Mann, Thomas (6 June 1875 - 12 August 1955)
Thomas Mann (6 June 1875 - 12 August 1955)
Dieter W. Adolphs
Michigan Technological University
This entry was expanded by Adolphs from his and Schwarz’s Mann entry in DLB 66: German Fiction writers, 1885–1913.
BOOKS: Derkleine Herr Friedemann: Novellen (Berlin: Fischer, 1898); title story translated by Herman George Scheffauer as “Little Herr Friedemann” in Children and Fools (New York: Knopf, 1928);
Buddenbrooks: Verfalleiner Familie, Roman, 2 volumes (Berlin: Fischer, 1901); translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter as Buddenbrooks, 2 volumes (New York: Knopf, 1924);
Tristan: Sechs Novellen (Berlin: Fischer, 1903); title story translated by Kenneth Burke in Death in Venice (New York: Knopf, 1925); “Tonio Kröger” translated by B. Q Morgan in The German Classics of the 19th and 20th Centuries, edited by Kuno Francke and William Guild Howard, volume 19 (New York: German Publications Society, 1914);
Fiorenza (Berlin: Fischer, 1906);
Bilseund ich (Munich: Bonsels, 1906);
Königliche Hoheit (Berlin: Fischer, 1909); translated by A. Cecil Curtis as Royal Highness: A Novel of German Court Life (New York: Knopf, 1916);
Derkleine Herr Friedemann und andere Novellen (Berlin: Fischer, 1909);
Der Tod in Venedig: Novelle (Munich: Hyperion, 1912); translated by Burke as Death in Venice (New York: Knopf, 1925);
Das wunderkind: Novellen (Berlin: Fischer, 1914); title story translated by Scheffauer as “The Infant Prodigy” in Children and Fools (New York: Knopf, 1928);
Friedrich und die groβe Koalition (Berlin: Fischer, 1915);
Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen (Berlin: Fischer, 1918);translated by Walter D. Morris as Riflections of a Nonpolitical Man (New York: Ungar, 1983);
Herr und Hund; Gesang vom Kindchen: Zwei Idyllen (Berlin:Fischer, 1919); translated by Scheffauer as Bash an and I (London: Collins, 1923); translation republished as A Man and His Dog (New York: Knopf, 1930);
Wälsungenblut (Munich: Phantasus, 1921);
Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull: Buchder Kindheit (Vienna: Rikola, 1922; enlarged, Amsterdam: Querido, 1937); enlarged as Bekenntnisse des Hoch staplers Felix Krull: Der Memoiren erster Teil (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1954); translated by Denver Lindley as Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man: The Early Years (New York: Knopf, 1955);
Novellen, 2 volumes (Berlin: Fischer, 1922);
Rede und Antwort: Gesammelte Abhandlungen und kleine Aufsätze (Berlin: Fischer, 1922);
Goethe und Tolstoj: Vortrag (Aachen: Verlag “Die Kuppel,” 1923); revised as Goethe und Tolstoj: Zum Problem der Humanität (Vienna: Bermann-Fischer, 1932);
Von deutscher Republik (Berlin: Fischer, 1923);
Okkulte Erlebnisse (Berlin: Häger, 1924);
Der Zauberberg: Roman, 2 volumes (Berlin: Fischer, 1924); translated by Lowe-Porter as The Magic Mountain, 2 volumes (New York: Knopf, 1927);
Bemühungen: Neue Folge der gesammelten Abhandlungen und kleinen Aufsätze (Berlin: Fischer, 1925);
Gesammelte werke in zehn Bänden, 10 volumes (Berlin: Fischer, 1925);
Lübeck als geistige Lebensform (Lübeck: Quitzow, 1926);
Kino: Romanfragment (Gera: Blau, 1926);
Pariser Rechenschaft (Berlin: Fischer, 1926);
Unordnung und frühes Leid (Berlin: Fischer, 1926); translated by Scheffauer as Early Sorrow (London: Secker, 1929);
Ausgewählte Prosa, edited by J. van Dam (Groningen & The Hague: Wolters, 1927);
Die erzählenden Schriften, 3 volumes (Berlin: Fischer, 1928);
Zwei Festreden (Leipzig: Reclam, 1928);
Hundert Jahre Reclam: Festrede (Leipzig: Reclam, 1928);
Sieben Aufsätze (Berlin: Fischer, 1929);
Mario und der Zauberer: Ein tragisches Reiseerlebnis (Berlin: Fisecher, 1930); translated by Lowe-Porter as Mario and the Magician (London: Secker, 1930; New York: Knopf, 1931);
Lebensabrβ (Paris: Harrison, 1930); translated by Lowe-Porter as A Sketch of My Life (Paris: Harrison, 1930; New York: Knopf, 1960);
Die Forderung des Tages: Reden und Aufsätze aus den Jahren 1925–1929 (Berlin: Fisecher, 1930);
Deutsche Ansprache: Ein Appell an die Vernurift (Berlin: Fischer, 1930);
Goethe als Repräsentant des bürgerlichen Zeitalters: Rede (Vienna: Bermann-Fischer, 1932);
Goethes Laufbahn als Schrftsteller: Vortrag (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1933);
Die Geschichten Jaakobs (Berlin: Fischer, 1933); translated by Lowe-Porter as Joseph and His Brothers (New York: Knopf, 1934);
Past Masters and Other Papers, translated by Lowe-Porter (New York: Knopf, 1933);
Der Junge Joseph (Berlin: Fischer, 1934); translated by Lowe-Porter as Young Joseph (New York: Knopf, 1935; London: Secker, 1935);
Leiden und Größe der Meister (Berlin: Fischer, 1935);
Freud und die Zukunft: Vortrag (Vienna: Bermann-Fischer, 1936);
Joseph in AÄgypten (Vienna: Bermann-Fischer, 1936); translated by Lowe-Porter as Joseph in Egypt (New York: Knopf, 1938; London: Secker, 1938);
Stories of Three Decades, translated by Lowe-Porter (New York: Knopf, 1936);
Ein Briefwechsel (Zurich: Oprecht, 1937); translated by Lowe-Porter as An Exchange of Letters (New York: Knopf, 1937);
Freud, Goethe, wagner: Three Essays, translated by Lowe-Porter (New York: Knopf, 1937);
Stockholmer Gesamtausgabe der Werke, 12 volumes (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1938–1956);
Dieser Friede (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1938); translated by Lowe-Porter as This Peace (New York: Knopf, 1938);
Schopenhauer (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1938);
Vom künftigen Siegder Demokratie (Zurich: Oprecht, 1938); translated by Agnes E. Meyer as The Coming Victory of Democracy (London: Secker & Warburg, 1938);
Achtung, Europa! Aufsätze zur Zeit (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1938);
Einführung in den Zauberberg für Studenten der Universität Princeton (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1939);
Lotte in Weimar (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1939); translated by Lowe-Porter as The Beloved Returns (New York: Knopf, 1940); translation republished as Lotte in Weimar (London: Secker & warburg, 1940);
The Problem of Freedom (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1939); German version published as Das Problem der Freiheit (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1939);
Die vertauschten Köpfe: Eine indische Legende (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1940); translated by Lowe-Porter as The sansposed Heads: A Legend of India (New York: Knopf, 1941);
Dieser Krieg: Aufsatz (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1940); translated by Eric Sutton as This War (New York: Knopf, 1940; London: Secker & Warburg, 1940);
War and Democracy (Los Angeles: The Friends of the Colleges at Claremont, 1940);
Order of the Day: Political Essays and Speeches of Two Decades, translated by Lowe-Porter, Meyer, and Sutton (New York: Knopf, 1942);
Deutsche Hörer! 25 Radiosendungen nach Deutschland (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1942); translated by Lowe-Porter as Listen, Germany! Twenty-five Radio Messages to the German People over B.B.C.(New York: Knopf, 1943); German version enlarged as Deutsche Hörer! 55 Radiosendungen nach Deutschland (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1945);
Joseph, der Ernährer (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1943); translated by Lowe-Porter as Joseph the Provider (New York: Knopf, 1944);
Das Gesetz: Erzählung (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1944); translated by Lowe-Porter as Be Tables of the Law (New York: Knopf, 1945);
The war and the Future (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1944);
Adel des Geistes: Sechzehn Versuche zum Problem der Humanität (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1945); translated by Lowe-Porter as Essays of Three Decades (New York: Knopf, 1947); German version enlarged as Adel des Geistes: Zwanzig Versuche zum Problem der Humanität (Berlin: Aufbau, 1955);
Leiden an Deutschland: Tagebuchblätter aus den Jahren 1933 und 1934 (Los Angeles: Pazifische Presse / New York: Rosenberg, 1946);
Ein Streitgespräch über die äußere und innere Emigration, by Mann, Frank Thieí, and Walter von Molo (Dortmund: Druckschriften-Vertriebsdienst, 1946);
Deutschland und die Deutschen: Vortrag (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1947);
Doktor Faustus: Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn, erzählt von einem Freunde (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1947); translated by LowePorter as Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer, Adrian Leverkühn, as old by a Friend (New York: Knopf, 1948);
Nietzsches Philosophie im Lichte unserer Erfahrung: Vortrag (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 1948);
Neue Studien (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1948);
Die Entstehung des Doktor Faustus: Roman eines Romans (Amsterdam: Bermann-Fischer, 1949); translated by Richard Winston and Clara Winston as The Story of a Novel: The Genesis of Doctor Faustus (New York: Knopf, 1961);
Goethe und die Demokratie (Zurich: Oprecht, 1949);
Ansprache im Goethe-Jahr 1949 (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1949; Weimar: Thüringer Volksverlag, 1949);
Goethe / Wetzlar / Weather (Copenhagen: Rosenkilde go Bagger, 1950);
Michelangelo in seinen Dichtungen (Cellerina: Quos Ego Verlag, 1950);
Meine Zeit: 1875–1950: Vortrag (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1950);
Der Erwählte: Roman (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1951); translated by Lowe-Porter as The Holy Sinner (New York: Knopf, 1951);
Lob der Vergänglichkeit (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1952);
Die Begegnung: Erzählung (Olten: Vereinigung Oltner Bücherfreunde, 1953);
Die Betrogene: Erzählung (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1953); translated by Willard R. Trask as The Black Swan (New York: Knopf, 1954);
Der Künstler und die Gesellschaft: Vortrag (Vienna: Frick, 1953);
Altes und Neues: Kleine Prosa aus fünf Jahrzehnten (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1953);
Ansprache im Schillerjahr 1955 (Berlin: Aufbau, 1955);
Das Eisenbahnunglück: Novellen (Munich: Piper, 1955);
Gesammelte Werke in zwölf Bänden, 12 volumes (Berlin: Aufbau, 1955);
Versuch über Schiller: Seinem Andenken zum 150. Todestag in Liebe gewidmet (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1955);
Nachlese: Prosa 1951–1955 (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer,
Meerfahrt mit Don Quijote (wiesbaden: Insel, 1956);
Zeit und Werk: Tagebücher, Reden und Schriften zum Zeitgeschehen (Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag, 1956);
Das erzählerische Werk: Taschenbuchausgabe in zwölf Bänden, 12 volumes (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1957);
Sorge um Deutschland: Sechs Essays (Frankfurt am Main:
Erzählungen (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1958);
Last Essays, translated by Richard Winston, Clara winston, Tania Stern, James Stern, and Lowe-Porter (New York: Knopf, 1959);
Gesammelte Werke in dreizehn Bänden, 13 volumes (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1960–1974);
Stories of a Lifetime, translated by Lowe-Porter, 2 volumes (London: Secker & Warburg, 1961);
Wagner und unsere Zeit: Aufsätze, Betrachtungen, Briefe, edited by Erika Mann (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1963); translated by Allan Blunden as Pro and Contra Wagner (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985);
Das essayistische Werk, edited by Hans Bürgin, 8 volumes (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1968);
Notizen: Zu Felix Krull, Königliche Hoheit, Versuch über das Theater, Maja, Geist und Kultur, Ein Elender, Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen, Doktor Faustus und anderen Werken, edited by Hans Wysling (Heidelberg: Winter, 1973);
Romane und Erzählungen, 10 volumes (Berlin: Aufbau, 1974–1975);
Dichter über ihre Dichtungen, 3 volumes, edited by Wyslin and Marianne Fischer (Munich: Heimeran, 1975 1981);
Thomas Mann: Tagebücher, 10 volumes, volumes 1–5 edited by Peter de Mendelssohn, volumes 6–10 edited by Inge Jens (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1977–1995)—comprises volume 1, 1918-1921; volume 2, 1933-1934; volume 3, 1935-1936; volume 4, 1937-1939; volume 5, 1940-1943; volume 6, 1944-1.4.1946; volume 7, 28.5.1946 31.12.1948; volume 8, 1949-1950; volume 9, 1951-1952; and volume 10, 1953–1955; partially translated by Richard Winston, Clara Winston, and Krishna winston as Thomas Mann: Diaries, 1918–1939, 1 volume, edited by Hermann Kesten (New York: Abrams, 1982);
Gesammelte Werke in Einzelbänden, edited by de Mendelssohn, 20 volumes (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1980–1986);
Notizbücher: Edition in zwei Bänden, edited by Wysling and Yvonne Schmidlin (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1991–1992);
Essays, 6 volumes, edited by Hermann Kurzke and Stefan Stachorski (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1993–1997);
On Myself and Other Princeton Lectures: An Annotated Edition Based on Mann’s Lecture Typescripts, edited by James M. Bade (New York: Peter Lang, 1996; revised, 1997);
Theodor Storm: Essay, edited by Karl Ernst Laage (Heide: Boyens, 1996);
Collegheft 1894–1895, edited by Schmidlin and Thomas Sprecher (Frankfurt: Klostermann, 2001);
Groβe Kommentierte Frankfurter Ausgabe: werke–Briefe–Tage bücher, 38 volumes, edited by Heinrich Detering, Eckhard Heftrich, Hermann Kurzke, Terence J. Reed, Sprecher, Hans R. Vaget, and Ruprecht wimmer (Frankfurt: Fischer, 2002— ).
