Read Morte em Veneza by Thomas Mann Online


The world-famous masterpiece by Nobel laureate Thomas Mann -- here in a new translation by Michael Henry Heim.Published on the eve of World War I, a decade after Buddenbrooks had established Thomas Mann as a literary celebrity, Death in Venice tells the story of Gustav von Aschenbach, a successful but aging writer who follows his wanderlust to Venice in search of spiritualThe world-famous masterpiece by Nobel laureate Thomas Mann -- here in a new translation by Michael Henry Heim.Published on the eve of World War I, a decade after Buddenbrooks had established Thomas Mann as a literary celebrity, Death in Venice tells the story of Gustav von Aschenbach, a successful but aging writer who follows his wanderlust to Venice in search of spiritual fulfillment that instead leads to his erotic doom.In the decaying city, besieged by an unnamed epidemic, he becomes obsessed with an exquisite Polish boy, Tadzio. "It is a story of the voluptuousness of doom," Mann wrote. "But the problem I had especially in mind was that of the artist's dignity."...

Title : Morte em Veneza
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 8481302260
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 95 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Morte em Veneza Reviews

  • Stephen
    2019-01-25 14:30

    Brilliant prose, expertly crafted, and an audacious, masterful blending of mythology, allusion and symbolism. In many ways, a work of considerable genius.Unfortunately, the story itself felt ho hum and left me cold and rather unenthused. Given this considerable dichotomy, between the me that was significantly impressed by Mann's obvious talent, and the more emotional, "enjoyment-centric" me left wanting more by a narrative that seemed dry and lifeless, I’ve resolved to revisit this work in a few years (it's only 150 pages) for a follow up. Hopefully, at that point, one of me will hold sway. For now...both of me will straddle the fence of wishy-washy indecision. However, regardless of whether my future interactions with the story add to or subtract from my first impression, there’s no denying that there is much to admire, even be amazed by, in this slim, tightly compacted work loaded with full-bodied ideas. I just wished for a deeper connection to the characters and the tale. PLOT SUMMARY:It’s the early 20th century, and in a decaying Europe that is drifting towards war, an austere, deeply repressed author suffers from a severe bout of writer's block. To clear his mind and get his creative juices flowing again, Gustav von Aschenbach takes a holiday and winds up amidst the beautiful decadence of Venice. This was Venice, the flattering and suspect beauty--this city, half fairy tale and half tourist trap, in whose insalubrious air the arts once rankly and voluptuously blossomed, where composers have been inspired to lulling tones of somniferous eroticism. While there, von Aschensbach becomes infatuated with the striking, classical beauty of a teenage boy named Tadzio. Slowly, the writer begins to lose control of his emotional austerity as his long-bottled passions avalanche over him. Despite never acting on his impulse of having any contact with the youth whatsoever, von Aschenbach's infatuation descends into a destructive obsession that leaves him unhinged and adrift from his rationality.Meanwhile, a deadly cholera epidemic is stealthily spreading through the city, and von Aschenbach, though he can feel the onset of symptoms, is too enthralled to make his escape. Eventually...a death Venice. THOUGHTS:Despite being written by a German author about a Prussian author, and set in 20th century Italy, this story has Greek tragedy written all over it. Mann's story is steeped in allusions to mythology, and is strongly influenced by Plato's The Symposium and ]Phaedrus, carrying forward their central arguments regarding the man’s struggle between passion and wisdom.Having not read either of these works, I'm sure there are some references that strolled right past me without me having a clue they were even in the room. Nevertheless, I don't think a familiarity with these texts is essential to enjoying this story, though it could certainly enhance it.In keeping with the Greek sympathies central to Mann’s novella, the relationship between von Aschenbach and Tadzio (the boy) is clearly a reference to the platonic ideal of erotic love described by Plato and Socrates. Additionally, Mann includes a whole host of mythological allusions to highlight our protagonist's psychological and physical demise, beginning with von Aschenbach’s gondola ride into Venice that mirrors the journey of many a Greek hero into Hades. At its heart, this is a cautionary tale regarding the danger of extremes, and the need to maintain a sense of balance in the conduct of one's life. Mann shows us someone who has lived a carefully controlled, passion free life in the pursuit of moral, intellectual art. When we first encounter von Aschenbach, he is an emotional corpse existing in the extreme state of pure reason and utter sensual denial. Mann shows us this not as an ideal, but as one end of the spectrum to be avoided. Now, when confronted with the exotic, sensation-filled atmosphere of Venice, von Aschenbach’s suppressed desires bubble to the surface, and his carefully constructed, intellect-driven world crumbles in the face of the onslaught. <>"His head and his heart were drunk, and his steps followed the dictates of that dark god whose pleasure it is to trample man's reason and dignity underfoot." Swiftly, our protagonist finds himself at the other extreme, a slave to his passions, the object of which is encapsulated in the character of Tadzio. Excessively rigid morality exchanged for unrestrained passion…reason abandoned and moderation impossible, von Aschenbach's world deteriorates under the weight of his unchecked desires. It is his falling from one extreme to another, and his inability to achieve a balance, that leads eventually to his self-destruction. My biggest problem with the above is that understood it without feeling it. I would spot an allusion that Mann was incorporating and think how impressive it was…but it never translated into an emotional connection to the story. Thus, I was kept at a distance from the story, and this left me feeling less enamored with the work as a whole, than its prodigious technical achievements might otherwise merit. Still, as I mention above, there is much to love about this work, and part of my tepid reaction to the story may be my unfamiliarity with some of the source texts that Mann draws upon for inspiration. I intend to visit Plato’s The Symposium and/or Phaedrus, and check back in with this work further down the road. For now, an impressed 3.5 stars. Highly recommended.

  • Kalliope
    2019-02-21 21:25

    THE KRITIOS BOYThis is Beauty.Male human Beauty but it transcends the particular.Contemplating Beauty brings Happiness.We seek this Happiness, this complete Harmony with one’s Life.Perfect Harmony is Divine.Beauty is the Path.How to find the Path, how to reach the final goal? And in seeking, we Desire.Is Art the Artifice that creates the Divine?Goodness, Virtue, Health, Order, Perfection, Restraint, Discipline. All are required.Talent has to be wedded to Dignity. Only then is it Moral.But also Freedom is needed. Freedom from the thinking mind. Freedom in open and infinite spaces. Simplicity and the Sea.But there is Time, and Chronos easily brings decay. Or Destiny strikes.For Salvation the only thing we have to defend us is Art.And as the sun and its light drag us to the Senses they can also intoxicate us.And yet, Art — Writing -- cannot reproduce sensuous Beauty, but they will praise it. How to avoid the lurking Danger?They are too close to Emotions. Mirrors of Love.This is Eros, the Divine.The Senses are the Forbidden Fruit. Overripe strawberries, already dragging us, with them, into irreversible decay.Falling. The Abyss.

