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Thomas Mann

Born Paul Thomas Mann
6 June 1875(1875-06-06)
Lübeck, Germany
Died 12 August 1955 (aged 80)
Zürich, Switzerland
Occupation Novelist, short story writer, essayist
Writing period 1896–1954
Genres Bildungsroman, Historical novel, Picaresque
Notable work(s) Buddenbrooks, The Magic Mountain, Death in Venice
Notable award(s) Nobel Prize in Literature
1929

Thomas Mann (6 June 1875 – 12 August 1955) was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual. His analysis and critique of the European and German soul used modernized German and Biblical stories, as well as the ideas of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer.

His older brother was the radical writer Heinrich Mann, and three of his six children, Erika Mann, Klaus Mann and Golo Mann, also became important German writers.

When Hitler came to power in 1933, the anti-fascist Mann fled to Switzerland. When World War II broke out in 1939, he emigrated to the United States, from where he returned to Switzerland in 1952.

Contents

Life

Mann was born Paul Thomas Mann in Lübeck, Germany and was the second son of Thomas Johann Heinrich Mann (a senator and a grain merchant), and his wife Júlia da Silva Bruhns (a Brazilian with partially German ancestry who emigrated to Germany when seven years old). His mother was Roman Catholic, but Mann was baptised into his father's Lutheran faith. Mann's father died in 1891, and his trading firm was liquidated. The family subsequently moved to Munich. Mann attended the science division of a Lübeck gymnasium, then spent time at the Ludwig Maximillians University of Munich and Technical University of Munich[1] where, in preparation for a journalism career, he studied history, economics, art history, and literature. He lived in Munich from 1891 until 1933, with the exception of a year in Palestrina, Italy, with his novelist elder brother Heinrich. Thomas worked with the South German Fire Insurance Company 1894–95. His career as a writer began when he wrote for Simplicissimus. Mann's first short story, "Little Herr Friedemann" (Der Kleine Herr Friedemann), was published in 1898.

In 1905, he married Katia Pringsheim, daughter of a prominent, secular Jewish family of intellectuals. They had six children:

Children

Name Birth Death
Erika November 9, 1905 August 27, 1969
Klaus November 18, 1906 May 21, 1949
Angelus Gottfried Thomas "Golo" March 29, 1909 April 7, 1994
Monika June 7, 1910 March 17, 1992
Elisabeth April 24, 1918 February 8, 2002
Michael April 21, 1919 January 1, 1977
The summerhouse of Thomas Mann in Nida (German: Nidden)

In 1929, Mann had a cottage built in the fishing village of Nidden (Nida, Lithuania) on the Curonian Spit, where there was a German art colony, and where he spent the summers of 1930-32 working on Joseph and his Brothers. The cottage now is a cultural center dedicated to him, with a small memorial exhibition. In 1933, after Hitler assumed power, Mann emigrated to Küsnacht, near Zürich, Switzerland, but received Czechoslovakian citizenship and a passport in 1936. He then emigrated to the United States in 1939, where he taught at Princeton University. In 1942, the Mann family moved to Pacific Palisades, in west Los Angeles California, where they lived until after the end of World War II. On 23 June 1944 Thomas Mann was naturalized as a citizen of the United States. In 1952, he returned to Europe, to live in Kilchberg, near Zürich, Switzerland.

He never again lived in Germany, though he regularly traveled there. His most important German visit was in 1949, at the 200th birthday of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, attending celebrations in Frankfurt am Main and Weimar, as a statement that German culture extends beyond the new political borders.

In 1955, he died of atherosclerosis in a hospital in Zürich and was buried in Kilchberg. Many institutions are named in his honour, most famously the Thomas Mann Gymnasium of Budapest.

Thomas Mann is buried at Kilchberg

Thomas Mann's works were first translated into English by H. T. Lowe-Porter. Her translations have become classics in their own right and have contributed enormously to Mann's popularity in the English-speaking world.

Political views

During World War I Mann supported Kaiser Wilhelm II's conservatism and attacked liberalism. Yet in Von Deutscher Republik (1923), as a semi-official spokesman for parliamentary democracy, Mann called upon German intellectuals to support the new Weimar Republic. He also gave a lecture at the Beethovensaal in Berlin on 13 October 1922, which appeared in Die neue Rundschau in November 1922, in which he developed his eccentric defence of the Republic, based on extensive close readings of Novalis and Walt Whitman. [2] Hereafter his political views gradually shifted toward liberal left and democratic principles.

In 1930 Mann gave a public address in Berlin titled "An Appeal to Reason", in which he strongly denounced National Socialism and encouraged resistance by the working class. This was followed by numerous essays and lectures in which he attacked the Nazis. At the same time, he expressed increasing sympathy for socialist ideas. In 1933 when the Nazis came to power, Mann and his wife were on holiday in Switzerland. Due to his very vociferous denunciations of Nazi policies, his son Klaus advised him not to return. But Thomas Mann's books, in contrast to those of his brother Heinrich and his son Klaus, were not among those burnt publicly by Hitler's regime in May 1933, possibly since he had been the Nobel laureate in literature for 1929 (see below). Finally in 1936 the Nazi government officially revoked his German citizenship. A few months later he moved to California.

However, already in 1933, in a personal letter dated 26 October 1933 but published only recently (in the feuilleton section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung dated Oct. 30, 2007), Thomas Mann expressed views on Nazism, which corresponded to the much later novel Doktor Faustus. In the novel, the author refers in several places to the historical debt of the German population, leading to World War II with all its cruelty.

During the war, Mann made a series of anti-Nazi radio-speeches, Deutsche Hörer! ("German listeners!"). They were taped in the USA and then sent to Great Britain, where the BBC transmitted them, hoping to reach German listeners.

"Images of Disorder", by social critic Michael Harrington in his collection The Accidental Century, is an account of Mann's political progression from the right to the left.

Work

"Modern Book Printing" from the Walk of Ideas in Berlin, Germany - built in 2006 to commemorate Johannes Gutenberg's invention, c. 1445, of movable printing type.

