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MANN, Thomas (Mann Thomas)

( German novelist and essayist Nobel Prize for Literature, 1929)

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Biography MANN, Thomas (Mann Thomas)
photo MANN, Thomas (Mann Thomas)
June 6, 1875, Mr.. - August 12, 1955
German novelist and essayist Thomas Mann was born in the ancient port city of Luebeck in northern Germany. His father, Johann Heinrich Mann, was a prosperous corn merchant and senator of the city, and his mother, nee Julia da Silva Bruhns, musically gifted woman, was a native of Brazil, from a family of German immigrants, the planter and his wife, Creole. Perhaps because of mixed origin in M. combines features northerner-European with its thoroughness of the bourgeois, emotional restraint and respect for human personality and the southerner with his sensibility, lively intelligence and a passion for art. This contradictory mix of northern and southern features, adherence to bourgeois values and aesthetics played an important role in the life and work of M.
M. had inherited the family business of grain trading, but after the untimely death of his father in 1891. company was liquidated, and Thomas graduated from high school, as he later put it, 'rather disgracefully. "
When he was 16 years old, Mann family moved to Munich, in those years - as, indeed, and now - a great intellectual and cultural center. In Munich, Thomas some time working in the insurance company and is engaged in journalism, intending to become a writer, following the example of his elder brother Henry. Soon M. arranged an editor at the satirical weekly magazine 'Simplicissimus' ( 'Simplizissimus'), and he begins to write stories, later included in the collection of 'Little Herr Friedemann' ( 'Der Kline Herr Fridemann', 1898). As in his later works, in these stories M. with an ironic and at the same time quite sad tone portrays the timid, restless 'modern' artist who struggles to find meaning in life. Furthermore, in these stories shines through thrust M. to the strength of bourgeois existence, which beckons its inaccessibility of his characters-artists.
These themes with exceptional force rise in the first and most famous novel M. 'Buddenbrooks' ( 'Buddenbrooks', 1901), which is autobiographical and tells the story of the decline and collapse of a large trading firm in Lц╪beck. Using a traditional literary form of the Scandinavian family saga (the readers are three generations Buddenbrooks), M. attaches to its epic narrative features: the fate of his heroes seen the fate of bourgeois culture in general. In this realistic and at the same time full parables there is the desire of the author's novel, on the one hand, to aestheticism, and on the other - to the Citizens' sanity. As each new generation of Buddenbrooks becomes more self-doubt, to a greater degree of 'artists' than 'artist', decreases their ability to act. It is noteworthy that the family line breaks when a teenager Ganneau, a gifted musician, dies of a fever, but in essence, from a lack of will, of unfitness for life.
. R complicated interplay of knowledge and life, theory and practice can be traced in 'Tonio Kroger' ( 'Tonio Kroger', 1903), the first novel M., enjoyed great success
. Like Hamlet, Tonio finds that because of its subtlety, he is not able to act, only love can save him from the moral paralysis, caused by overactive mental activity.
. Presumably this hopeful argument, M
. in 1905. marry Katia Pringsheim, daughter of great mathematicians, a descendant of the ancient Jewish kind of bankers and merchants. They had six children, three girls, one of whom, the eldest, became an actress, and three boys, one of whom is also a senior, became a writer. But marriage did not help M. solve his intellectual problems, love does not save him and the homosexual inclinations, which pursued a writer all my life.
. Subject homosexuality is prevalent in 'Death in Venice' ( 'Der Tod in Venedig', 1913), one of the most remarkable stories in world literature
. Its hero, an aging writer Gustav von Ashenbah, who sacrificed everything in life for the sake of art, was in the power of self-destructive and unfulfilled passion for an unusually beautiful boy. In this brilliantly written story, there are many of the themes of later works MI: the loneliness of the artist, the identification of physical and spiritual disease, the disruptive effect of art on the psyche.
. The First World War had plunged deep into the writer's moral and spiritual crisis
. During these years he wrote a book volume of 600 pages 'arguments apolitical' ( 'Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen', . 1918), . which criticizes the liberal optimism, . opposed the rationalist, . educational philosophy in defense of the German national spirit, . which, . thoughtful M., . musical and irrational,
. However, with typical irony, a M. notes that his own contribution to the literature, probably contributes to the development of the very rationalist humanism, against which it stands.
After the war, M. again turned to art, and in 1924. appears 'Magic Mountain' ( 'Der Zauberberg'), one of the most brilliant and ironic novels in the tradition bildungs-roman, or novel of education - the intellectual and spiritual. The hero of the novel, Hans Kastorp, quite ordinary, good-natured young engineer from northern Germany, arrives in a Swiss sanatorium visit his cousin, but it turns out that he, too, with lungs. The longer Kastorp is among wealthy patients, the longer the leading intellectual conversations with them, the more it fascinates them a lifestyle that has nothing to do with his monotonous, insipid bourgeois existence. But 'Magic Mountain' - is not only the history of spiritual development Kastorpa, this in-depth analysis of the prewar European culture. Many of the topics that M. raised in the 'Reflections apolitical', witty, with irony and a deep compassion for human imperfection reinterpreted in 'Magic Mountain'.