  • Adam Dalva
    2019-02-07 17:26

    Odd novella about unrequited pederasty that, like so many novellas with their single themes and small casts, feels a bit overstretched. But there is reason this is still so widely read today (curious how, unlike LOLITA, the subject of this book isn't as important as the theme when it comes to criticism): the writing. Mann's marvelous turns of phrase carry the day and his ruminations on the nature of creativity stand in wonderful counterpoint to Marcel's more spiritual realization near the end of LOST TIME. Consider:"Nothing gladdens a writer more than a thought that can be come pure feeling and a feeling that can become pure thought."and“Solitude favors the original, the daringly and otherworldly beautiful, the poem. But it also favors the wrongful, the extreme, the absurd, and the forbidden."and"Like any lover, he desired to please; suffered at the thought of failure.” These lines spill out as the aged writer Aschenbach begins getting more extreme in his behavior, stalking young Tadzio, the boy he loves, through the diseased streets of Venice. Here, Mann achieves something extraordinary: he unlocks the close correspondence between creativity and obsession, between the propriety of making art and the tremendous improprieties that can be side-effect of leaving yourself open to the making of art. Tight in on Aschenbach as we are, morality barely enters into the novella. Instead, in an autobiographical turn by Mann, we see the that repression and beauty often work in counterpoint.As the book accelerates toward its (extremely foreshadowed) ending, we get an especially good scene, as Aschenbach, who derides men who attempt to be younger than they are at the beginning of the book, dyes his hair and gets slathered in make-up in an attempt to please Tadzio. It's a gorgeous moment of pathos, the clown at midnight (soon after a night sequence with a clown), and it will stick with me.DIV is humorless, but you know that going in with Mann. This translation seemed good to me - I have the earlier one as well and when I compared them it wasn't particularly close. Nowhere near the heights of MAGIC MOUNTAIN, which is one of my favorites, but worth your time.

  • Henry Avila
    2019-02-05 15:19

    Gustave Aschenbach, or von Aschenbach, as the German writer, has now been honored, at home, all is his , fame , fortune , prestige...yet he is alone, his wife has died, their only child a daughter, married, living far away, the man is feeling his 50 plus years, restless , unsure...unhappy, he must leave Munich and get...a warmer, climate south, would do, Italy, and the glorious city of Venice, above the sea, blue lagoons, sandy beaches, in a beautiful hotel, and the bright, shining Sun, spraying its healing rays, heating his cold, old heart, the image can not be denied. Still in the early 20th Century, things aren't perfect, the weather is bad , the winds make him sick, the dirty canals, odious smells, and decaying buildings, are unsettling, not content, he decides to return to the nearby mainland...and find a better place. His desires aren't successful, on the way, losing his precious luggage, he must go back, it will be uncomfortable, but he has no choice...which strangely makes him glad...just before a handsome, Polish boy, of 14, Tadzio, from an aristocratic family, vacationing also, there, he sees at the hotel. The beauty of this child, infatuates the tired , discouraged man, the despondency is lifted , a new life surfaces. Every day Gustave, visits the beach, lies down on his flimsy chair, soaks up the Sun and watches the boy cavorting with other children, swimming in the shallow waters, skipping, dancing, playing, the writer likes the view, but is careful not to be observed, he has two pretty sisters, mother and a governess to deal with. And the weeks slowly pass, the contented tourist, is happy just to be, no worries, only happiness, sitting on the hot sand, the re-energized author , begins to follow the Polish family, around Venice, not being conspicuous, sneaking , hiding, walking in back alleys, never having the bravery to talk to Tadzio...A quiet rumors is whispered , foreign newspapers say that a plague has arrived in the ocean city, malignant cholera, especially in the German periodicals, people from Germany and Austria , suddenly disappear from the premises, not believing the local authorities , denials...the strong, medicinal scent, in Venice, is troubling, Aschenbach, needs confirmation, receiving it from the stoic British, nevertheless he remains , too enchanted to leave. ...An unusual novella from the great Thomas Mann, he got the idea, talking with his wife, in this very city, in 1911, (the story was published, a year after) while vacationing in The Grand Hotel des Bains, on the Venetian island of Lido, in the fabled, Adriatic Sea..

  • Seemita
    2019-02-11 15:33

    As long as we breathe, we live. We do not possess the power to embrace death at will. So, we live. And for living, we cling to a purpose. The purpose may be clear or clouded, animate or inanimate, expressed or hidden, stable or fickle but we have it nonetheless. Even the person accused of leading a purposeless life is surviving on the shredded purpose of vagrancy.So it doesn’t come as a surprise that even Gustav Aschenbach, notwithstanding the fame and dignity safely held in his bag of accolades, gropes for purpose in his new found state of ripe mind. Nothing is a bigger curse for a writer than to have hit a plateau from where all the previous works appear a distant dream and the present air leaves nothing for the fertile imagination to latch on. In search of this elusive purpose, after declaring many destinations unfit for ideation, he halts at Venice at a quaint hotel and opens the window of his room to the sea, inviting both its calmness and ferocity to wash his rusted mind panes with inspiring waves.And the sea obliges, in the form of the ethereal Tadzio, who happens to be a guest of the same hotel as Gustav. The stunning beauty of this young Polish boy of golden skin, flowing locks, delicately-crafted ribs and carefree demeanour, first catches Gustav unawares and then, slowly like a persisting rain, fogs his mind panes with sensual dew. His senses, in a natural gesture, follow Tadzio’s movements like a sunflower follows the sun’s trail. From the day he sets his eyes on Tadzio, he gets transported to a new world where he increasingly finds just the two of them, talking about art and beauty, exchanging life wisdoms and sinking in the loving companionship of each other. But does this throbbing one-sided passion render a purpose to the debilitating parchment of his life or relegate it further to insurmountable lows? Hold the hand of Mann to find out. And yes, he has a lot to say in this compact work.He softly pits intellectual beauty against corporeal beauty and questions whether attaining the fulsome body of the former, can, in any way, deride the necessity of the latter’s blossoming. He also nudges us to consider the propriety of actions taken under the influence of relationships which, in the safety net of sanguinity, can deluge the delicate fabric of morality. He also presses us to weigh the artistic liberties in the light of societal approvals and take a stand.For the striking questions and delicately coherent wordplay, I was about to give this work a rating of four. But Mann snatched the solitary star from my hand by playing this masterstroke: A dream where Gustav has donned the garb of Socrates and Tadzio, of Phaedo and the former is giving his life lessons to the young warrior of tomorrow.’Because beauty, Phaedo, is the only thing that is divine and visible at the same time, and so it is the way of the artist to the soul. But do you believe, my dear Phaedo, that the one who reaches the intellectual through the senses can ever achieve wisdom and human dignity? Or do you believe (and I am leaving this to you) that it is a lovely but dangerous road that leads nowhere? Because you have to realize that we artists cannot take the path of beauty without Eros joining us and becoming our leader; we may be heroes in our own way, but we are still like women, because passion is what elevates us, and our desire is love—that is our lust and our disgrace. Do you see that poets can be neither sage nor dignified? We do not like final knowledge, because knowledge, Phaedo, has no dignity or severity: it knows, understands, forgives, without attitude; it is sympathetic to the abyss, it is the abyss.’An artist is able when he can turn thought to emotion and emotion to thought with equal finesse. But he is legendary when he can turn a non-artist, artist. And I know Gustav, in the end, did both jobs well.

