."(p. 212). But we know that Peter Ivanovitch w i l l continue to write and speak without ever f o l -lowing up h i s theories i n a r e a l s i t u a t i o n . The r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s ' feeble e f -fort to transform r h e t o r i c into action, the p l o t f o r an u p r i s i n g i n the B a l t i c provinces, i s an empty gesture which i s doomed to f a i l . The language teacher attributes such i n e f f i c i e n c i e s to the Russian's strange love of words: What roust remain s t r i k i n g to a teacher of languages i s the Russians' extraordinary love of words. They gather them up; they cherish them, but they don't hoard them i n t h e i r b reasts; on the contrary, they are always ready to pour them out by the hour or by the night with an enthusiasm, a sweeping abun-dance, with such an aptness of application sometimes that , as i n the case of very accomplished parrots, one can't defend oneself from the suspicion that they r e a l l y understand what they say(p. 4). 117 The sound and texture of words i s more important to the Russian than t h e i r meaning. He uses words t o conceal his i n a b i l i t v to perform e f f e c t i v e l y so that messianic r h e t o r i c s a t i s f i e s his expectations more r e a d i l y than action. Moreover, the i l l u s i o n of a bet t e r future can be maintained only through r h e t o r i c ; any attempt to achieve messianic hopes r e a l i s t i c a l l y must always lead to disillusionment. In Russia, r h e t o r i c i s a contageous disease. Razumov's development in Under Western Eyes ends with a conversion to r h e t o r i c . As a student, Razumov i s a man of few words who believes that success i s de-termined by a steady l i f e of small actions. But, as a b l i n d c r i p p l e , he i s immobilized and admired f o r his a b i l i t y to use words: "He i s i n t e l l i g e n t . He has ideas...He t a l k s w e l l too"(p. 379). Conrad seems to in d i c a t e here that p o l i t i c a l chaos must perhaps be expected i n a country where r h e t o r i c re-presents a s a t i s f a c t o r y substitute for action. Although i n Russia r h e t o r i c i s not followed by conclusive acti o n , i n Under Western Eyes words often have an active power which i s e i t h e r appeasing or disturbing. In an attempt to explain the "mysterious impulse of human nature"(p. 5), which motivated Razumov's diary, the language teacher construes the theory that the Russian was compelled by the "wonderful soothing power i n mere words"(p. 5). The narrator also understands that Razumov seeks a meas-ure of peace by t a l k i n g with Mikulin who "was the only person on earth with whom Razumov could t a l k , taking the Haldin adventure f o r granted. And Haldin, when once taken f o r granted, was no longer a haunting, falsehood-breeding spectre"(p. 304). The a r t i c u l a t i o n of suppressed horrors obviously provides some emotional r e l i e f . The same i s again emphasized when Razumov, tormented by g u i l t feelings about the Ziemianitch incid e n t , takes a "savage delight i n the loud utterance of that name"(p. 274). But although words can i n fact ease the pains of existence, they can also aggravate them. Because of t h e i r association with the Haldin episode, words l i k e " betrayal," "suspect," and 118 "confidence" haunt Razumov, When Haldin, for instance, speaks of h i s con-fidence in Razumov, we are t o l d that "This word sealed Razumov's l i p s as i f a hand had been clapped on h i s mouth"(p. 19). The t e r r i f y i n g power of words, however, i s perhaps best i l l u s t r a t e d in Razumov's i n a b i l i t y t o forget the conversation with Haldin: "Every word uttered by Haldin l i v e d i n Razumov's memory. They were l i k e haunting shapes; they could not be exorcized"(p. 167). Words not only t e r r i f y but are even an incitement t o e v i l . Speaking t o Nat-a l i a , Razumov explains that the language teacher's favorable c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the g i r l gave him e v i l ideas: "He talked of you, of your lonely, helpless state,and every word of that f r i e n d of yours was egging me on t o the unpar-donable s i n of s t e a l i n g a soul"(pp. 