1929 : Thomas Mann

1929 : Thomas Mann

“principally for his great novel, Buddenbrooks, which has won steadily increased recognition as one of the classic works of contemporary literature”

Born

:

June 6, 1875

Place of birth

:

Lubeck, Germany

Died

:

12 August 1955

Place of death

:

Zurich, Switzerland

Occupation

:

Novelist, Short story writer, Essayist

Nationality

:

Germany

Notable award(s)

:

Nobel Prize in Literature 1929

Biography:

Son of a wealthy family of merchants, was born in Luebeck, Germany, in 1875. After studying at an institute of the city, marched with his family to Munich, where university, preparing to become a journalist, he studied history, economics, art history and literature. He began his career as a writer writing for Simplicissimus. The first story of Mann, “Mr Little Friedemann” (Der Kleine Herr Friedemann) was published in 1898. He lived in Munich since 1891 until 1933, with the exception of one year he spent in Palestrina, Italy, with his older brother, also a novelist Heinrich; there began writing his first great work, the novel The Buddenbrook, describing the decline of a bourgeois family. At this early stage of his work focused on the troubled relationship between art and life, which touched on Tonio Kroger, Tristan and Death in Venice, and then culminating with Doctor Faustus. In Death in Venice describes the behavior of a writer in a Venice ravaged by cholera, said work is the culmination of the ideas aesthetics of the author, who developed a peculiar psychology of the artist. In 1905, he married Katia Pringsheim, daughter of a prominent family of intellectuals of Jewish origin. The Mann had six children: Erika, Klaus, Golo, Monika, Elisabeth and Michael, all of which would come to become artistic figures in their own right. When the First World War, Mann defended the German nationalism; at the end of the contest, however, their ideology evolved and became a fervent defender of democratic values. Testimony of this evolution is the novel The Magic Mountain, which takes place in a sanitarium for tuberculosis patients and is a novel transposition of the political and philosophical debates of the era. In 1929 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Works:

Works in German (large selection):

  • Der kleine Herr Friedemann : Novellen – Berlin : Fischer, 1898

  • Buddenbrooks : Verfall einer Familie : Roman – 2 vol. – Berlin : Fischer, 1901

  • Tristan : Sechs Novellen – Berlin : Fischer, 1903

  • Fiorenza – Berlin : Fischer, 1906

  • Bilse und ich – Munchen : Bonsels, 1906

  • Konigliche Hoheil – Berlin : Fischer, 1909

  • Der kleine Herr Friedemann und andere Novellen – Berlin : Fischer, 1909

  • Der Tod in Venedig : Novelle – Munchen : Hyperion, 1912

  • Das Wunderkind : Novellen – Berlin : Fischer, 1914

  • Friedrich und die gro?e Koalition – Berlin : Fischer, 1915

  • Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen – Berlin : Fischer, 1918

  • Herr und Hund ; Gesang vom Kindchen : Zwei Idyllen – Berlin : Fischer, 1919

  • Walsungenblut – Munchen : Phantasus, 1921

  • Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull : Buch der Kmdheit – Wien : Rikola, 1922 – Enlarged as Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull : Der Memoiren erster Teil (Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1954)

  • Rede und Antwort : Gesammelte Abhandlungen und kleine Aufsatze – Berlin : Fischer, 1922

  • Von deutscher Republik – Berlin : Fischer, 1923

  • Okkulte Erlebnisse – Berlin : Hager, 1924

  • Der Zauberberg : Roman – 2 vol. – Berlin : Fischer, 1924

  • Lubeck als geistige Lebensform – Lubeck : Quitzow, 1926

  • Kino : Romanfragment – Gera : Blau, 1926

  • Pariser Rechenschaft – Berlin : Fischer, 1926

  • Unordnung und fruhes Leid – Berlin : Fischer, 1926

  • Zwei Festreden – Leipzig : Reclam, 1928

  • Hundert Jahre Reclam : Festrede – Leipzig : Reclam, 1928

  • Sieben Aufsatze – Berlin : Fischer, 1929

  • Mario und der Zauberer : Ein tragisches Reiseerlebnis – Berlin : Fischer, 1930

  • Lebensabri? – Paris : Harrison, 1930

  • Die Forderung des Tages: Reden und Aufsatze aus den Jahren 1925-1929 – Berlin : Fischer, 1930

  • Deutsche Ansprache : Ein Appell an die Vernunft – Berlin : Fischer, 1930

  • Goethe als Reprasentant des burgerlichen Zeitalters : Rede – Wien : Bermann-Fischer, 1932