Mann was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929, principally in recognition of his popular achievement with the epic Buddenbrooks (1901), The Magic Mountain (Der Zauberberg 1924), and his numerous short stories. (Precisely, due to the personal taste of an influential committee member, only Buddenbrooks was explicitly cited.)[3] Based on Mann's own family, Buddenbrooks relates the decline of a merchant family in Lübeck over the course of three generations. The Magic Mountain (Der Zauberberg, 1924) follows an engineering student who, planning to visit his tubercular cousin at a Swiss sanatorium for only three weeks, finds his departure from the sanatorium delayed. During that time, he confronts medicine and the way it looks at the body and encounters a variety of characters who play out ideological conflicts and discontents of contemporary European civilization. Later, other novels included Lotte in Weimar (1939), in which Mann returned to the world of Goethe's novel The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774); Doktor Faustus (1947), the story of composer Adrian Leverkühn and the corruption of German culture in the years before and during World War II; and Confessions of Felix Krull (Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull, 1954), which was still unfinished at Mann's death.

In Buddenbrooks, at several places he uses the Low German of the northern part of the country.

To his greatest works belongs the tetralogy Joseph and His Brothers (Joseph und seine Brüder, 1933–42), a richly imagined retelling of the story of Joseph related in chapters 27-50 of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible. The first volume relates the establishment of the family of Jacob, the father of Joseph. In the second volume the young Joseph, not yet master of considerable gifts, arouses the enmity of his ten older brothers, who then sell him into slavery in Egypt. In the third volume, Joseph becomes the steward of a high court official, Potiphar, but finds himself thrown into prison after rejecting the advances of Potiphar's wife. In the last volume, the mature Joseph rises to become administrator of Egypt's granaries. Famine drives the sons of Jacob to Egypt, where the unrecognized Joseph adroitly orchestrates a scene that discloses his identity, resulting in the brothers' reconciliation and the reunion of the family.

Mann's diaries, unsealed in 1975, tell of his struggles with his sexuality, which found reflection in his works, most prominently through the obsession of the elderly Aschenbach for the 14-year-old Polish boy Tadzio in the novella Death in Venice (Der Tod in Venedig, 1912). Anthony Heilbut's biography Thomas Mann: Eros and Literature (1997) was widely acclaimed for uncovering the centrality of Mann's sexuality to his oeuvre. Gilbert Adair's work The Real Tadzio describes how, in the summer of 1911, Mann had been staying at the Grand Hôtel des Bains in Venice with his wife and brother when he became enraptured by the angelic figure of Władysław Moes, an 11-year-old Polish boy.

A classic about an intellectual succumbing to passion, Death in Venice has been made into a film and an opera. Blamed sarcastically by Mann’s old enemy, Alfred Kerr, to have ‘made pederasty acceptable to the cultivated middle classes’, it has been pivotal to introducing the discourse of same-sex desire to the common culture.[4] Mann was friends with violinist and painter Paul Ehrenberg for whom he had feelings as a young man. Despite certain homosexual overtones in his writing, Mann fell in love with Katia Mann—whom he married—in 1905. His works also present other sexual themes, such as incest in The Blood of the Walsungs (Wälsungenblut) and The Holy Sinner (Der Erwählte).

Throughout his Dostoyevsky essay he finds parallels between the Russian and the sufferings of Frederich Nietzsche. Speaking of Nietzsche he says: "his personal feelings initiate him into those of the criminal… in general all creative originality, all artist nature in the broadest sense of the word, does the same. It was the French painter and sculptor, Degas who said that an artist must approach his work in the spirit of the criminal about to commit a crime."[5] Nietzsche's influence on Mann runs deep in his work, especially in Nietzsche's views on decay and the proposed fundamental connection between sickness and creativity. Mann held that disease is not to be regarded as wholly negative. In his essay on Dostoyevsky we find: "but after all and above all it depends on who is diseased., who mad, who epileptic or paralytic: an average dull-witted man, in whose illness any intellectual or cultural aspect is non-existent; or a Nietzsche or Dostoyevsky. In their case something comes out in illness that is more important and conductive to life and growth than any medical guaranteed health or sanity… in other words: certain conquests made by the soul and the mind are impossible without disease, madness, crime of the spirit."[6]

Balancing his humanism and appreciation of Western culture was his belief in the power of sickness and decay to destroy the ossifying effects of tradition and civilization. Hence the "heightening" of which Mann speaks in his introduction to The Magic Mountain and the opening of new spiritual possibilities that Hans Castorp experiences in the midst of his sickness. In Death in Venice he makes the identification between beauty and the resistance to natural decay, embodied by Aschenbach as the metaphor for the Nazi vision of purity (akin to Nietzsche's version of the ascetic ideal that denies life and its becoming). He also valued the insight of other cultures, notably adapting a traditional Indian fable in The Transposed Heads. His work is the record of a consciousness of a life of manifold possibilities, and of the tensions inherent in the (more or less enduringly fruitful) responses to those possibilities. In his own summation (upon receiving the Nobel Prize), "The value and significance of my work for posterity may safely be left to the future; for me they are nothing but the personal traces of a life led consciously, that is, conscientiously."

Regarded as a whole, Mann's career is a striking example of the "repeated puberty" which Goethe thought characteristic of the genius. In technique as well as in thought, he experienced far more daringly than is generally realized. In Buddenbrooks he wrote one of the last of the great "old-fashioned" novels, a patient, thorough tracing of the fortunes of a family.
—Henry Hatfield in Thomas Mann, 1962.

Cultural references

Mann's 1896 short story "Disillusionment" is the basis for the Leiber and Stoller song "Is That All There Is?", famously recorded in 1969 by Peggy Lee.

"Magic Mountain" by the band Blonde Redhead, is based on Mann's novel of the same title.

"Magic Mountain (after Thomas Mann)" is a painting made by Christiaan Tonnis in 1987. "The Magic Mountain" is a chapter in his 2006 book "Illness as a Symbol" as well.

The 2006 movie "A Good Year" directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe and Albert Finney, features a paperback version of Death in Venice. It is the book the character named Christie Roberts is reading while she visits her deceased father's vineyard.

In the Philip Roth novel The Human Stain, several references are made to Mann's Death in Venice.

A staged musical version of The Transposed Heads, adapted by Julie Taymor and Sidney Goldfarb, with music by Elliot Goldenthal, was produced at the American Music Theater Festival in Philadelphia and The Lincoln Center in New York in 1988.

Joseph Heller's 1994 novel, Closing Time, makes several references to Thomas Mann and Death in Venice.

In an episode of The Sopranos, AJ is assigned to read Death in Venice.

In an episode of Family Guy, Brian uses Thomas Mann's expatriation as evidence of the holocaust during a tour of Munich. The tour guide stated that Thomas Mann had left Germany to manage a Dairy Queen. Brian's speech about Thomas Mann's criticism of nazism culminated in an impassioned and furious reaction from the tour guide, who responded in German and raised his hand in the nazi salute.

