The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann, translated by John E. Woods

After reading a small extract of Buddenbrooks in German and reading Evelyn Juers, I am developing an interest in the Manns…

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

The Magic MountainWell, I’ve finally finished The Magic Mountain.  I’ve been reading it for ages, about 70 pages a week, along with a group at GoodReads.  It’s an amazing book.

The plot is actually quite simple.  A young man, Hans Castorp, goes to visit his cousin Joachim in an exclusive TB sanatorium in the Swiss Alps, but is diagnosed with the disease himself and ends up staying there for seven years.  The sanatorium is a microcosm of European society just before The Great War – which provides Mann with the opportunity to explore an astonishing range of philosophical issues.  The novel is often satiric and witty, it bristles with ironies, and there are symbols lurking everywhere.  It’s the kind of book you could read many times and still discover something new each time you read it.

But I have only read it once, so I must leave the sophisticated analysis to those who…

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