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Thomas Mann on ‘Goethe, the German miracle’

Thomas Mann talks about Goethe in this lecture recorded in London in 1949 to celebrate the bicentenary of the writer's birth.
Speaker Thomas Mann
Genre Spoken word

The great German novelist fled Germany when Hitler came to power and spent the Second World War in Los Angeles in the company of other exiles, such as Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Klemperer.  In 1949 he recorded this talk on Goethe in London to celebrate the bicentenary of the author’s  birth.  He places Goethe as one of three very different geniuses who represent the German national spirit, the other two being Martin Luther and Otto von Bismarck.  Delivered with an impressive command of the English language and in a tone of intellectual authority combined with ironic humour, this lecture is a masterful analysis of power, creativity and genius. Both Goethe and Mann himself emerge as towering figures.

This recording comes from the Saul Collection in Music Preserved.

  • Thomas Mann

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