Death in Venice

Death in Venice

eBook - 2004
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The world-famous masterpiece by Nobel laureate Thomas Mann -- here in a new translation by Michael Henry Heim

Published on the eve of World War I, a decade after Buddenbrooks had established Thomas Mann as a literary celebrity, Death in Venice tells the story of Gustav von Aschenbach, a successful but aging writer who follows his wanderlust to Venice in search of spiritual fulfillment that instead leads to his erotic doom.

In the decaying city, besieged by an unnamed epidemic, he becomes obsessed with an exquisite Polish boy, Tadzio. "It is a story of the voluptuousness of doom," Mann wrote. "But the problem I had especially in mind was that of the artist's dignity."

Publisher: New York, NY : PerfectBound, 2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061828171


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May 25, 2018

It was so hard to read this book. Not because of the language or the style; both were wonderfully rich. It was the sense of foreboding, increasing with each turn of a page, starting with his vision of the man across the street, that burdened me. I did not have the Library's version, so I was treated (?) to a fairly lengthy critical essay, which I did not read until after finishing the story. The essay helped me smooth out some of the rough spots I found in understanding Mann.

Mar 23, 2016

A thin and profound book, but "a hundred virtues"(p16) I may have discovered (values of literature) just don't sink in. Perhaps I'm lack of empathy here, missing a "true basis", i.e. "a secret affinity".

Before Aschenbach saw Tadzio, his history and temperament were typical and admirable, though not enviable. The writing effuses logic (in the beginning) and paradox, then encouraged my penchant for reasoning to think his later behaviour incredulous. So regardless of all too familiar emotion and infatuation, I couldn't follow his gaze to endure his agony. I wanted to feel sad, but I, in "proud shame", cannot help trivializing his destiny - it's midlife crisis, "andropause"!

But I'd still like to believe him as
(p18)"his entire development consisted in jettisoning the constraints of doubt and irony and making the conscious, defiant ascent to dignity."

Barbara_Gordon Nov 26, 2010

Thomas Mann beautifully conveys the conflict and complex emotions of his character through the oppressive heat and atmosphere of Venice. Absoultely loved this book!


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Jun 14, 2014

Solitude produces originality, bold & astonishing beauty, poetry. But solitude also produces perverseness, the disproportionate, the absurd, and the forbidden

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