  • Goethes Laufbahn als Schriftsteller : Vortrag – Munchen : Oldenbourg, 1933

  • Die Geschichten Jaakobs – Berlin : Fischer, 1933

  • Der junge Joseph – Berlin : Fischer, 1934

  • Leiden und Gro?e der Meister – Berlin : Fischer, 1935

  • Freud und die Zukunft : Vortrag – Wien : Bermann-Fischer, 1936

  • Joseph in Agypten – Wien : Bermann-Fischer, 1936

  • Ein Briefwechsel – Zurich : Oprecht, 1937

  • Freud, Goethe, Wagner : Three Essays / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter. – New York : Knopf, 1937

  • Stockholmer Gesamtausgabe der Werke – 12 vol. – Stockholm : Bermann-Fischer, 1938-1956

  • Dieser Friede – Stockholm : Bermann-Fischer, 1938

  • Schopenhauer – Stockholm Bermann-Fischer, 1938

  • Vom kunftigen Sieg der Demokratie – Zurich : Oprecht, 1938

  • Achtung, Europa! : Aufsatze zur Zeit – Stockholm : Bermann-Fischer, 1938

  • Lotte in Weimar – Stockholm : Bermann-Fischer, 1939

  • Die vertauschten Kopfe : Eine indische Legende – Stockholm : Bermann-Fischer, 1940

  • Dieser Krieg : Aufsatz – Stockholm : Bermann-Fischer, 1940

  • Deutsche Horer! : 25 Radiosendungen nach Deutschland – Stockholm : Bermann-Fischer, 1942

  • Joseph, der Ernahrer – Stockholm : Bermann-Fischer, 1943

  • Deutsche Horer! : 55 Radiosendungen nach Deutschland. – Stockholm : Bermann-Fischer, 1945

  • Das Gesetz : Erzahlung – Stockholm : Bermann-Fischer, 1944

  • Adel des Geistes : Sechzehn Versuche zum Problem der Humanitat. – Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1945

  • Leiden an Deutschland : Tagebuchblatter aus den Jahren 1933 und 1934. – Los Angeles : Pazifische Presse/New York: Rosenberg, 1946

  • Deutschland und die Deutschen : Vortrag – Stockholm : Bermann-Fischer, 1947

  • Doktor Faustus : Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkuhn, erzahlt von einem Freunde – Stockholm : Bermann-Fischer, 1947

  • Nietzsches Philosophie im Lichte unserer Erfahrung : Vortrag – Berlin : Suhrkamp, 1948

  • Neue Studien – Stockholm : Bermann-Fischer, 1948

  • Die Entstehung des Doktor Faustus : Roman eines Romans – Amsterdam : Bermann-Fischer, 1949

  • Goethe und die Demokratie – Zurich : Oprecht, 1949

  • Meine Zeit : 1875-1950 – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1950

  • Der Erwahlte : Roman – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1951

  • Lob der Verganglichkeit – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1952

  • Die Begegnung : Erzahlung – Olten : Vereinigung Oltner Bucherfreunde, 1953

  • Die Betrogene : Erzahlung – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1953

  • Der Kunstler und die Gesellschaft : Vortrag – Wien : Frick, 1953

  • Altes und Neues : Kleine Prosa aus funf Jahrzehnten – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1953

  • Adel des Geistes : Zwanzig Versuche zum Problem der Humanitat – Berlin : Aufbau, 1955

  • Ansprache im Schillerjahr 1955 – Berlin : Aufbau, 1955

  • Das Eisenbahnungluck : Novellen – Munchen : Piper, 1955

  • Versuch uber Schiller : Seinem Andenken zum 150. Todestag in Liebe gewidmet – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1955

  • Nachlese : Prosa 1951-1955 – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1956

  • Meerfahrt mit Don Quijote – Wiesbaden : Insel, 1956

  • Sorge um Deutschland : Sechs Essays – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1957

  • Wagner und unsere Zeit : Aufsatze, Betrachtungen, Briefe / Hrsg. von Erika Mann – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1963

  • Notizen : Zu Felix Krull, Konigliche Hoheit, Versuch uber das Theater, Maja, Geist und Kultur, Ein Elender, Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen, Doktor Faustus und anderen Werken / Hrsg. von Hans Wysling – Heidelberg : Winter, 1973

  • Thomas Mann : Tagebucher – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1977 –

  • Notizbucher : Edition in zwei Banden / Hrsg. von Hans Wysling und Yvonne Schmidlin – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1991-1992