Works

  • 1896 Disillusionment (Enttäuschung)
  • 1897 Little Herr Friedemann ("Der kleine Herr Friedemann"), collection of short stories
  • 1897 "The Clown" ("Der Bajazzo"), short story
  • 1897 The Dilettante
  • 1897 Tobias Mindernickel
  • 1897 Little Lizzy
  • 1899 The Wardrobe (Der Kleiderschrank)
  • 1900 The Road to the Churchyard (Der Weg zum Friedhof)
  • 1901 Buddenbrooks (Buddenbrooks - Verfall einer Familie), novel
  • 1902 Gladius Dei
  • 1902 The Hungry
  • 1903 Tristan, novella
  • 1903 Tonio Kröger, novella
  • 1903 The Child Prodigy ("Das Wunderkind")
  • 1904 Fiorenza, play
  • 1904 A Gleam
  • 1904 At the Prophet's
  • 1905 A Weary Hour
  • 1905 The Blood of the Walsungs ("Wälsungenblut"), novella
  • 1907 Railway Accident
  • 1908 Anekdote
  • 1909 Royal Highness (Königliche Hoheit), novel
  • 1911 The Fight between Jappe and the Do Escobar
  • 1911 Felix Krull (Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull), short story, published in 1922
  • 1912 Death in Venice (Der Tod in Venedig), novella
  • 1915 Frederick and the Great Coalition (Friedrich und die große Koalition)
  • 1918 Reflections of an Unpolitical Man (Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen), essay
  • 1918 A Man and His Dog (Herr und Hund; Gesang vom Kindchen: Zwei Idyllen), novella
  • 1921 The Blood of the Walsungs (Wälsungenblut), novella
  • 1922 The German Republic (Von deutscher Republik)
  • 1924 The Magic Mountain (Der Zauberberg), novel
  • 1925 Disorder and Early Sorrow ("Unordnung und frühes Leid")
  • 1929 "Mario and the Magician" (Mario und der Zauberer), novella
  • 1930 A Sketch of My Life (Lebensabriß)
  • 1933–43 Joseph and His Brothers (Joseph und seine Brüder), tetralogy
    • 1933 The Tales of Jacob (Die Geschichten Jaakobs)
    • 1934 The Young Joseph (Der junge Joseph)
    • 1936 Joseph in Egypt (Joseph in Ägypten)
    • 1943 Joseph the Provider (Joseph, der Ernährer)
  • 1938 This Peace (Dieser Friede)
  • 1937 The Problem of Freedom (Das Problem der Freiheit)
  • 1938 The Coming Victory of Democracy
  • 1939 Lotte in Weimar: The Beloved Returns, novel
  • 1940 The Transposed Heads (Die vertauschten Köpfe - Eine indische Legende), novella
  • 1943 Listen, Germany! (Deutsche Hörer!)
  • 1944 Mose, a commissioned novella (Das Gesetz, Erzählung, Auftragswerk)
  • 1947 Doctor Faustus (Doktor Faustus), novel
  • 1947 Essays of Three Decades, translated from the German by H. T. Lowe-Porter. [1st American ed.], New York, A. A. Knopf, 1947. Reprinted as Vintage book, K55, New York, Vintage Books, 1957.
  • 1951 The Holy Sinner (Der Erwählte), novel
  • 1954 The Black Swan (Die Betrogene: Erzählung)
  • 1954 Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man: The Early Years (Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull. Der Memoiren erster Teil), novel expanding upon the 1911 short story, unfinished

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Thomas Mann Autobiography". Nobel Foundation. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1929/mann-autobio.html. Retrieved 2008-01-25.  
  2. ^ See a recent translation of this lecture by Lawrence Rainey in Modernism/Modernity, 14.1 (January 2007), pp. 99-145.
  3. ^ Nobel Prize website, accessed 11 November 2007
  4. ^ The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Mann, Edited by Ritchie Robertson, p.5[1]
  5. ^ Mann, Thomas (1950). Warner Angell, Joseph. ed. The Thomas Mann reader. New York: Knopf. p. 440. http://books.google.com/books?id=Wc-zAAAAIAAJ&pgis=1. Retrieved 2009-05-15.  
  6. ^ Mann, Thomas (1950). Warner Angell, Joseph. ed. The Thomas Mann reader. New York: Knopf. p. 443. http://books.google.com/books?id=Wc-zAAAAIAAJ&pgis=1. Retrieved 2009-05-15.  

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them.

Paul Thomas Mann (6 June 187512 August 1955) was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and mid-length stories, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual.

