NBCC Reads: Alex Ross on Doctor Faustus

by Mark Athitakis | Nov-14-2012

As part of our NBCC Reads series on favorite books about music, we asked Alex Ross---a 2007 winner in criticism for The Rest Is Noise---for his choice. He responded with Thomas Mann's novel Doctor Faustus, and a choice passage from the book:

"It seems to me…that despite the logical, moral rigor music may appear to display, it belongs to a world of spirits, for whose absolute reliability in matters of human reason and dignity I would not exactly want to put my hand in the fire. That I am nevertheless devoted to it with all my heart is one of those contradictions which, whether a cause for joy or regret, are inseparable from human nature."

Up next: Favorites in rock and blues.



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