  • Essays – 6 vol. / Nach den Erstdr., textkritisch durchges., kommentiert und hrsg. von Hermann Kurzke und Stephan Stachorski – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1993-1997

Translations into English (large selection):

  • Royal Highness : a Novel of German Court Life / translated by A. Cecil Curtis – New York : Knopf, 1916

  • Bashan and I / translated by Herman George Scheffauer – London : Collins, 1923. – Republ. as A Man and His Dog 1930

  • Buddenbrooks / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – 2 vol. – New York : Knopf, 1924

  • Death in Venice – New York : Knopf, 1925

  • The Magic Mountain – 2 vol. – translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1927

  • Children and Fools / translated by Herman George Scheffauer – New York : Knopf, 1928

  • Early Sorrow / translated by Herman George Scheffauer – London Secker, 1929

  • Mario and the Magician / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – London : Secker, 1930

  • Past Masters and Other Papers / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1933

  • Joseph and His Brothers / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1934

  • Young Joseph / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1935

  • Stories of Three Decades / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1936

  • An Exchange of Letters / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1937

  • The Coming Victory of Democracy / translated by Agnes E. Meyer – London : Secker & Warburg, 1938

  • Joseph in Egypt / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1938

  • This Peace / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1938

  • The Beloved Returns / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1940 – Republ. as Lotte in Weimar 1940

  • This War / translated by Eric Sutton – New York : Knopf, 1940

  • Transposed Heads : A Legend of India – translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter. – New York : Knopf, 1941

  • Order of the Day : Political Essays and Speeches of Two Decades / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter, Agnes E. Meyer and Eric Sutton – New York : Knopf, 1942

  • Listen, Germany ! : Twenty-five Radio Messages to the German People over B.B.C. / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter. – New York : Knopf, 1943

  • Joseph the Provider / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1944

  • The Tables of the Law / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1945

  • Essays of Three Decades / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1947

  • Doctor Faustus : the Life of the German Composer, Adrian Leverkuhn, as Told by a Friend / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1948

  • The Holy Sinner / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1951

  • The Black Swan / translated by Willard R. Trask – New York : Knopf, 1954

  • Confessions of Feliz Krull, Confidence Man : The Early Years / translated by Denver Lindley – New York : Knopf, 1955

  • Last Essays / translated by Richard and Clara Winston, Tania and James Stern, and H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1959

  • A Sketch of My Life / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – New York : Knopf, 1960

  • Stories of a Lifetime. – 2 vol. / translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter – London : Secker & Warburg, 1961

  • The Story of a Novel : the Genesis of Doctor Faustus / translated by Richard and Clara Winston – New York : Knopf, 1961

  • Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man / translated by Walter D. Morris – New York : Ungar, 1983

  • Pro and Contra Wagner / translated by Allan Blunden – Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1985

  • Death in Venice and Other Stories / translated by David Luke – New York : Bantam, 1988

  • Buddenbrooks : the Decline of a Family / translated by John E. Woods – New York : Knopf, 1993

  • Doctor Faustus / translated by John E. Woods – New York : Knopf, 1997

  • Death in Venice and Other Tales / translated by Joachim Neugroschel – New York : Viking, 1998

  • Death in Venice : complete, Authoritative Text with Biographical and Historical Contexts, Critical History, and Essays from Five Contemporary Critical Perspectives / edited by Naomi Ritter – Boston : Bedford Books, 1998

  • Death in Venice, Tonio Kroger, and Other Writings / edited by Frederick A. Lubich, foreword by Harold Bloom – New York : Continuum, 1999

  • Death in Venice / translated by Michael Heim. – New York : Ecco, 2004

  • Joseph and His Brothers : the Stories of Jacob, Young Joseph, Joseph in Egypt, Joseph the Provider / translated from the German by John E. Woods – New York : Everyman’s Library, 2005

  • The Magic Mountain / translated from the German by John E. Woods – New York : Knopf, 2005

Literature (a selection):

  • Mendelssohn, Peter de, Der Zauberer : Das Leben des deutschen Schriftstellers Thomas Mann – Erster Teil: 1875-1918 – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1975

  • Thomet, Ulrich, Das Problem der Bildung im Werk Thomas Manns – Bern : Lang, 1975

  • Luft, Hermann, Der Konflikt zwischen Geist und Sinnlichkeit in Thomas Manns Tod in Venedig – Bern : Lang, 1976

