Death in Venice

Death in Venice

Book - 2005
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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 : Ecco, 2005, c2004
Edition: 1st Ecco pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780060576172
Characteristics: xvii, 142 p. : front. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Heim, Michael Henry


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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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