Editions in English: Thomas Mann’s “Goethe and Tolstoy “: Notes and Sources, edited by Clayton Koelb, translated by Koelb and Alcyone Scott (University: University of Alabama Press, 1984);
Death in Venice and Other Stories, translated by David Luke (New York: Bantam, 1988; London: Secker & Warburg, 1990);
Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family, translated by John E. Woods (New York: Knopf, 1993);
The Magic Mountain, translated by Woods (New York: Knopf, 1995);
Doctor Faustus, translated by woods (New York: Knopf, 1997);
Six Early Stories, edited by Burton Pike, translated by Peter Constantine (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 1997);
Death in Venice and Other Tales, translated by Joachim Neugroschel (New York: Viking, 1998);
Death in Venice: Complete, Authoritative Text with Biographical and Historical Contexts, Critical History, and Essays from Five Contemporary Critical Perspectives, edited by Naomi Ritter (Boston: Bedford Books, 1998);
Death in Venice, Tonio Kroger, and Other Writings, edited by Frederick A. Lubich, foreword by Harold Bloom (New York: Continuum, 1999);
Death in Venice and Other Tales, translated by Jefferson S. Chase (New York: Signet Classics, 1999);
Thomas Mann’s Addresses Delivered at the Library of Congress, edited by Don Heinrich Tolzmann (New York: Peter Lang, 2003);
Death in Venice, translated by Michael H. Heim (New York: HarperCollins, 2004);
Joseph and His Brothers, translated by woods (New York: Everyman’s Library, 2005);
Three Essays, translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter (White fish, Montana: Kessinger, 2005).
Thomas Mann, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929 at the age of fifty-four, was the only German who received this prize in the period between the two world wars. Prior to Mann, only one German prose fiction writer, Paul Heyse, had been awarded this prize (in 1910), while Gerhart Hauptmann was honored (in 1912) “primarily in recognition of his fruitful, varied and outstanding production in the realm of dramatic art.” Two German nonfiction writers had also received this honor: the historian Theodor Mommsen in 1902 and the philosopher Rudolf Eucken in 1908. When Mann began his American exile in 1938, he and Albert Einstein (the 1921 Nobel Laureate for Physics) were the most prominent expatriated Germans. Until then, he had spent most of his life in Germany and had never left Europe. Even when Mann took a trip to Egypt and Palestine a year later in preparation for writing a tetralogy of novels based on the biblical story of Joseph, he could not imagine ever residing anywhere but in Germany. He also regarded himself merely as an unpolitical artist who preferred not to concern himself with the order of the day. When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, however, Mann decided not to return to Germany from a trip to Switzerland. In the next few years, he became a frequent visitor to the United States. During his second visit, in 1935, Harvard University awarded him an honorary doctorate; President Franklin Delano Roosevelt received him in the White House; and, on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday, he was celebrated as “the most eminent living man of letters.” In 1938, the year he left Europe for exile in the United States, he had seventeen years of great productivity ahead of him.
Mann was one of the few German-speaking intellectuals who received a warm welcome in the United States. His decision to settle in the United States was influenced by an invitation to become an honorary faculty member at Princeton University. He traveled all over the continent, delivering widely publicized speeches. One of the most prestigious American publishers, Alfred A. Knopf, had already hired Helen T. Lowe-Porter to translate Mann’s works into English, enabling him to address himself to a large circle of people who were interested both in his literary works and in his political views. As an articulate and passionate opponent of fascism and as an outspoken partisan of Roosevelt’s policies at home and abroad, he exercised a considerable influence on the country he had chosen as his residence.
Mann’s works represent a successful synthesis of the artist’s egotistical need to produce and the world citizen’s desire to express his ideas in a universally intelligible way. He saw his novel Der Zauberberg (1924; translated as The Magic Mountain, 1927) as a document of the “europäischen Seelenverfassung und geistigen Problematik im ersten Drittel des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts” (European mentality and intellectual dilemma of the first third of the twentieth century). He realized that for a work to be successful, the artistic wishes of the author and the concerns of the times must be fused into one whole. To achieve this aim, Mann consciously assumed the task of representing Germany’s venerable cultural tradition in the intellectual world.
After receiving the Nobel Prize, Mann regarded it as his responsibility to play the role of diplomat for the “good” Germany, particularly in the face of the historical catastrophe he saw coming. Americans harbored no suspicion that Mann might be a National Socialist, and, unlike many contemporary intellectuals, he did not look to Moscow for a utopian solution, either. His hopes were dependent on the “American model,” which he was more willing to embrace than many of his fellow immigrants. No other German-speaking author, with the exception perhaps of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, knew how to exploit the position of representative of German culture as well as Mann.
Mann’s public role as representative of the Ger man culture and his aim to express his ideas in a univer sally intelligible way did not allow him openly to admit his bisexuality. The only authority to which he con fided his homoerotic fantasies was his diary, and he burned most of the journals he had written before 1933. Twenty years after Mann’s death, the remaining diaries were unsealed and subsequently published. Only then were his readers provided with clear evidence of the autobiographical nature of the homoerotic elements in his novels and novellas. The diaries point out that several characters in his works secretly commemorate young men to whom Mann had been erotically attracted. However, his artistic practice of encoding such autobiographical elements into crypto graphic references, secretly identifying with literary figures who are disguised as women, and symbolically depicting homoeroticism as a universally human trait discourages one from regarding his works as gay litera ture.
During the Middle Ages, Mann’s hometown of Lübeck, a port in the extreme southwest corner of the Baltic Sea, had been one of the most important cities of the Hanse, a commercial association whose power extended from England to Scandinavia to Russia. Even after the collapse of the Hanse in the seventeenth century, Lübeck maintained its political independence and commercial significance. Since trade was at the core of city life, the wealthy merchant families determined its political and financial fate, and the members of the city parliament were selected from among them. The wealthy Bürger (established citizens) often functioned as the consuls of other European states and their colonies.
Johann Siegmund Mann moved from Mecklen burg to Lübeck in 1775; fifteen years later he estab lished a small business. Through his marriage to the daughter of a Hamburg grain merchant he furthered his professional relationships and established the basis for the success of his firm, which was primarily achieved by delivering grain to the Prussian troops during the Napoleonic wars from 1804 to 1814. In 1825 his son, Johann Siegmund II, married the daughter of the future mayor. It was not long before the Mann family was well established in Lübeck. After the death of his first wife, Johann Siegmund II married Elisabeth Marty; his first son from this marriage was Thomas Mann’s father, Thomas Johann Heinrich Mann, who was born in 1840. One year later the house on Meng straße, which Thomas Mann made famous in his novel Buddenbrooks (1901; translated, 1924), was built.
In 1863 Thomas Johann Heinrich Mann took over the family business and also assumed the position of consul of the Netherlands. In 1869 he became a member of the city parliament. That same year, he married Julia da Silva-Bruhns, who had been born in Brazil to a wealthy former citizen of Lübeck and his Portu guese wife; after her mother’s death she had been raised in Lübeck by her father’s relatives. Their first son, Luiz Heinrich, was born in 1871; their second son, officially named Paul Thomas, was born on 6 June 1875. In 1877 Thomas Johann Heinrich Mann was elected to a lifetime position as senator of the city. The same year, his daughter Julia Elisabeth was born.
In the early 1870s a great economic upsurge, known as the Gründerjahre, took place in Germany. Reparations from France, which had lost the Franco-Prussian war, fueled a period of wild financial speculation. Lübeck began to industrialize; the old firms had already lost their privileges by 1866, and their anachro nistic system of business was replaced by new institutions such as stock corporations. In spite of the insecure future of his firm, Mann’s father was able until his death to provide his children with a glamorous lifestyle, including summers at Travemünde on the Baltic Sea; the state of mind created by the sea occurs often in Mann’s works. In 1881, the year Mann’s sister Carla Augusta Olga Maria was born, his father built a house at Beckergrube 52. A final child, Viktor, was born in 1890.
Mann believed that his ability to create long nov elswas strengthened by the lasting impression his reliable and ambitious father had made on him. Mann also observed the pleasure his father took in outer appearances and later assumed this characteristic himself. His mother exercised the primary artistic influence on both Thomas and Heinrich: she had a large repertoire of songs that she enjoyed performing for the children; she also liked to read aloud to them and told them stories from her childhood in Brazil. Thus, Julia Mann not only awakened artistic interests in her sons but also introduced them to a world foreign to their existence in Lübeck, providing them experiences and feelings beyond the horizon of other boys their own age.
The family firm was dissolved upon the death of Mann’s father in 1891. At about the same time, his grandmother died. Her house on Mengstraße, which had provided for Mann not only refuge from the social turmoil of his parents’ home but also a retreat from the pressures of school, was sold. A year after her husband’s death, Julia Mann moved to the culturally and artistically active city of Munich with her younger children. Heinrich had left home in 1888 to pursue a career as a writer. Thomas, who was not quite seventeen, remained in Lübeck to complete the sixth form at the Katharineum, which entitled him to a shortened term of military service.
In spite of these profound changes and the experience of death, which left a deep imprint on Mann, he felt a sense of liberation. He no longer had to spend long hours studying to please his father, who had hoped that he would eventually take over the family business, and could devote himself to his real interests. His closest friend was Otto Grautoff, who was a social outcast because of the bankruptcy of his father; Mann’s letters to Grautoff between 1894 and 1900 are the only autobiographical source for the significant period in the author’s life before the appearance of Buddenbrooks. Together with Grautoff, Mann published his first works in the school paper, Frühlingssturm, of which the two were co-editors. Two issues of this short-lived effort appeared in 1893. After he had made several attempts at poetry, Mann’s superior narrative talent became evident. His first literary endeavors portray an in experienced person who feels frustrated by the inability of others to respond to his feelings of love.
In Lübeck, Mann had his first and immediately intense encounter with the operatic music of Richard wagner. At the same time, he was reading everything available, particularly the works of Friedrich Schiller and Heinrich Heine.