  • Rieckmann, Jens, Der Zauberberg : eine geistige Autobiographie Thomas Manns – Stuttgart : Heinz, 1977

  • Jendreiek, Helmut, Thomas Mann : Der demokratische Roman – Dusseldorf : Bagel, 1977

  • Sandt, Lotti, Mythos und Symbolik im Zauberberg von Thomas Mann – Bern : Haupt, 1979

  • Koopmann, Helmut, Der schwierige Deutsche : Studien zum Werk Thomas Manns – Tubingen : Niemeyer, 1988

  • Bruhn, Gert, Das Selbstzitat bei Thomas Mann : Untersuchungen zum Verhaltnis von Fiktion und Autobiographie in seinem Werk – New York : Peter Lang, 1992

  • Sprecher, Thomas, Thomas Mann in Zurich – Munchen : Fink, 1992

  • Fetzer, John F., Changing Perceptions of Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus : Criticism 1947-1992 – Columbia, SC : Camden, 1996

  • Heilbut, Anthony, Thomas Mann: Eros and Literature – Berkeley : Univ. of California Press, 1997

  • Scaff, Susan von Rohr, History, Myth, and Music : Thomas Mann’s Timely Fiction – Columbia, SC : Camden House, 1998

  • Wolters, Dierk, Zwischen Metaphysik und Politik : Thomas Manns Roman ‘Joseph und seine Bruder’ in seiner Zeit – Tubingen : Niemeyer, 1998

  • Thomas-Mann-Handbuch / herausgegeben von Helmut Koopmann. – Stuttgart : Kroner, 1990

  • Kurzke, Hermann, Thomas Mann : das Leben als Kunstwerk – Munchen : Beck, 1999

  • Elsaghe, Yahya, Die imaginare Nation : Thomas Mann und das ‘Deutsche’ – Munchen : Fink, 2000

  • Hobusch, Harald, Thomas Mann : Kunst, Kritik, Politik 1893-1913 – Tubingen : Francke, 2000

  • Maar, Michael, Das Blaubartzimmer : Thomas Mann und die Schuld – Frankfurt am Main : Suhrkamp, 2000

  • Breloer, Heinrich, & Konigstein, Horst, Die Manns : ein Jahrhundertroman – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 2001

  • Kinkel, Elke, Thomas Mann in Amerika : Interkultureller Dialog im Wandel? : Eine rezeptions- und ubersetzungskritische Analyse am Beispiel des Doktor Faustus – Frankfurt am Main : Peter Lang, 2001

  • Kurzke, Hermann, Thomas Mann : Life as a Work of Art : a Biography / translated by Leslie Wilson – London : Allen Lane, 2002

  • Hoffschulte, Martina, “Deutsche Horer!” : Thomas Manns Rundfunkreden (1940 bis 1945) im Werkkontext. – Munster : Telos-Verl., 2003

  • Shookman, Ellis, Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice : a Novella and Its Critics – Rochester, NY : Camden House, 2003

  • Shookman, Ellis, Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice : a Reference Guide – Westport, CT : Greenwood, 2004

  • Mundt, Hannelore, Understanding Thomas Mann – Columbia, SC : Univ. of South Carolina Press, 2004

  • Gortemaker, Manfred, Thomas Mann und die Politik – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 2005

Awards:

1929: Nobel Prize in Literature.

Presentation Speech:

Presentation Speech by Fredrik Book, Member of the Nobel Committee for Literature, on December 10, 1929

If one asks which innovation the nineteenth century made in the field of literature, which new form it created in addition to the old forms of epic, drama, and lyric, whose roofs are in Greece, the answer must be: the realistic novel. By setting forth the innermost, secret experiences of the human soul against the background of contemporary social conditions, and by stressing the interdependence of the general and the particular, it has been able to portray reality with a faithful accuracy and a completeness that have no parallels in older literature.

The realistic novel – one could call it a modern prose epic influenced by historicism and science – has by and large been the creation of the English, the French, and the Russians; it is associated with the names of Dickens and Thackeray, Balzac and Flaubert, Gogol and Tolstoy. There was no comparable contribution from Germany for a long time; poetic creativity there chose other outlets. The nineteenth century had come to its end when a young writer, the twenty-seven-year-old son of a merchant from the old Hanse city of Lubeck, published his novel Buddenbrooks (1901). Twenty-seven years have passed since then, and it has become clear to all that Buddenbrooks is the masterpiece that fills the gap. Here is the first and as yet unsurpassed German realistic novel in the grand style which takes its undisputed and equal place in the European concert.

