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The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
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The Magic Mountain (original 1924; edition 1992)

by Thomas Mann (Author)

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7,298115814 (4.22)4 / 457
A sanitorium in the Swiss Alps reflects the societal ills of pre-twentieth-century Europe, and a young marine engineer rises from his life of anonymity to become a pivotal character in a story about how a human's environment affects self identity. In this dizzyingly rich novel of ideas, Mann uses a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps, a community devoted exclusively to sickness, as a microcosm for Europe, which in the years before 1914 was already exhibiting the first symptoms of its own terminal irrationality. The Magic Mountain is a monumental work of erudition and irony, sexual tension and intellectual ferment, a book that pulses with life in the midst of death.… (more)
Member:jbpjackson
Title:The Magic Mountain
Authors:Thomas Mann (Author)
Info:Vintage (1992), Edition: 1st international, 729 pages
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The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann (1924)

  1. 81
    The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil (roby72)
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    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
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    1913: The Year Before the Storm by Florian Illies (chwiggy)
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    Roma, la pioggia... A che cosa serve la letteratura? by Robert Pogue Harrison (buchstabendompteurin)
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    Every Man a Murderer by Heimito von Doderer (gust)
    gust: Ook een bildungsroman met een middelmatige jongeman als hoofdpersonage.
  13. 11
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  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 (81)  Spanish (10)  French (4)  Italian (4)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (3)  German (3)  Catalan (2)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Russian (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (115)
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
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 |
Mann, Thomas (1924). La montagna magica (Der Zauberberg). Milano: Mondadori. 2010.
La montagna magica

libon.it

Piccolo dilemma, di cui verosimilmente non importa niente a nessuno tranne che a me: che io recensisca capolavori classici universalmente e da tempo acclamati è probabilmente, oltre che inutile, un atto di hỳbris; d’altra parte, ho promesso a me stesso, e ho detto anche a voi (i proverbiali 25 lettori) che avrei recensito, non sempre tempestivamente, tutti i libri che avessi letto.

Dunque, eccomi qui. Me la caverò menando il can per l’aia: non recensendo il libro, ma parlandone un po’ in relazione a me e alle vicende che mi riguardano personalmente.

Il primo romanzo di Thomas Mann che ho letto fu I Buddenbrook, su suggerimento di mio padre: a casa mia – privilegio di cui non smetterò mai di essere grato ai miei – si parlava sempre a tavola “dei massimi sistemi” e dunque spesso di letteratura. Ero adolescente, non alle medie, suppongo, ma al ginnasio direi. Anche perché rimasi molto colpito dal modo in cui Mann descrive l’insorgere del tifo del piccolo Hanno. E perché ricordo di averne discusso con G. M., amico fin dalla prima elementare, di madre amburghese e quindi fonte preziosa di quelle atmosfere (soprattutto di Travemünde, dove se non ricordo male andavano anche in villeggiatura i cammellini di peluche del professor Kranz di Paolo Villaggio).

Qualche anno dopo ho letto (come tutti all’epoca) La morte a Venezia: il film di Luchino Visconti – senza l’articolo! – è del 1971, ma restò più memorabile, per me, per la scoperta dell’Adagietto dalla 5ª Sinfonia e dello stesso Gustav Mahler, che fino ad allora avevo appena sfiorato. Nel film l’orchestra dell’Accademia nazionale di Santa Cecilia era diretta da Franco Mannino.

Poco dopo – erano dunque gli anni dell’università – arrivò la lettura di Doktor Faustus, legato anch’esso a una scoperta musicale (anche qui, più il Beethoven della Sonata op. 111 che la dodecafonia e la Scuola di Vienna). Oltre alla stupenda interpretazione di Sviatoslav Richter che vi propongo qui sotto, vi segnalo anche la bella lezione di Roman Vlad che trovate su Rai Educational.