Immediately upon receiving his diploma in 1894 Mann left Lübeck to join his family in Munich. The move marked his dissociation from the mores and values of the privileged classes of the nineteenth century and his entry into the modern era. In contrast to Lübeck, Munich was one of the great centers of a developing Germany. The suburb of Schwabing, where farmers and tradesmen lived in close proximity to the well-to-do middle class, was being invaded by artists, who brought with them an atmosphere of liberalism. Elite circles such as that around the poet Stefan George believed themselves exempt from conventional social mores on account of their aesthetic superiority and developed an ideology of “art for the sake of art.” This atmosphere provided the basis for what is known as “decadent” art and literature.
within a short time Mann was well acclimated to life in Munich; through his mother’s circle of friends he came to know many artists and intellectuals. He took a position with a fire-insurance company, the Süd deutsche Feuerversicherungsbank. During office hours he secretly wrote a short story, “Gefallen” (Fallen).
Although Mann later rejected this piece, it marks a significant step in his career, since it was published in October 1894 in the respected periodical Die Gesellschaft, where it attracted the attention of the influential writer and editor Richard Dehmel. Dehmel wrote to Mann, praising his work, and later visited him. Such recognition strengthened Mann’s standing in the artistic circles of Munich and encouraged him to embark on a literary career unencumbered by gainful but time-consuming employment. He gave notice at the insurance company and registered for several courses at the Technische Universität in Munich. The lectures and seminars he attended more or less regularly from November 1894 to June 1895 provided important material for many of his future writings; Professor wilhelm Hertz’s lectures on German mythology and literature of the Middle Ages inspired as late a novel as Der Erwählte (1951, The Chosen One; translated as The Holy Sinner, 1951).
Mann’s short story “Der wille zum Glück” (The will to Be Happy) appeared in the August/September 1896 issue of the recently founded magazine Simplicissimus. Two other stories, which were later lost, were sent to Dehmel, who offered encouragement but failed to publish them. Mann, however, was little concerned with immediate success and concentrated on sharpening his writing skills and expanding his literary knowledge; his notebooks from this period document a strong interest in the works of Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer.
The success of “Gefallen” improved Mann’s relationship with his older brother. During his last school years, Mann had not felt that he was taken seriously by Heinrich, who had already established himself as a writer; but in 1895 the brothers traveled to Italy, returning there in October 1896 for an eighteen-month stay. In Rome, Mann finished a short story, “Der kleine Herr Friedemann” (translated as “Little Herr Friedemann,” 1928), which he sent to Neue deutsche Rundschau, a periodical of the influential S. Fischer publishing house. The editor, Oskar Bie, accepted the piece and requested that Mann send him all his previously written works so that they could be published as a collection. Before Mann’s return to Munich in the spring of 1898 the collection appeared under the title Der kleine Herr Friede-mann.
In these stories two spheres are presented in opposition to one another. One world is that of the successful hero who follows traditional, socially acceptable paths. The action serves primarily to show how he improves his position in society, catering to well-tested social norms. This type strives for what is acknowledged by all as good and right. Within his limited realm of family and professional life, he searches for happiness. This type is the “banale Bürger” (commonplace citizen). The second world is that of the outsider who expects something more from life. He looks down on the commonplace citizen but at the same time admires the latter’s strength and naive self-confidence. The perspective of the outsider reveals that the concepts of happiness and love are empty ideals in view of the “normal” social reality.
The story “Enttäuschung” (Disillusionment) is paradigmatic for the entire collection: disillusionment stems from the realization that life does not correspond to commonly held ideals. The aesthetics of decadence requires the rejection of banal social reality and concentration on the feelings of the sensitive individual. To the extent that they do not correspond to the “average,” Mann’s main characters can be seen as decadent; but they do not fill the bill completely because they do not make a cult of their heightened awareness or create an artistic principle out of their choice of lifestyle. They suffer because they are aware of an unbridgeable gap between their own lives and normal existence. They can enjoy neither the pleasures of narcissistic reflection nor the pathos of art for the sake of art; they are always in a state of gnawing self-doubt. Hardly have they been confronted with the outside world when they feel that their weaknesses have been exposed: they have removed themselves so completely from society that they can no longer participate in its life; at the same time, their search for inner fulfillment has been equally unsuccessful.
The stories of Der kleine Herr Friedemann present varied perspectives on the outsider’s existence. Johannes Friedemann in “Der kleine Herr Friedemann” is physically an outsider from the beginning; a cripple, he attempts to find happiness outside of family and work. For a time he finds pleasure in nature and music. The narrator of “Der Bajazzo” (The Dilettante) intentionally distances himself from others because he feels superior to them. His artistic tendencies, however, are unproductive. Socially prominent women always see through the Bajazzos and Friedemanns. These childless females enjoy success without having fulfilled the traditional female role; they are cruel and without compassion for weakness. They relentlessly show their superiority, giving men a feeling that their happiness is based on lies and deceit. The love, hate, and rage of the male characters in Mann’s early works are initially directed at life, then toward the female characters, and finally internalized as doubt, disgust, and self-hate.
This first collection reveals a thematic and structural unity through which Mann presents a common world. This unity is characteristic of all of his works. It is accomplished by various means, among them the stylistic element that has become famous throughout Mann’s work: the leitmotiv. The linking of individual pieces of Mann’s first collection by common settings, such as Lübeck, Munich, and Italy, and the reuse of character names can be seen as the beginning of the leitmotiv.
Mann had begun writing Buddenbrooks in 1897, completing it in August 1900. In October he began a one-year enlistment in the Royal Bavarian Infantry but was discharged as unfit in December. The publisher Samuel Fischer was appalled at the length of the manuscript of Buddenbrooks and demanded radical cuts, but the young author insisted on an unabridged printing. The publisher’s agreement to do so was one of the most important decisions in the company’s history. While the first two-volume edition of one thousand copies sold slowly, the second printing, in an inexpensive one-volume edition, was a tremendous success.
In Buddenbrooks the characters represent different generations of a merchant’s family as they develop within an historical framework. The novel begins with the founding of the Johann Buddenbrook firm and ends with the death of Hanno, the only heir of the fourth generation. The details are generally those of Mann’s family’s history and the social life of Lübeck. The story opens in 1835, just after the Buddenbrook family has moved into a house on Mengstraße. Three generations are living together: the founder of the family firm is seventy years old and heads the business together with his twenty-five-year-old son, Johann II. Nine-year-old Thomas, his brother Christian, and his sister Tony participate in the celebration of the new home in the company of friends and members of the two older Buddenbrook generations. These festivities are described in great detail; through this gathering the basic themes of the novel are revealed, and the differences of the three generations are emphasized. The founder of the firm still thinks in a way that reflects the ideals of the Napoleonic era. His son, Consul Johann Buddenbrook, is completely adapted to modern times and follows the practical ideals of his position. But his father senses the potential for evil in this practice. He regrets the fading away of the classical education based on the humanities and its replacement by a technical, goal-oriented system. His grandson Thomas is brought up under the new system: his father sends him to the Realgymnasium (a school combining a classical with a practical modern education), which prepares him to be a businessman.
The subtitle of the novel is Verfall einer Familie (Decline of a Family): the Buddenbrooks are subject to an inner dynamic that brings about the demise of the family and makes its final collapse inevitable. Johann Buddenbrook establishes a tradition by founding a family firm that requires different generations to work together. The principles of this tradition secure the success of the business; the symbol of the tradition is the house on Mengstraße, where the most important achievements in the family history are recorded chronologically in the Gutenberg Bible. But the succeeding generations have increasing difficulty abiding by the traditional laws of the firm. The leitmotiv of bad teeth makes it easier to comprehend this change: when bad teeth are mentioned, other difficulties are sure to follow. This leitmotiv is well illustrated by the fate of Thomas Buddenbrook. He is prosperous—he breaks all records in the firm’s history, in the face of many obstacles, and also becomes a senator. Thus, it is apparent that the Buddenbrooks do not decline because of financial trouble but because of their physical and mental weakness. In the first part of the novel the reader learns that Thomas has bad teeth; later, before his fiftieth birthday, he goes to the dentist and dies on the way home of a complete physical breakdown, symbolized by a decayed, hollow tooth.
The house on Mengstraße also serves as a leitmotiv. It first belongs to the wealthy Ratenkamp family, who experience their decline within its shelter. This fate is inherited by the Buddenbrooks when they move in, and the reader can only assume that the ever-growing Hagenström family will die out just like the Raten kamps and Buddenbrooks after they buy the house in 1871.
Another leitmotiv in Buddenbrooks is happiness. To an ever-increasing degree the interests of the firm force the family members to renounce their personal happiness. The main victim of this denial of happiness and love is Thomas’s sister Tony, who was modeled after Mann’s aunt, Elisabeth Amalia Hyppolitha. The greatest happiness in Tony’s life is her love for Morten Schwarzkopf, who comes from a modest background. Together with him Tony experiences the beauty of the sea, and from him she learns about the political liberation movements stirring in the country. Cruelly torn away from this relationship by her family, she is forced into two unfortunate marriages that cause financial loss as well as loss of prestige. Yet, it is Tony herself who feels the need to protect the family tradition. She upholds the principles of the firm even though they have become empty of meaning; just how blind Tony is to reality is revealed by the fact that she continues to repeat the leftist slogans of her young love, Schwarzkopf, which are quite incongruous with her otherwise patrician worldview.
In Hanno’s education the prophecy of his grandfather is fulfilled: the new school system, representing modern times, is incompatible with the cultivated spirit and intellect of the Buddenbrooks. The classical education that had fused a refined lifestyle with class consciousness has disintegrated—all that is left is an empty striving for success. The somewhat morbid Hanno suffers under the narrow-minded perspective of his teach ers and seeks escape in nature during vacations at the Baltic Sea and through the music of wagner. He perceives school as never-ending harassment. Hanno’s education marks the end of the days of the patricians and the point of departure for art in the coming twentieth century. The second chapter of the last section of the novel, which ends with the words “Dies war ein Tag aus dem Leben des kleinen Johann” (This was one day in the life of little Johann), is a literary document of intellectual oppression through education. Hanno dies of typhus at the age of fifteen.
Only women remain alive at the conclusion of the novel; they represent a static element in contrast to the male characters. Gerda, Thomas’s widow, with her passion for music and her symbolic origins on the edge of the North Sea, is subtly stylized into a harbinger of dissolution and death. After her husband and her son have died, she leaves the culturally inactive city of Lübeck. Tony remains the only proof of the Buddenbrooks’ former existence.
While the protagonists of Mann’s; early works do not overtly disclose any homoerotic desire, their unsuccessful attempts to be accepted point decisively to the societal pressures that were also directed against deviant sexual orientation. The novella “Tonio Kröger” (published in Tristan: Sechs Novellen, 1903; translated, 1914) depicts a character who shares many traits with Hanno Buddenbrook, yet manages to live beyond his adoles cence. As a schoolboy he has only one friend, Hans Hansen. Hans’s name, his blond hair, and his blue eyes make him a stereotypical German, while Tonio’s first name and Southern European appearance are indications of his “foreignness” to the dominant society. Hans is the first of Mann’s fictional characters to be based on someone to whom he had been attracted. A few months before his death, Mann confessed in a letter to a former fellow student, Hermann Lange, that the model for Hans was their classmate Armin Martens, who “was my first love, and never again in my life was I granted an equally tender, blissful, and grievous love.“while Martens did not acknowledge Mann’s affection, Hans does at least concede to a distant friendship with Tonio.
Tonio shares his last name with the in-laws of Thomas Buddenbrook; his first name represents the Latin heritage of Mann’s; mother. For Mann the South symbolized a purely aesthetic world. Tonio’s; mother is musical and inspires her son to write at an early age. Because of his Latin appearance and his literary interests, he becomes an outsider at school. Later in life he must fight inner conflicts: he could follow the path of the artist and completely remove himself from society; this choice, however, would deny the Nordic and social side of his heritage. In accepting the fact that he is an outsider and yet remaining within society, Tonio has a chance to find love and happiness. The love that the average person experiences presupposes a certain naiveté that Tonio has lost. Instead, he strives for a sublimated form of love, a special kind of art that expresses social sympathy.