359-60). Although language may function as a substitute f o r a c t i o n , i t i s nevertheless endowed with various active powers of i t s own. The primary function of language, however, i s t o communicate. In Under  Western Eyes, language i s often misleading and inadequate. Razumov's aston-ishing success i n Geneva, f o r instance, i s due e n t i r e l y t o the ambiguity of words. He does not have to construct a network of l i e s because the revolu-t i o n a r i e s misconstrue both h i s words and gestures i n h i s favor. Indeed, Razumov says nothing "that was not s t r i c t l y true"(p. 71) but encourages the misconceptions about himself e i t h e r through sil e n c e or through double mean-ings. He i s p a r t i c u l a r l y pleased about his successful manipulation of the i n t e l l i g e n t Sophia Antonovna: " I t gave him a f e e l i n g of triumphant pleasure to deceive her out of her own mouth. The epigrammatic saying that speech has been given us for the purpose of concealing our thoughts came i n t o h i s mind"(p. 261). But the uncertain ground on which h i s safety rests troubles him, and he mistrusts language which might at any time turn around and betray htm. He i s in fact unnecessarily worried by the mistaken b e l i e f that "he i s 35 being mistrusted, when i n fact he i s only being misunderstood." Razumov's 119 experience of the ambiguity of words i s p a r a l l e l e d by the language teacher's r e a l i z a t i o n that the essence of Russia cannot be captured through language. Language, or rather speech, i s a convention which i s based on a s o c i a l agree-ment about the meaning of given words. But speech i s also an i n d i v i d u a l act and therefore often ignores the l i n g u i s t i c conventions. The inadequacies caused by the conventional nature of language are n a t u r a l l y accentuated when a b a r r i e r of n a t i o n a l i t y intervenes. The language teacher's i n a b i l i t y to understand Russia can therefore p a r t l y be blamed on the s o c i a l l y and l i n g u i s -t i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t conventions operative i n the East. Reacting t o Natalia's idea of Russia's future, the language teacher says: I suppose.. .you w i l l be shocked i f I t e l l you that I haven't understood—I won't say a s i n g l e word; I've understood a l l the words....But what can be this era of disembodied concord you are looking forward to(p, 106). The d i f f i c u l t i e s of operating within a foreign l i n g u i s t i c convention are the same for other semiotic systems. In Under Western Eyes t Conrad uses gestures and f a c i a l expressions i n order t o demonstrate further the a r b i t r a r y nature of a l l signs. The r e a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of Razumov's suspicious behavior and sullen appearance i s missed by the revolutionaries and the language teacher because they interpret them according to preconceived, conventional notions. Although Sophia Antonovna perceives that Razumov's v i o l e n t reaction to Nik-i t a ' s words "had some meaning," her already formed opinion about Razumov makes i t impossible f o r her t o "get at the heart of that outburst"(p. 269). S i m i l a r l y , the language teacher f a i l s to see the truth because he makes Razumov's behavior conform to his idea of a young Russian revolutionary. Not only language but other means of communication now reveal themselves as decep-tiv e and ambiguous. But the ambiguity of language i s most disturbing to the narrator because, i t prevents him from giving adequate expression to any kind of i n s i g h t . Words 120 are for the language teacher illusions and hence deceptive: Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality. I have been for many years a teacher of languages. It i s an occupa-tion which at length becomes fatal to whatever share of imagi-nation, observation, and insight an ordinary person may be heir to. To a teacher of languages there comes a time when the world is but a place of many words and man appears a mere talking animal not much more wonderful than a parrot(p. 3). In the language teacher's view, conventional language cannot help to make us see the unusual and enigmatic but