Buddenbrooks is a bourgeois novel, for the century it portrays was above all a bourgeois era. It depicts a society neither so great as to bewilder the observer, nor so small and narrow as to stifle him. This middle level favours an intelligent, thoughtful, and subtle analysis, and the creative power itself, the pleasure of epic narration, is shaped by calm, mature, and sophisticated reflection. We see a bourgeois civilization in all its nuances, we see the historical horizons, the changes of time, the changes of generations, the gradual transition from self-contained, powerful, and un-self-conscious characters to reflective types of a refined and weak sensibility. The presentation is lucid yet penetrates beneath the surface to hidden processes of life; it is powerful but never brutal, and touches lightly on delicate things; it is sad and serious but never depressing because it is permeated by a quiet, deep sense of humour that is iridescently reflected in the prism of ironic intelligence.

As a portrayal of a society, a concrete and objective representation of reality, Buddenbrooks hardly has its equal in German literature. Beyond the limits of its genre, however, the novel betrays its common features with the German mind, with metaphysical and musical transcendentalism. The young writer who had mastered the techniques of literary realism so perfectly was at heart a convert to Schopenhauer’s pessimism and Nietzsche’s criticism of civilization, and the main characters of the novel reveal their ultimate secrets in music.

Basically Buddenbrooks is a philosophical novel. The decline of a family is portrayed from the point of view that a profound insight into the essence and conditions of life is irreconcilable with naive joie de vivre and active energy. Reflection, self-observation, psychological refinement, philosophical profundity, and aesthetic sensibility appear to the young Thomas Mann destructive and disintegrating forces; in one of his most exquisite stories, Tonio Kroger (1903), he has found moving words for his love of human life in all its simplicity. Because he stood outside the bourgeois world that he portrayed, his vision was free, but he had a nostalgic feeling for the loss of naivete, a feeling which gives him understanding, sympathy, and respect.

The painful experience of Mann’s youth that gave its profound tone to Buddenbrooks includes a problem that he has treated and tried to solve in different ways throughout his career as a writer. Within himself he has felt the tension between the aesthetic-philosophical and the pragmatic-bourgeois outlooks, and he has tried to resolve it in harmony on a higher level. In the short stories Tonio Kroger and Tristan (1903) the exiles from life, the devotees of art, knowledge, and death, confess their desire for a simple and healthy existence, for life in its seductive banality. It is Mann’s own paradoxical love for simple and happy natures that speaks through them.

In the novel Konigliche Hoheit (1909) [Royal Highness], whose realistic form disguises a symbolic story, he reconciled the life of the artist with that of the man of action, and he gave a motto to that human ideal: highness and love – an austere happiness. But the synthesis is neither as convincing nor as deeply felt as the antithesis in Buddenbrooks and the short stories. In the drama Fiorenza (1906), in which the moralist Savonarola and the aestheticist Lorenzo di Medici appear as irreconcilable enemies, the gap is opened anew. In Der Tod in Venedig (1913) [Death in Venice] it reaches tragic significance. It was during this period, in the years that preceded the World War, that he became interested in the personality of Frederick the Great. He felt that that ruler presented a historically valid solution of the problem, for Frederick’s genius had, with unbroken vitality, combined action, contemplation, and a penetrating clarity free from illusions. In the ingenious essay Friedrich und die grosse Koalition (1915) [Frederick the Great and the Grand Coalition] he showed the possibility and reality of the solution, but the problematic writer of Buddenbrooks did not succeed in representing this ideal in the plastic and vital form of literature.

The World War and its consequences forced Mann to leave the world of contemplation, of ingenious analysis and subtle visions of beauty, for the world of practical action. He followed his own advice, implied in his novel Konigliche Hoheit, to beware of the easy and the comfortable, and dedicated himself to an agonizing reappraisal of the questions that his country faced in its time of affliction. His later works, especially the novel Der Zauberberg (1924) [The Magic Mountain], testify to the struggle of the ideas which his dialectical nature fought to the end and which preceded the statement of his opinions.

Dr. Thomas Mann – As a German writer and thinker you have, reflecting realities, wrestled with ideas and created painful beauty even though you were convinced that art is questionable. You have reconciled the loftiness of poetry and the intellect with a yearning love for the human and, for the simple life. Accept from the hands of our King the Prize that the Swedish Academy with its congratulations has awarded to you.

Book(s):

A Morte Em Veneza e Tonio Kroeger

Photo Gallery:

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