The Magic Mountain
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The Magic Mountain

By (author) Thomas Mann , Translated by H.T. Lowe-Porter

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Hans Castorp is 'a perfectly ordinary, if engaging young man' when he goes to visit his cousin in an exclusive sanatorium in the Swiss Alps. What should have been a three week trip turns into a seven year stay. Hans falls in love and becomes intoxicated with the ideas he hears at the clinic - ideas which will strain and crack apart in a world on the verge of the First World War.

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  • Paperback | 752 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 46mm | 559.99g
  • 31 Mar 2011
  • VINTAGE
  • London
  • English
  • 0749386428
  • 9780749386429
  • 10,874

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Author Information

Thomas Mann was born in 1875 in Lubeck, of a line of prosperous and influential merchants. Mann was educated under the discipline of North German schoolmasters before working for an insurance office aged nineteen. During this time he secretly wrote his first tale, Fallen, and shortly afterwards he left the insurance office to study art and literature at the University of Munich. After a year in Rome he devoted himself exclusively to writing. He was only twenty-five when Buddenbrooks, his first major novel, was published. Before it was banned and burned by Hitler, it had sold over a million copies in Germany alone. His second great novel, The Magic Mountain, was published in 1924 and the first volume of his tetralogy Joseph and his Brothers in 1933. In 1929 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1933 Thomas Mann left Germany to live in Switzerland. Then, after several previous visits, in 1938 he settled in the United States where he wrote Doctor Faustus and The Holy Sinner. Among the honours he recieved in the USA was his appointment as a Fellow of the Library of Congress. He revisited his native country in 1949 and returned to Switzerland in 1952, where The Black Swan and Confessions of Felix Krull were written and where he died in 1955.

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Review quote

"Magnificent... a beautiful, feverish account of obsessive love" -- Jonathan Coe Guardian "Featuring lengthy debates between humanist freemasons and Jews-turned-Catholics, a long love-scene written entirely in French and a brilliant hallucinatory journey down the snowy slopes, it merits multiple readings. A novel for a lifetime not just a rainy afternoon" Guardian "A monumental writer" Sunday Telegraph "The greatest German novelist of the 20th century" Spectator "Mann is Germany's outstanding modern classic, a decadent representative of the tradition of Goethe and Schiller. With his famous irony, he was up there with Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Freud, holding together the modern world with a love of art and imagination to compensate for the emptiness left by social and religious collapse." Independent

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Review text

A new translation of Mann's great 1924 novel, long acclaimed as a masterly synthesis of the intellectual history of early 20th-century Europe and for its prescient scrutiny of elements in the German national character that had, and would again, find expression in the calamitous form of the world war. Helen T. Lowe-Porter's original (1927) English version rendered with exemplary elegance the sonorous gravity of Mann's prose. This new one from Woods, twice the winner of PEN's Translation Prize, brilliantly showcases the tartness of his sophisticated characters' argumentative exchanges, but so emphasizes the amused judgmental irony of the novel's ever-present omniscient narrator that excessive attention is inadvertently focused on Mann's least attractive quality as a writer: his jocose, avuncular condescension. For all that, it's important to have a contemporary updating of a classic novel, and for its clarity and syntactical vigor alone, Woods's new translation may be considered an impressive success. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Back cover copy

INTRODUCED BY ADAM FOULDS ‘A masterwork, unlike any other… a delight, comic and profound, a new form of language, a new way of seeing’ A.S. Byatt Hans Castorp is ‘a perfectly ordinary, if engaging young man’ when he goes to visit his cousin in an exclusive sanatorium in the Swiss Alps.What should have been a three week trip turns into a seven year stay. Hans falls in love and becomes intoxicated with the ideas he hears at the clinic - ideas which will strain and crack apart a world on the verge of the First World War. ‘Magnificent… a beautiful, feverish account of obsessive love’ Jonathan Coe, Guardian See also: Death in Venice and Other Stories

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