  • Traveller
    2019-02-14 16:25

    Since the piece is well known as being a landmark work of fiction regarding male homosexuality, I am not going to focus on that in my review, or on its other element that has been flogged to death as well, being the rather extreme youth (age 14) of the love object. -----Well! What a conflicting piece of fiction. The novella seems fairly divisive amongst critics, but one thing that I think most of us can agree on, is that the novella is a discomfiting piece of writing. I suspect this was so for the author as well as for his readers.For me this was not because of how the protagonist's obsession affected his love-object, but because of how this obsession affected the protagonist himself. ... and, I couldn't shake the feeling that the novella was pretty much autobiographical in many senses. (I found out later that it was so in many respects, and the love-object is based on a real person. Most uncomfortable of all, is that the 'real' Tadzio, was the 10-year old Wladyslaw Moes).Achenbach, the protagonist, is a well-respected author, who, like Mann, tends to engage with political and intellectual issues in his work. Like Achenbach, Mann visited Venice, where he made the acquaintance of a young boy whose beauty he apparently admired; with the difference that Mann was accompanied by his wife and brother, while Achenbach was alone. Okay, there are a few other differences as well - and one pretty large one, but that's a spoiler.Many reviewers and critics have made much ado about the protagonist's homosexuality and/or his pederastic inclinations, but I think what disturbed me most was the stalker-ish intensity of the protagonist's infatuation, and to an extent also how he totally overromanticized the idea of physical beauty, using purple prose and overblown idealistic sentiments to describe his thoughts on physical human beauty, (which I deeply disagree with), and which Mann propped up with symbolism from Greek mythology, and references to Platonic ideals.Ironically, Björn Johan Andrésen, who played the role of the fourteen-year-old Tadzio in Luchino Visconti's 1971 film adaptation of Death in Venice, is credited with saying: “One of the diseases of the world is that we associate beauty with youth. We are wrong. The eyes and the face are the windows of the soul and these become more beautiful with the age and pain that life brings. True ugliness comes only from having a black heart”.Because I have long known that beauty is only skin-deep, I like those sentiments a lot better than: ... he believed that his eyes gazed upon beauty itself, form as divine thought, the sole and pure perfection that dwells in the mind and whose human likeness and representation, lithe and lovely, was here displayed for veneration. This was intoxication, and the aging artist welcomed it unquestioningly, indeed, avidly. His mind was in a whirl, his cultural convictions in ferment; his memory cast up ancient thoughts passed on to him in his youth though never yet animated by his own fire. Was it not common knowledge that the sun diverts our attention from the intellectual to the sensual? It benumbs and bewitches both reason and memory such that the soul in its elation quite forgets its true nature and clings with rapt delight to the fairest of sundrenched objects, nay, only with the aid of the corporeal can it ascend to more lofty considerations. Cupid truly did as mathematicians do when they show concrete images of pure forms to incompetent pupils: he made the mental visible to us by using the shape and coloration of human youths and turned them into memory's tool by adorning them with all the luster of beauty and kindling pain and hope in us at the sight of them...Some interesting thoughts there, though I disagree with the sentiments expressed in bold. Were these the thoughts of the protagonist, or the author himself? From his notes, it would seem that these were actually Mann's own sentiments. They do seem a perfect rationalization for a man in Achenbach's position to make though, which makes them pretty fitting in their context, I must concede.I am surprised that so many people, with so much evidence to the contrary, can still invoke Plato's ideas of essence = form when it comes to physical beauty = spiritual beauty. Surely, it doesn't require too much contemplation to come to the conclusion that physical beauty does not equal spiritual beauty?One could muse that perhaps what Achenbach is rather saying, in what seems like a rationalization for his passion, that beauty can inspire love, the latter which is in itself beautiful. ...and yet, since in this specific context the object of that passion is so young, and vain, and since they had never even exchanged a word with one another, could this be love? Methinks not - this could surely be but an infatuation of the senses.From the notes Mann made for the writing of the novella, it is clear that part of what he wanted to show, was that an artist (an author like himself) cannot be a dignified, purely rational creature, that he needs to be in touch with his passions and emotions, and that the act of creating art is inherently not a dispassionate activity.Something else that Mann seems to be saying behind the scenes, is that love itself cannot be dignified, that love pushes an individual into undignified behavior.Mann being a fairly obviously repressed individual, one can read a certain parallel between the disease that infects Venice, with Achenbach's almost insane passion (insanity features in Mann's notes). Mann seems to see these homosexual pederastic impulses that one surmises he felt himself, as at the same time degrading and ennobling. Ennobling, so the reasoning seems to go, in the sense of that when a person degrades himself for love, it can be seen as a kind of sacrifice of dignity for a higher cause (being, in this case, "love").But one can only follow such reasoning if you can agree that a passion that seems so distant, unrealistic and physical can be ennobling and can be described as "love". To put the matter in a slightly different context - make a small leap in your mind and imagine that the love-object here is instead a 40-year old woman. If the latter was the case, would the scenario in DIV still be creepy? Indeed, it would. What would make the scenario still creepy? It would still be a purely physical obsession characterized by stalkerish behaviour.So one ends up asking yourself how far selfishly and obsessively stalking someone can really be an expression of love? ..and if it is to the extent that one puts this behaviour of yours above the wellbeing of its object? ..and what when the continuation of this behaviour puts the other's life in danger, then is it not actually selfishness and the opposite of love?(view spoiler)[ Achenbach deliberately does not tell Tadzio's mother about the epidemic in order to avoid the outcome that Tadzio's family would leave the resort; which would remove Tadzio from the older man's proximity. In fact, I was sort of visualizing an ending in which Tadzio dies of Cholera, and Achenbach is racked with guilt, possibly even driven totally mad with guilt)(hide spoiler)]Of course, when the object of your obsession is only 14 years old, not making contact can probably be seen as the nobler action to take than to make contact; and sticking to stalking behaviour is probably preferable to some potential alternatives.In spite of my criticism of Mann's ideas and of his patches of overwrought, overemotional purple prose, the latter suits the subject of the story well, and there are certainly a lot of thought-provoking ideas and well-executed imagery.Mann also displays keen insight into his characters. He portrays the aging, smitten homosexual well, and the dissolution of his personality via the intensity of his obsession is conveyed with pathos despite the relentless dissection under Mann's unnerving microscope. One feels torn between pity for Achenbach while at the same time suppressing a shudder at the creepiness of his stalking behavior - but Mann manages to make him look pathetic more than anything else. Mann also remarks on Tadzio's narcissism with acute insight. According to The Real Tadzio: Thomas Mann's Death in Venice and the Boy Who Inspired It, the latter was indeed a pretty narcissistic person who enjoyed the attentions of older men, so Mann was pretty spot-on with his portrayals.All-in-all, as with all good fiction, the novel leaves one with conflicted feelings. And, like all good fiction, it makes you roll around its various elements in your head, considering and re-considering; trying to find definite stances. The fact that the latter is so hard to do with this work of fiction, is a part of what makes it good fiction, whether one agrees with all of the specific ideas put forward by it or not.--- I must mention that I started the novella with the e-book version of the translation by Michael Henry Heim, and finished with the translation by Clayton Koelb, with some cross-over where I read passages out of both. The latter claims to be the most natural and most US-friendly translation out there, but these two translations appeared fairly similar to me.

  • Kasia
    2019-01-28 15:27

    Mesmerizing. Perfection. How I'm I supposed to go back to normal life after having experienced glimpses of literary heaven? Thomas Mann, where have you been all my life? I'm confused, perplexed. What are those feelings? Heartbreak or hangover? I'm sorry y'all, but I'm unable to utter a coherent sentence here so I'm going back to read Death in Venice again. And later I'm going to build a church and put this book in the center and worship it every day. See ya in seven years. ( is turning your own house into place of worship tax deductible?)

  • Γκέλλυ
    2019-02-05 14:22

    "Όποιος όμως, έχει βγει έξω από τον εαυτό του, τίποτα δεν σιχαίνεται περισσότερο, παρά να ξαναγυρίσει εκεί που βρισκόταν."L'amour...

