Around this time Thomas Mann wrote the work that may be best known to the general public, Death in Venice , concerning a middle-aged scholarly writer who falls in love—from a distance—with an adolescent boy. In the novella, the intellectual's psychological surrender to desire leads to his destruction. This work too has been filmed several times for cinema and television. However, by the end of the First World War, Mann's thoughts were shifting from his high-purposed intellectual notions toward more down-to-earth progressive and political ideas. In the post-War period he became a spokesman for democracy and humanism in the new Germany.
His novel The Magic Mountain portrays a fight with the forces of enlightenment and rationality on one side and reaction and irrationality on the other, presaging the clash with fascism that was soon to engulf Europe. His next major work, the tetralogy Joseph and His Brothers , retells the Bible story as a conflict between freedom and tyranny. By this time, Mann had rejoined his brother philosophically as a proponent of socialism.
He has been claimed by the left as a great author ever since—although his subject matter remained high-brow and he was never a writer of proletarian issues.
When Hitler came to power, Mann with and his wife and children were forced to leave Germany. They lived first in Switzerland and then, for about fourteen years, in the United States. However, the American persecution of leftists after the Second World War disillusioned Mann and in he returned to Europe, to live mainly in Switzerland until his death. Among his latter works is Doctor Faustus , a novel not about the legend treated by Goethe but depicting decadent German culture between the two world wars.
The Holy Sinner is a fanciful account of the life of Pope Gregory, in a style that later, as practised by Latin American writers, might be called magic realism. The unfinished parody The Confessions of Felix Krull was published in It was filmed as a mini-series for German television in Taken together, Mann's works are diverse in style and ideas, although the conflict between personal freedom and social obligation is ever-present.
The Nobel Prize in Literature
What changes over the years is the answer he gives to resolve the conflict, sometimes opting for the primacy of the individual search for truth, other times stressing sublimation of the individual ego, and still other times expressing despair that there may not a resolution. Which in some senses makes Thomas Mann a representative author of the twentieth century, but also a frustrating read at times.
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Thomas Mann was disappointed by America's populism
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Thomas Mann - The Greatest Literature of All Time
Series by Thomas Mann. Essays 6 books by Thomas Mann. Briefe 3 books by Thomas Mann ,. Hans R. Vaget Editor.
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