Doctor Faustus

by William Stewart Thomas Mann’s final novel, Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkühn, as Told by A Friend (1947), is a magnum opus as complex as it is symbolic. Built from layer upon layer of detail, the book is both a critique of modern bourgeois life in Germany and an allegory for… Continue Reading Doctor Faustus

Disorder and Early Sorrow

by Meaghan Rubsam “Disorder and Early Sorrow,” a novella by Thomas Mann, was written in 1925, with characters that were structured after members of Mann’s own family.  This short story examines the life of the Cornelius family through the eyes of Abel Cornelius, a professor at the local university, whose once respected position has become… Continue Reading Disorder and Early Sorrow

Death in Venice

By Elizabeth Freund Death in Venice is Thomas Mann’s most famous and widely read literary work. This semiautobiographical short story about a writer’s trip to the city of Venice, which uses symbolism and employs Mann’s meticulously written prose, also presents themes relating to modernity. Plot Summary The protagonist of Death in Venice is the reputable,… Continue Reading Death in Venice

Mario and the Magician

By Levi B. Sanchez Mario and the Magician is a novella written by German author Thomas Mann in 1929. As in many of his fictional works, Mann borrowed material for Mario from his actual experience. A performance Mann attended while on vacation in Italy in the summer of 1926 serves as inspiration for the sinister… Continue Reading Mario and the Magician

Little Herr Friedemann

by Heather Rhoda Little Herr Friedemann (Der kleine Herr Friedemann) (1898) was one of Thomas Mann’s first novellas, and an early example of Mann’s tendency to delve into the life of an outsider, a common theme in many of his later works. The main character in the novella, Johannes Friedemann, must navigate the complexities of… Continue Reading Little Herr Friedemann

Gladius Dei

by Merrick Doll Gladius Dei (1902) is a novella by Thomas Mann. It follows the story of a radically religious and ascetic youth, Hieronymus, as he attempts to eradicate a painting of a Madonna that he finds especially sacrilegious. The story takes place in Munich in the early 1900s and raises the question of art’s… Continue Reading Gladius Dei

Tonio Kröger

by Brad Rathe Tonio Kröger is a novella written by Thomas Mann in his early period and published in 1903. In it, Mann addresses the theme of the separation of the world of art from that of everyday life, as well as where the artist stands between the two. The largely autobiographical story traces key… Continue Reading Tonio Kröger

The Magic Mountain

by Klara Schubenz The Magic Mountain (Der Zauberberg) was first published in 1924 , yet Thomas Mann (1875–1955) already began his work on the novel in 1913 . It is the crucial period of World War I that interrupts his work process repeatedly and that leaves traces––not only in the author’s changing political point of… Continue Reading The Magic Mountain

Thomas Mann

By Elizabeth Freund Born in 1875 into a newly unified Germany, Mann moved to Munich at the age of eighteen.  His first novel, Buddenbrooks, was published in 1901.  Living his life in the modern time, Mann was an avid reader of Nietzsche. Mann was also “modern in his mode of work, rejecting emotion and inspiration… Continue Reading Thomas Mann