only to make us recognize the usual and known. Secor correctly points to the dilemma which grows out of this for the narrator: "As a professor and grammarian he is locked i n by a dependence on 36 words he no longer finds meaning i n . " The struggle to create a meaning where he perceives none manifests i t s e l f in a desperate search for the right word. He substitutes, for instance, "a tumult of thoughts" for "'a rush of thoughts'" because the latter i s "not an adequate image"(p. 24). Self-con-scious about his shortcomings, he further mentions that the shocking impact of his words "may be the effect of my crude statement"(p, 25). The problem of expressing the intangible i s most apparent when the language teacher states his need for a key-word to Russia. Desirous to render the truth, he believes that he w i l l not succeed " t i l l some key word is found": ...a word that could stand at the back of a l l the words cov-ering the pages, a word which, i f not truth i t s e l f , may per-chance hold truth enough to help the moral discovery which should be the object of every tale(p. 67). The language teacher i s frustrated by the complexity of his task and wishes for a term which could encompass the elusive nature of reality. And, as in Doktor Faustus, language often states too baldly what is painful or disgrace-f u l . The narrator, for instance, apologizes for the reluctance with which he describes Razumov's betrayal of Haldin: Such reluctance may appear absurd i f i t were not for the thought that because of the imperfection of language there is always something ungracious (and even disgraceful) in the exhibition of naked truth(p. 293). 121 In both Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes, language i s c l e a r l y ambiguous. It communicates inadequately and tends e i t h e r t o conceal or t o reveal too b l a t a n t l y the intended meaning. In both novels, the narrator's l i m i t a t i o n s must in part be a t t r i b u t e d to the d e f i c i e n c i e s of the a r t i s t i c medium. The narrators i n Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes are passive f i l -ters through which the nightmarish and i r r a t i o n a l experiences of Adrian and Razumov pass. Those Western eyes, limited i n t h e i r v i s i o n , e s t a b l i s h a double irony. The judgements of Zeitblom and the language teacher voice about the nightmare they witness are undermined by t h e i r own myopia so that a l l the truths i n Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes are q u a l i f i e d . The i r r a t i o n -a l i s i r of Adrian and Razumov makes them lose t h e i r grip on l i f e and leads them i n t o s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n . The narrat o r s , who closely observe how the world loses i t s r e a l i t y f o r the heroes, are themselves dislodged and plunged i n t o doubt about the certitudes of society and the universe. They are compelled to examine t h e i r own values and discover that c i v i l i z a t i o n o f f e r s only i n -adequate protection against the nightmare which ex i s t s j u s t under the surface. But, unlike Adrian and Razumov, Zeitblom and the language teacher neverthe-less continue to put t h e i r f a i t h i n t o c i v i l i z e d existence. It alone affords a measure of safety and protects man from thinking about the unthinkable hor-rors. The in s i g h t i n t o the wilder form of experience, however, a l e r t s them to certain dangerous aspects inherent i n c i v i l i z e d complacency. They now knowingly perpetrate a v i s i o n of the universe they recognize as merely a saving i l l u s i o n . Through the r a t i o n a l and complacent n a r r a t o r s , Dokt or  Faustus and Under Western Eyes obtain a counterbalance to the i r r a t i o n a l and demonic heroes. The ambivalent nature of both c i v i l i z a t i o n and the w i l d e r , more p r i m i t i v e culture permits Mann and Conrad to do j u s t i c e to the complex-i t i e s and ambiguities surrounding the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n s portrayed i n Dok- tor Faustus and Under Western Eyes. 122 Footnotes 1 Jacqueline Viswanathan, "Point of View and Unreliability in Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Conrad's Under Western Eyes and Mann's Doktor Faustus," Orbis Litterarum, 29 (1974), 42-60. 