  • Jon(athan) Nakapalau
    2019-01-31 19:07

    In each heart there are unrequited desires; desires that hibernate for years only to awaken after the last days of summer have passed into the time when "To love that well which thou must leave ere long" is the only option. While on vacation aging writer Gustav von Aschenbach beholds the beauty of Tadzio, a teenage boy vacationing with his family. After this one look he is enthralled - and cursed - to follow that path which will lead to his destruction.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-02-14 18:15

    750. ِDer Tod in venedig = Death in Venice, Thomas MannDeath in Venice is a novella written by German author Thomas Mann, first published in 1912 as Der Tod in Venedig. The work presents a great writer suffering writer's block who visits Venice and is liberated, uplifted, and then increasingly obsessed, by the sight of a stunningly beautiful youth. Though he never speaks to the boy, much less touches him, the writer finds himself drawn deep into ruinous inward passion; meanwhile, Venice, and finally, the writer himself, succumb to a cholera plague.The boy in the story (Tadzio) is based on a boy (Władzio or Tadzio, nicknames for the Polish name Władysław or Tadeusz respectively) Mann had seen during a visit to Venice in 1911.The main character is Gustav von Aschenbach, a famous author in his early fifties who has recently been ennobled in honor of his artistic achievement (thus acquiring the aristocratic "von" in his name). He is a man dedicated to his art, disciplined and ascetic to the point of severity, who was widowed at a young age. As the story opens, he is strolling outside a cemetery and sees a coarse-looking red-haired foreigner who stares back at him belligerently. Aschenbach walks away, embarrassed but curiously stimulated. He has a vision of a primordial swamp-wilderness, fertile, exotic and full of lurking danger. Soon afterwards, he resolves to take a holiday. ...مرگ در ونیز - توماس مان (نگاه) ادبیات؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه نوامبر سال 2002 میلادیعنوان: مرگ در ونیز؛ توماس مان؛ مترجم: حسن نکوروح؛ تهران، نگاه، 1379، در 159 ص؛ شابک: 9646736238؛ عنوان: مرگ در ونیز؛ توماس مان؛ مترجم: محمود حدادی؛ تهران، افق، 1393، در 141 ص؛ شابک: 9789643699468؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان آلمانی قرن 20 مشخصیت اصلی نویسنده ای ست که توان نوشتن ندارد، به ونیز میرود و در آنجا عاشق پسر جوانی می‌شود و با آنکه هرگزی این دو باهم گفتگویی نمی‌کنند اما این عشق نویسنده را به حال دیگری از رهایی و اعتلای روحی می‌رساند. با همه‌ گیری وبا در ونیز نویسنده نیز بیمار می‌شودنقل از مقدمه مترجم حسن نکوروح: مرگ آشنباخ در ونیز، آنگونه که در این اثر به نمایش گذاشته میشود، از عناصر مختلف و متنوعی ترکیب شده، که برای درک صحیح آن باید همه ی عناصر را به درستی شناخت، در اینجا از رئالیسم و ناتورالیسم گرفته تا امپرسیونیسم و سمبولیسم و ... همه - در دهه ی دوم قرن بیستم، و پیش از جنگ جهانی اول (تاریخی که اهمیت خاصی برخوردار است) - دست اندر کار پایان دادن به جریانی بوده اند، که آغاز آن به سالهای پایانی قرن نوزدهم بازمیگردد. پایان نقل. ا. شربیانی

  • ·Karen·
    2019-02-15 16:16

    Lovis Corinth: Self Portrait as Howling Bacchant, 1905, Insel HombroichThere is a haunted dread in the eyes of this bacchant. That howl - more distress than joy. Mania, frenzy, delirium; a Dionysian letting go. This is the mental picture that furnished my mind as I read of Gustav von Aschenbach. Aschenbach is the eminent artist of disciplined control, he has based his whole career on fame, he has achieved recognition through hard graft, a hundred little inspirations that have accrued, that have been beaten out and formed into a burnished oeuvre of classicist grace and clarity. But the machine begins to whir out of control, that motus animi continuus, the very heart of eloquence, continues to spin its wheels, refuses to be regulated by the measured rhythm of Aschenbach's daily routine afternoon snooze, spins, spins, whirs on, he must out to quiet the beast.Very swiftly the stage seems to darken into a dream-like state. The tram stop deserted, the streets bare, a stranger suddenly, inexplicably, at the portico of the mortuary chapel - and Aschenbach experiences an opening of his soul, a sudden unrest. Wanderlust, he calls it. Really? This nightmare vision of a primordial wilderness of the dank and decaying, this jungle of greenery with the glowering eyes of a tiger? A vision so stark that he has to shake his head to rid himself of it? But Aschenbach has always been aware of the need for travel as a hygienic necessity, the needed (earned?) escape from work, that "rigorous, frigid, and ardent duty."Aschenbach lives his life with a tightly clenched fist - but on his journey to Trieste, then Pula, then Venice, he gradually begins to relax that grip, the fist opens, the arm hangs loose. He is carried on the water, he is rowed by a menacing gondolier who takes him further than he wants to go, warning him that he will pay, he will pay. And pay he will. But he is delivered safely to the very edge of the civilised world, and there, at the next table in his hotel, waiting for dinner, is a family of young Poles, amongst them a boy of around fourteen. "With astonishment Aschenbach noticed that the boy was perfectly beautiful." Vollkommen schön.Beauty. Kant calls it "interesseloses Wohlgefallen" - disinterested pleasure, an echo of Plato's ideas. According to Plato there is a realm of ultimate ideals, where goodness, wisdom, truth exist in changeless perfection. A vision of these ideals is planted into our souls, but man is a forgetful creature, and loses the sharp focus of that vision. Reason, Justice, Virtue cannot be perceived by our senses, but there is one perfect ideal which is visible, and that is Beauty. An earthly image of Beauty reminds us with a frisson of shock of that Absolute. Thus physical beauty here on earth points to a higher reality, a purely spiritual abstract concept. Ah but. There has to be a but. Beauty is a sensuous pleasure, and can provoke a purely sensual response. To have, to hold, to possess, to enjoy. That is not the entrance to a higher sphere. Disinterested pleasure, remember.Aschenbach has to be given the opportunity to enjoy this perfection as a high ideal: surely that is why Tadzio is a prepubescent male, the incarnation of the unspoilt perfect body, no unsightly sproutings or eruptions, smooth, slender, harmonious. It ought to be, has to be possible to leave carnal desire out of the account, to admire this creature as divine ideal. And indeed Aschenbach starts quite well, with transcendental thoughts over dinner about the relationship between the general and the particular in human beauty "from there to think about the general problems of form and art and eventually found his thoughts and findings to resemble certain apparently fortuitous ideas in a dream, that on closer inspection reveal themselves to be completely stale and unworkable." And the next morning there is a putrid smell in the lagoon.Ah but Aschenbach battles. He tries to see the Greek statue, the perfection, himself as a fatherly figure: "And a fatherly awe, the complete devotion of the one who tries to create beauty to the one who is endowed with it filled and moved his heart." He strains to remain the disinterested artist, sees the analogy between his work and this example of youthful perfection, his hewing from the marble of language and this perfect form, are they not similar? "His eyes embraced that noble figure at the bounds of the blue, and in enthusiastic rapture he believed to embrace beauty itself, form as a thought in the mind of God, the one and pure perfection living in the human spirit and of which a human image and analog was erected here for worship." But this is intoxication, 'Rausch', the frenzy of self-deceit. He believes his own poetic musings - but wanton desire is the worm in the rose. Tadzio is no ideal, he is all too human, and it is no longer beauty as such that Aschenbach worships from afar. He wants, he desires human contact. A look, a smile. Recognition.Well, we know how it ends. Aschenbach, no longer named, but given epithets; the one who is led astray, the confused, the intoxicated, the infatuated, is no longer able to resist, either his own infatuation or the cholera that is infiltrating the whole system. 'Eine sittliche Fabel' Mann calls this, a moral tale. Those artists who give up the dignity of a social position and go in pursuit of beauty will come to disaster. Aha.But it's never that easy, not with Thomas Mann. He delights in undercutting himself, building ambiguities into the work, puzzles for the reader to mull over. What kind of artist is Aschenbach? Are we to admire his mastery and classicizing style? Most of the novel is in free indirect speech, so are we to assume that the narrative voice is Aschenbach's? Those false little classicizing flag-ups at the beginning, a spring afternoon in the year 19.., like Goethe or Kleist, or that over-precious sunrise that Aschenbach sees from his hotel window: after a wingéd word brings a message from Olympia, we are treated to plenty of references to Eos, Cleitos and Cephalos and Orion and then we get this rather recherché description: "At the world's edge began a strewing of roses, a shining and a blooming ineffably pure; baby cloudlets hung illuminated, like attendant amoretti, in the blue and blushful haze; purple effulgence fell upon the sea, that seemed to heave it forward on its welling waves; from horizon to zenith went quivering thrusts like golden lances..." Well, you get the picture - that's the DH Lawrence translation, he really gets that rococo style parody that sloshes into the sentimental. So Aschenbach's claim to be an artist might be seen as doubtful. And we've seen that he equates what he does with Tadzio's beauty, we are constantly told that Tadzio is beautiful, but again, what kind of beauty is this? His teeth are rotten, he's weak and cosseted, the family pet, not at all the athletic Greek God ideal. Effete. Over-pretty, like Aschenbach's sunrise. So is this the story of an artist in pursuit of true beauty, or is it the story of an artist whose artistry is never convincingly portrayed, in pursuit of a beauty that mirrors his own corruption, complaisance and self-mockery?A play of illusions.

