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Beyond Mann



A blog author names herself Claudia Chauchat in honour of the main female character in Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain:

Origins of a name

Origins of a name part deux

A snippet from a Google abstract:

A Gorgon’s Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann’s Fiction by Lewis A. Lawson

Recalling her stay at Waldsanatorium in Davos in 1912 (during which her husband conceived the idea for the Magic Mountain), Katja Mann said that there actually “was a Madame Chauchat, who always slammed the door. At first she really did get on her husband’s nerves a great deal, but later he became very sensitive to her charm”. Her name “hot cat”, is a happy accident if it is remembered that, according to Feldman, one of the original attributes of Medusa was a “menacing, shaggy, feline head”.

Polish novelist, Pawel Huelle { 1 }, { 2 } has written a novel called Castorp. This interview explains the origins of Castorp.

Independent review

Extract from Castorp (pdf) :

Sarmatian Review, September 2006:

Modern Polish LiteratureThrough a Postcolonial Lens: The Case of Paweł Huelle’s Castorp

Dariusz Skórczewski

Professional Elites in “Classless” Societies (from Marx to Debord) by Slawomir J. Magala:

{1} pdf {2} plain text

This young German engineer from a middle-class family receives a crash course in the European humanist tradition from an Italian inmate of the sanatorium, Mr Settembrini. According to some critics, an Italian philosopher, sociologist and historian, Benedetto Croce, became a model for this character(1). He is also receiving an equally brief introduction to the totalitarian temptation from a Galician Jewish Jesuit, a Mr Naphta. Again, according to some critics, this character was based on a figure of a Hungarian Marxist philosopher writing in German, a sociologist, a literary scholar and a communist leader, Gyorgy Lukacs(2).

(1) Mann became acquainted with Croce, when the latter published a critical article about Mann’s — Reflections of an Apolitical Man inCritica (a periodical Croce filled mostly with his own texts) in 1920.

They maintained contact ever since. After WWII, Croce‘s daughtermarried a Polish writer, Gustaw Herling-Grudziński , who escaped Stalin‘s Gulag and wrote one of the first first-hand accounts of it Another World.

(2) Mann met Lukacs in 1922 in Vienna and has been influenced by the latter‘s study —The Soul and Its Forms, while Lukacs has subsequently written on Mann‘s oeuvre. Lukacs, who had been acultural commissar in a short-lived Hungarian communist government of Bela Kun, went on to become one of the most important Marxist philosophers, especially as the author of an influential — History and Class Consciousness.




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October 23, 2007 - Posted by | fiction, Literature, Novel, Novelist, Thomas Mann | , , ,

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