Mann identified with the bourgeois tradition of humanism as defined in this story. In Buddenbrooks he showed that the traditional ideals of the upper classes were either an illusion or a reflection of self-interest; at the same time, he was unable to renounce the need to portray ideals that were so much a part of his heritage. He wanted to speak for everyone, without a fixed point of view. He belonged neither to the capitalists, as represented by the Hagenströms, nor to the left-leaning liberals such as Morten Schwarzkopf. After his father’s death and the demise of his social group Mann lost any firm political orientation; art remained his only means of speaking out. “Tonio Kröger” documents Mann’s path away from the disillusioned romanticism of his first collection of stories toward a new artistic intellectualism.
In his letter to Lange, Mann also defines the artis tic importance of his homoerotic experiences as the “rousing of a feeling which is destined to be transformed into a lasting work of art.” what he does not disclose, though, is the fact that “Tonio Kröger” was written during the time of his intensely homoerotic bonding with the painter Paul Ehrenberg.
Mann’s relationship with Ehrenberg came to an end in 1903, when Mann was introduced to the wealthy Pringsheim family. Alfred Pringsheim, of Jewish descent, was a mathematician at the University of Munich and a member of a group of wagner enthusiasts. His mansion was one of the most significant sites for intellectual and artistic meetings in Munich. Prings heim’s daughter Katharina (Katia) was nineteen years old when Mann met her. They were married on 11 February 1905 and had six children: Erika was born in 1905, Klaus in 1906, Golo in 1909, Monika in 1910, Elisabeth in 1918, and Michael in 1919.
Mann’s marriage enabled him to resume the way of life he had loved so much during his childhood. In 1930 he published several autobiographical sketches, one of them at the request of the Nobel Prize committee. In Lebensabrβ (1930; translated as A Sketch of My life, 1930) he says:“Die Atmosphäre des großen Familienhauses, die mir die Umstände meiner Kindheit vergegenwärtigte, bezauberte mich. Das im Geist kaufmännischer Kultureleganz Vertraute fand ich hier ins Prunkhaft-Künstlerische and Literarische mondä nisiert and vergeistigt” (The atmosphere of the large home, which brought back my childhood memories as if they were real again, totally enchanted me. The familiar spirit of the elegance of the cultured businessman’s world was enhanced and transmuted into the luxurious glamor of artistic and literary life). Through the Prings heimfamily Mann was introduced to the most affluent circles of Munich and Berlin society. In addition, Katia’s father presented the young couple with a royally fur nished apartment in Schwabing and supported them financially for years.
Katia Mann became Mann’s partner in his intellectual enterprise. Her self-assured personality complemented his ambitious but sensitive nature. She assumed the social responsibilities for her famous husband, kept his mornings free from intrusions so that he could work on his literary projects, managed his financial affairs, and even intervened when she felt that he was being manipulated or was simply saying too much in inter views. Life without Katia seemed utterly unimaginable to Mann; however, his new social role of a family man and cultural exponent not only impeded future erotic relationships with men, but it also determined and lim ited his choice of literary subjects. He abandoned plans for a novel titled “Maya,” an artistic reflection of his friendship with Ehrenberg.
In 1905 Mann finished his next major work, the drama Fiorenza (1906), which deals with the intellectual and political conflict between Lorenzo the Magnificent, the glorious figure of the Florentine High Renaissance, and Girolamo Savonarola, the prior of San Marco, who condemns the humanists’ excessive enjoyment of life and “decadent” art. While Savonarola is seen as an ascetic and a rigid moralist who is about to draw the masses away from Lorenzo, the latter seems to be an aesthete who supports art for art’s sake and lacks any responsibility to lead his people to a moderate and moral life. Only at the end do the opponents meet, when Savonarola visits Lorenzo on his deathbed. Now it becomes apparent that the two men have much in common. In Lorenzo’s view, Savonarola and he are brothers through an elective affinity: their fragile natures, which are only to be overcome by means of artistic fame or political power.
Lorenzo says, “wär’ ich schön geboren, nie hätte ich zum Herrn der Schönheit mich gemacht. Die Hemrung ist des willens bester Freund” (Had I been born beautiful, I would never have made myself the lord of beauty. Hindrance is the will’s best friend). He has no sense of smell and calls himself a cripple who does not know the scent of the rose or of a woman. His will to rule over the people’s aesthetic taste stems from this personal shortcoming, just as Savonarola’s desire for ethical and political leadership is a reaction to his personal weakness; the artist’s work is seen as a form of sublimation. Shortly before his death Lorenzo identifies with the prior’s confession: “Das Leiden darf nicht umsonst gewesen sein. Ruhm mull es bringen!” (My sufferings must not have been in vain. They must bring me fame!).
For the first time, Mann is openly confessing his own need for recognition. He accepts his new role as the famous man admired by the masses, but at the same time, he wants to make clear that glory and power are dangerous illusions. Thus, he links these themes with the leitmotiv of the great figure who is physically handicapped from birth and suffers from illness.
Fiorenza was Mann’s only experiment with the dramatic form. It was performed in Frankfurt and Munich and was a moderate success; but Mann referred to it as a “dramatic novella,” realizing that it was not well suited for the traditional stage. In its depiction of the confrontation between opposing artistic and ideological tenets, portrayed as a debate between individuals who represent these contradictory attitudes, Fiorenza prefigures Der Zauberberg.
In 1906 Mann wrote wälsungenblut (The Blood of the walsungs), which deals with incestuous love. He was forced to retract the work before the copies of Die neue Rundschau that featured it had arrived in the bookstores. He had used the stereotype of the rich Jew and his tastelessly “bedecked” wife, and even before publication the news spread around Munich that Mann had written the story as a satire of his wife’s family. The public could not believe that Katia Mann’s father was not identical with the Jewish wagner-worshiper in wäl sungenblut; and even though Mann’s mother-in-law had approved the publication, her husband, who was not fond of his son-in-law’s “loose” literary career, became so outraged that Mann had no choice but to withdraw the work. The story did not appear until 1921, and then only in a private edition.
In the novel Konigliche Hoheit (1909; translated as Royal Highness: A Novel of German Court Life, 1916) Mann once again varies two of his favorite themes, the outsider and happiness. Like Tonio Kröger, Prince Klaus Heinrich experiences exclusion from his peer group; once again, the protagonist is suffering from a physical handicap, this time atrophy of his left hand. He is able to turn his feelings as an outsider into a positive attitude: when he assumes the throne, he does not become a cynical tyrant but a kindhearted ruler. He finds happiness in marriage to Imma Spoelmann, who is also an outsider because of her partially Native American ancestry. His wife’s wealth enables Klaus Heinrich to reform his destitute land. Königliche Hoheit marks the turning point in Mann’s development from an apolitical aesthete and pessimistic critic of culture to a nationalistic monarchist–an orientation to which he held for ten years out of loyalty to traditional values.
In 1909 Mann published the short story “Das Eisenbahnunglück” (translated as “Railway Accident” in Stories of Bree Decades, 1936). This work has strong autobiographical content and, for the first time, depicts an established artist–the first-person narrator of the story–who frequently travels for public readings of his works. On one of these journeys, his train derails. While nobody is seriously hurt, public order and social hierarchy are temporarily annulled, and the author must fear for a few hours that the only copy of his unfinished novel may have been destroyed. In later years, Mann spoke of his artistic existence during the wilhelminean monarchy as based on “machtgeschütz ten Innerlichkeit” (an introspectiveness sheltered by authoritarian power). In “Das Eisenbahnunglück,” this unpolitical attitude is humorously portrayed and mildly ridiculed.
The novella Der Tod in Venedig (1912; translated as Death in Venice, 1925) depicts the last few weeks of the life of Gustav Aschenbach, who is presented as the celebrated author of the novel “Maya.” His works have become part of the school curriculum and are presented to Germany’s youth as a model of stylistic discipline and moral integrity. In spite of his extraordinary success, he is yet another protagonist who is excluded from mainstream society: he is an outsider by virtue of his role as a national idol. A widowed and intellectually solitary man in his fifties, Aschenbach finds it increasingly difficult to live up to these public and self-imposed expectations. He frequently seeks refuge from his artistic and public duties through traveling, especially to Venice.
The erotic excitement of decaying Venice and the allure of the handsome boy Tadzio render Aschenbach incapable of leaving. As a result of his decision to stay in the cholera-infested city he becomes a victim of the disease. Der Tod in Venedig reveals the homoerotic fantasies of an author who could never openly admit his sexual propensity. The moral standards of his time did not allow Mann actual fulfillment of his desires; instead, the boys and young men who aroused his fantasies repeatedly found entrance into his literary works. Even though Tadzio, whose family is staying at the same luxurious hotel as Aschenbach, will never engage in a conversation with his admirer, he is well aware of Aschenbach’s infatuation with him, enjoys the older man’s adoration of his body, and engages in an exchange of secret glances with him.
At the end of the novella Aschenbach dies in his canopied beach chair while watching his beloved Tadzio, who seems to be summoning him into the sea. The public will remember the great man as a model of artistic and personal self-discipline, while his actual end is rather undignified. Artistic beauty has revealed itself to be an illusion; it is the basis for the artist’s fame but not a true picture of his inner self.
Like Hans in “Tonio Kröger,” Tadzio was based on an actual youth to whom Mann had been attracted. During a stay in Lido in May 1911, he had glimpsed the Polish boy władysław (“Adzio”), Baron Moes. In the essay “Die Ehe im Übergang” (1925, Marriage in the State of Transition), Mann presents his view of homosexuality and its symbolic meaning in his own works, especially Der Tod in Venedig. He draws a parallel between art and Eros, arguing that homosexual love is like art for art’s sake: self-serving, childless, and without the potential for commitment and faithfulness. In this regard, Aschenbach’s demise is the price modern art must pay for its newly gained independence and loss of social responsibility. However, by largely straying from the ostensible subject, marriage, the essay pays homage to homoeroticism, and it also serves as an apologia for homoerotic love as the true origin of artistic creativity.
The outbreak of world war I forced Mann to deal explicitly with politics. He became an ally of the patriotic monarchists with his essay Friedrich and die grße Koalition (1915, Frederick and the Great Coalition), in which he demonstrated the qualities of the German spirit as exemplified by Frederick the Great. He was suddenly identified with a group of loyalist writers who saw Germany as a country with high moral qualities that was being unfairly attacked.
while Mann was making plans for a book that would reawaken the ideals of the nineteenth century and celebrate the moral and apolitical characteristics of the German spirit, he encountered an unexpected opponent in his own brother, Heinrich, whose 1915 essay “Zola” cast France as an ally in the struggle for deToc racy. Heinrich Mann felt that it was the responsibility of all intellectuals to lend support for democratization and thereby accelerate a process hampered by autocratic Germany. Artists such as his brother Thomas were depicted as parasites who could not break away from their old financial supporters. This criticism hurt Thomas Mann deeply. But as it became increasingly clear that Germany would lose the war, Mann realized that the time for support for conservatism was over. The only thing yet to be done was to secure his personal integrity; there were no longer any political interests worth defending. Thus, his book was finally completed as the intellectual retreat of an artist who could no longer defend traditional values politically but rather as a reflection of his own apolitical conscience.
when the voluminous work appeared in 1918 under the title Betrachtungen eines Unpolit?chen (translated as Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man, 1983), its great success was an irony of fate. The book was enthusiastically adopted by the antidemocratic forces in Germany at a moment when its author was trying to adjust to the coming of democracy. In 1922 he publicly declared his allegiance to the new system in the speech Von deutscher Republik (1923, Of the German Republic). From that day forward he was placed in a difficult position between the disappointed conservatives, on the one hand, and the German Democrats, who would hold him suspect for a long time to come, on the other. This controversy among Mann critics continued and also influenced the Nobel Prize Committee in their decision to grant him this prize primarily for his first novel, Buddenbrooks, rather than Der Zauberberg or a more recent work.
After a relatively unproductive period, Mann completed Der Zauberberg in 1924. When he had first planned it in 1912, he had thought of it as a brief humorous pendant—he called it a “satyr play”—to Der Tod in Venedig. But the doom signaled by Gustav Aschen bach’s downfall had become reality at the end of the war. Thus, what was originally conceived as a short story became Mann’s third swan song; this time not to the upper class of Lübeck nor to the nineteenth-century artist but to the entire prewar culture.