Contents

Sourced

  • I think of my suffering, of the problem of my suffering. What am I suffering from? From knowledge — is it going to destroy me? What am I 
suffering from? From sexuality — is it going to destroy me? How I hate it, this knowledge which forces even art to join it! How I hate it, this sensuality, which claims everything fine and good is its consequence and effect. Alas, it is the poison that lurks in everything fine and good! — How am I to free myself of knowledge? By religion? How am I to free myself of sexuality? By eating rice?
    • Letter from Naples, Italy to Otto Grautoff (1896); as quoted in A Gorgon's Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann's Fiction (2005) by Lewis A. Lawson, p. 34
  • Here and there, among a thousand other peddlers, are slyly hissing dealers who urge you to come along with them to allegedly "very beautiful" girls, and not only to girls. They keep at it, walk alongside, praising there wares until you answer roughly. They don't know that you have resolved to eat nothing but rice just to escape from sexuality!
    • Letter from Naples, Italy to Otto Grautoff (1896); as quoted in A Gorgon's Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann's Fiction (2005) by Lewis A. Lawson, p. 35
  • We are most likely to get angry and excited in our opposition to some idea when we ourselves are not quite certain of our own position, and are inwardly tempted to take the other side.
    • Buddenbrooks [Buddenbrooks: Verfall einer Familie, Roman] (1901). Pt 8, Ch. 2
  • Beauty can pierce one like pain.
    • Buddenbrooks [Buddenbrooks: Verfall einer Familie, Roman], Pt 11, Ch. 2
  • That daily the night falls; that over stresses and torments, cares and sorrows the blessing of sleep unfolds, stilling and quenching them; that every anew this draught of refreshment and lethe is offered to our parching lips, ever after the battle this mildness laves our shaking limbs, that from it, purified from sweat and dust and blood, strengthened, renewed, rejuvenated, almost innocent once more, almost with pristine courage and zeal we may go forth again — these I hold to be the benignest, the most moving of all the great facts of life.
    • "Sleep, Sweet Sleep" ["Süßer Schlaf] first published in Neue Freie Presse [Vienna] (30 May 1909), as translated by Helen T. Knopf in Past Masters and Other Papers (1933), p. 269
  • Extraordinary creature! So close a friend, and yet so remote.
    • Herr und Hund (A Man and his Dog) (1918)
  • The meeting in the open of two dogs, strangers to each other, is one of the most painful, thrilling, and pregnant of all conceivable encounters; it is surrounded by an atmosphere of the last canniness, presided over by a constraint for which I have no preciser name; they simply cannot pass each other, their mutual embarrassment is frightful to behold.
    • Herr und Hund (A Man and his Dog)
  • This fantastic state of mind, of a humanity that has outrun its ideas, is matched by a political scene in the grotesque style, with Salvation Army methods, hallelujahs and bell-ringing and dervishlike repetition of monotonous catchwords, until everybody foams at the mouth. Fanaticism turns into a means of salvation, enthusiasm into epileptic ecstasy, politics becomes an opiate for the masses, a proletarian eschatology; and reason veils her face.
    • On German fascism, in "An Appeal to Reason" ["Deutsche Ansprache. Ein Appell an die Vernunft"] in Berliner Tageblatt (18 October 1930); as translated by Helen T. Lowe-Porter in Order of the Day, Political Essays and Speeches of Two Decades (1942), p. 57
  • In the Word is involved the unity of humanity, the wholeness of the human problem, which permits nobody to separate the intellectual and artistic from the political and social, and to isolate himself within the ivory tower of the "cultural" proper.
    • Letter to the dean of the Philosophical Faculty, Bonn University (January 1937)
  • Democracy is timelessly human, and timelessness always implies a certain amount of potential youthfulness.
  • In certain respects, particularly economically, National-Socialism is nothing but bolshevism. These two are hostile brothers of whom the younger has learned everything from the older, the Russian excepting only morality.
    • The Coming Victory of Democracy (1938), p. 14, translated by Agnes E. Meyer, Knopf (1938)
  • This was love at first sight, love everlasting: a feeling unknown, unhoped for, unexpected — in so far as it could be a matter of conscious awareness; it took entire possession of him, and he understood, with joyous amazement, that this was for life.
    • "Early Sorrow in Tellers of Tales: 100 Short Stories from the United States, England, France, Russia and Germany edited by William Somerset Maugham (1939), p. 884
  • The Freudian theory is one of the most important foundation stones for an edifice to be built by future generations, the dwelling of a freer and wiser humanity.
    • As quoted in The New York Times (21 June 1939)
  • Unhappy German nation, how do you like the Messianic rôle allotted to you, not by God, nor by destiny, but by a handful of perverted and bloody-minded men.
    • "This War" (1939); also in Order of the Day (1942)
  • It is a strange fact that freedom and equality, the two basic ideas of democracy, are to some extent contradictory. Logically considered, freedom and equality are mutually exclusive, just as society and the individual are mutually exclusive.
    • Speech, "The War and the Future" (1940); published in Order of the Day (1942)
  • What we call National-Socialism is the poisonous perversion of ideas which have a long history in German intellectual life.
    • Speech, "The War and the Future" (1940); published in Order of the Day (1942)
  • An art whose medium is language will always show a high degree of critical creativeness, for speech is itself a critique of life: it names, it characterizes, it passes judgment, in that it creates.
    • Speech at the Prussian Academy of Art in Berlin (22 January 1929); also in Essays of Three Decades (1942)
  • A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
    • Essays of Three Decades (1942)
  • Politics has been called the “art of the possible,” and it actually is a realm akin to art insofar as, like art, it occupies a creatively mediating position between spirit and life, the idea and reality.
    • Speech at the US Library of Congress (29 May 1945); published as "Germany and the Germans" ["Deutschland und die Deutschen"] in Die Neue Rundschau [Stockholm] (October 1945), p. 58, as translated by Helen T. Lowe-Porter
  • Reduced to a miserable mass level, the level of a Hitler, German Romanticism broke out into hysterical barbarism.
    • Speech at the US Library of Congress (29 May 1945); published as "Germany and the Germans" ["Deutschland und die Deutschen"] in Die Neue Rundschau [Stockholm] (October 1945), p. 58, as translated by Helen T. Lowe-Porter
  • Every reasonable human being should be a moderate Socialist.
    • As quoted in The New York Times (18 June 1950); also in Thomas Mann: A Critical Study (1971) by R. J. Hollingdale, Ch. 2
  • It is not good when people no longer believe in war. Pretty soon they no longer believe in many other things which they absolutely must believe in if they are to be decent men.
    • Quoted in Survey of Contemporary Literature (1977) by Frank Northen Magill, p. 4263

Tristan (1902)

  • It often happens that an old family, with traditions that are entirely practical, sober and bourgeois, undergoes in its declining days a kind of artistic transfiguration.
    • Ch. 7
  • They sang their mysterious duo, sang of their nameless hope, their death-in-love, their union unending, lost forever in the embrace of night’s magic kingdom. O sweet night, everlasting night of love! Land of blessedness whose frontiers are infinite!
    • Ch. 8
  • It had been a moving, tranquil apotheosis, immersed in the transfiguring sunset glow of decline and decay and extinction. An old family, already grown too weary and too noble for life and action, had reached the end of its history, and its last utterances were sounds of music: a few violin notes, full of the sad insight which is ripeness for death.
    • Ch. 10

Tonio Kröger (1903)

