Briefwechsel 1900-1949 Cover Image

About the Author: Thomas Mann

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Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual. His analysis and critique of the European and German soul used modernized German and Biblical stories, as well as the ideas of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer. His older brother was the radical writer Heinrich Mann, and three of his six children, Erika Mann, Klaus Mann and Golo Mann, also became important German writers. When Hitler came to power in 1933, Mann fled to Switzerland. When World War II broke out in 1939, he emigrated to the United States, from where he returned to Switzerland in 1952. Thomas Mann is one of the best-known exponents of the so-called Exilliteratur.

Briefwechsel 1900-1949 Cover Image

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Goodreads rating: 3.92

Paperback, by Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag

ISBN10: 359612297X | ISBN13: 9783596122974

Page count: 606

Fortunately for us, brothers Heinrich and Thomas Mann remained devoted and eloquent correspondents even while disagreeing passionately on matters literary, political, philosophical, and personal. In their correspondence, set against a shifting backdrop of locations in Europe and America, mundane concerns blend easily with astonishing artistic and critical insights. That these irrepressible siblings were among the giants of twentieth-century letters gives their exchanges unique literary and historical fascination.
Beginning in Germany and Italy at the turn of the century, the letters document with disarming immediacy the brothers' views on aesthetics, politics, and the social responsibility of the writer, as well as their mutual jealousy, admiration, rivalry, and loyalty. The devastating rift caused by Thomas's support of Germany during World War I and his brother's utter opposition to the war took many years to mend, but they found their way back to friendship in the 1920s. After Hitler rose to power, both writers ultimately sought refuge in the United States. The letters offer a moving portrayal of their struggle, as novelists and socially engaged intellectuals, to bear witness to the cataclysmic historical changes around them and to their experience of exile, in Europe and then in America. This first complete English translation of their correspondence is a dramatic human dialogue and a major literary event.

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