thomas mann's "the magic mountain"

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"This is the typical mode of experience of someone lost in a mountain snowstorm, woh never finds his way home," he thought as he struggled along, the phrases emerging in tattered, breathless fragments - discretion forbade his putting it more explicitly. "Someone hearing about it later imagines how ghastly it must have been, but forgets that illness - and my present situation is more or less an illness - batters its victim until they get along with one another. The senses are diminished, a merciful self-narcosis sets in - those are the means by which nature allows the organism to find relief. And yet you have to fight against such things, because there are two sides to them, they're really highly ambiguous. And your evaluation all depends on which side you view them from. They mean well, are a blessing really, as long as you don't make it home; but they also mean you great harm and must be fought off, as long as there is any chance of getting home--" (475)

Mordy, Sunday, 22 March 2020 23:14 (nine months ago) link

Passion -- means to live life for life's sake. But I am well aware you Germans live it for the sake of experience. Passion means to forget oneself. But you do things in order to enrich yourselves. C'est ça. You haven't the least notion how repulsively egoistic that is of you and that someday it may well make you the enemy of humankind." (p. 585)

Has anyone written about the ways tmm anticipates WW2, prefigures it (or leads away from it) and similar ideas about the German type/personality as Mann saw it and Nazism? I do have this Mann essay on brother Hitler i have yet to read but i'm interested in critical/scholarly work on the theme too if anyone can recommend it?

Mordy, Saturday, 28 March 2020 19:31 (nine months ago) link

“Guazzabuglio” what a word

Mordy, Saturday, 28 March 2020 19:50 (nine months ago) link

Wehsal as proto-incel

Mordy, Saturday, 28 March 2020 20:46 (nine months ago) link

You're way ahead of me (I'm at page 280 or so), but googling I've not found what you are after specifically. There are some jstor hits about Mann and anti-semitism, and Mann and the rise of fascism (which he strongly denounced).

Myself I'd be intrigued to see how WWI crept in the book, since he worked on it from 1912 to 1924. But I'm not far in enough to see the influence of WWI come to the fore, however obliquely, I think.

Still immensely enjoying the book btw.

Le Bateau Ivre, Sunday, 29 March 2020 10:31 (nine months ago) link

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