  • If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere, you even smell it.
    • Variant translation: It is strange. If an idea gains control of you, you will find it expressed everywhere, you will actually smell it in the wind.
    • As translated by Bayard Quincy Morgan
  • What they, in their innocence, cannot comprehend is that a properly constituted, healthy, decent man never writes, acts, or composes.
    • "Tonio Kröger" on general opinions about artists.
  • This longing for the bliss of the commonplace.
    • Ch. 4, and also in Ch. 9, as translated by David Luke
  • He remembered the dissolute adventures in which his senses, his nervous system and his mind had indulged; he saw himself corroded by irony and intellect, laid waste and paralyzed by insight, almost exhausted by the fevers and chills of creation, helplessly and contritely tossed to and fro between gross extremes, between saintly austerity and lust — oversophisticated and impoverished, worn out by cold, rare artificial ecstasies, lost, ravaged, racked and sick — and he sobbed with remorse and nostalgia.
    • Ch. 8, as translated by David Luke
  • I stand between two worlds, am at home in neither, and in consequence have rather a hard time of it. You artists call me a commoner, and commoners feel tempted to arrest me ... I do not know which wounds me more bitterly. Commoners are stupid; but you worshippers of beauty who call me phlegmatic and without yearning, ought to reflect that there is an artistry so deep, so primordial and elemental, that no yearning seems to it sweeter and more worthy of tasting than that for the raptures of common-placeness.
    • Ch. 9, as translated by Bayard Quincy Morgan
  • I admire the proud and cold who go adventuring on the paths of great and demoniac beauty, and scorn "man" — but I do not envy them. For if anything is capable of making a poet out of a man of letters, it is this plebeian love of mine for the human, living, and commonplace. All warmth, all goodness, all humor is born of it, and it almost seems to me as if it were that love itself, of which it is written that a man might speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and yet without it be no more than sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.
    • Ch. 9, as translated by Bayard Quincy Morgan
  • What I have done is nothing, not much — as good as nothing. I shall do better things, Lisaveta — this is a promise. While I am writing, the sea's roar is coming up to me, and I close my eyes. I am looking into an unborn and shapeless world that longs to be called to life and order, I am looking into a throng of phantoms of human forms which beckon me to conjure them and set them free: some of them tragic, some of them ridiculous, and some that are both at once — and to these I am very devoted. But my deepest and most secret love belongs to the blond and blue-eyed, the bright-spirited living ones, the happy, amiable, and commonplace.
    Do not speak lightly of this love, Lisaveta; it is good and fruitful. There is longing in it and melancholy envy, and a tiny bit of contempt, and an unalloyed chaste blissfulness.
    • Ch. 9, as translated by Bayard Quincy Morgan
    • Variant translation: But my deepest and most secret love belongs to the fair-haired and the blue-eyed, the bright children of life, the happy, the charming and the ordinary.
      • Ch. 9, as translated by David Luke

Death in Venice (1912)

Der Tod in Venedig, originally published in Die Neue Rundschau 23 (Oct-Nov 1912)
The figure of Saint Sebastian is the most perfect symbol if not of art in general, then certainly of the kind of art in question.
  • But he would “stay the course” — it was his favorite motto.
    • The disposition of the main character "Gustav Aschenbach", Ch. 2, as translated by David Luke
  • Hidden away amongst Aschenbach’s writing was a passage directly asserting that nearly all the great things that exist owe their existence to a defiant despite: it is despite grief and anguish, despite poverty, loneliness, bodily weakness, vice and passion and a thousand inhibitions, that they have come into being at all. But this was more than an observation, it was an experience, it was positively the formula of his life and his fame, the key to his work.
    • Ch. 2, as translated by David Luke
  • The new hero-type favored by Aschenbach, and recurring in his books in a multiplicity of individual variants, had already been remarked upon at an early stage by a shrewd commentator, who had described his conception as that of “an intellectual and boyish manly virtue, that of a youth who clenches his teeth in proud shame and stands calmly on as the swords and spears pass through his body ... the figure of Saint Sebastian is the most perfect symbol if not of art in general, then certainly of the kind of art in question.
    • Ch. 2, as translated by David Luke
  • Gustav Aschenbach was the writer who spoke for all those who work on the brink of exhaustion, who labor and are heavy-laden, who are worn out already but still stand upright, all those moralists of achievement who are slight of stature and scanty of resources, but who yet, by some ecstasy of the will and by wise husbandry, manage at least for a time to force their work into a semblance of greatness.
    • Ch. 2, as translated by David Luke
  • Was it an intellectual consequence of this ‘rebirth,’ of this new dignity and rigor, that, at about the same time, his sense of beauty was observed to undergo an almost excessive resurgence, that his style took on the noble purity, simplicity and symmetry that were to set upon all his subsequent works that so evident and evidently intentional stamp of the classical master.
    • Ch. 2, as translated by David Luke
  • How else is the famous short story ‘A study in Abjection’ to be understood but as an outbreak of disgust against an age indecently undermined by psychology.
    • On a short story of the character, "Gustav Aschenbach". Ch. 2, as translated by David Luke
  • How strange a vehicle it is, coming down unchanged from times of old romance, and so characteristically black, the way no other thing is black except a coffin — a vehicle evoking lawless adventures in the plashing stillness of night, and still more strongly evoking death itself, the bier, the dark obsequies, the last silent journey!
    • Ch. 3, as translated by David Luke
  • With astonishment Aschenbach noticed that the boy was entirely beautiful. His countenance, pale and gracefully reserved, was surrounded by ringlets of honey-colored hair, and with its straight nose, its enchanting mouth, its expression of sweet and divine gravity, it recalled Greek sculpture of the noblest period.
    • Ch. 3, as translated by David Luke
I must tell you that we artists cannot tread the path of Beauty without Eros keeping company with us and appointing himself as our guide.
  • There were profound reasons for his attachment to the sea: he loved it because as a hard-working artist he needed rest, needed to escape from the demanding complexity of phenomena and lie hidden on the bosom of the simple and tremendous; because of a forbidden longing deep within him that ran quite contrary to his life’s task and was for that very reason seductive, a longing for the unarticulated and immeasurable, for eternity, for nothingness. To rest in the arms of perfection is the desire of any man intent upon creating excellence; and is not nothingness a form of perfection?
    • Ch. 3, as translated by David Luke
  • The writer’s joy is the thought that can become emotion, the emotion that can wholly become a thought.
    • Ch. 4, as translated by David Luke
  • Never had he felt the joy of the word more sweetly, never had he known so clearly that Eros dwells in language.
    • Ch. 4, as translated by David Luke
  • This was Venice, the flattering and suspect beauty — this city, half fairy tale and half tourist trap, in whose insalubrious air the arts once rankly and voluptuously blossomed, where composers have been inspired to lulling tones of somniferous eroticism.
    • Ch. 5, as translated by David Luke
  • I must tell you that we artists cannot tread the path of Beauty without Eros keeping company with us and appointing himself as our guide.
    • Ch. 5, as translated by David Luke

The Magic Mountain (1924)