The beginning of the novel is indicative of the complex interplay it presents between the past, the present, and the future. The narrator points out a special feature of the German language: while the simple past tense can be used in English to refer to recent events, its German equivalent is mainly reserved for storytelling purposes. The narrator emphasizes the irre coverability of the world depicted in his story by calling himself “den raunenden Beschwörer des Imperfekts” (the murmuring conjurer of the simple past tense). He points out that the era portrayed in the story is not separated from the present by a long period of time—in fact, it is rather recent—but by the cataclysm of world war I, which has ushered in a new and completely dif ferent era.
The novel is more than a mourning of the past; it also attempts to remind the new culture of its historical dimensions. It begins in 1907 at the tuberculosis sanatorium Berghof in Davos, a luxurious resort for the upper classes in a remote area of the Swiss Alps. Its inhabitants represent the various national mentalities and intellectual currents of the prewar period. The protagonist, the inexperienced young German engineer Hans Castorp, is so absorbed by the uncanny atmosphere of the Berghof that he feels as if he is caught in a magical circle. Initially, he intends to stay only three weeks to visit his cousin Joachim Ziemßen, whose military career has been interrupted by tuberculosis. Ziemßen returns to the army, but he has to come back to the sanatorium, where he dies. Castorp, entranced by the Magic Moun tain, remains in Davos; seven years later, long after the death of his cousin, only world war I removes him from this world. He is called back to everyday life to fight in the war.
In many respects Der Zauberberg can be compared to the classical German bildungsroman or educational novel. Like Goethe’s wilhelm Meister, Castorp becomes a more educated and responsible individual after the years of exposure to all the trends of his time and culture. First of all, he experiences the difference between objective and subjective time: the former can be measured mechanically and subjects the human being to the law of cause and effect; the latter depends on the intensity of feelings and alternately stagnates and rushes. Subjective time is the basis for human perception, enabling Castorp to broaden his horizon and understand the intellectual heritage of his culture. The Magic Mountain with its international atmosphere enables him to realize that Germany’s fate is bound to a common European tradition. Castorp gains a perspective from which he can appreciate what initially was completely strange and forbidding to his pragmatic and technically oriented mind.
During the first year of his stay Castorp becomes completely part of the Berghof routine. wrapped in blankets, he rests for hours on his private balcony, just like the patients, who are acclimated to such a degree that their former lives in the lower altitudes have become unimaginable. While the original purpose of their stay was to escape death from tuberculosis, they are caught in a vicious circle: the Berghof can prolong their lives to a degree, but they are still hopelessly in the clutches of death. The luxurious lifestyle deceives them and serves the interest of the Berghof management, which quietly removes the corpses of the deceased on sleds at night, unnoticed by the survivors.
As in the outside world, the patients are divided into social and ethnic groups, represented by seven dinner tables. When he leaves the sanatorium, Castrop will have eaten at every table, even the “schlechten Russentisch” (the bad Russian table). Castorp’s most significant insights stem from his increasingly active inclusion in the intellectual battles between the Italian humanist Settembrini and the rigid dogmatist and ascetic Naphta. Mann’s descriptions of Settembrini and Naphta are suffused with irony and humor: the hedonistic humanist’s lifestyle is extremely modest, while the radical ascetic lives in a stylish and comfortable apartment. Their ideological confrontation cannot be settled by arguments: in a pistol duel, Naphta shoots himself after Settembrini refuses to aim at him. It is not the rigid moralist who survives, as in Fiorenza, but the physically weakened humanist with self-doubts that derive from his commitment to a cosmopolitan intellectualism.
In addition to the seven dinner tables and the intellectual dispute, Castorp is exposed to three other powerful influences. First, he develops a critical attitude toward science as a result of his observations of Dr. Behrens, the head physician, a traditional medical doctor who apparently acts more in the interest of the insti tution’s management than in that of his patients, and his assistant, Dr. Krokowski, a follower of a popularized form of psychoanalysis that Ziemßen calls “Seelenzer gliederung” (dismemberment of the soul), an approach that only reinforces his patients’ illusions.
The appearance of Clawdia Chauchat is another key experience for Castorp. Her Eastern heritage and fluent knowledge of French upset the balance Mann’s previous works had established between “Northern” and “Southern” values, the German tradition of self-command and the Latin dedication to art. Clawdia’s unpunctuality and sensuality irritate Castorp, who tries to hide his insecurity behind a feeling of cultural superiority. He harbors a chauvinistic prejudice against Clawdia’s native Russia and finds her behavior uncivilized and uncouth. Clawdia tries to avenge herself by forcing Castorp to speak in French, but she cannot destroy his self-respect; she only strengthens him by refuting his ini tial prejudice. Castorp’s love affair with Clawdia is indicative of Mann’s enormous intellectual develop- rent in the years between the Betrachtungen eines Unpoli- techen and the completion of Der Zauberberg.
Finally, Castorp is extremely impressed with his successor as Clawdia’s lover, the giant Mynheer Peeperkorn, who is the epitome of the strong personality. His lack of intellectuality, symbolized by his in capacity for articulate speech, is compensated for by his cult of vitalism. Peeperkorn commits suicide when he feels his sexual powers falter; Castorp is repulsed by this demeaning death and realizes that the ideal of a great personality stems from the exaggeration of the individual.
Before Castorp leaves the Magic Mountain to become a foot soldier in the chaos of world war I, he has a vision during a snowstorm of a peaceable mankind, civilized and humane, albeit with a sinister, indeed murderous, secret under the pleasant surface. The vision gives way to daydreaming and finally the verbalization of problems central to the novel. In the course of these musings the reader finds the only itali cized sentence in the book; it says that for the sake of love, man is not to grant death power over his thoughts. Stripped of its symbolism, this passage is Mann’s confession that in Der Zauberberg he has sub jected his romantic German heritage to a final scru tiny, deciding to relegate it to second place behind the democratic and life-enhancing virtues of western European culture. It can be argued that the impact of this message is weakened by the narrator’s explicit assertion that shortly after escaping from the storm Castorp forgets the vision, and by the fact that the book continues for several more chapters. But in the course of these chapters the message turns up again in only slightly modified form, so it is permissible to con-dude that it retains its validity even if Castorp himself cannot live up to it. At the end of the novel he is left to an uncertain fate in the midst of a merciless battle.
Der Zauberberg shows the self-destructive powers hidden in culture; at the same time, it appeals to the moral values of culture, without which the world would be totally lost. In this work Mann’s narrative techniques are at their most brilliant. The narrator, the characters, and the world created are constantly perceived through irony so that it is impossible for the reader to maintain any fixed point of reference. The characters exist behind masks: their individual fates seem to adhere to historically predetermined roles. But even these roles receive a new individuation through the narration. The story is an exercise in dialectical hermeneutics: without tradition the people would have no identity, but the tra dition must incessantly be reinterpreted and related to the present lest it become a simple stereotype.
All of this complexity does not make it easy for readers, particularly if they must rely on a translation. The constant switching between historical patterns and individual fates is achieved through Mann’s use of language, which is significant to the smallest detail. Certain references, such as the one to the function of the German simple past tense, have to be left out unless the text is to be encumbered by lengthy footnotes (in The Magic Mountain Lowe-Porter translates “den raunenden Beschwörer des Imperfekts” as “the rounding wizard of times gone by,” while John E. Woods [in a 1995 rendition] avoids a direct translation and expounds: “a story that.. must necessarily be told with verbs whose tense is that of the deepest past”).
Another difficulty is caused by the use of the leitmotiv. Repeated phrases such as “bond and b auäugig” (blond and blue-eyed) connect parts of the text; they often have not been recognized by the translator, or their different contexts did not allow for the exact repetition of the former phrase. The names of characters, such as Clawdia Chauchat (hotcat) or Hermine Kleefeld (cloverfield), are related to their personalities in ways that are only apparent in the original German. Some passages imitate the language of special social groups or particular styles of art to such an extent that it is impossible to determine the line between parody and seriousness. Every translation of Mann’s works is necessarily an interpretation that limits and reduces the vast and rich tapestry of his language. The English translations concentrate almost exclusively on the storyline and, consequently, do not let the reader see how resolutely the German text utilizes irony. Newer transla tions of some of Mann’s works–such as David Luke’s rendition of Death in Venice and woods’s translations of Buddenbrooks, Der Zauberberg, and Doctor Faustus–have tried to overcome these limitations.
Today, even German-speaking readers are separated from Mann’s text by a great historical and cultural distance. The original readers of the work were privileged bourgeois citizens educated in the humanities in a style that no longer exists. They were well acquainted with mythology and texts of world literature as well as the biographies of people such as Goethe and Nietzsche. Modern readers are often unaware of the allusions to this tradition, nor will they suspect, for example, that Peeperkorn is modeled on the dramatist Hauptmann. This cultural distance does not make the story less interesting than it was for the reader of 1924, but it reduces the significance of the intended irony. Even if modern readers are aware of the cultural background, they will experience the humor in a different way than Mann intended–like a joke that requires extensive explanation to be appreciated. In spite of these obstacles to full understanding, Mann’s texts retain much of their original luster and, on the whole, their many levels of significance.
In 1926 Mann was elected a member of the Literary Section of the Prussian Academy of Art. After Der Zauberberg he returned to the present, the era of the Weimar Republic, which is reflected in two of his works. The economic depression and the rise of National Socialism provided the background for these short stories. In Unordnung and frühes Leid (1926, Dis order and Early Sorrow; translated as Early Sorrow, 1929), the economic crisis forms the background. The story centers on a family whose lifestyle has been severely reduced and which is undergoing a generational conflict. The children see in their magnificent villa only the relic of a bygone time; the values their parents associate with the house are foreign to them. The inner tensions of the father, Abel Cornelius, a history professor who has to reconcile his rigorous self-expectations as a scholar with his mystical inclinations, constitute a subtheme. The main theme is the painful process of his separation from the youngest daughter, Lorchen; he is forced to witness her loss of childish naiveté without being able to keep the distance between them from growing. Lorchen is Mann’s typical child figure: she lacks the “normal” child-like characteristics. In the eyes of her brothers and sisters she is too young to be taken seriously; in reality, she already possesses the selfawareness and eros that tragically separate her from her siblings and her father, whom she loves dearly.
The story Mario and der Zauberer (1930; translated as Mario and the Magician, 1930) is based on experiences Mann and his family had as vacationers in Benito Mussolini’s Italy, where they suffered the insult of being refused permission to dine on the same hotel terrace as the Italian aristocracy. In the story a family witnesses a murder: a magician/hypnotist humiliates his audience of vacationers and townspeople until the uneducated young waiter Mario draws a revolver and puts an end to the terror. The narrator, who confesses that he, too, had come under the hypnotic spell of the demogogic entertainer, hopes that his children have misunderstood the episode as a simple stunt. The story does not answer the question of whether the parents have done the right thing by protecting the children from the truth of the situation. Mario and der Zauberer was later acknowledged as Mann’s warning against fascism, already in power in Italy and threatening to take over Germany.
By the end of the 1920s, Mann not only was considered one of the most accomplished fiction writers by his German-speaking readers but also enjoyed strong international recognition. It was no great surprise when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929. In a letter of 19 October 1927 he had reported to his oldest children Klaus and Erika that there were rumors about him being a final candidate. And in his 1930 autobiographical essay Lebensabrβ, Mann writes: “Die sensationelle Auszeichnung, welche die schwedische Akademie zu vergeben hat, and die nach siebzehn Jahren zum erstenmal wieder nach Deutschland fiel, hatte, soviel ich wußte, schon mehr als einmal dicht über mir geschwebt and traf mich nicht unvorbereitet. Sie lag wohl auf meinem wege–ich sage es ohne Uberheblichkeit” (The famous award of the Swedish Academy, which once more, after a space of seventeen years, fell to Germany’s lot, had, I knew, hovered over me more than once before and found me not unprepared. It lay, I suppose, upon my path in life–I say this without presumption). Mann’s friend Hans von Hülsen was the German correspondent of the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter and was quite familiar with the politics of the Nobel committee. Through him and other sources, Mann could assume that the critical vote for or against him depended on the conservatively minded literary critic and scholar Fredrik Böök, who had praised Bud denbrooks but was rather critical of Der Zauberberg. It was, in fact, Böök who gave the presentation speech on 10 December 1929, and he once again praised Buddenbrooks and only briefly mentioned Der Zauberberg.
