This book, Three Essays (Seeker, 7s. 6d.), contains three studies one a conmarison of the genius of Tolstoy and Goethe, the second a study of the character of Frederick the Great Written in 1914 and concluding on an oddly jingo note concerning the destiny of Prussia ; and the third is an account of an experience in- the occult. Translation has, if anything, leadened the style and if one cannot say of Thomas Mann what he says of Tolstoy, that what he thought "_-was usually smaller than what he was," we feel that the essayist has an awkwardness uncommon in the novelist of The Magic Mountain." The essay on Tolstoy and Goethe is closely packed. Building from their common basis as aristocrats, realists, men of nature,. god-like, he proceeds to present them as natural autobiographers consumed by an enormous and unembarrassed self-love, and stands them against sick men of the spirit, the romantics, Dostoevsky and Schiller. The comparison provides some good epigrams and a certain amount of metaphysics. Tolstoy's Christianity he secs as a perversion ; and drawing on Gorky he makes an excellent- novelist's portrait of the Russian: Goethe, so consummately self-portrayed, and inevitably more sympathetic to the German critic, is less vivid. Better than either is the Frederick. In all one meets Thomas Mann's macabre fascination with that part of genius which is non-human : Tolstoy sitting like a stone by the sea, Goethe retiring into the wastes of negation and Frederick, the sex-less troll. The book is frequently stimulating but is hard reading.
"The daring hypothesis of Ercolino's study - which ranges over a half century of literary history, over a half-dozen writers of the likes of Musil, Dostoevsky, Mann, and Huysmans, and over the insights of even more numerous literary theorists - is that the hybrid aesthetics of the novel-essay does not merely enact the symbolic crisis of modernist thinking; it also furnishes the most resounding intellectual reply." - Thomas Harrison, Professor of Italian, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Sep 25, 2011 · The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann ..
318. The Artamonov Business – Maxim Gorky 319. The Professor’s House – Willa Cather 320. Billy Budd, Foretopman – Herman Melville 321. The Green Hat – Michael Arlen 322. The Magic Mountain – Thomas Mann 323. We – Yevgeny Zamyatin 324. A Passage to India – E. M. Forster 325. The Devil in the Flesh – Raymond Radiguet 326. Zeno’s Conscience – Italo Svevo 327. Cane – Jean Toomer 328. Antic Hay – Aldous Huxley 329. Amok – Stefan Zweig 330. The Garden Party – Katherine Mansfield 331. The Enormous Room – E. E. Cummings 332. Jacob’s Room – Virginia Woolf 333. Siddhartha – Herman Hesse 334. The Glimpses of the Moon – Edith Wharton.
1. Kafka's private library, unfortunately recorded a decade after his death, contained Dostoevsky's "Letters", "The Brothers Karamazov", "Crime and Punishment", and a one volume collection of shorter works with the title "The Gambler". (4) In 1914 a German translation of Dostoevsky's "Complete Works" had become available. On the basis of Kafka's Letters and Diaries we know that he read many other works besides those in his library, including Nina Hoffmann's Dostoevsky biography and Strachov's introductory essay to Dostoevsky's "Collected Works". Further it will become obvious that, although unmentioned, Kafka was familiar with "The Double". As early as 1913, in a letter to his fiance Kafka wrote: "the four men, Grillparzer, Dostoevsky, Kleist and Flaubert, I consider to be my true blood-relations". (5) This statement expresses not only his affinity with those men as writers, but also an identification with their existential complexion. In the one case, Kafka might have had in mind Dostoevsky's epilepsy, paralleled in his own life by tuberculosis and, perhaps even more so, the complex and ambiguous relationship with their respective fathers. In their writings this culminated for Dostoevsky in "The Brothers Karamazov", for Kafka in "The Judgment" and the notorious "Letter to His Father". As for their illness, both viewed it as release and punishment, both were aware of the complex and secret workings of mind and body, both cursing and blessing it at the same time.That word tends to evoke, say, Hot Shots Part Deux or anything featuring Leslie Nielsen. But True Detective calls to mind the “” that the critic Michael Wood has described in writing about Thomas Mann. Books like and , Wood argues, “invisibly hollowed out rather than brilliantly exploded” notions of what a novel might do or be; as a parodist, Mann’s work was never a lampoon, but a subtle travesty of the form. Another useful point of comparison is Vladimir Nabokov, who viewed parody as a game, a riddle, something in which one might participate and play. Think of the anagrams that dot , or the sly, literary Easter eggs scattered throughout .First of all, I want to share the essay “” by Thomas Mann. While he doesn’t deal specifically with Notes From Underground, Mann writes about the relationship between sickness and genius, particularly in Dostoevsky himself. I think it provides an interesting perspective on the opening line of Notes.