Thomas Mann (1875-1955) was born in Lubeck, Germany. In 1901, his first novel, Buddenbrooks, won critical acclaim. Succeeding works, such as the novellas Tonio Kroger (1903) and Death in Venice (1912) and the novel The Magic Mountain (1924), established him as the leading writer of his generation and as the first twentieth-century representative of the great German literary tradition. After winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929, he left Hitler's Germany in 1933, eventually settling in 1938 in the United States, where he was an outspoken supporter of the Allied war effort. His most important late work was Dr. Faustus (1947), a novel exploring the cultural and psychological reasons for the rise of Nazism in civilized, bourgeois Germany. He eventually returned to Europe and died in Switzerland.
Jefferson S. Chase holds a doctorate in German literature from the University of Virginia, where he was also a President's Fellow. From 1994 to 1996, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Berlin Institute for German and European Studies. He collaborated on the English version of Gregor von Rezzori's Oedipus at Stalingrad and his translations of Heine, Borne, and Saphir appear in his book Inciting Laughter: The Rise of Jewish Humor in German Culture. He is currently lecturer in German at the University of Nottingham.
Martin Swales was born in 1940. He studied German at the universities of Cambridge and Birmingham and has held teaching posts in German at Birmingham, Toronto, King's College London, and University College London, where he was a professor from 1976 to 2003. He has written widely on modern German literature, publishing monographs on Goethe, Stifter, Schnitzler, and Thomas Mann and on German realistic fiction, the Novelle, and the Bildungsroman. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.show more