Mann’s fame as an artist did not allow him to remain the “unpolitical man” of the first two decades of the century. Because of the historical situation in Europe, his persona had-much against his own inclination-become highly politicized. While his fame as a novelist was unquestionable, his outspoken support of the new German democracy was not met with applause by everyone. Even though the original conception of Der Zauberberg had no political ambitions and was perhaps conservative, Mann supported those of his critics who praised this novel for its prodemocratic and antiromantic elements-such as Settembrini’s warnings against totalitarianism and the humanistic message of Hans Castorp’s vision in the chapter titled “Schnee” (Snow). Mann was somewhat disappointed when the public was told that he had earned the Nobel Prize “principally for his great novel, Buddenbrooks, which has won steadily increased recognition as one of the classic works of contemporary literature,” as the citation read. He considered this dedication to be a subtle disapproval of his political stance, and held Böök responsible for this decision.
By far the majority of German Nobel laureates had been chemists and physicists-with Einstein the most prominent. Gustav Stresemann and Ludwig Quidde were the first German Peace laureates, and received this honor in 1926 (together with Aristide Briand) and 1927 (together with Ferdinand Buisson), respectively. In his banquet speech in Stockholm on 10 December 1929, Mann dedicated the prize to Germany and his fellow citizens and concluded that his own award was a symbol for Germany’s renewed acceptance in the world community: “was in Deutschland in den letzten anderthalb Jahrzehnten geistig, künstlerisch geleisted wurde, ist nicht im Schutze günstiger Umstände, nicht unter gesicherten seelischen und mate riellen Verhältnissen geleisted worden” (German intellectual and artistic achievements during the last fifteen years have not been made under conditions favorable to body and soul). He points out that Saint Sebastian is his favorite saint, and explains:
Anmut in der Qual–dies Heldentum ist es, das Sankt Sebastian symbolisiert. Das Bild mag kühn sein, aber ich bin versucht, dies Heldentum für den deutschen Geist, die deutsche Kunst in Anspruch zu nehmen und zu vermuten, daß die der literarischen Leistung Deutschlands Zugefallene Weltehrung diesem sensiblem Heldentum gilt. Deutschland hat durch seine Dichtung Anmut bewiesen in der Qual. Es hat die Ehre gewahrt: politisch, indem es nicht in Schmerzensanar- chie zerfiel, indem es das Reich bewahrte; und geistig, indem es das östliche Prinzip des Leidens zu einen ver mochte mit dem westlichen Prinzip der Form, indem es in Leiden Schönes hervorbrachte.
(Grace in suffering: that is the heroism symbolized by St. Sebastian. The image may be bold, but I am tempted to claim this heroism for the German mind and for German art, and to suppose that the international honor fallen to Germanys literary achievement was given with this sublime heroism in mind. Through her literature Germany has exhibited grace in suffering. She has preserved her honor, politically by not yielding to the anarchy of sorrow, yet keeping her unity; spiritually by uniting the Eastern principle of suffering with the Western principle of form–by creating beauty out of suffering.)
By positing his success as a sign of the new respect Germany has earned in the world for her role as mediator between East and West, Mann’s acceptance speech reiterates the main idea of Der Zauberberg, and thereby subtly disagrees with the Nobel committee’s singling out of Buddenbrooks.
By 1929, at the height of his success, Mann had become sensitive to matters of discrimination and injustice. While he did not mention it himself, another incident somewhat dampened his appreciation of the Nobel honor: King Gustav V gave preferential treatment to the one aristocrat among the winners. While this behavior was without a doubt part of the standard protocol, Katia Mann still remembered it fifty years later as a grievous insult. Mann had defended democracy undauntedly throughout the Weimar period, but he had to experience what it meant to be discriminated against before he could really stand up for it emotion ally.
In 1921 and 1925 Mann had written essays on Goethe and Leo Tolstoy in which he attempted to bind the realism of the nineteenth century to the older tradition of German classicism. In the course of this work he became receptive to the suggestion in Goethe’s autobiography Aus meinem Leben: Dichtung and wahrheit (1811–1814, 1833, From My Life: Poetry and Truth; trans lated as Autobiography of Goethe, 1846) that the biblical story of Joseph be recast as an historical novel. In 1926 Mann began a project based on a section of Genesis that resulted in his mammoth tetralogy, to which he devoted seventeen years of effort. He made an intensive study of the era in question and took a three-month tour of the historical sites referred to in the Bible; it was the first time he left Europe. In 1933 the first of the four volumes appeared: Die Geschichten Jaakobs (The Tales of Jacob; translated as Joseph and His Brothers, 1934), in which the origin of the historical tradition from which Joseph derives is described. Der Junge Joseph (translated as Young Joseph, 1935) and Joseph in Ätypten (translated as Joseph in Egypt, 1938) followed in 1934 and 1936, respectively. The final volume, Joseph, der Ernährer (translated as Joseph the Provider, 1944), was not published until 1943.
The last three works were written abroad. Mann left Germany on 11 February 1933 on a lecture tour and remained in exile. Despite his great influence during the Weimar years, influence he had repeatedly used to warn his countrymen against the rising tide of National Socialism, at heart Mann had remained the “unpolitical German.” His political ideas strike the modern reader as alarming in their optimistic naiveté. When one reads his interviews of the period, one is amazed to see the extent to which he minimized the dangers of militarism and political extremism. In 1928 he had still believed that National Socialism, in spite of all the bloody rioting, need not be taken seriously. As late as 1932 he was still of the opinion that the Nazi threat would be short-lived. Soon after Hitler became chancellor, Mann gave a lecture in Munich titled “Leiden and Größe Richard Wagners” (Sufferings and Greatness of Richard wagner), in which he upheld the essence of German culture against ideological abuse. The speech greatly fanned the hostility of the new regime and its sympathizers. Still, Mann might have returned to Germany after his foreign lecture tour had it not been for the warnings of his oldest children, Klaus and Erika, who were fervent antinationalists. A letter of March 1933 reveals the depth of his fear that he would never be able to “breathe the air” of Germany again. In exile he regarded it as his mission to represent Germany’s “good element” against the destructive powers of its current rulers.
At first he stayed in Sanary-sur-Mer on the French Riviera, where many refugee writers had taken up residence; in the early fall of 1933 he moved to Küs nacht, near Zurich, where he lived until his move to the United States in 1938. On 19 December 1936 his honorary doctorate from Bonn University, which he had received in 1919, was revoked by the philosophical faculty; Mann published the letter informing him of the revocation, along with his reply, as Ein Briwechsel (1937; translated as An Exchange if Letters, 1937). In 1937 he was awarded Czechoslovakia’s Herder Prize for exiled writers. In Küsnacht he began a novel about Goethe, Lotte in weimar (translated as The Beloved Returns, 1940), which was completed at Princeton and published in 1939. Goethe is portrayed as an isolated intellectual giant in the small-town atmosphere of eighteenthcentury weimar who is visited by a woman he had loved and lost forty years earlier: Charlotte Kestner (neé Buff), who served as the model for Charlotte in his novel Die Leiden des jungen werthers (1774; translated as The Sorrows of werther, 1786). At an early stage of his life, impressed with the sage’s productivity, Mann had taken Goethe as a model. He had especially been inspired by Goethe’s ability to balance his often contradictory inner forces and achieve mental harmony even in his most trying moments.
In Lotte in weimar, Mann depicts Goethe as an older man who, in spite of his great fame and many social amenities, is intellectually isolated. He has not overcome the loss of his only intellectual equal, Schiller, and is surrounded by a group of jealous worshipers. The central part of this work, however, departs from the description of these external circumstances and puts the reader into the protagonist’s own perspective, thereby disclosing the processes of a creative mind. Here, Mann reveals his view of bisexuality as the driving force of artistic creativity.
The Joseph project corresponded well to the concerns of the time. Joseph is exiled by his brothers to Egypt. Having grown up in the mythical world of Israel, he is struck by the modernity and complexity of the Egyptian civilization. Thanks to this new horizon, he can free himself from the mythical entanglement. He does not give up his own culture, but his new experi ences make it possible for him to show his people a way into the future. Like Prince Klaus Heinrich, he avoids becoming a despotic patriarch and finds his identity as a wise statesman. Thus, the ending of the fourth Joseph novel, Joseph, der Ernährer, elaborates on a theme Mann had used thirty-five years previously in Königliche Hoheit; by 1943 he had given up the idea of an elitist and aristo cratic leadership. While Königliche Hoheit was the literary prelude to an ideological defense of nationalistic politics, the Joseph novels try to work against the national ists’ attempt to use a distorted view of history and culture as a support for their ideology.
After a long series of setbacks, Joseph finally assumes the role of Egypt’s protector. He becomes a wise statesman who resembles Mann’s political idol, Roosevelt. Joseph’s fateful tenacity is symbolized by his long-lasting chastity. However, when Mut-em-enet, the wife of his earlier Egyptian master, Potiphar, develops an irresistible passion for Joseph, she comes close to seducing him. Mann’s diaries reveal that Mut-em-enet’s passion commemorates the “central love experience of my first twenty-five years,” his relationship with Ehren berg.
From 1940 until 1952 Mann lived in a luxurious home in Pacific Palisades, California. He became an American citizen on 23 June 1944. On 25 January 1947 his honorary doctorate was restored by Bonn University. He received many other honorary doctorates and awards from American and European institutions between 1939 and his death in 1955, including membership in the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome in 1947, the Goethe Prize of Weimar in 1949, membership in the Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City in 1951, and the Officer’s Cross of the Legion of Honor of France in 1952.
Even though Mann was highly respected during his American exile and regarded as the “most eminent living man of letters,” he later confessed that, while he had become an American citizen and was impressed with Roosevelt’s social reforms, he never felt that he belonged intellectually to American culture (“Ich bin geistig niemals Amerikaner geworden”). He had, how ever, become close friends with several Americans, among them his publisher, Knopf, and Agnes E. Meyer, the journalist and writer who was married to Eugene Meyer, the influential banker, statesman, and owner/publisher of The Washington Post. In addition to Mann’s diaries, his correspondence with Agnes Meyer is the most compelling documentation of his American exile.
With the completion of Joseph, der Ernährer and a short story about Moses, Das Gesetz (1944; translated as The Tables of the Law, 1945), Mann’s biblical writings were finished. His next novel, Doktor Faustus: Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn, erzählt von einem Freunde (1947; translated as Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer, Adrian Leverkühn, as Told by a Friend, 1948), was his last swan song–a farewell to German culture and its intellectual tradition. In this story Germany’s downfall is reflected in the fate of Mann’s fic tional protagonist.
The initiated reader of Mann’s works will immediately recognize Lübeck society in the fictional town of Kaisersaschern. Mann completes the circle of his personal development by describing the upbringing of a young man with artistic ambitions in a traditional German environment, surroundings just like Hanno Buddenbrook’s and Tonio Kröger’s in the stories completed more than forty years before. Many themes are used again in the fashion of the leitmotiv, but the intellectual framework has changed completely.
This change is particularly reflected by the narrative perspective: for the first time, Mann uses a first-person narrator for a novel. Adrian Leverkühn’s friend Serenus Zeitblom, Ph.D., a professor of literature, represents the educated German who is well versed in history and aware of the coming catastrophes of National Socialism and world war II but is para lyzed when it comes to taking action against these developments. A comparison of Doktor Faustus with Mario und der Zauberer shows that Mann’s criticism of German intellectuals remained the same during the entire period of European fascism.
The hope he had expressed in Der Zauberberg that Germany could maintain a cooperative and mediating position in the middle of Europe had been cruelly disappointed. Mann’s predominantly aesthetic comprehension of history did not allow for new explanations of Germany’s Nazi aberration. Instead, he returned to his older concept of tragic fate: Leverkühn’s end appears to be as inevitable as Thomas Buddenbrook’s or Gustav Aschenbach’s.