  • Miriam
    2019-01-26 13:29

    How did I not know that Mann lived in California for a decade?

  • Kim
    2019-02-14 18:15

    I find this a difficult work to review. On the one hand, I’m awed by the complexity of the narrative, its haunting imagery, the richness of the symbolism and the layers of meaning which Mann was able to give such a short work. On the other hand, a plot involving an older man becoming obsessed with and stalking a beautiful young boy is designed to make 21st century readers feel uncomfortable. Or at least, it’s designed to make me feel uncomfortable. I have difficulty seeing the Ancient Greek practice of paiderastia - the socially acknowledged erotic relationship between an adult man and a teenage boy - which is part of the inspiration for the work, in positive terms. I also have difficulty with the idea that a young male is – or should be - the personification of ideal beauty. However, Mann didn’t write this novella to make readers comfortable. There is painful self-reflection, passion and truth in his writing. The themes he explores - artistic choices, the meaning of beauty, the struggle to accept the inevitability of decay and death - are confronting, challenging and ultimately deeply moving. As I listened to the audiobook I regretted once again my lack of a classical education. I know little about Greek mythology, allusions to which are an important part of the narrative. Not being familiar with the stories to which Mann refers didn’t lessen the intensity of the experience. Familiarity with them would have added an extra dimension to it. Images from this work will haunt me forever. And I’ll never think of Venice in quite the same way again.

  • Kyriakos Sorokkou
    2019-02-14 14:09

    Όπως έγινε και με τον Φίλιπ Ροθ έτσι και ο Τόμας Μαν, μου συστήθηκε ως συγγραφέας με κάτι μικρό, με μια νουβέλα.Ο Φίλιπ Ροθ με Το βυζί και ο Τόμας Μαν με τον Θάνατο στη Βενετία.Και τα δυο από τις εκδόσεις γράμματα.Μια νουβέλα των κάτι παραπάνω από 100 σελίδων η οποία μου αποκάλυψε πόσο όμορφη γραφή έχει ο Τόμας Μαν και συνάμα πόσο απαιτητική.Πλοκή δεν υπάρχει, αρκετή, αλλά αυτό που παίζει σημασία δεν είναι η πλοκή αλλά η γλώσσα, ο έρωτας, το πάθος, η εμμονή, και τέλος ο θάνατος.Ένας μεσήλικας Γερμανός διάσημος συγγραφέας πάει διακοπές στην Βενετία. Εκεί θα δει το υπέρτατο κάλλος όπως λέει και το οπισθόφυλλο, στην ύπαρξη του Τάτζιο, ενός δεκατετράχρονου αγοριού από την Πολωνία.Αγνοεί την απειλή για επιδημία χολέρας με σκοπό να θυσιάσει τη ζωή και την αξιοπρέπειά του για χάρη της ομορφιάς και του έρωτα.Ένας έρωτας απαγορευμένος, αλλά πλατωνικός.Ενώ στη Λολίτα του Ναμπόκοφ ο ενήλικας με την εμμονή έρχεται σε επαφή με το αντικείμενο του πόθου του, και όταν λέμε επαφή εννοούμε και κοινωνική, και σεξουαλική, εδώ όχι μόνο δεν αγγίζονται, αλλά ούτε καν ανταλλάζουν κουβέντα. 2-3 κλεφτές ματιές όλες κι όλες.Ο όμορφος Τάτζιο - Ο μεσόκοπος Άσενμπαχ.Και στο κάτω-κάτω της γραφής τι είναι η ομορφιά; Κάτι εφήμερο.Και αν είναι κάτι εφήμερο γιατί από καταβολής κόσμου οι πάντες και τα πάντα θυσιάζονταν γι' αυτή; Αναγνώστη αυτής της κριτικής περιμένεις απάντηση τώρα; Από μένα; Πού να ξέρω εγώ;Αυτό το βιβλίο είχε άφθονες αναφορές στο Συμπόσιο και τον Φαίδρο ή Περί Έρωτος του Πλάτωνα.Από αρχαία ελληνική γραμματεία δεν ξέρω περισσότερα απ' όσα η Ζουμπουλία Αμπατζίδου (το γένος Καραγκιόζη), άρα 'έχασα' πολλές από τις αναφορές αυτές. Αναφορές περί έρωτα, και τι είναι.Και φυσικά αυτό το βιβλίο έρχεται σε διάλογο με τα δύο αυτά έργα του Πλάτωνα. Αυτοί να διαλογίζονται και 'γω να τους κοιτάω σαν Βούδας. Ακριβώς όπως εκείνον που είχε η Μαριλένα Δορκοφίκη, η συμπεθέρα της Ζουμπουλίας.Άρα με όσα κατάφερα να 'πιάσω', ήρθα στο συμπέρασμα ότι αυτό το βιβλίο ήταν ωραίο, που όμως με απαιτητική γραφή, που πρέπει να ξαναδιαβαστεί αφότου εντρυφήσω στον Πλάτωνα πρώτα (σαν τα μούτρα μου θα τα κάνω προβλέπω). Και ότι αυτός ήταν ο πρώτος μου Μαν αλλά όχι ο τελευταίος. Ίσως συνεχίσω με τους Αδερφούς του Ιωσήφ αντί με Μαγικό Βουνό, διότι μόνο κι από τον τίτλο εγώ θα είμαι πότε Βούδας πότε Κούδας.Βαθμολογία: 8/10