Creative M. had a great influence on the educated readers, who saw his multivalued problem novels reflect their own intellectual and moral quest. In 1929, Mr.. writer awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature 'above all for a great novel' Buddenbrooks ', which became a classic of modern literature and whose popularity is growing'. In his welcome speech, Fredrik Bock, a member of the Swedish Academy, said that M. became the first German novelist, who has reached the level of Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert or Tolstoy. Bock also noted that Moscow, on the one hand, created a complex spiritual art, on the other - he himself had questioned its appropriateness. According to Bock, the greatness of M. lies in its ability to reconcile the 'poetic excitement, intelligence with love to the whole earth, to the simple life'.
After receiving the Nobel Prize in creativity M. has an important role to play politics. In 1930. writer delivers a speech in Berlin, entitled 'Appeal to Reason' ( 'Em Appell an die Vernunft'), which advocates the creation of a common front of workers, socialists and the bourgeois liberals to fight against the Nazi threat. He also wrote 'Mario and the magician' ( 'Mario und der Zauberer', 1930), a political allegory, in which venal hypnotist represents such leaders as Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. In his essays and speeches, which the writer pronounced in those years throughout Europe, sounded sharp criticism of the policies of the Nazis; M. also expressed sympathy for socialism, where the Socialists stand up for freedom and human dignity. When in 1933. Hitler became chancellor, M. and his wife, who at that time were in Switzerland, have decided not to return to Germany. They settled not far from Zurich, but traveled a lot, and in 1938. moved to the United States. Within three years, M. lectured on the humanities at Princeton University and from 1941 to 1952. lived in California. He also served as a consultant on German literature at the Library of Congress.
In 1936, Mr.. M. was deprived of German citizenship, as well as an honorary doctoral degree, University of Bonn, which was awarded him in 1919; in 1949. honorary degree was restored to him. In 1944, Mr.. M. became a citizen of the United States. During the Second World War, he often spoke on the radio in Germany, condemning Nazism and calling on Germans senses. After the war, M. visited the West and East Germany, and everywhere he was given a rapturous reception. However, the writer refused to return to their homeland and in recent years has lived near Zurich.
Even in old age M. more than 13 years working on the tetralogy of the biblical Joseph. In modern sounding, sparkling with irony and humor of the novel 'Joseph and his brothers' ( 'Joseph und seine Bruder', 1933 ... 1943) traces the evolution of consciousness from the collective to the individual. Triumph M. lies in the fact that we love hero no less than the author himself '- Mark Van Doren wrote about the bustling but charming Joseph.
Another idol of the late M. becomes Goethe, the protagonist of the novel "Lotte in Weimar '(' Lotte in Weimar ', 1939), where about Goethe and his life is told from the person of his former lover. In contrast with these, in a sense idyllic works in 'Doctor Faustus' ( 'Doktor Faustus', 1947) depicts a brilliant but mentally ill musician, whose work is a reflection of the spiritual malaise era. Containing sharp criticism of European higher cultural strata, 'Doctor Faustus' is also the most complex piece of M. in terms of style.
'The Adventures of Felix Krul adventurer' ( 'Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull', 1954), the last novel, Moscow, was the result of processing the manuscript, begun in 1910, Mr.. Imbued with irony, the novel is the final chord of the writer's work, for which self-irony has always been the main stimulus. An extravagant parody, 'Felix Krul', according to most MS, translates 'autobiographical confession, and aristocratic in spirit, Goethe into humor and criminology'. The artist says of his novel, MI - a comic figure: he can dazzle and deceive, but can not change the world. M. considered 'Felix Krul' his best, the most successful book, because the novel 'at the same time denies the tradition and is in its bed'.
Critics on the work of M. remains high, and this despite the fact that his German mentality is often alien to the British and Americans. The German poet Rainer Maria Rilke gave 'Buddenbrooks' is very much appreciated, noting that in this work, M. joined the 'tremendous work' realist novelist with 'poetic vision' - a view shared by many critics. On the other hand, the Marxist critic Gyц╤rgy Lukц║cs saw in the work of M. thoughtful and consistent 'criticism of capitalist society'. Critics agree that M. courage, depicting the moral crisis of the era and the reevaluation of values, running from Nietzsche and Freud.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, M. received the Goethe Prize (1949), which was awarded to him together West and East Germany, and was the holder of honorary degrees from Oxford and Cambridge Universities

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