Der Zauberberg (1929), using quotes primarily from the translation of Helen T. Lowe-Porter (1955)
Time, we say, is Lethe; but change of air is a similar draught, and, if it works less thoroughly, does so more quickly.
  • Space, like time, engenders forgetfulness; but it does so by setting us bodily free from our surroundings and giving us back our primitive, unattached state. Yes, it can even, in the twinkling of an eye, make something like a vagabond of the pedant and Philistine. Time, we say, is Lethe; but change of air is a similar draught, and, if it works less thoroughly, does so more quickly.
    • Ch. 1
  • Psycho-analyses — how disgusting.
    • "Hans Castorp" in Ch. 1
  • I, for one, have never in my life come across a perfectly healthy human being.
    • The psychoanalyst "Dr. Krokowski" in Ch. 1
  • A man lives not only his personal life, as an individual, but also, consciously or unconsciously, the life of his epoch and his contemporaries.
    • Ch. 2, “At Tienappels’,” (1924), trans. by H.T. Lowe-Porter (1928).
  • Hans Castorp loved music from his heart; it worked upon him much the same way as did his breakfast porter, with deeply soothing, narcotic effect, tempting him to doze.
    • Ch. 3
  • I never can understand how anyone can not smoke — it deprives a man of the best part of life ... with a good cigar in his mouth a man is perfectly safe, nothing can touch him — literally.
    • Ch. 3
  • In effect it seemed to him that, though honor might possess certain advantages, yet shame had others, and not inferior: advantages, even, that were well-nigh boundless in their scope.
    • Ch. 3
  • One always has the idea of a stupid man as perfectly healthy and ordinary, and of illness as making one refined and clever and unusual.
    • Ch. 4
  • Placet experiri
    • Latin phrase meaning "It pleases to experiment", Ch. 4
  • “Beer, tobacco, and music,” he went on. “Behold the Fatherland.”
    • "Herr Settembrini" commenting on Germany, in Ch. 4
  • There is something suspicious about music, gentlemen. I insist that she is, by her nature, equivocal. I shall not be going too far in saying at once that she is politically suspect.
    • Ch. 4
  • My aversion from music rests on political grounds.
    • Ch. 4
  • I love and reverence the Word, the bearer of the spirit, the tool and gleaming ploughshare of progress.
    • Settembrini's view of literature, Ch. 4
This triumph of chastity was only an apparent, a pyrrhic victory. It would break through the ban of chastity, it would emerge — if in a form so altered as to be unrecognizable.
  • "Love as a force contributory to disease."
    • The title of "Dr. Krokowski" lectures. Ch. 4
  • This conflict between the powers of love and chastity ... it ended apparently in the triumph of chastity. Love was suppressed, held in darkness and chains, by fear, conventionality, aversion, or a tremulous yearning to be pure.... But this triumph of chastity was only an apparent, a pyrrhic victory. It would break through the ban of chastity, it would emerge — if in a form so altered as to be unrecognizable.
    • Ch. 4
  • It seemed that at the end of the lecture Dr. Krokowski was making propaganda for psycho-analysis; with open arms he summoned all and sundry to come unto him. "Come unto me," he was saying, though not in those words, " come unto me, all ye who are weary and heavy-laden." And he left no doubt of his conviction that all those present were weary and heavy-laden. He spoke of secret suffering, of shame and sorrow, of the redeeming power of the analytic. He advocated the bringing of light into the unconscious mind and explained how the abnormality was metamorphosed into the conscious emotion; he urged them to have confidence; he promised relief.
    • Ch. 4
All moral discipline, all moral perfection derived from the soul of literature, from the soul of human dignity, which was the moving spirit of both humanity and politics...
  • Two principles, according to the Settembrinian cosmogony, were in perpetual conflict for possession of the world: force and justice, tyranny and freedom, superstition and knowledge; the law of permanence and the law of change, of ceaseless fermentation issuing in progress.
    • Ch. 4
  • The beautiful word begets the beautiful deed.
    • Ch. 4
  • Writing well was almost the same as thinking well, and thinking well was the next thing to acting well. All moral discipline, all moral perfection derived from the soul of literature, from the soul of human dignity, which was the moving spirit of both humanity and politics. Yes, they were all one, one and the same force, one and the same idea, and all of them could be comprehended in one single word... The word was — civilization!
    • Ch. 4
  • Frau Stöhr ... began to talk about how fascinating it was to cough.... Sneezing was much the same thing. You kept on wanting to sneeze until you simply couldn’t stand it any longer; you looked as if you were tipsy; you drew a couple of breaths, then out it came, and you forgot everything else in the bliss of the sensation. Sometimes the explosion repeated itself two or three times. That was the sort of pleasure life gave you free of charge.
    • Ch. 4
  • Disease makes men more physical, it leaves them nothing but body.
    • Ch. 4
  • Our air up here is good for the disease — I mean good against the disease,... but it is also good for the disease.
    • Ch. 4
  • A black pall, you know, with a silver cross on it, or R.I.P. — requiescat in pace — you know. That seems to me the most beautiful expression — I like it much better than ‘He is a jolly good fellow,’ which is simply rowdy.
    • Ch. 5
  • Six months at most after they get here, these young people — and they are mostly young who come — have lost every idea they had, except flirtation and temperature.
    • Settembrini on the Magic Mountain Society, in Ch. 5
  • It is a cruel atmosphere down there, cruel and ruthless.
    • Hans Castorp on the world outside the sanatorium, in Ch. 5
The ancients adorned their sarcophagi with the emblems of life and procreation...
  • The only religious way to think of death is as part and parcel of life; to regard it, with the understanding and the emotions, as the the inviolable condition of life.
    • Ch. 5
  • The ancients adorned their sarcophagi with the emblems of life and procreation, and even with obscene symbols; in the religions of antiquity the sacred and the obscene often lay very close together. These men knew how to pay homage to death. For death is worthy of homage as the cradle of life, as the womb of palingenesis.
    • Ch. 5
Analysis can be a very unappetizing affair, as much so as death...
  • Irony, forsooth! Guard yourself, Engineer, from the sort of irony that thrives up here; guard yourself altogether from taking on their mental attitude! Where irony is not a direct and classic device of oratory, not for a moment equivocal to a healthy mind, it makes for depravity, it becomes a drawback to civilization, an unclean traffic with the forces of reaction, vice and materialism.
    • Ch. 5
  • Paradox is the poisonous flower of quietism, the iridescent surface of the rotting mind, the greatest depravity of all.
    • Ch. 5
  • Analysis as an instrument of enlightenment and civilization is good, in so far as it shatters absurd convictions, acts as a solvent upon natural prejudices, and undermines authority; good, in other words, in that it sets free, refines, humanizes, makes slaves ripe for freedom. But it is bad, very bad, in so far as it stands in the way of action, cannot shape the vital forces, maims life at its roots. Analysis can be a very unappetizing affair, as much so as death.
    • Ch. 5
  • Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.
    • Ch. 5
  • Order and simplification are the first steps toward the mastery of a subject — the actual enemy is the unknown.
    • Ch. 5
  • Asien verschlingt uns. Wohin man blickt: tatarische Gesichter.
    • Asia surrounds us — wherever one’s glance rests, a Tartar physiognomy.
    • Variant translation: Asia devours us. Wherever one looks: Tartar faces.
      • Settembrini in Ch. 5
What was life?
  • 'What was life? It was warmth, the warmth generated by a form-preserving instability, a fever of matter, which accompanied the process of ceaseless decay and repair of protein molecules that were too impossibly ingenious in structure.
    • Ch. 5
  • Disease was a perverse, a dissolute form of life.
    • Ch. 5
  • Le corps, l'amour, la mort, ces trois ne font qu'un. Car le corps, c'est la maladie et la volupté, et c'est lui qui fait la mort, oui, ils sont charnels tous deux, l'amour et la mort, et voilà leur terreur et leur grande magie!
    • Rough translation of this passage written in French: The body, love, death, these three are just one. For the body, this is the disease and exquisite delight, and this that does die, yes, they are carnal both of them, love and death, and thus their terror and their great magic!
      • Hans Castorp to Chauchat, in French, Ch. 5
  • L’amour pour lui, pour le corps humain, c’est de même un intérêt extrêmement humanitaire et une puissance plus éducative que toute la pédagogie du monde!
    • Love for him, for the human body, was extremely humanitarian an interest and had more educational power than the whole teaching skills of the world!
      • Ch. 5
  • Human reason needs only to will more strongly than fate, and she is fate.
    • Ch. 6
  • Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them.
    • Ch. 6
  • All interest in disease and death is only another expression of interest in life.
    • Ch. 6
  • The invention of printing and the Reformation are and remain the two outstanding services of central Europe to the cause of humanity.
    • Ch. 6
  • There is both rhyme and reason in what I say, I have made a dream poem of humanity. I will cling to it. I will be good. I will let death have no mastery over my thoughts. For therein lies goodness and love of humankind, and in nothing else.
    • Ch. 6; variant translation: I will let death have no mastery over my thoughts! For therein, and in nothing else, lies goodness and love of humankind.
  • Love stands opposed to death. It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death. Only love, not reason, gives kind thoughts.
    • Ch. 6; variant translation: It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death. Only love, not reason, gives 
sweet thoughts. And from love and sweetness alone can form come: form and civilization.
  • For the sake of goodness and love, man shall let death have no sovereignty over his thoughts. And with that, I wake up.
    • Ch. 6
  • Everything is politics.
    • Ch. 6
  • Speech is civilization itself. The word, even the most contradictory word, preserves contact — it is silence which isolates.

