He was not to be interrupted for any reason; at times when the children were noisy he would be heard loudly clearing his throat in almost a growl. Following lunch he would nap, then take a walk, and later spend the afternoon with his correspondence. There was tea, often with visitors and later dinner.
Why Thomas Mann Wrote | VQR Online
Evenings were spent at concerts or the theater. What can be said as to why Thomas Mann wrote? In Sigmund Freud, amongst several other prominent authors, was invited to meet and present his views on creativity. He has no reason to conceal this wish. He described plays he evolved, based on scenes from a book of classical mythology which his mother had read to him and his brothers and sisters. However, there were invisible ones, for which no apparatus was needed at all. With those I might feel quiet satisfaction in the independent power of my phantasy , of which nothing could rob me. I clothed myself in a certain kindly majesty, carried on an animated conversation with a governor or adjutant, whom I had appointed in my imagination, and walked about proud and happy in the secret of my dignity.
One [I] could have lessons, be taken for a walk, hear stories read aloud, without its being necessary to interrupt the game for a moment,—and that was the practical part of it. Mann never gave up this princely fantasy; he dressed in the finest and most correct clothes, traveled only first class, stayed only in deluxe hotels, and carried himself with a regal dignity. I loved this type of play so very much that the thought of ever outgrowing it seemed impossible to me. I looked forward to the time when my voice would have changed that I might put my bass tones at the disposal of the peculiar music dramas, which I performed behind closed doors, and I was indignant when my brother [Heinrich] pictured to me how ridiculous it would appear if, as a man, I still sat before it.
Between childhood play and artistic practice there is in my memory no break. He is described as lying in a semi-somnolent state for much of the time—a quality of dreaminess which continued in his childhood as he lay sprawled on a sofa as his mother played the Etudes and Nocturnes of Chopin or sang the songs of Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, and Liszt. Thomas especially liked her reading of fairy tales and telling romantic stories of her childhood in Brazil.
Her German-Portugese-Creole origin was said to account for her exotic, pleasure-loving nature. Father represented the stable, disciplined burgher authority who had little to do with young Thomas. His father died when Thomas was He adopted the position of orderliness, regularity, and discipline. A further determinant of his imaginative creativity may be the result of the summers from his seventh to his 16th year which he spent on the beach at the mouth of the Trave River as it flowed into the Baltic Sea.
Long hours were spent simply day-dreaming or reading whatever he chose. Throughout his life he recalled these summers as being the happiest times of his life. In addition to writing in his diaries about boyhood friends that he had loved, Mann sought to memorialize them as characters in his novels and stories. Something like that is not forgotten, even if seventy eventful years pass over it.
His head. The carelessly parted hair, reddish blond in color, waved back from a white brow, and a pair of light blue eyes gleamed bright and keen from beneath. The cheekbones were slightly prominent; while the nose, with its delicate nostrils and slightly aquiline curve, and the mouth with its short upper lip already had a definite character.
In his diary entry, Aug. Um es noch rechzeitig vor meinem Tode zu vernichten? Ich glaube, sie weisz, wenigstens unter Kennern, ohnedies mehr von mir, als sie mir zugibt. Only so that I can destroy it in time before my death? Or do I wish that the world know me? I believe, at least by the more perceptive people, more is known than is conceded to me.
This is both a generous and a highly narcissistic motivation displaying his grandiosity to all the world. Yes, he was quite right, many people are very interested in his diaries. He also needed a friend to whom he could confide, confess, his innermost thoughts and feelings.
An outstanding feature of the diaries is that they are written as if to an intimate friend such as he never truly had. Yet, there is restraint. In the discussion of Felix Krull , possible meanings in the narrative will be considered as an expression of such fantasies. Mann felt a life-long guilt as well as longing in regard to his sexual preference. Here in his diaries he could express these feelings, as if with the hope that he could relieve his guilt.
The diaries can be considered an auto-therapeutic effort. Mann wrote to express his creative originality in the context of portraying the shifts occurring in European culture and the family. All of this was his own schooling, as well as his developing a skeptical analysis by his reading of Nietzsche. Reed consider Buddenbrooks to be an original creation. James N. Effie Briest was the great novel of realism which dealt with a young woman of a well-established family who became entrapped in a traditional, unhappy, arranged marriage which came to a tragic end, much like Tony Buddenbrooks.
Mann has commented on what he called his character trait of deep self doubt. He said, several times, that when he would turn a manuscript over to the publisher he would shrug his shoulders and expect rejection, only to be amazed when his productions were accepted and became best sellers. Be all of this as it may, Buddenbrooks revealed the creative genius of Thomas Mann.
It presented the decline of the classic bourgeois ruling, middle-class, merchant culture of the late 19th century. In late he had started to write a pseudo-autobiography of a confidence man-trickster entitled Felix Krull. The idea for such a novel was suggested by the autobiography of an actual trickster named Manolescu.
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Mann wished to model imitate this pseudo-autobiography on the autobiography of Goethe. In a letter to his brother Heinrich, Jan 10, , he reported that he was amazed at how much of a disturbing psychological nature was drawn out of him while working on Felix Krull.
He set the work aside.
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Throughout , Mann experienced a series of difficulties. In the middle of May a much-needed respite was sought and he went with Katia and Heinrich to the island of Brioni. While there, he learned of the death of Gustav Mahler, whom he had met the past September.
From the Curonian Spit to Palanga
Finding Brioni unsatisfactory the three moved to the Hotel des Baines on the Lido in Venice, where they remained from May 20 to June 2. It was during this holiday that the idea of the novella, Death in Venice , came to Mann. In a letter to Philipp Witkop, Mann told him of his plan.
Katia Mann was developing, during this time, symptoms of tuberculosis which led to her entry into a sanitarium at Sils Maria, Switzerland where Friedrich Nietzsche had had his summer house. She remained there from Sept.
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Then from March 10 to Sept. Jessen in Davos. Mann visited her here for three weeks, May into June and was told by Dr. Jessen that he had a moist spot on one of his lungs. This experience was mirrored by Hans Castorp, the hero of The Magic Mountain , when he came for a three-week visit to his cousin in the sanitarium. Death in Venice was completed and published in the summer of while Katia was still at Davos.
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It is doubtful that sublimation was involved since Mann was painfully aware of his desires. Death in Venice , under the scrutiny of T. Such aspects are indeed present but there is far more. It is a skilled combination of psychology and myth as well as connections for Mann since Richard Wagner wrote part of Tristan and Isolde in Venice and had died there. Tristan and Isolde was a passionate favorite of Thomas Mann.