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Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
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Death in Venice (1912)

by Thomas Mann

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MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,908791,314 (3.75)1 / 220
  1. 72
    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (roby72)
  2. 10
    Homo Faber by Max Frisch (spiphany)
  3. 10
    Thomas Mann in Venedig by Reinhard Pabst (hahehei)
  4. 00
    The Folding Star by Alan Hollinghurst (Anonymous user)
  5. 00
    By Nightfall: A Novel by Michael Cunningham (sturlington)
  6. 00
    Königsallee: Roman by Hans Pleschinski (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Königsallee, ein biografischer Roman über Karl Heuser und Thomas Mann. Karl Heuser soll Vorbild für die Josephsfigur gewesen sein, gleichzeitig aber auch eine der großen Lieben Thomas Manns. Wie in der autobiografischen Erzählung von Thomas Mann "Tod in Venedig" geht es um die homoerotische Beziehung zwischen einem älteren Mann und einem schönen Knaben.… (more)
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English (67)  Italian (3)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All (79)
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
At first, it was quite boring. After that, it became interesting with all the details about Venice, it was like I was there again. I felt how every word of his is making my heart warmer. And then there was this love about that boy that I couldn't understand. Was it father-son love, or was it some kind of wrong love, if you know what I mean. The ending was expected and disappointing. ( )
  InnahLovesYou | May 2, 2018 |
Match found in the German National Library.
  glsottawa | Apr 4, 2018 |
This is a story I've read any number of times since I first encountered in college, and I decided to try an audiobook this time around. Big mistake. I don't know what the problem was, but it felt like a wholly different book to me, and not one that I particularly enjoyed. Possibly it was the narrator, a number of people have expressed negative opinions on his work in their reviews. Possibly it's a different translation, but I see no indication of who the translator was, and I really don't have the energy to compare the audio and hard copy versions side-by-side. Bottom line: this didn't work for me.

On the off chance that you don't know the story, writer Gustav von Aschenbach feels restless and takes himself off to Venice where he finds the weather oppressive, but the proximity of a young Polish boy enough to keep him in the city in spite of his health concerns. Much is made of Aschenbach's work ethic, his moral stance, his belief that will power will carry one through all troubles. And yet in a moment, all of his professional nobility is shattered by the appearance of a luminous boy, a perfect amalgam of Eros, Hyacinth, and whatever other gorgeous, mythic youth Aschenbach's besotted brain tosses up to explain away the experience of being utterly gobsmacked by desire.

The irony here is so think you need waders.

In the end, we're the only witnesses to Aschenbach's fall from grace, from the pedestal which he worked so hard to climb. We don't really know why he was so smitten, whether there was something in his past which made him susceptible to a beautiful boy. We see him tart his desire up as casual interest, fascination, as a desire to touch perfection, and as love, but by the end, he's become something he formerly scorned -- an old man trying to be a young one -- in order to be more attractive to Tadzio. It's difficult to watch, and yet impossible to look away from the trainwreck of Aschenbach's end.

Though my favorite Mann story is The Blood of the Walsungs, Death in Venice will always hold a special place in my heart. I'm sorry the audiobook didn't stand up to the task. ( )
  Tracy_Rowan | Dec 21, 2017 |
I must admit to a dose of uneasiness with the protagnist's creepy paiderastial stalking, but I put it down to a sign of the times much like one would with the stalker-story lyrics in Daddy Cool's "Come Back Again". But as Appelbaum (the translator) suggests in the notes, in basing the novel on an the author's personal experience, Mann "preserved his decorum and his wits, or we would never have had a story", so the reader need not get too morally involved in the details. At first glance some recurring grotesque characters belie the Dionysion versus Appolonian development of the plot as Aschenbach's infatuation takes over. The title, of course, does not hide the ending. Nonetheless, Mann's interweaving of Greek mythology in support of the central theme neatly presents German philosophy in this rather deep novella. I have started to watch the 1971 movie based on this novel but I must say I am glad (as always) at having read the book first - the mythological figures which one can re-imagine after my initial reading of the characters is most certainly lost in the opening scenes of the movie - but that should come as no surprise. ( )
  madepercy | Nov 7, 2017 |
Right after I revisited Death in Venice, in whose cult I counted myself as a teen, I perused this history of interpretation: Thomas Mann's Death in Venice: A Novella and its Critics. I’ve come to the conclusion that this story which rests on atmophere and symbolism is an ‘As You Like It’ affair: interpretations range wildly, and Mann did not in fact give certain information as to his intentions. Besides, with a plot like this, how was he to speak out, post-publication, without positions of defence and postures in response to criticism?

Death in Venice keeps its mystery, or rather, its individuality, as if written for you to make of it ‘What You Will’ (another Shakespeare title. It’s apt somehow).

I know that, devoted as I am to this little book at story-level, I can happily live with Death in Venice for the rest of my life, read the English translations, and each time see a different meaning in its swirl of dream and intellectualisation around Beauty, Truth and Art. At the moment I might say it’s like that line of Keats: ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all/ Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’ Which in turn has been to me a statement more to ponder than to understand. Death in Venice can be seen as a radical challenge to that line, a cruel refutation, a glorious endorsement. I just don’t know. Did Mann? ( )
  Jakujin | Oct 17, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (88 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mann, Thomasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burke, KennethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Callow, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Castellani, EmilioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cunningham, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Angelis, EnricoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heim, Michael HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hom, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowe-Porter, H. T.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olsen, Kjell Erik KilliIllustr.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olsen, Kjell Erik Killi illustr.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Solar, Juan José delTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ulsen, Henk vanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Death in Venice / Tristan / Tonio Kröger by Thomas Mann

Der Tod in Venedig : Erzählungen by Thomas Mann (indirect)

Die Erzählungen by Thomas Mann (indirect)

Romanzi brevi by Thomas Mann

Death in Venice & A Man and His Dog: A Dual-Language Book by Thomas Mann

The Folio Book of Short Novels by Folio Society

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On a spring afternoon in 19--, a year that for months flowered threateningly over our continent, Gustav Aschenbach--or von Aschenbach, as he had been known officially since his fiftieth birthday--set off alone from his dwelling in Prinzregentenstrasse in Munich on a rather long walk. [Norton Critical Edition]
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060576170, Paperback)

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."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:02 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"Gustav von Aschenbach, a successful but aging writer, follows his wanderlust to Venice in search of spiritual fullfillment that instead leads to his erotic doom"--Dust jacket.

» see all 6 descriptions

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