    • Ch. 6
  • A man’s dying is more the survivors’ affair than his own.
    • Ch. 6
  • What we call mourning for our dead is perhaps not so much grief at not being able to call them back as it is grief at not being able to want to do so.
    • Ch. 7
  • Time cools, time clarifies, no mood can be maintained quite unaltered through the course of hours.
    • Ch. 7
  • The purifying, healing influence of literature, the dissipating of passions by knowledge and the written word, literature as the path to understanding, forgiveness and love, the redeeming might of the word, the literary spirit as the noblest manifestation of the spirit of man, the writer as perfected type, as saint.
    • Ch. 7
  • Absolutely everything beloved and cherished of the bourgeoisie, the conservative, the cowardly, and the impotent — the State, family life, secular art and science — was consciously or unconsciously hostile to the religious idea, to the Church, whose innate tendency and permanent aim was the dissolution of all existing worldly orders, and the reconstitution of society after the model of the ideal, the communistic City of God.
    • Naphta in Ch. 7
  • We, when we sow the seeds of doubt deeper than the most up-to-date and modish free-thought has ever dreamed of doing, we well know what we are about. Only out of radical skepsis, out of moral chaos, can the Absolute spring, the anointed Terror of which the time has need.
    • Ch. 7
  • Passionate — that means to live for the sake of living. But one knows that you all live for the sake of experience. Passion, that is self-forgetfulness. But what you all want is self-enrichment. C'est ça. You don't realize what revolting egoism it is, and that one day it will make you the enemies of the human race.


Suffering and Greatness of Richard Wagner (1933)

"Leiden und Größe Richard Wagners" in Die Neue Rundschau, Jahrgang 44, Heft 4 (April 1933), as translated by Helen T. Lowe-Porter in Essays by Thomas Mann (1957), p. 199
  • He was all for catharsis and purification, he dreamed of an aesthetic consecration that should cleanse society of luxury, the greed of gold and all unloveliness.
  • It is a pregnant complex, gleaming up from the unconscious, of mother-fixation, sexual desire, and fear.
  • What was it that drove these thousands into the arms of his art — what but the blissfully sensuous, searing, sense-consuming, intoxicating, hypnotically caressing, heavily upholstered — in a word, the luxurious quality of his music?
  • Wagner’s art is the most sensational self-portrayal and self- critique of German nature that it is possible to conceive.

Freud and the Future (1937)

"Freud und die Zukunft" in Imago, vol. 22 (1936); as translate by Helen T. Lowe-Porter in Essays by Thomas Mann (1957) p. 307
While in the life of the human race the mythical is an early and primitive stage, in the life of the individual it is a late and mature one.
  • When it had long since outgrown his purely medical implications and become a world movement which penetrated into every field of science and every domain of the intellect: literature, the history of art, religion and prehistory; mythology, folklore, pedagogy, and what not.
  • Has the world ever been changed by anything save the thought and its magic vehicle the Word?
  • The myth is the foundation of life; it is the timeless schema, the pious formula into which life flows when it reproduces its traits out of the unconscious. Certainly when a writer has acquired the habit of regarding life as mythical and typical there comes a curious heightening of his artistic temper, a new refreshment to his perceiving and shaping powers, which otherwise occurs much later in life; for while in the life of the human race the mythical is an early and primitive stage, in the life of the individual it is a late and mature one.
  • I hold that we shall one day recognize in Freud’s life-work the cornerstone for the building of a new anthropology and therewith of a new structure, to which many stones are being brought up today, which shall be the future dwelling of a wiser and freer humanity.
  • As a science of the unconscious it is a therapeutic method, in the grand style, a method overarching the individual case. Call this, if you choose, a poet’s utopia.

