Thomas Mann  

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"For I feel that , broadly and essentially , the striking feature of modern art is that it has ceased to recognize the categories of tragic and comic, or the dramatic classifications, tragedy and comedy. It sees life as a tragicomedy, with the result that the grotesque is its most genuine style" --Thomas Mann in a review of The Secret Agent

"Hans Castorp stood looking at the group, and from some dark cause his laden heart grew heavier still, and more oppressed with its weight of dread and anguish. Scarcely daring to venture, but following an inner compulsion, he passed behind the statuary, and through the double row of columns beyond. The bronze door of the sanctuary stood open, and the poor soul’s knees all but gave way beneath him at the sight within. Two grey old women, witchlike, with hanging breasts and dugs of finger-length, were busy there, between flaming braziers, most horribly. They were dismembering a child. In dreadful silence they tore it apart with their bare hands — Hans Castorp saw the bright hair blood-smeared — and cracked the tender bones between their jaws, their dreadful lips dripped blood."--The Magic Mountain (1924) by Thomas Mann

“The grotesque is that which is excessively true and excessively real, not that which is arbitrary, false, irreal, and absurd.”--Mann cited in Kayser, 1957

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

Mann was a member of the Hanseatic Mann family and portrayed his family and class in his first novel, Buddenbrooks. His older brother was the radical writer Heinrich Mann and three of Mann's six children, Erika Mann, Klaus Mann and Golo Mann, also became significant German writers. When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, Mann fled to Switzerland. When World War II broke out in 1939, he moved to the United States, then returned to Switzerland in 1952. Mann is one of the best-known exponents of the so-called Exilliteratur, German literature written in exile by those who opposed the Hitler regime.


Literary works


1905: Fiorenza

Prose sketch

1893: "Vision"

Short stories

  • 1894: "Gefallen"
  • 1896: "The Will to Happiness"
  • 1896: "Disillusionment" ("Enttäuschung")
  • 1896: "Little Herr Friedemann" ("Der kleine Herr Friedemann")
  • 1897: "Death" ("Der Tod")
  • 1897: "The Clown" ("Der Bajazzo")
  • 1897: "The Dilettante"
  • 1898: "Tobias Mindernickel"
  • 1899: "The Wardrobe" ("Der Kleiderschrank")
  • 1900: "Luischen" ("Little Lizzy") – written in 1897
  • 1900: "The Road to the Churchyard" ("Der Weg zum Friedhof")
  • 1903: "The Hungry"
  • 1903: "The Child Prodigy" ("Das Wunderkind")
  • 1904: "A Gleam"
  • 1904: "At the Prophet's"
  • 1905: "A Weary Hour"
  • 1907: "Railway Accident"
  • 1908: "Anecdote" ("Anekdote")
  • 1911: "The Fight between Jappe and the Do Escobar"



The Blood of the Walsungs

  1. The Blood of the Walsungs (Wӓlsungenblut) (1905)
  2. The Blood of the Walsungs (2nd edition, 1921)

Felix Krull

  1. Felix Krull (Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull) (written in 1911, published in 1922)
  2. Confessions of Felix Krull, (Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull. Der Memoiren erster Teil; expanded from 1911 short story), unfinished (1954)

Joseph and His Brothers (Joseph und seine Brüder) (1933–43)

  1. The Stories of Jacob (Die Geschichten Jaakobs) (1933)
  2. Young Joseph (Der junge Joseph) (1934)
  3. Joseph in Egypt (Joseph in Ägypten) (1936)
  4. Joseph the Provider (Joseph, der Ernährer) (1943)



  • 1915: "Frederick and the Great Coalition" ("Friedrich und die große Koalition")
  • 1918: "Reflections of an Unpolitical Man" ("Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen")
  • 1922: "The German Republic" ("Von deutscher Republik")
  • 1930: "A Sketch of My Life" ("Lebensabriß") – autobiographical
  • 1950: "Michelangelo according to his poems" ("Michelangelo in seinen Dichtungen")
  • 1947: Essays of Three Decades, translated from the German by H. T. Lowe-Porter. [1st American ed.], New York, A. A. Knopf, 1947. Reprinted as Vintage book, K55, New York, Vintage Books, 1957.
  • "Nietzsche's Philosophy in the Light of Recent History"


Compilations in English

  • 1936: Stories of Three Decades (24 stories written from 1896 to 1929, trans. H. T. Lowe-Porter)
  • 1988: Death in Venice and Other Stories (trans. David Luke). Includes: Little Herr Friedemann; The Joker; The Road to the Churchyard; Gladius Dei; Tristan; Tonio Kroger; Death in Venice.
  • 1997: Six Early Stories (trans. Peter Constantine). Includes: A Vision/"Prose Sketch"; Fallen; The Will to Happiness; Death; Avenged/"Study for a Novella"; Anecdote.
  • 1998: Death in Venice and Other Tales (trans. Joachim Neugroschel). Includes: The Will for Happiness; Little Herr Friedemann; Tobias Mindernickel; Little Lizzy; Gladius Dei; Tristan; The Starvelings; Tonio Kröger; The Wunderkind; Harsh Hour; Blood of the Walsungs; Death in Venice.
  • 1999: Death in Venice and Other Stories (trans. Jefferson Chase). Includes: Tobias Mindernickel; Tristan; Tonio Kröger; The Child Prodigy; Hour of Hardship; Death in Venice; Man and Dog.Template:Colend

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Thomas Mann" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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