In contrast to Zeitblom, who is a passive intellectual with a bourgeois lifestyle and modest scholarlyambitions, Leverkühn is driven to produce art that has never existed before; and he is not afraid of unleashing self-destructive forces to do so. Leverkühn is the proto type of the German character who has to go his own way without concern for his own destruction or that of others.
Mann always had conflicting feelings about music, especially about the love of his childhood and youth, wagner. He could not withstand the stunning power of wagner’s music, but at the same time, he real ized the danger of its overwhelming sensuality and irrationality. In 1903 he had expressed this concern in literary form in “Tristan” (translated, 1925), the title story in the collection that included “Tonio Kröger.” Adrian Leverkühn strongly opposes wagner. Arnold Schönberg’s rationalistic twelve-tone music, which attempts to exclude any element of arbitrariness, is attributed in the novel to Leverkühn. His striving to reach this goal stands for the desire of the German character to accomplish the impossible.
To emphasize Leverkühn’s dilemma as specifically German, Mann uses the greatest theme contributed by Germany to world literature: the Faust motif, stemming from the Middle Ages. Leverkühn, the new Faust, has to seal a pact with the devil if he is to create great music. Unlike Goethe in his basically optimistic Faust, Mann has grave doubts about the redemption of Leverkühn’s soul. Like the characters in Buddenbrooks whose dedication to the firm entails a denial of love and happiness, Leverkühn will create great music at the price of the same renunciation. Thus, Mann reverts to the medieval view that Faust is damned. After making love to a prostitute, Leverkühn contracts syphilis, which stimulates and ultimately destroys his genius: the modern version of hell is insanity.
As remarkable as the reinterpretation of the Faust legend in the light of German history is the method Mann employs, a technique he called “Montage.” He had always been fond of overtly or covertly quoting from various sources in his narrative works; in this novel the propensity is carried to such lengths that practically no passage is independent of some written model. The poetry of William Shakespeare and the German Romantics, epistolary literature, musicians’ biographies, and newspaper and magazine articles on space and deep-sea exploration, medicine, and theology are quoted verbatim or in slight adaptation to surround ing passages. It thus turns out that Adrian Leverkühn “is” not only Faust (and Zeitblom his traditional assistant, wagner) but also Nietzsche, whose stages in life Leverkühn replicates; Martin Luther (which makes Zeitblom an Erasmus figure); and Ludwig von Beethoven, Schönberg, Alban Berg, and other musi cians. Leverkühn’s life embodies the entire cultural development of Germany.
Mann’s next work, Die Entstehung des Doktor Faus tus: Roman eines Roman (1949; translated as The Story of a Novel: The Genesis of Doctor Faustus, 1961), retells the circumstances under which Doktor Faustus was written. This book-length text is the principal account of Mann’s American exile that was published during his lifetime. Although it does not express the disillusion ment of its author with the country, it does reveal his disappointment with the lack of understanding with which Doktor Faustus was met by German as well as American reviewers. It also pays tribute to Theodor w. Adorno, the music theorist and philosopher who later became one of Germany’s most important cultural critics. Adorno had provided Mann with the extensive insight into modernist music and musical history that was crucial for the composition of Doktor Faustus. In fact, entire passages of the novel can be considered Adorno’s writing. Die Entstehung des Doktor Faustus remains silent about the fact that Adorno’s co-authorship was not met with sympathy by Mann’s family, especially by Erika Mann, who had been another “secret adviser” to the novelist.
In 1949, on the occasion of Goethe’s 200th birthday, Mann made speeches in both the western and the eastern parts of Germany in which he spoke out for a united nation. This message was not well received in the West. It was not understood that by preferring one side over the other Mann would have compromised his deepest convictions about Germanys indivisible tradition. Mann was deeply shocked by the Cold war that followed the end of world war II in 1945 and by Senator Joseph McCarthy’s persecution of liberal intellectu als. The hysteria unleashed by McCarthyism drove him from the United States, and in 1952 he moved to Kilchberg, near Zurich.
Before leaving the United States, Mann began his last novella, Die Betrogene (1953, The Betrayed Woman; translated as The Black Swan, 1954). This story is the only literary account of his American exile: it portrays a young American who resembles a friend of Mann’s son Golo, and it depicts his lighthearted attempts to study the language of his host culture with the help of a tutor. The main plot, however, was not received well by German or American readers. Rosalie von Tümmler, a matronly woman, falls in love with a young American and mistakes the early symptoms of ovarian cancer as a sign of rejuvenation. However, the “moral” of the story is not morbid, but rather reflects Mann’s new attitude toward nature. Rosalie von Tümmler does not feel betrayed by nature, as the title Die Betrogene may suggest, but accepts her illness and coming death in a con ciliatory manner. This changed attitude toward life is another tribute to Mann’s American exile: the author had escaped death after successful lung surgery in Chi cago.
His last two novels once more brought to the fore the optimistic Mann. In Der Erwählte, based on Hart mann von Aue’s medieval work Gregorius, one of the worst sinners is chosen by God to become pope. The second novel was a work Mann had left unfinished after publishing the first chapter as a novella in 1922: Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull: Der Memoiren erster Teil (1954; translated as Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man: The Early Vars, 1955). At the end of his life he possessed the serenity to portray the artist as a confidence man who fools both himself and society by hiding behind a succession of masks in an effort to maintain his intellectual integrity, all the while admitting the illu sionary nature of his acts.
Mann’s last work was the voluminous essay Versuch fiber Schiller (1955, On Schiller). He completed the manuscript in time for it to be used for the addresses he gave in Stuttgart and Weimar in May 1955 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Schiller’s death. In this essay Mann appeals to the optimistic side of the German character. Consequently, his last word is a manifes tation of hope—in favor of Schiller’s An die Freude (1786, Ode to Joy) and not Leverkühn’s symphony “Dr. Fausti weheklag” (Lamentation of Dr. Faustus). When Mann returned to his hometown of Lübeck on 20 May 1955 to receive an honorary citizenship from the city, he had already returned to Tonio Kröger’s enthusiasm for Schiller. Mann was conciliatory at last, in accordance with the good German character he had always tried to emulate.
At first glance, the works of Mann’s old age seem to convey three rather distinct frames of mind: his last fictional works appear as youthful as “Tonio Kröger,” yet they are further enriched by self-parody. In his late essays, Mann once again displays rhetorical brilliance, yet shies away from the political engagement and fearless verve of the late Weimar years and his American exile. Even more surprisingly, the diaries of this time reveal that the highly acclaimed author of such master-pieces as Der Zauberberg was beset with gnawing self-doubt as well as despair over a political world and culture that were a far cry from his dreams of humanism and universal sympathy. However, these disparities in his late writings can be understood as the last reverberation of Mann’s artistic self-understanding. Although he enjoyed being celebrated as a representative and spokesperson for the virtues of the educated burgher culture and humanism, he had devoted his life to writing fiction. He could not imagine a life without writing. Toward the end of his life, it became harder for him to meet this expectation. Without the help of his family, above all Katia and Erika Mann, he would not have had the strength to carry out his writing plans. Consequently, rather than taking these late works at face value and assuming that Mann was taken from this world at the height of his intellectual power, one must consider them the subtly melancholic swan song of an artist who has outlived his own time.
Thomas Mann died in Zurich on 12 August 1955 at eighty years of age, just two days after being elected to the Peace Class of the Order Pour le mérite by West Germany. Half a century after his death, his artistic works have strengthened their reputation as master-pieces of world literature. While Mann’s essays will most likely never rank as highly as his novels and novellas, they certainly hold their own in the history of German nonfiction; moreover, together with his letters and diaries, they are among the most compelling historical documents of the twentieth century. New English translations of his fiction will make his works accessible to more American readers as well. Since the 1990s, several comprehensive biographies of Mann have appeared both in German and in English. However, no single account of his life and works will ever explain his creativity and his intellect–it is his own works that will captivate readers for many generations to come.
Briefe an Paul Amann 1915–1952, edited by Herbertw egener (Lübeck: Schmidt-Römhild, 1959);
Thomas Mann–Karl Kerényi: Gespräch in Briefen, edited by Karl Kerényi (Zurich: Rhein, 1960); translated by Alexander Gelley as Mythology and Humanism: The Correspondence of Thomas Mann and Karl Kerényi (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1975);
Thomas Mann an Ernst Bertram: Briefe aus den Jahren 1910–1955, edited by Inge Jens (Pfullingen: Neske, 1960);
Briefe, 1889–1955, 3 volumes, edited by Erika Mann (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1961–1965);
Thomas Mann-Heinrich Mann: Briefen echsel 1900–1949, edited by Hans Wysling (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1968; expanded, 1984); translated by Don Reneau as The Letters of Heinrich and Thomas Mann, 1900–1949 (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1998);
Letters of Thomas Mann, 1889–1955, edited and translated by Richard Winston and Clara winston (New York: Knopf, 1971);
Thomas Mann: Briefwechsel mit seinem Verleger Gottfried Bermann Fischer 1932–1955, edited by Peter de Mendelssohn (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1973);
Hermann Hesse–Thomas Mann: Briefwechsel, edited by Anni Carlsson and Volker Michels (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1975); translated by Ralph Manheim as The Hesse / Mann Letters, 1910–1955 (New York: Harper & Row, 1975);
An Exceptional Friendship: The Correspondence of Thomas Mann and Erich Kahler, translated by Richard Win ston and Clara Winston (Ithaca, N.Y. & London: Cornell University Press, 1975);
Thomas Mann: Briefe an Otto Grautoff 1894–1901, und Ida Boy-Ed, 1903–1928, edited by de Mendelssohn (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1975);
Die Briefe Thomas Manns, 3 volumes, edited by Hans Bürgin and Hans-Otto Mayer (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1976–1982);
Thomas Mann–Alfred Neumann: Brifwechsel echsel, edited by de Mendelssohn (Darmstadt: Schneider, 1977);
Dichter oder Schriftsteller: Der Briejwechsel zwischen Thomas Mann und Josef Ponten, edited by Hans Wysling (Bern: Francke, 1988);
Thomas Mann: Briefwechsel mit Autoren, edited by Wysling (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1988);
Thomas Mann, Agnes E. Meyer: Briefwechsel 1937–1955, edited by Hans Vaget (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1992);
Briefe an Richard Schaukal, edited by Claudia Girardi, Sybille Leitner, and Andrea Traxler (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2003);
Theodor w. Adorno–Thomas Mann: Briefwechsel 1943–1955, edited by Christoph Gödde and Thomas Sprecher (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2003);
Thomas Mann, Katia Mann–Anna Jacobson: Ein Briefwechsel, edited by Werner Frizen and Friedhelm Marx (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2005);
Werden Sie nicht berühmt... ! Briefwechsel Thomas Mann und Harald Kohtz, edited by Bernd M. Kraske (Bad Schwartau: WFB Verlagsgruppe, 2005);
Thomas Mann: Briefe an Jonas Lesser und Siegfried Trebitsch 1939–1954, edited by Franz Zede (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2006).
Frage und Antwort: Interviews mit Thomas Mann 1909–1955, edited by Volkmar Hansen and Gert Heine (Hamburg: Knaus, 1983).
Klaus W. Jonas, Fifty Years Thomas Mann Studies: A Bibliography of Criticism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1955);
Hans Bürgin, Das Werk Thomas Manns, edited by Walter A. Reichart and Erich Neumann (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1959);
Harry Matter, Die Literatur über Thomas Mann: Eine Bibliographie 1896–1969, 2 volumes (Berlin & Weimar: Aufbau, 1972);
Jonas, Die Thomas-Mann-Literatu, 3 volumes (Berlin: Erich Schmitt, 1972, 1979; Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1997);
Ernst Loewy, Thomas Mann: Ton- und Filmaufnahmen, Ein Verzeichnis (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1974);
Georg Potempa, ed., Thomas Mann: Beteiligung an politischen Aufrufen und anderen kollektiven Publikationen: Eine Bibliographie (Morsum: Cicero, 1988);
Potempa, Thomas Mann-Bibliographie: Das Werk, 2 volumes (Morsum: Cicero, 1992, 1997);
Potempa, Thomas Mann: Konkordanzen der Bibliographien zur Primärliteratur (Morsum: Cicero, 1993);
Jonas, Fifty Years as a Thomas Mann-Bibliographer: Biographical Notes and Bibliography (wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2000).
