By Herbert Lehnert, Eva Wessell
Thomas Mann is likely one of the maximum of German prose writers, and was once the 1st German novelist to arrive a large English-speaking readership for the reason that Goethe. Novels similar to Buddenbrooks, The Magic Mountain, and Doktor Faustus attest to his mastery of sophisticated, distanced irony, whereas novellas reminiscent of dying in Venice exhibit him on the top of his mastery of language. as well as clean insights approximately those best-known works of Mann, this quantity treats less-often-discussed works comparable to Joseph and His Brothers, Lotte in Weimar, and Felix Krull, in addition to his political writings and essays. Mann himself was once a paradox: his position as family-father was once either shelter and faГ§ade; his love of Germany was once matched through his contempt for its having embraced Hitler. whereas in exile in the course of the Nazi interval, he functioned because the best consultant of the ''good'' Germany within the struggle opposed to fascism, and he has frequently been remembered this manner in English-speaking lands. yet a brand new view of Mann is rising part a century after his dying: a view of him as one of many nice writers of a modernity understood as extending into our twenty first century. This quantity offers 16 essays by way of American and eu experts. They reveal the relevance of his writings for our time, making specific use of the biographical fabric that's now on hand. members: Ehrhard Bahr, Manfred Dierks, Werner Frizen, Clayton Koelb, Helmut Koopmann, Wolfgang Lederer, Hannelore Mundt, Peter PГјtz, Jens Rieckmann, Hans Joachim Sandberg, Egon Schwarz, and Hans Vaget.
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Extra resources for A Companion to the Works of Thomas Mann
He distrusted the restoration of the capitalist economy in the United States after Roosevelt’s death, as he distrusted all ideologies. Surely a worldview such as Mann’s, which refuses to be static and committed, but affirms the value of human beings above all, is one that should not be alien to us. Discourse analysis can cast light on the difference between Mann’s cultural outlook and ours, provided it does not shy away from carefully exploring the historical circumstances. Since much of the Mann-research was performed by scholars who share in the values and prejudices of the German Bildungsbürger, a clear understanding of Germany’s upper-class discourse, and of the way Mann yielded to it or resisted it, can open new vistas not only on Mann’s work but also on the people of the social strata for whom his work was written.
In a way the novel answers Heinrich Mann’s call for writers to become 16 E HERBERT LEHNERT politically engaged in his essay “Geist und Tat” of 1911. The biblical model allowed Mann to depict Joseph’s position in Egypt — borrowing his power from the king — as the political ideal of the Bildungsbürger, a genial authority for the common good. The last volume, Joseph der Ernährer (Joseph the Provider), telling of Joseph’s social programs, alludes to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whom Mann had met personally: Mann wanted to see Roosevelt as a social democratic leader.
8 Nb 1 (1–6), 114, 116, 127, 135, 181, 187. 9 GW 8, 1027. Mann’s collected works, Gesammelte Werke in dreizehn Bänden (Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 1974, 1990), will henceforth be cited in the text with the abbreviation GW and volume and page number. 10 In Zur Genealogie der Moral (On the Genealogy of Morals, 1887), KSA 5, 283– 85. 11 Nb 2 (7–14), 43–44. 12 Nb 2 (7–14), 107, 121–22. These two notes are the first indication of the plan for Doktor Faustus, which Mann actualized in 1943–47. 13 14 Cf.