The Beloved Returns (1939)

Lotte in Weimar as translated by Helen T. Lowe-Porter, Knopf (1940); also titled as 'Lotte in Weimar: The Beloved Returns
  • Hold fast the time! Guard it, watch over it, every hour, every minute! Unregarded it slips away, like a lizard, smooth, slippery, faithless, a pixy wife. Hold every moment sacred. Give each clarity and meaning, each the weight of thine awareness, each its true and due fulfillment.
    • Ch. 7
  • Cruelty is one of the chief ingredients of love, and divided about equally between the sexes: cruelty of lust, ingratitude, callousness, maltreatment, domination. The same is true of the passive qualities, patience under suffering, even pleasure in ill usage.
    • Ch. 7
  • Profundity must smile.
    • Ch. 7

Doctor Faustus (1947)

  • This music of yours. A manifestation of the highest energy — not at all abstract, but without an object, energy in a void, in pure ether — where else in the universe does such a thing appear? We Germans have taken over from philosophy the expression ‘in itself,’ we use it every day without much idea of the metaphysical. But here you have it, such music is energy itself, yet not as idea, rather in its actuality. I call your attention to the fact that is almost the definition of God. Imitatio Dei — I am surprised it is not forbidden.
    • Ch. 9
  • Why does almost everything seem to me like its own parody? Why must I think that almost all, no, all the methods and conventions of art today are good for parody only?
    • Ch. 15

Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man (1954)

Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull (1954), as translated by Denver Lindley
  • What a glorious gift is imagination, and what satisfaction it affords!
    • Bk. 1, Ch. 1
  • Only he who desires is amiable and not he who is satiated.
    • Bk. 1, Ch. 8
  • The intellect longs for the delights of the non-intellect, that which is alive and beautiful dans sa stupidité.
    • Madame Houpflé, Bk. 2, Ch. 9
  • What a wonderful phenomenon it is, carefully considered, when the human eye, that jewel of organic structures, concentrates its moist brilliance on another human creature!
    • Bk. 2, Ch. 4
  • O scenes of the beautiful world! Never have you presented yourself to more appreciative eyes.
    • Bk. 2, Ch. 4

Unsourced

  • I have always been an admirer. I regard the gift of admiration as indispensable if one is to amount to something; I don’t know where I would be without it.
    • Letter, (1950); as quoted in Thomas Mann — The Birth of Criticism (1987) by Marcel Reich-Ranicki
  • The positive thing about the sceptic is that he considers everything possible!
  • Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.
    • The Magic Mountain, Ch. 6 (section, A Good Soldier) ; tr. Woods (1996), p.506
  • War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.

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Simple English

File:Thomas Mann
Thomas Mann in 1937

Paul Thomas Mann (born June 6, 1875 in Lübeck; died August 12 1955 in Zürich) was a German author.

Mann was born in 1875 in Lübeck as son of a salesman and senator of the city of Lübeck, into a rich and conservative family. In 1891 his father died. In 1894 Mann left school. He went to Munich, were his mother and his brothers and sister had been since 1893. He worked as an insurance salesman and wrote poems and prose by the way.

In 1898 he published his first works and began Die Buddenbrooks, published in 1901. In 1906 he married, although he was not clear about his sexual identity. In the World War I, Mann agreed with the war, but not enthusiastically. In the time of the Weimar Republic he defended democratic ideas.

In 1929 he got the Nobel Prize for literature. In 1933 the Nazis burned books of his brother Heinrich Mann. Because of this both Thomas and Heinrich and their family moved to the United States in 1934. He lost his German citizenship, but got Czechoslovakian citizenship in the United States. In 1944 he became a US citizen.

He worked for the Allies in the radio during the World War II. In 1952 he had to give a talk to the Committee on Un-American Activities. He was very disappointed in the United States and returned to Europe, to Switzerland, in 1953. In the 1950's he visited Germany sometimes. He died in Zürich, Switzerland.

Contents

Works

Novels

  • Buddenbrooks - Verfall einer Familie (1901)
  • Königliche Hoheit (1909)
  • Der Zauberberg (1924)
  • Joseph und seine Brüder – Tetralogie (1933-1943)
    • Die Geschichten Jaakobs (1933)
    • Der junge Joseph (1934)
    • Joseph in Ägypten (1936)
    • Joseph der Ernährer (1943)
  • Lotte in Weimar (1939)
  • Doktor Faustus (1947)
  • Der Erwählte (1951)
  • Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull (1954)

Short stories and short novels

  • Vision. Prosa-Skizze, 1893
  • Gefallen, 1894
  • Der Wille zum Glück, 1896
  • Enttäuschung, 1896
  • Der Tod, 1897
  • Der kleine Herr Friedemann, 1897
  • Der Bajazzo, 1897
  • Tobias Mindernickel, 1898
  • Der Kleiderschrank, 1899
  • Gerächt. Novellistische Studie, 1899
  • Luischen, 1900
  • Der Weg zum Friedhof, 1900
  • Gladius Dei, Novelle 1902
  • Tonio Kröger, Novelle 1903
  • Tristan, Novelle 1903
  • Die Hungernden, 1903
  • Das Wunderkind, 1903
  • Ein Glück, 1904
  • Beim Propheten, 1904
  • Schwere Stunde, 1905
  • Anekdote, 1908
  • Das Eisenbahnunglück, 1909
  • Wie Jappe und Do Escobar sich prügelten, 1911
  • Der Tod in Venedig, 1912
  • Herr und Hund. Ein Idyll, 1918
  • Gesang vom Kindchen. Ein Idyll, 1919
  • Wälsungenblut, 1921
  • Unordnung und frühes Leid, 1926
  • Mario und der Zauberer, 1930
  • Die vertauschten Köpfe - Eine indische Legende, 1940
  • Das Gesetz, 1944
  • Die Betrogene, 1953

Dramas

  • Fiorenza

Essays

  • Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen, 1918
  • Das Problem der Freiheit, 1937
  • Versuch über Schiller, 1955
  • Über Goethe

Other pages

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