  • Richard Derus
    2019-01-25 13:03

    Rating: 3.5* of fiveThe Book Report: I feel a complete fool providing a plot precis for this canonical work. Gustav von Ascherbach, literary lion in his sixties, wanders about his home town of Munich while struggling with a recalcitrant new story. His chance encounter with a weirdo, though no words are exchanged between them, ignites in Herr von Ascherbach the need to get out of town, to get himself to the delicious fleshpots of the South. An abortive stay in Illyria (now Bosnia or Montenegro or Croatia, no knowing which since we're not given much to go on) leads him to make his second journey to Venice. Arriving in the sin capital of the early modern world, and even in the early 20th century possessed of a louche reputation, brings him into contact with two life-changing things: A beautiful teenaged boy, and cholera. I think the title fills you in on the rest.My Review: I know this was written in 1911-1912, and is therefore to be judged by the standards of another era, but I am bone-weary of stories featuring men whose love for other males brings them to disaster and death. This is the story that started me on that path of dislike. Von Ascherbach realizes he's in love for the first time in his pinched, narrow life, and it's with a 14-year-old boy; his response is to make himself ridiculous, following the kid around, staying in his Venetian Garden of Eros despite knowing for sure there's a cholera epidemic, despite being warned of the dangers of staying, despite smelling decay and death and miasmic uccchiness all around, because he's in love. But with the wrong kind of person...a male. Therefore Mann makes him pay the ultimate price, he loses his life because he gives in and falls hopelessly, stupidly in love. With a male. Mann makes his judgment of this moral turpitude even more explicit by making it a chaste, though to modern eyes not unrequited, love between an old man and a boy. Explicit references to Classical culture aside, the entire atmosphere of the novel is quite evidently designed to point up the absurdity and the impossibility of such a love being rewarding or rewarded. It's not in the least mysterious what Mann's after: Denial, denial, denial! It's your only salvation, faggots! Deny yourself, don't let yourself feel anything rather than feel *that*!This book offends my sensibilities. Gorgeously built images and sonorously elegant sentences earn it all of its points.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  • Jason Koivu
    2019-02-04 18:24

    Oh so tragic and rather melodramatic...or maybe I'm just remembering the 1971 Luchino Visconti movie version?A man longing to regain the vitality and vigor of youth, goes on holiday and turns ghoulish at the sight of a young Adonis. Death in Venice walks the line of appreciation and pedophilia. Having no problem with homosexuality, but not being down with the man-boy love thing, I cringed more than once. "Don't cross the invisible line!" I may have shouted in my head more than once while reading, definitely while watching.But if you can move beyond the physical, and I did, Death in Venice truly captures the essence of an old, decrepit man trying to recapture the essence of youth. I understood the meaning when I read/watched this as a early 20 something. As a middle-aged man with my aches, pains and regrets, I truly understand the main character's "desire" deep down in my soul. Life and good health do not last forever.

  • StevenGodin
    2019-02-13 16:05

    On one spring afternoon Gustav Aschenbach, or Von Aschenbach as he had officially been known since his 50th birthday, sets out from his apartment in Munich. Writing had overstimulated him and he needs clarity. As with many German intellects of the early 20th century, his mind had been feasting on the classicism of his surroundings, when he came across a displeasing red-haired man. A strange emotion stirred within him, an emotion he pondered on before he later identified it as a desire to travel. He had been too preoccupied with the duties imposed on him by the collective European psyche. He needed change, so heads to Venice.Venice was not enshrined in sun when the ferry docked, a disturbing insult to his aesthetics, and Aschenbach's mood was not improved when a contumacious, red-haired gondolier imposed his services on him. Quite naturally his thoughts turned to death. And death really pays as the main theme here, He disembarked at the Hotel on the Lido and was reassured to hear the sounds of all the major world languages. And Polish. As he was waiting for dinner he spotted three austere, expressionless girls with their extremely beautiful 14-year-old brother. He went to sleep in a transport of delight and entered a dreamland where he was a great deal more active than he ever was awake.Aschenbach would spend the rest of his stay, studying with passionate observations, the boy, Tadzio, in all his god-like physique, he is fascinated by the boy's dashing good looks, watching on in a state of euphoria, while a calm washes over him. He has never felt so in love.But by his forth week's stay, rumours are circulating there is sickness in the city, he doesn't want to leave. He starts to follow Tadzio more openly, he learned there was a cholera epidemic but still he could not bring himself to tell Tadzio's mother, but can't tear away from his burning infatuation. He started to feel ghastly on the beach whilst gazing across the sand at Tadzio, Was he beckoning him?. Crushed by the weight of the symbolism, he wouldn't rise again.This by Novella standards is quite rightly regarded as a classic of German literature, reading the second time around didn't strike me as much as the first, so have knocked a star of my rating,but it's very well written, and I don't understand the criticism, but then no one book is going to please everybody. 4/5

  • Bram
    2019-02-10 20:20

    I bet someone could write a masterpiece by taking this book’s premise and elongating it into a fuller exploration of the child-adult love taboo. Oh, really? Oh.This book really does read like a Lolita written 40 years prior with Lo’s gender switched and a premature ending just before things get really interesting (if you know what I mean). Death in Venice is equally engrossing and sports a protagonist, Aschenbach, who’s as well developed, far more relatable, and nearly as interesting as our dear Humbert Humbert. The novel does feel cut-off though, as if Mann were afraid to explore the tale any further, and it also includes a not-so-faint whiff of moralizing that’s rather absent in Nabokov’s version. Aschenbach’s portrayal as a driven, successful, and now weary late middle-aged writer is so convincing that I was surprised to learn that Mann wrote this in his mid-30s. The characterization’s so good, in fact, that I was sure it had to be mostly autobiographical. Maybe, maybe not. Either way, it’s damn good writing that’s on display for too few pages. I’ll be returning to Mann, and hopefully soon.

  • Raha
    2019-02-05 13:19

    مرگ در ونیز شرح زندگی نویسنده سالخورده ای ست که عاشق پسربچه‌ ای لهستانی می‌شود و تا جائی پیش می رود که اعتبار و منطق روزمره ی زندگی‌ اش به چالش کشیده می‌شودقسمت هایی از داستان که با حضور خدایان یونانی و حال و هوای افلاطونی در هم آمیخته از جمله ی زیباترین و خواندنی ترین بخش های این کتاب به شمار می رهبا این حال برای مطالعه ی این کتاب سه چیز نیاز خواهید داشتحوصله ی زیاد حوصله ی زیاد و باااز هم حوصله ی زیاد سراسر کتاب پر شده از توصیفات شهوديِ و كاملاٌ بي پروايي که از خصیصه های بارز مکتب ناتورالیستی به شمار می آد . توجه بیش اندازه به جزئیات و ذکر حوادث بسیار جزئی ، به قدری در این اثر به کار رفته که گاها" از صبر و حوصله ی خواننده خارج میشه

  • Paul
    2019-02-17 17:31

    It felt rather odd reading this novella whilst the furore about Jimmy Saville has been going on. This famous/infamous novella is about a writer in his 50s who falls in love with a 14 year old boy who is staying in his hotel whilst he is on holiday in Venice. The story is highly descriptive and internal (Gustav von Aschenbach, the writer, is not a talkative chap, he doesn't even speak to his beloved, Tadzio).Mann himself wrote that he wanted to portray the passion as confusion and degradation and he does this very effectively using the symbolism of Greek philosophy; especially Apollo and Dioysius in opposition; Apollo representing the intellect and repressed emotion and Dionysius representing passion and the opposite of reason. Aschenbach has lived in the realm of intellect and reason; unreason intrudes (the red haired man at the beginning of the book) and Aschenbach travels to Venice to holiday. He appears surprised by the intrusion of passion and struggles to understand and cope with it. As Aschenbach becomes more obsessed his decline is described. Early in the book he sees an older man with a group of younger men; the older man is heavily made up to look younger and revolts Aschenbach. He later becomes what he is revolted by. The symbol of cholera ravaging the heart of Venice, secretly, is mirrored in the destructive passion and in the obsession leading to Aschenbach staying in Venice and dying of cholera (it does feel like Mann really does not like Aschenbach). The influences of Freud and Nietzsche are clear and there are lots of Platonic references. This is a powerful portrayal of doomed and distorted obsession. Mann got the idea when he was in Venice with his family and saw a young Polish boy with his family. He was also a fan of Mahler, who died very suddenly just before Mann conceived the tale. The analysis of passion is stark; Aschenbach gains nothing from it, he becomes ridiculous, diseased and increasingly self-deceiving. Aschenbach does not realise there is a sexual element to his desire until a vivid dream towards the end of the book; that realisation does not lead to direct action on his desires (he still sits on the beach and watches or follows the family at a distance around Venice), but more directly to the onset of the disease and decay. Contrast with the horrific current revelations about Jimmy Saville; he acted out all of his fantasies with no repression. I cannot imagine Aschenbach having an epitaph on his grave saying "It was good while it lasted" like Saville did (Unfortunately we now know what he meant).This novella is well worth reading for Mann's analysis of destructive passion and it is very thought provoking.

