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The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

The Magic Mountain (1924)

by Thomas Mann

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,531120805 (4.23)4 / 463
With this dizzyingly rich novel of ideas, Thomas Mann rose to the front ranks of the great modern novelists, winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929. "The Magic Mountain takes place in an exclusive tuberculosis sanatorium in the Swiss Alps-a community devoted to sickness that serves as a fictional microcosm for Europe in the days before the First World War. To this hermetic and otherworldly realm comes Hans Castorp, an "ordinary young man" who arrives for a short visit and ends up staying for seven years, during which he succumbs both to the lure of eros and to the intoxication of ideas. Acclaimed translator John E. Woods has given us the definitive English version of Mann's masterpiece. A monumental work of erudition and irony, sexual tension and intellectual ferment, "The Magic Mountain is an enduring classic.… (more)
  1. 81
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  2. 31
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  3. 42
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  4. 10
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  5. 10
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  6. 10
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  7. 10
    Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (chwiggy)
  8. 10
    Scarred Hearts by Max Blecher (mousse)
    mousse: La narración se basa en las experiencias del autor, aquejado de tísis osea, en el sanatorio de Berck, en la costa francesa.El ambiente en el sanatorio y las relaciones entre los pacientes son similares.
  9. 00
    Montauk by Max Frisch (chwiggy)
  10. 00
    1913: The Year Before the Storm by Florian Illies (chwiggy)
  11. 00
    Roma, la pioggia... A che cosa serve la letteratura? by Robert Pogue Harrison (buchstabendompteurin)
  12. 00
    Every Man a Murderer by Heimito von Doderer (gust)
    gust: Ook een bildungsroman met een middelmatige jongeman als hoofdpersonage.
  13. 11
    I'm Not Stiller by Max Frisch (gust)
  14. 00
    Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks (hilge)
    hilge: Philosophy, psychology, and sanatorium are key features in both books. Which are both really nice and long in the very best sense.
1920s (9)
Europe (189)

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English (85)  Spanish (10)  French (4)  Italian (4)  Dutch (4)  Swedish (3)  German (3)  Catalan (2)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Russian (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (120)
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
833.912 MAN
  alessandragg | Apr 17, 2020 |
. T. Mann ( )
  darioha | Apr 16, 2020 |
Narra la vida de en el sanatorio Zauberberg, que está especializada en la tuberculosis. Pero las cosas empiezan a enturbiarse en el lugar, por conflictos entre los internos y las múltiples muertes que se dan en el sanatorio.
  katherinevillar | Mar 24, 2020 |
It took a couple goes to get up this mountain, but it was worth the journey. ( )
  easytarget | Feb 6, 2020 |
This book took me ages to finish. Not because it was bad or anything, but because I made a small mistake with it; I decided to purchase a copy. Now there is nothing wrong with that either, but when I take a book from the library, I have a set deadline to finish it. When I buy a book, all of that is out the window. What's the point of reading something you own in a timely manner? So finally I settled down and read the book.

What can I say about The Magic Mountain that hasn't been said before? It is quite brilliant and complex, representing ideas as people and our hero as a faithful receptacle of new ideas gleaned from these people. The story is simple enough at its outset; a young man named Hans Castorp goes up the eponymous Magic Mountain to visit his cousin Joachim Ziemssen. Joachim is a military minded man, but has a serious disease known as Tuberculosis. This disease and the microcosm of the sanitarium are used as vehicles to further symbolize Europe and the World in general before World War I. The illness shows the sorry state of the countries and places in general. The main thing I now understand more is that the chapter divisions themselves reflect the state of mind that Castorp is in. Over the course of the novel, they get longer and more sporadic, reflecting the loss of time.

I suppose I digress though. As it happens, this book is somewhat of a coming of age story or bildungsroman for Hans Castorp. As the book progresses, we are introduced to a number of influences and mentors for our young protagonist. We meet Settembrini, the Italian intellectual master of rationalism, Naphta, a person introduced in the latter half of the book that represents irrationalism, Madame Chauchat, a woman that Castorp falls in lust with and others. Presiding over this whole thing are the Director of the place, Director Behrens and his assistant, Dr. Krokowski, both representing lords of Hell, Minos and Rhadamanthus.

So the book is quite heavy with such symbolism and Hans Castorp is allowed his own ideas. They develop over time and he grows to hold a middle path of the extremes represented by some of his fellow patients and mentors. Eventually he even leaves the place to go to war. On an off topic subject, I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the foods that they served at the Sanitarium.

Since I can't read German, I bought the John E. Woods translation and I don't see anything wrong with it. I don't know if there is one translation that is more highly regarded, but at the moment I don't really care. All in all, this was a great book, but I don't know if it was worth waiting so long to finish it. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (75 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mann, ThomasAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Łukowski, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Byatt, A.S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caro, HerbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Castelló, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colorni, RenataTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crescenzi, LucaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Driessen, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fonseca, GonzaloIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giachetti-Sorteni, BiceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hawinkels, PéTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaila, KaiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kramsztyk, JózefTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowe-Porter, H. T.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marques, BernardoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mattson, EllenAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosoman, LeonardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wallenström, UlrikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winter, G.A. vonAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wood, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woods, John E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Курелла, В.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Станевич, В.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Die Geschichte Hans Castorps, die wir erzählen wollen, - nicht um seinetwillen (denn der Leser wird einen einfachen, wenn auch ansprechenden jungen Mann in ihm kennenlernen), sondern um der Geschichte willen, die uns in hohem Grade erzählenswert scheint (wobei zu Hans Castorps Gunsten denn doch erinnert werden sollte, dass es seine Geschichte ist, und dass nicht jedem jede Geschichte passiert): diese Geschichte ist sehr lange her, sie ist sozusagen schon ganz mit historischem Edelrost überzogenund unbedingt in der Zeitform der tiefsten Vergangenheit vorzutragen.

An unassuming young man was travelling, in midsummer, from his native city of Hamburg to Davos-Platz in the Canton of the Grisons, on a three weeks' visit.
The story of Hans Castorp, which we would here set forth, not on his own account, for in him the reader will make acquaintance with a simple-minded though pleasing young man, but for the sake of the story itself, which seems to us highly worth telling - though it must needs be borne in mind, in Hans Castorp's behalf, that it is his story, and not every story happens to everybody - this story, we say, belongs to the long ago; it is already, so to speak, covered with historical mould, and unquestionably to be presented in the tense best suited to a narrative out of the depth of the past.
Well, about the skin. What do you want to hear about your sensory sheath? You know, don't you, that it is your outside brain - ontogenetically the same as that apparatus of the so-called higher centres up there in your cranium? The central nervous system is nothing but a modification of the outer skin-layer; among the lower animals the distinction between central and peripheral doesn't exist, they smell and taste with their skin, it is the only sensory organ they have. Must be rather nice - if you can put yourself in their place. On the other hand, in such highly differentiated forms of life as you and I are, the skin has fallen from its high estate; it has to confine itself to feeling ticklish; that is to say, to being simply a protective and registering apparatus - but devilishly on the qui vive for anything that tries to come too close about the body. It even puts our feelers - the body hairs, which are nothing but hardened skin cells - and they get wind of the approach of whatever it is, before the skin is touched. Just between ourselves, it is quite possible that this protecting and defending function of the skin extends beyond the physical. Do you know what makes you go red and pale? ( -- Hofrat Behrens in conversation with Hans Castorp p 263)
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