Per molto tempo ho rinviato la lettura de La montagna incantata (all’epoca era tradotto così il titolo originale – Paolo Mauri racconta tutta la vicenda su la Repubblica), fino a quando la nuova edizione e traduzione non mi ha deciso al grande passo.

È un bel libro? Certamente sì.

È un bel romanzo? Non so. Opinione personalissima, e probabilmente una bestemmia per i veri esperti, e non posso escludere nemmeno che se lo rileggessi, magari in momenti e circostanze diverse …

Insomma, non sono sicuro che in quanto romanzo sia sopravvissuto bene agli anni: sarà che il linguaggio e il fraseggio così “classici” anestetizzano i grandi temi che sono il “vero” contenuto del romanzo, sarà che ci siamo abituati ai romanzi-saggio in cui la contrapposizione delle idee non ha bisogno di incarnarsi fisicamente in personaggi (e vicende), sarà che Davos ormai non ci fa nemmeno pensare alle gare di sci ma al forum di qualche decina di esperti strapagati che discettano del nostro destino, sarà che 1000 pagine sono tante per un romanzo e poche per un saggio che mette tutta quella carne al fuoco, sarà la musica che gira intorno, saremo noi che abbiamo nella testa un maledetto muro …
( )
  Boris.Limpopo | Apr 29, 2019 |
~850 pages of stolid German realism. We meet Hans Castorp as he travels to a sanatorium at Davos to spend three weeks in the company of his convalescent cousin Joachim - Hans' stay will be a lot longer than he expects, however, and over the course of this slow, dreamlike novel of ideas Mann largely dispenses with frivolities like pace and plot in favour of long, satirical discussions of European culture, time, civilisation, theology, science, illness and more.

There's the incendiary liberal humanist Lodovico Settembrini; his Jesuit intellectual foil Naphta; the circumspect Joachim; the fragrant love interest Clavdia Chauchat (notably introduced slamming the door of the dining room as the patients enjoy one of their many, many gluttonous feasts at the sanatorium); Doctor Behrens (memorably described as "Rhadamanthus" by Settembrini); charismatic Trump-like blowhard Myneer Peeperkorn, and more, all of whom circle around Hans Castorp and his intellectual development.

It's clearly a very impressive and Important Book but I'm not sure I'd want to read it again, if I'm honest. Bits of it are beautiful and will linger in my memory, though: Hans' skiing adventure where he gets caught in a snowstorm and has an intellectual epiphany is probably worth the price of admission alone. ( )
  haarpsichord | Nov 5, 2018 |
Four to distinguish from other Thomas Manns: I admired this, but didn’t warm quite so much as to Death in Venice or Joseph and his Brothers. Although Mynheer Peeperkorn was as mythic as one of his Old Testament patriarchs from the latter, and the love story was very Death in Venice. If Thomas Mann is underestimated as a writer on love, I’ll speak for him, as I seem to recognise his accounts of it. As for the conversations of ideas, the two antagonists, Hans’ geniuses, were hard to pull apart (which is good and which is bad?). Tracts of these conversations were like a continuance from The Brothers Karamazov, another novel of conversations on ideas. Late in the piece the metaphor closed in, as the Great War looms and strikes.

Hans, his every-person, the ‘ordinary’, although from a conservative and affluent world far from my experiences, was early on engaging, with his defences of the dignity of the sick against trivialization. Sickness and death are explored here, most certainly not just as metaphor; love and illness, in particular. It brims with science and pseudo-sciences from the times; the psychoanalyst who tells his patients (strait-laced yet dissolute) illness is caused by the sexual subconscious, ends up a ringleader of seances. Hans’ milieu is extremely stiff-upper-lip, so that warmth from me at times felt as hard as expression of attachment between him and his good cousin Joachim. Hans ‘kicks over the traces’ several times, though, in infatuation with a Kirghiz-eyed Russian beneath his class and outside his Western ethic, and in a ramble in the snowy mountains that becomes an existential epic. ( )
  Jakujin | Jan 22, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (75 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mann, Thomasprimary 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.
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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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