  • J.G. Keely
    2019-02-21 13:29

    A good book to be taught in tandem with Lolita, methinks. A literary achievement with the psychology of Tolstoy and a Greek commitment to The Story; and that is not the only thing about this book that is 'Greek'. A treatise on Death, Life, Sex, Desire, and Fear, Death in Venice is both enticing and terrifying, and for the self-same reason. Here is the face of wretched animal man, teeth bared, cloudy desperation mocking his vision. Mann's succinct and powerful images are always reversed: the raw and brutal emotion herein is become feral, mitigated only by how it twists back upon itself as only such a morally indistinct, labyrinthine mass may so twist.Eminently pleasing and disturbing, this battle between the barely-restrained Epicurean and the resignedly Absurdist meets the latter's comic fruition in the former's faux-tragic inaccessibility.

  • فهد الفهد
    2019-02-14 13:04

    الموت في البندقية توماس مان من الروائيين الذين كنت أتهيبهم، ربما لأن رواياته ضخمة في أغلبها، لهذا وجدت هذا المدخل الصغير له، هذه الرواية القصيرة والتي كتبها متأثراً بزيارة قام بها مع زوجته إلى البندقية، هناك لاحظ المؤلف وأولع بصبي بطريقة غريبة، أيقظت في داخله حس الفنان ورغبته في قنص هذه اللحظة وتحويلها إلى رواية، هكذا يبتدع روائياً مشهوراً باسم (جوستاف آشنباخ)، يتوقف هذا الكاتب في لحظة لم يخطط لها وتحت مرأى رجل رحال عن روتينه الكتابي اليومي، ويقرر السفر، هكذا يزور البندقية، ليفتتن هناك بصبي بولندي يدعى تادزيو، ليفقد الأديب الكبير عقلانيته فلا يفر من الوباء الذي يضرب البندقية، ويفقد حسه السليم فيتصابى كما كان يتصابى عجوز شاهده آشنباخ واحتقره أول ما وصل إلى البندقية، إنه الافتتان بالجمال ما يجعل هذا الروائي المنضبط والجاف يتردى ويفقد ذاته وروحه في البندقية

  • r
    2019-02-17 16:17

    یکی از تاثیر گذار ترین کتابهایی بود که من تا حالا خوندم ..توماس مان عموما به نوشتن شجره نامه ویا زندگی نامه شهرت داره ..مانند کتاب های زندگی نامه یوسف یا یعقوب ویا خاندان بودنبرک ها که به نام زوال یک خاندان هم چاپ شده اما این رمان کوتاه مدرن نشانگر نبوغ او در عرصه رمان های سبک جدید است ..پیشنهاد میکنم این رمان رو بنام مرگ در ونیز حتما بخونید ..

  • Aggeliki
    2019-02-15 14:26

    Ο θάνατος στη Βενετία είναι ένα βιβλίο για τον ανομολόγητο, απαγορευμένο, εμμονικό έρωτα, έξω από τα ηθικά όρια και τις νόρμες μιας κοινωνίας που τον καταδικάζει απόλυτα. Μυθοπλασία ή όχι, αν σκεφτούμε ότι αναφέρεται στον πλατωνικό έρωτα και την εμμονή ενός πενηντάρη για ένα έφηβο αγόρι, πολύ καλά κάνει αν με ρωτάς.Πέραν τούτου, το βιβλίο αυτό μιλάει επίσης για το πώς είναι να αφήνεται ένας άνθρωπος που όλη του τη ζωή λειτουργεί υπό συγκεκριμένους κανόνες και βάσει αυστηρού προγράμματος. Το πρωτόγνωρο των συναισθημάτων και η εν συνεχεία παραδοχή τους δεν είναι εύκολη υπόθεση. Όλα αυτά διαδραματίζονται σε μια Βενετία τελείως διαφορετική από την εικόνα που έχουμε στο μυαλό μας, στα στενά της οποίας ο ήρωας παίζει κυνηγητό με τη ζωή και τον θάνατο καταλήγοντας στον τελευταίο εν πλήρει ηρεμία και αποδοχή της μοίρας του.Χωρίς ιδιαίτερη πλοκή και χωρίς να σε καθηλώνει, το βιβλίο αυτό καταφέρνει με την άρτια χρήση της γραφής του να εκφράσει ιδιαίτερα ευαίσθητα ζητήματα στην πιο συμπαγή μορφή τους.

  • Seth
    2019-01-31 20:27

    I have reread Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice several decades after reading it in the original German in college, having in the interim enjoyed the film version directed by Luchino Visconti. My main impression of the relatively recent translation by Michael Henry Heim (2004) is that it preserves the author’s long-winded and intricate sentence structure. Unpacking Mann’s sentences is one of the challenges of reading his books. Stylistically, therefore, the translation is quite authentic. As I read the novella, I looked for clues supporting the literary analysis I remember from my class discussion so long ago. They were not hard to find. Death in Venice is autobiographical to the extent that it reflects Mann’s own parentage. His father was an austere, disciplined northern German, while his mother had a southern European heritage and a passionate nature. In fact, Júlia da Silva Bruhns was born in Rio de Janeiro and was the daughter of a plantation owner with a Portuguese background. Mann's father, Thomas Johann Heinrich Mann, met her in Brazil because the grandfather had established an export business there. (Source: Philipp Hauer, Herkunft und Lebensverhältnisse der Eltern und Großeltern der Brüder Heinrich und Thomas Mann, October 29, 2007, both the author and the protagonist in Death in Venice, Gustav von Aschenbach, experienced continual tension between both sets of inherited traits—the Apollonian and Dionysian ideals embodied by the parents. The interplay between these conflicting tendencies gave rise to a successful artist, who combined an appreciation for Dionysian joys and sensitivities with Apollonian respect for structure and hard work. It is worth noting that in the novella, von Aschenbach is an author, whereas in the film he is a composer.Venice represents physical decay and personal dissolution. As his life nears its end, von Aschenbach loses his self-control, as he finally yields to temptation and long-repressed urges. During his fateful sojourn in Venice, he nevertheless manages to produce a short essay about beauty. Of course, the readers do not suspect that the inspiration for this work is the elderly and sickly man’s infatuation with a 14-year-old boy.A few excerpts follow.About the decision to go on vacation:“Yet he knew only too well the source of the sudden temptation. It was an urge to flee—he fully admitted it, this yearning for freedom, release, oblivion—an urge to flee his work, the humdrum routine of a rigid, cold, passionate duty.”About lineage and art:“…a strain of more impetuous, sensual blood had found its way into the family in the previous generation through the writer’s mother, the daughter of a Bohemian bandmaster. She was the source of the foreign racial features in his appearance. It was the union of the father’s sober, conscientious nature with the darker, more fiery impulses of the mother that engendered the artist—and this particular artist.”“Wishing to bear on such frail shoulders the burdens imposed by his talent and wishing to go far, he had great need of discipline, and discipline was fortunately an inborn quality he had inherited from his father’s side of the family.”“Aschenbach did not care for pleasure. Whenever and wherever he was called upon to let his hair down, take things easy, enjoy himself, he soon—especially in his younger years—felt restless and ill at ease and could not wait to return to his noble travail, the sober sanctuary of his daily routine. It was the only place that could enchant him, relax his will, make him happy.”Also worth noting is that von Aschenbach tries to leave (escape from) Venice and its temptations, but instead decides to stay behind due to a coincidence: a trunk with his possessions is shipped ahead to Como instead of a resort near Trieste, where he had planned to resume his vacation. This fortuitous turn of events foils his attempt to return to a balanced life of self-abnegation and artistic production, but the dissolute old man is secretly overjoyed because he can continue to devote himself to his obsession. Venice has entrapped and ensnared him. This same theme of entrapment reoccurs in Mann’s similarly autobiographical later novel, The Magic Mountain, which is set in a sanatorium in Switzerland. Visitors there contract tuberculosis and therefore must remain for treatment. Mann’s wife stayed at such a facility in Davos.

