you really read “Der Zauberberg” (The Magic Mountain”) by Thomas Mann ?
The place where ordinary life seems so unreal. High up in the alpine scenery, so far away from the world, and where the world and life itself are being discovered by the young protagonist of my beloved novel.
, of course I read this exquisite masterpiece. And I read it more than once. I have never considered it simple bildungsroman
. It was always so much more for me.
It `s something like my personal “7 years on Tibet”
[for Hans Castorp has spent 7 years in that sanatorium] “what Hans came to understand is that one must go through the deep experience of sickness and death to arrive at a higher sanity and health . . . ."
This may sound bizarre especially to those not acquainted with this novel, but there` s actually great truth in it.
First time I read it I was maybe 16,really young for this kind of literature. Maybe too young to understand it completely. But I remember reading it for two days without taking a break except to eat and sleep. I was fascinating. At the time I was very interested in philosophy, I even thought I was gonna study philosophy, so that relatively new reflection in literature was certainly challenging. I have to say I started reading Herman Hesse at that time too.
Second and very important reason for liking Der Zauberberg
is definitely Mann himself, as a writer living in very specific time of the Europe`s history – time of Weimar Republic
[ I believe oreok you have to be familiar with it]
It is one of my favorite historical moments. Culture of Weimar republic is one of the brightest moments that was unfortunately followed by one of the darkest ever in history [II world war]Expressionism
dominated in western Europe`s art and architecture and they gave birth to International style and Modern architecture in general. It was also the time of waking the human mind, its opening and enlightening: Freud, Einstein, Fromm, Jung.
Germany was definitely bursting of intellect. German philosophical thinking flourished during that period.
And that was the time when Mann was trying to “wake up” his Hans and show him the life far away from the boiling German soil [although the story is taking place right before I world war, little earlier than it was actually written]
Of course the novel deals with the universal questions of life and death
, that sometimes even don`t need commenting just reading and enjoying.
oreok: By the way, did you read the German original or the English / Serbian translation? The German original is magnificent !!! Mann uses this language in such an impressive perfection revealing the beauty and richness of the German language in an elaborated, sophisticated, highly accurate and eloquent way. Such precision and simultaneously as a reader you find an enjoyable, flowing lightness in his expression.
Well I believe it is so. But no,unfortunately I didn`t read it in German.
[First time I read it I was in high school, just started learning german so it would be pretentious of me to try reading zauberberg in german, wouldn`t it. Even later, the book is enormous it would take me, ages to finish it in german.
Márquez on the other hand is so unbelievable. One has to love or detest that kind of literature I don’t see the third solution.
But when he writes about death, or I better say when he tries to reach and explain death in his rather peculiar way he does it with such clarity, maybe even little brutality and so unbelievably quickly like it is just one normal thing [ as it is , well there goes the absurd
christina: What i love most at "12 wondering stories" is something Markes writes at the introduction of this book about death.Seven years ago while i was reading this book i lost a very special friend and i felt exactly as he said.He had dreamed the day of his funeral,all his friends gothered together,happy to see them and when the funeral ended and left he realised that "dying is never to be able to see again the people you love"
I read again that part you have mentioned and yes it is very beautifully said that it hurts.
But there is one more sentence I can recall right now “the only bad thing about death is that it lasts forever”
Doesn’t he just hit you right in your head?
Actually as u know death has very important part in Márquez’s work and that I can perfectly understand, as well as significance of solitude. Those are the things that people fear so much, and there’s almost unexplainable urge to enlighten those phenomenon. And also fight against them by keeping them close, trying to make them real maybe just in fantasy. I have to admit that Márquez`s solitude is so scary to me,, all sorts of solitude he refers to, as well as connection between death and solitude
Have you ever thought :”oh my god I wish I had written this book”, or “this is the book I could have easily written” because you feel it completely, your way of thinking is compatible with the flux of writers thoughts, you sense every word as if it had crossed your mind before you have read it….
Is there a book you wish it was you who had written it?
For me it is definitely Cien Años de Soledad
And that doesn’t include the expected generalization-that is the book I like the most. No! I coudnt say something like that. But that certainly is the book that matches my inner principles , my approach to life.
And now u might be asking yourselves what on earth is she talking about. Well that duality as a kind of escapism is what I understand well and live. You know, while living completely normal life I use to switch off for some reasons for certain period of time and declare the week, month or year of heavy day-by-day rains , during the difficult situation I proclaim the disease of loosing memory … in my own Macondo
[at this point I am hoping you `re still with me and not considering me completely loca
Márquez`s symbolism, and his skill to make reality hide behind the dream, and the dream cure the reality –that is what I love about him, that magic realism, that unbelievably truthful and painful essence of life covered by his delightful, unusual, sometimes supernatural stories. He is just magnificent.
I always thought fiction is the best medicine for 3 things:
too much imagination
too much pain