Klaus Mann, The Turning-Point: Thirty-Five Years in This Century (New York: Fischer, 1943);
Viktor Mann, Wir waren fünf Bildnis der Familie Mann (Konstanz: Südverlag, 1949);
Hans Mayer, Thomas Mann: Werk und Entwicklung (Berlin: Volk und Welt, 1950);
Erika Mann, The Last Year of Thomas Mann, translated by Richard Graves (New York: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1958);
Julia Mann, Aus Dodos Kindheit (Konstanz: Rosgarten-Verlag, 1958);
Klaus Schröter, ed., Thomas Mann in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten (Reinbeck: Rowohlt, 1964);
Eike Midell, Thomas Mann: Versuch einer Einführung in Leben und Werk (Leipzig: Reclam, 1966);
J. P. Stern, Thomas Mann (London & New York: Columbia University Press, 1967);
Hans Bürgin and Hans-Otto Mayer, Thomas Mann: A Chronicle of His Life, translated by Eugene Dobson (University: University of Alabama Press, 1969);
Schröter, ed., Thomas Mann im Urteil seiner Zeit (Hamburg: Wegner, 1969);
André von Gronicka, Thomas Mann: Profile and Perspectives (New York: Random House, 1970);
Katia Mann, Unwritten Memories, translated by Hunter and Hildegarde Hannum (New York: Knopf, 1975);
Peter de Mendelssohn, Der Zauberer: Das Leben des deutschen Schriftstellers Thomas Mann, 2 volumes (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1975, 1992);
Inge Diersen, Thomas Mann: Episches Werk, Weltan schauung, Leben (Berlin: Aufbau, 1975);
Richard Winston, Thomas Mann: The Making of an Artist, 1875–1911 (New York: Knopf, 1981);
Eberhard Hilscher, Thomas Mann: Sein Leben und sein Werk (Berlin: Das europäische Buch, 1983);
Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Thomas Mann and His Family, translated by Ralph Manheim (London: Collins, 1989);
Thomas Sprecher, Thomas Mann in Zürich (Zurich: Neue Zurcher Zeitung, 1992);
Hans Wysling and Yvonne Schmidlin, eds., Thomas Mann: Ein Leben in Bildern (Zurich: Artemis, 1994);
Klaus Harpprecht, Thomas Mann: Eine Biogphie (Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1995);
Ronald Hayman, Thomas Mann: A Biography (New York: Scribners, 1995);
Donald Prater, Thomas Mann: A Life (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1995);
Erika Mann, Mein Vater, der Zauberer, edited by Irmela von der Lühe and Uwe Naumann (Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1996);
Hermann Kurzke, Thomas Mann: Das Leben als Kunstwerk: Eine Biographie (Munich: Beck, 1999); translated by Leslie Willson as Thomas Mann: Life As a Work of Art (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002);
Hans wißkirchen, Die Familie Mann (Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1999);
Herbert Kuhn, Thomas Mann: Die interaktive Biographie, CD-ROM (Munich: United Soft Media, 2001);
Edo Reents, Thomas Mann (Munich: Classen, 2002);
Gert Heine and Paul Schommer, Thomas Mann Chronik (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2004);
Roman Karst, Thomas Mann: Eine Biographie (Munich: Diederichs, 2006).
Angelika Abel, Thomas Mann im Exil: Zum zeitgeschichtli chen Hintergrund der Emigration (Munich: Fink, 2003);
Gilbert Adair, The Real Tadzio: Thomas Mann ’s Death in Venice and the Boy Who Inspired It (New York: Car roll & Graf, 2003);
Dieter W. Adolphs, Literarischer Erfahrungshorizont: Aufbau und Entwicklung der Erzähperspektive im Werk Thomas Manns (Heidelberg: Winter, 1985);
T. E. Apter, Thomas Mann: The Devil’s Advocate (New York: New York University Press, 1979);
Hendrik Balonier, Schriftsteller in der konservativen Tradition: Thomas Mann 1914–1924 (Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 1983);
Gunilla Bergsten, Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus: The Sources and Structure of the Novel, translated by Krishna Winston (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1969);
Beatrix Bludau, Eckhard Heftrich, and Helmut Koopmann, eds., Thomas Mann 1875–1975: Vorträge in München, Zürich, Lübeck (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1977);
Manfred Dierks, Studien zu Mythos und Psychologie bei Thomos Mann: An seinem Nachlass orientierte Untersuchungen zum “Tod in Venedig” zum “Zauberberg” und zur ‘Joseph “-Tetralogie (Bern: Francke, 1972);
Dierks, Heinrich Detering, Hans Wiíikirchen, Christoph Schwöbel, and Hermann Kurzke, Thomas Mann—Ein Klassiker der Moderne: Fünf Vorträge zur würdigung des Dichters aus Anlass seines 125. Geburt stage (Halle: Stekovics, 2001);
Dierks and Ruprecht Wimmer, Thomas Mann und das Judentum: Die Vorträge des Berliner Kolloquiums der Deutschen Thomas-Mann-Gesellschaft (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2004);
Heinrich Detering, Juden, Frauen und Litteraten: Zu einer Denkfigur beim jungen Thomas Mann (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 2005);
Stephen D. Dowden, ed., Companion to Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain (Columbia, S.C.: Camden House, 1999);
Manfred Eickhölter and Hans Wißkirchen, Budden brooks: Neue Blicke in ein altes Buch (Lübeck: Dräger, 2000);
Ignace Feuerlicht, Thomas Mann (New York: Twayne, 1968);
Peter Gay, Savage Reprisals: Bleak House, Madame Bovary, Buddenbrooks (New York: Norton, 2003);
Christoph Geisler, Naturalismus und Symbolismus im Frühwerk Thomas Manns (Bern & Munich: Francke, 1971);
Germanic Review, special Mann issue, 25 (December 1950);
Thomas Goll, Die Deutschen und Thomas Mann: Die Rezeption des Dichters in Abhängigkeit von der Politischen Kultur Deutschlands 1898–1955 (Baden-Baden: Würzburg: Nomos, 2000);
Rüdiger Görner, Thomas Mann: Der Zauber des Letzten (Düsseldorf: Artemis & Winkler, 2005);
Manfred Görtemaker, Thomas Mann und die Politik (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 2005);
Alfred Grimm, Joseph und Echnaton: Thomas Mann und Ägyyten (Mainz: von Zabern, 1992);
Henry Hatfield, From the Magic Mountain: Mann’s Later Masterpieces (Ithaca, N.Y. & London: Cornell University Press, 1979);
Hatfield, Thomas Mann: An Introduction to His Fiction (New York: New Directions, 1962);
Hatfield, ed., Thomas Mann: A Collection of Critical Essays (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1964);
Erich Heller, The Ironic German: A Study of Thomas Mann (Boston & Toronto: Little, Brown, 1958);
Armin Hermann, Einstein und Thomas Mann: Die relative Freundschaft der beiden Geistesheroen (Fürstenfeldbruck: Kester-Haeusler-Stiftung, 1999);
Harald Höbusch, Thomas Mann: Kunst, Kritik, Politik 1893–1913 (Tübingen: Francke, 2000);
R. J. Hollingdale, Thomas Mann: A Critical Study (Cranbury, N. J.: Associated University Press, 1971);
Elke Kinkel, Uwe Baumann and Herwig Friedl, Thomas Mann in Amerika: Interkultureller Dialog im Wandel? Eine rezeptions- und übersetzungskritische Analyse am Beispiel des “Doktor Faustus” (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2001);
Helmut Koopmann, Thomas Mann–Heinrich Mann: Die ungleichen Brüder (Munich: Beck, 2005);
Koopmann, ed., Thomas-Mann-Handbuch (Stuttgart: Kröner, 1990);
Friedhelm Kröll, Die Archivarin des Zauberers: Thomas Mann und Ida Herz (Cadolzburg: ars vivendi, 2001);
Hermann Kurzke, Auf der Suche nach der verlorenen Identität: Thomas Mann und der Konservatismus (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 1980);
Kurzke, Thomas-Mann-Forschung 1969–1976: Ein kritischer Bericht (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1977);
Herbert Lehnert, Thomas Mann: Fiktion, Mythos, Religion (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1965);
Lehnert, “Thomas Mann in Exile 1933–1938,” Germanic Review, 38 (1963): 277–294;
Lehnert and Eva Wessell, A Companion to the Works of Thomas Mann (Rochester, N.Y.: Camden House, 2004);
György Lukács, Essays on Thomas Mann, translated by Stanley Mitchell (London: Merlin Press / New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1964);
Michael Maar, Das Blaubartzimmer: Thomas Mann und die Schuld (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2000); translated by David Fernbach as Bluebeard’s Chamber: Guilt and Confessions in Thomas Mann (London & New York: Verso, 2003);
E. L. Marson The Ascetic Artist: Prefiguration in thomas mann’s “der ?d inl venedig” (BERN, FRANKFURT AM MAIN & Las Vegas: Peter Lang1979);
James R. McWilliams, Brother Artist: A Psychological Study of Thomas Mann’s Fiction (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1983);
Modern Language Notes, special Mann issue, 90, no. 3 (1975);
Hannelore Mundt, Understanding Thomas Mann (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2004);
Terence Reed, Thomas Mann: The Uses of Tradition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974);
Ritchie Robertson, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Mann (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002);
Günther Rohrmoser, Dekadenz und Apokalypse: Thomas Mann als Diagnostiker des deutschen Bürgertums (Bietigheim: Gesellschaft für Kulturwissenschaft, 2005);
Eva Schmidt-Schütz, Doktor Faustus zwischen Tradition und Moderne: Eine quellenkritische und rezeþtionsgeschichtli- die Untersuchung zu Thomas Manns literarischem Selbstbild (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2003);
Ellis Shookman, Thomas Mann ’s Death in Venice: A Reference Guide (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2004);
Thomas Sprecher, Im Geiste der Genauigkeit: Das Thomas-Mann-Archiv der ETH Zürich 1956–2006 (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2006);
Stephan Stachorski, ed., Fragile Republik: Thomas Mann und Nachkriegsdeutschland (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1999);
John C. Thirwall, In Another Language: A Record of the Thirty-Year Relations1p between Thomas Mann and His English Translator, Helen Tracy Lowe-Porter (New York: Knopf, 1966);
Hans Rudolf Vaget, Thomas Mann: Kommentar zu sämtlichen Erzählungen (Munich: Winkler, 1984);
Vaget and Dagmar Barnouw, Thomas Mann: Studien zu Fragen der Rezeption (Bern & Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1975);
Weimarer Beiträge, special Mann issue, 21, no. 9 (1975);
James F. White, ed., The Yale ‘Zauberberg’-Manuscript: Rejected Sheets Once Part of Thomas Manns Novel (Bern: Francke, 1980);
Hans Wysling, Narziβmus und illusionäre Existenzform: Zu den Bekenntnissen des Hochstaplers Felix Krull (Bern & Munich: Francke, 1982).
Thomas Mann’s papers are in the Thomas Mann Collection, Yale University; the Thomas-Mann-Archiv, Berlin; the Thomas-Mann-Archiv, Lübeck; the Sammlung Ida Herz, Nuremberg; and the Sammlung Hans-Otto-Meyer, Düsseldorf. The main center for Thomas Mann research is the Thomas-Mann-Archiv, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, Schönberggasse 15, CH-8001 Zurich. The Thomas-Mann-Archiv publishes the Blätter der Thomas Mann Gesellschaft Zürich and the Thomas-Mann-Studien.
"Mann, Thomas (6 June 1875 - 12 August 1955)." Nobel Prize Laureates in Literature, Part 3. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 13, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/culture-magazines/mann-thomas-6-june-1875-12-august-1955
"Mann, Thomas (6 June 1875 - 12 August 1955)." Nobel Prize Laureates in Literature, Part 3. . Retrieved December 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/culture-magazines/mann-thomas-6-june-1875-12-august-1955
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