2 Julian B, Kaye, "Conrad's Under Western Eyes and Mann's Doctor Faustus," Comparative Literature, 9 (1959), p. 62. 3 Ignace Feuerlicht, "Der Erzanler bei Thomas Mann," The German Quarterly, 43 (1970), 430. 4 J.I.M. Stewart, Eight Modern Writers (Oxford, 1963), p. 214. 5 Eugen Barbu and Adrei Ion Deleanu, "Serenus Zeitblom," Sinn und Form, (Sonderheft 1965), p. 137. 6 Tony Tanner, "Nightmare and Complacency: Razumov and the Western Eye," C r i t i c a l Quarterly, 4 (Autumn 1962), 198. 7 Ibid., p. 199. 8 Thomas Mann, "Die Entstehung des Doktor Faustus," Gesammelte Werke (Frank-furt: S. Fischer, 1960), XI, 164. 9 Viswanathan, p. 57. 10 Albert J. Guerard, Conrad the Novelist (New York: Atheneum, 1967), p. 251. 11 Irving Howe, Politi c s and the Novel (Cleveland and New York: Meridian, 1964), p. 89. 12 Guerard, p. 251. 13 George Goodin, "The Personal and the P o l i t i c a l i n Under Western Eyes, Nineteenth-Century Fiction, 25 (1970-71), 332. 14 Mann, Gesammelte Werke, XI, 164. 12 3 15 Mann, GesatnmeIte We rke, XT, 168. 16 Ibid . , pp. 164-65. 17 The relationship between Adrian and Zeitblom corresponds perhaps most to that between Kurtz and Marlow in Heart of Darkness. Nevertheless, Razumov and the language teacher are linked together i n a s i m i l a r manner. 18 E l o i s e Knapp Hay, The P o l i t i c a l Novels of Joseph Conrad (Chicago and London: University of Chicago, 1963), p. 297. 19 Robert Secor, "The Function of the Narrator in Under Western Eyes," Conradiana, 3 (1970-71), 35. 20 S/6ren Kierkegaard, The Concept of Irony (London: C o l l i n s , 1966), p. 271. 21 D.C. Muecke, The Compass of Irony (London: Methuen, 1969), p. 200. 22 Mann, Ge s amine Ite We rke, XII, 32. 23 Ib i d . , p. 511. 24 Tbid., p. 319. 25 An excellent case in point i s Hutten who actually joined Luther u n t i l he discovered the leader's i n d i f f e r e n c e toward p o l i t i c a l freedom. 26 Feu e r l i c h t , p. 420. 27 Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General L i n g u i s t i c s , i n The S t r u c t u r a l i s t s  From Marx to Levi-Strauss, ed. RTchard and Femande DeGeorge (Garden C i t v , N.Y.: Doubleday, 19 72) , p. 72. 28 Hans Eichner, "Aspects of Parody i n the Works of Thomas Mann," The Modern  Language Review, 47 (1952), 44. 29 Feuerlicht, p. 430. 30 Ernst Niindel, Die Kunsttheorie Thomas Manns (Bonn: Bouvier, 1972), p. 122. 124 31 J u r i j Tynjanov, "Dostoevskij und Texte der Russischen Fonr.alisten, F i n k , 1969), p. 339. ~~ C O R O I (Zur Theorie der P a r o d i e ) , " i n I , ed. J u r i j S t r i e d t e r (Munchen: Wilhelm 32 Eichner, "Aspects of Parody," p. 45. 33 I b i d . , 0 . 46. 34 I b i d . 35 Secor, p. 34. 36 I b i d . , p. 30 Conclusion One of the main reasons why Conrad appealed t o Mann was undoubtedly the fact that Conrad's f i c t i o n includes p o l i t i c a l themes which demonstrate a p o l i t i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n Mann could share. In the 1926 introduction t o The  Secret Agent, written years before Mann considered w r i t i n g a p o l i t i c a l novel himself, he was already very conscious of those q u a l i t i e s in Conrad's novels which were l a t e r t o characterize his own w r i t i n g and predicament. What Mann stresses about Conrad and The Secret Agent can be applied not only to Con-rad's other p o l i t i c a l novels but also to Mann's own Doktor Faustus. It i s a well-known fact—Shaw's assessment of Ibsen provides a t e l l i n g example— that a c r i t i c ' s opinions frequently reveal more about himself than about the object of his c r i t i c i s m . Indeed, Mann's introduction t o The Secret Agent off e r s an excellent opportunity to summarize the imaginative and p o l i t i c a l a f f i n i t i e s between Mann and Conrad. The f i r s t important point Mann makes about The Secret Agent i s that i t i s "eine antirussische Geschichte, deutlich gesagt; a n t i r u s s i s c h i n einem sehr 1 b r i t i s c h e n Sinn und Geist." Mann seems t o suggest that Conrad chose England because he hated Russia, and he hated Pussia because he loved the Engli s h way of l i f e . Convinced that the change of n a t i o n a l i t y played an important part in Conrad's a r t i s t i c development, Mann evaluates i t s influence as follows: Was er in Kauf pab, waren Avantagen des Barbarismus, deren Wert er berechnet haben wird. Was er pewann, war Mass, Ver-nunft, Skepsis, g e i s t i g e r F r e i h e i t s s i n n und ein Humor, des-sen ausgesprochen angelsMchsische Mannlichkeit ihn davor bewahrt, jemals ins Biirgerlich-Sentimentale umzuschlagen. Mann's understanding of Conrad's p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n , as w e l l as the p u b l i c a -t i o n of "Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen," demonstrates tha t , i n spite of his " n o n - p o l i t i c a l " stance, he was deeply aware of p o l i t i c s . The assessment of The Secret Agent shows that he was highly s e n s i t i v e t o the complexity and 125 1 2 6 ambivalence of Conrad's p o l i t i c a l v i s i o n . Mann senses i n Conrad a great 3 love for "englische F r e i h e i t und Z i v i l i s a t i o n " and detects, at the same time, a c r i t i c a l a ttitude toward the adopted country. Moreover, Mann main-tains that Conrad could neither completely endorse bourgeois l i b e r a l i s m nor pr o l e t a r i a n s o c i a l i s m . The treatment of the revolutionaries i n The Secret 4 Agent i l l u s t r a t e s his "Skepsis gepen s o z i a l e Utopien" and the novel's s t y l e betrays Conrad's anti-bourgeois attitude because Mann c a l l s "das Groteske 5 den e i g e n t l i c h antibiirgerlichen S t i l , " Conrad's d i s l i k e of the middle-clas-ses i s further evident when he seems to agree with Vladimir and Verloc that 6 "die M i ttelschichten verdummt s i n d . " Mann's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Conrad's h o s t i l i t y to both the middle-classes and the p r o l e t a r i a t r e f l e c t s h i s own attitu d e . The following statement c l e a r l y characterizes not only Conrad but also Mann himself: Nichtachtung der Kunst und des e i g e n t l i c h C e i s tigen, aber grenzenlose und glaubigste Hochachtung vor der nutzbringen-den Wissenschaft: dies empfindet Conrad als b i i r g e r l i c h ; und wenn auch sein VerhSltnis zum P r o l e t a r i a t nicht ganz das vorschriftsmassige, rechtglaubige i s t , so offenbar darum, w e i l , auf dem Wege iiber den Marxismus, die Wissenschaft j a auch Erbe und Fetisch des P r o l e t a r i a t s geworden i s t — w i e denn niemand leugnen wird, dass der Bolschewismus eine streng wissenschaftliche Weltanschauung i s t . 7 Mann's penetrating assessment of Conrad's p o l i t i c a l temperament obviously grows out of a s i m i l a r conception of p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t v . What further appeals to Mann i s Conrad's a b i l i t y t o maintain h i s a r t i s -t i c i n t e g r i t y i n the face of p o l i t i c a l questions. He admires Conrad's u l t i -mate d i s s o c i a t i o n from a l l p o l i t i c a l programs and concludes that Conrad's p o s i t i o n "zeugt von jener ungebundenen Ob}ektivitMt, die e i n z i g Sache des klassenlosen Dichters, wenn auch eben nur seine Sache i s t , und die s i c h b e i 8 Conrad u b e r a l l und i n allem am befreienden Werke z e i g t . " This d i s s o c i a t i o n i s not an i n d i c a t i o n of Conrad's i n d i f f e r e n c e to p o l i t i c s but must be seen 9 as "eine Leidenschaft, denn sie i s t F r e i h e i t s l i e b e , " What Mann then admires 127 most i s "der Widerwille eines gar sehr b e t e i l i g t e n Geistes dagegen, i n den 10 Gegensatzen erbarmlich hangenzubleiben." Mann understands that f o r Conrad the alternative the revolutionaries o f f e r i s just as inadequate as the '"ge-11 sunde[] Untatigkeit" of bourgeois existence. Mann himself i s , of course, conscious of the f r u s t r a t i n g and i r r e c o n c i l a b l e contradictions that thwart a l l attempts to solve the i l l s of society p o l i t i c a l l y . He too knows that the incongruities inherent in l i f e mean that every p o l i t i c a l s o l u t i o n has both i t s good and i t s bad consequences. The a r t i s t ' s i n s i g h t i n t o the nature of r e a l i t y does not permit him to champion