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Mann: Disorder and Early Sorrow (SPOILERS POSSIBLE)

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Dec 20, 2014, 12:13pm Top

Just finished Mann's Disorder and Early Sorrow with I think will be my last Mann for a while. I really enjoyed getting a peak at middle-class life in the Weimar Republic through the point-of-view of an older German who is trying to understand the new while upholding the old.

(Digression: This reminds me of the story about W. H. Auden and his lover, Chester Kallman, using the Mann's house in California while the Mann's were away. They didn't change the sheets, and Mrs. Mann was so upset that Auden and Kallman were banned from the house.)

Anyway, I post here on this almost defunct reading list because it struck me that I am missing a lot of literary references which might enhance the book.

There are obvious references to Schiller's Don Carlos and Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther, neither of which I have read. But I wasn't sure what was being quoted to the child by the actor at the end of the story.

Any enlightenment that helps me not have to read Schiller and Goethe would be appreciated.

Dec 23, 2014, 3:29am Top

Can you give us the quote? I looked at the story last night, but couldn't find what you were referring to.

Dec 23, 2014, 9:27am Top

"sit the livelong night and weep upon her bed"

and possibly from the same source

"Console thee, dearest child"

Of course, these are the English translations of the German (I assume). They are said by Herr Hergesell to Ellie, who he later calls "my little Lorrelei" if that helps any. The quotes are probably from a play, since he is an actor.

Dec 23, 2014, 1:22pm Top

Thanks, I've now been able to identify the passage, but I don't recognize the source.
However, googling the phrase "auf ihrem Bette weinend sitzt die kummervollen Nächte" takes me a preview of a commented edition of the novella which states that it is an allusion to "The song of the Harper" in Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre. Goethe again.
"Wer nie sein Brot mit Tränen aß, wer nie die kummervollen Nächte auf seinem Bette weinend saß, der kennt euch nicht, ihr himmlischen Mächte!" (Book II, Chapter 13)
"Tröste dich mein schönes Kind" is a tune from an operetta, according to the same source. Since the preview was extremely limited, I don't know which one. But a tune named "Tröste dich mein liebes Kind" can be found in the operetta "Der Fürst von Pappenheim" by Hugo Hirsch.

Oh, and here's the source of the comment: https://books.google.de/books?id=Md9LAAAAMAAJ&q=auf+ihrem+bette+weinend+sitz...

Dec 23, 2014, 4:43pm Top

>4 MissWatson: Thanks very much!

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