A Companion to the Works of Thomas Mann by Herbert Lehnert, Eva Wessell

By Herbert Lehnert, Eva Wessell

Thomas Mann is likely one of the maximum of German prose writers, and used to be the 1st German novelist to arrive a large English-speaking readership due to the fact Goethe. Novels comparable to Buddenbrooks, The Magic Mountain, and Doktor Faustus attest to his mastery of sophisticated, distanced irony, whereas novellas corresponding to loss of life in Venice demonstrate him on the peak of his mastery of language. as well as clean insights approximately those best-known works of Mann, this quantity treats less-often-discussed works resembling Joseph and His Brothers, Lotte in Weimar, and Felix Krull, in addition to his political writings and essays. Mann himself used to be a paradox: his function as family-father used to be either shelter and façade; his love of Germany was once matched by way of his contempt for its having embraced Hitler. whereas in exile through the Nazi interval, he functioned because the major consultant of the ''good'' Germany within the struggle opposed to fascism, and he has usually been remembered this fashion in English-speaking lands. yet a brand new view of Mann is rising part a century after his dying: a view of him as one of many nice writers of a modernity understood as extending into our twenty first century. This quantity presents 16 essays via American and eu experts. They show the relevance of his writings for our time, making specific use of the biographical fabric that's now to be had. individuals: Ehrhard Bahr, Manfred Dierks, Werner Frizen, Clayton Koelb, Helmut Koopmann, Wolfgang Lederer, Hannelore Mundt, Peter Pütz, Jens Rieckmann, Hans Joachim Sandberg, Egon Schwarz, and Hans Vaget.

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The estrangement had actually increased now, making him a new kind of outsider. Mann had produced his speeches for the BBC beginning in November 1940; since March 1941 they had been recorded in his own voice. In those speeches, he vituperated the German people for following Hitler, the “false victor” (Falschsieger) (GW 12, 993), predicting Germany’s eventual defeat even in 1940 when German war fortunes were at their peak. In January 1942 he cited a report of the gassing of Jews. Once, on 27 June 1943, he praised the protest movement at the University of Munich and mentioned the executions of students and faculty with deep empathy.

After Mann himself was attacked for participating in several peace movements, some of which had been communist inspired without his knowledge, he emigrated to Switzerland in 1952. At this time, his relationship with Germany was still uneasy. His books were being read there again, and he had visited Germany in 1949, but his radio broadcasts during the war, carried by the BBC from Great Britain, had not endeared him to his home country. The estrangement had actually increased now, making him a new kind of outsider.

Heinrich’s prose until then had appeared only in insignificant periodicals and daily newspapers. ” Repressed sexuality must have been an even more painful experience for Thomas Mann than it was for the heterosexual Heinrich, who merely suffered from his inability to have love experiences with compatible women. Thomas had reacted to the jolt of disapproval by his role model. He masked his sexual frustration by converting it into a heterosexual plot line. While Heinrich in his story had criticized the inability of the young man to live a new sexual morality, Thomas’s “Gefallen” is characterized by more distance.

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