  • Rowena
    2019-02-01 17:04

    I would probably give this book a 3.5 star rating. The language it was written in was quite beautiful and philosophical, and I liked how Mann interspersed mythology into his story. The protagonist, Gustav von Aschenbach, was quite a fascinating character who becomes obsessed with a 14 year old Polish boy who he deems as beautiful and resembling a Greek god. This book was quite reminiscent of Lolita at times, though von Aschenbach was nowhere near as heinous as Humbert

  • Parastoo Ashtian
    2019-01-29 15:11

    برای آنکه محصول هنری گرانقدری آنا تاثیر وسیع عمیقی از خود به جا گذارد، باید ارتباط، بلکه توافقی پنهانی میان سرنوشت شخصی آفریننده‌اش و سرنوشت جمعی نسل معاصر او وجود داشته باشد.از متن کتاب

  • Vanita
    2019-01-29 19:25

    Despertei a vontade de ler este livro por causa de um filme com a Marion Cottilard que nada tinha que ver com a trama de Thomas Mann. Apenas foi referido por uma personagem e cativou-me. Bastou uma das incontáveis promoções da Fnac e, em menos de nada, já o tinha em mãos para devorar. É mínimo, com pouco mais de 100 páginas e com esta capa fabulosa. Mas, vamos ao que interessa, e a história?Ora bem, todos sabemos que isto da beleza é altamente subjectivo. Mas, quantos de nós não ficaram já - talvez algures no passado - fascinados com a ideia de Veneza? Uma cidade italiana feita de canais é quase imbatível no que diz respeito a cenários para deixar a mente deambular. Agora imaginem que a escrita de Thomas Mann, estranhamente, vos leva ao colo, com a destreza de um ser invisível, e vos faz viajar pela angústia que tudo o que é belo nos provoca. Deixem-se enlevar no feitiço com que a perfeição nos encanta e vistam a pele de um velho às portas da morte, deliciado com a êxtase da beleza efémera. É isto "A Morte em Veneza".Há quem veja este livro como a descrição de uma relação homossexual platónica. Eu acredito que é tudo menos isso. Para mim, Thomas Mann reflecte sobre o encanto da juventude - a passageira juventude - nos últimos momentos de vida de um velho que nunca pensou algum dia ver-se encerrado num corpo flácido e idoso. A beleza da cidade contrasta com o cheiro putrefacto da doença, numa alusão à história que une estes dois seres. Lê-se num piscar de olhos mas fica para sempre. Recomendo.

  • Speranza
    2019-02-20 20:17

    So dense, so lush... exquisite. Mann was a genius. And to all those moral apostles pointing their finger at him through the bars of their cages of social normality - please don't judge. Judging art is like judging humanity, because art is the only form left for the soul to express itself in a world full of restrictions and prejudice, otherwise known as morality. And what a sick wor(l)d it is.

  • Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
    2019-02-02 13:23

    I address in this review those of you here at goodreads who are young and beautiful. Please pay attention to what I have to say.When you go to the beach, in you bikini or swimming trunks, what do you do? You preen, you display your half-naked body around, hoping to catch the attention of equally-young and good looking vacationers like you. I bet you never pay attention to the old men or women who may throw you a glance or two. That is a big mistake.Here is a semi-autobiographical novel. The principal protagonist is a guy, a famous writer over 50 years old, with greying hair, with a good name and a reputation to protect, but is a closet homosexual during those days when homosexuality was looked upon as an aberration worse than a contagious disease. He goes to Venice to have some R & R and in one resort there he sees a Polish family: the mother, her three daughters and her young son. The boy is handsome with a curly hair. The writer is captivated by this boy whose beauty he compares to that of a young god.So what happens? Will he be able to lure this boy to one isolated part of the resort and have sex with him? No. Nothing happens. The writer just looks at the boy, follows him around, and thinks about him. The action here, if one may call them as such, happen inside the mind, via interior monologues and streams-of-consciousness of an old gay guy loving a beautiful young boy surreptitiously from afar. He won't even be able to talk to the boy or to any of his family members.At this point, while reading this, you may have your own interior monologue query: "Why, then, should I waste my time reading this novel where nothing happens, and why did this old geezer, who shamelessly uses the image of Tarzan as his avatar, give this 5 stars?" The answer to that is this: Thomas Mann was a great writer and we will never be able to write like him so we should at least read him and appreciate what he had left us. In one scene, for a very brief moment, coming back to the resort from somewhere, the boy met the old writer's gaze and smiled at him. If you're writing this novel all you could manage to write about this event, like what your current favorite writers would have, would be something like this: "The boy's smile gave the old writer a stiff erection." But not Thomas Mann! He gushes with two breathless paragraphs about this smile:"He had not been prepared for the beloved encounter, it came unexpectedly, he had not had time to put on an expression of calm and dignity. Joy no doubt, surprise, admiration, were openly displayed on his face when his eyes met those of the returning absentee--and in that instant it happened that Tadzio (the boy) smiled: smiled at him, speakingly, familiarly, enchantingly and quite unabashed, with his lips parting slowly as the smile was formed. It was the smile of Narcissus as he bows his head over the mirroring water, that profound, fascinated, protracted smile with which he reaches out his arms toward the reflection of his own beauty--a very slightly contorted smile, contorted by the hopelessness of his attempt to kiss the sweet lips of his shadow; a smile that was provocative, curious and imperceptibly troubled, bewitched and bewitching."He who had received this smile carried it quickly away with him like a fateful gift. He was so deeply shaken that he was forced to flee the lighted terrace and the front garden and hurry into the darkness of the park at the rear. Words struggled from his lips, strangely indignant and tender reproaches: 'You mustn't smile like that! One mustn't, do you hear, mustn't smile like that at anyone!' He sank down on one of the seats, deliriously breathing the nocturnal fragrance of the flowers and trees. And leaning back, his arms hanging down, overwhelmed, trembling, shuddering all over, he whispered the standing formula of the heart's desire--impossible here, absurd, depraved, ludicrous and sacred nevertheless, still worthy of honor even here: 'I love you!'"The thing is, this was based on actual events. Thomas Mann, though married and had children, was "emotionally gay." He, indeed, had that vacation in Venice and while in a vacation resort saw a Polish family with a young, beautiful boy who caught his fancy. Many years after this novel had become famous and was being made into a movie, its tremendous publicity caught the attention of that boy himself, then already old and ugly and his playmate, and they must have had the thrill of their lives that they were not only in a famous novel but will be in a movie as well.This, then, I say once more to the young beautiful people here: when you are on the beach, in your teeny weeny polka dot bikini (or bulging swimming trunks, as the case may be), DO NOT IGNORE THE OLD PEOPLE LOOKING AT YOU. Smile at them, at least. For who knows if that lecherous-looking Japanese guy eyeing your nubile body isn't Haruki Murakami himself and is already plotting a novel with your character in it? Or if that old, decrepit invalid being tended to by a nurse is not Gabriel Garcia Marquez? Baby, you could be famous!