unequivocally any one p o l i t i c a l system. Mann therefore defends Conrad's right to remain aloof by arguing that his "Dichtertum wird diesen F r e i h e i t s s i n n davor schfitzen, mit l i b e r a l e r Biirgerlichkeit verwechselt zu werden, sein v f i i l i g e r Mangel an Weichlichkeit 12 es bedenklich erscheinen lassen, ihn des Aesthetizismus zu zeihen." The posi t i o n Mann assigns to Conrad betrays h i s own ambition to deal r e a l i s t i c a l -ly with s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l problems without, however, compromising h i s i n -t e g r i t y as an a r t i s t . The a f f i n i t y Mann f e l t with Conrad when he wrote the in t r o d u c t i o n to The Secret Agent manifests i t s e l f also i n the s i m i l a r i t i e s between Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes which have been the subject of t h i s study. The complex v i s i o n of a p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n , which Mann admires i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n , char-acterizes both Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes. I t i s achieved prima-r i l y by means of the juxtaposition of a demonic hero and a c i v i l i z e d or hu-manistic narrator. This juxta p o s i t i o n permits both authors t o comment on the strengths and weaknesses of two a n t i t h e t i c a l p o l i t i c a l systems. Although Mann and Conrad reveal i n t h e i r n o n - f i c t i o n a l w r i t i n g that t h e i r sympathies rest with Western c i v i l i z a t i o n , t h e i r novels do not champion the Western way of l i f e i n a one-sided way. And, although Conrad leaves no doubt about h i s d i s l i k e for everything Russian i n "Autocracy and War," he i s f a r from abso-128 l u t e l y condemning Russia i n Under Western Eyes. S i m i l a r l y , Mann's opposition to Nazism, manifesting i t s e l f i n h i s n o n - f i c t i o n a l statements and through his s e l f - e x i l e , transforms i t s e l f i n Doktor Faustus into a h i s t o r i c a l expla-nation for the emergence of fascism i n Germany. The differences between a personal and a f i c t i o n a l evaluation of Russia or Nazi Germany must be a t t r i -buted to the power of f i c t i o n to transform r e a l i t y . The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, an influence on both Mann and Conrad, argued that only art makes unpleasant experiences, or l i f e as such, bearable. Indeed, art permits the a r t i s t to shape and order r e a l i t y so as to create meaning out of meaninglessness. Mann's i n a b i l i t y to understand how Nazism could f l o u r i s h i n his highly cultured Germany compelled him to find or create an explanation and j u s t i f i c a t i o n . S i m i l a r l y , Conrad had to come to grips with Russia and the S l a v i c temperament at large i n order to understand himself. The need to understand, however, leads the honest a r t i s t i n t o i r r e c o n c i l a b l e contradic-tio n s . But where l i f e cannot cope with contradictions, art can, and i t owes i t s existence to them. The success of Doktor Faustus and Under Western Eyes must therefore be a t t r i b u t e d to the fact that the requirements of f i c t i o n dominate over the p o l i t i c a l imperatives. Mann and Conrad, as great a r t i s t s , s a c r i f i c e a s i m p l i s t i c i d e o l o g i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n to the complexities and contra-di c t i o n s of a r t . 129 Footnotes Thomas Mann, "Vorwort zu Joseph Conrads Roman Der Geheimagent." Gesammelte Werke (Frankfurt: S. Fischer, 1960), X, 646. 2 Ibid., p. 650. 3 Ibid., p. 648. 4 Ibid., p. 651. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid. 7 Ibid., p. 653. 8 Ibid., p. 655. 9 Ibid. 10 Ibid. 11 Ibid. 12 Ibid., p. 656. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 130 Addison, B i l l Kaler, "Marlow, Aschenbach, and We." Conradiana, 2 (Winter 1969-70), 79-81. Aldridge, John. The Devil in the Fire; Retrospective Essays on American  Literature and Culture, 1951-1971. New York: Harper & Row, 1972. Aubry, G.J. Joseph Conrad; Life and Letters. 2 Vols. London: William Heinemann, 1927. 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