Monday, January 15, 2007

The Magic Mountain
The Magic Mountain 

For I must tell you that we artists cannot tread the path of Beauty without Eros keeping company with us and appointing himself as our guide.
Thomas Mann

When thinking of The Magic Mountain and Hans Castorp, the young protagonist of the novel, I cannot help but consider both the similarities in the depiction of male your to that in Death in Venicethat is so central to Mann’s own internal struggles, and the loss of innocence resulting from Hans' gradually increasing knowledge. As he learns from discussions with Settembrini and Naphtha he gradually grows into a young man of some little wisdom. This includes a number of lengthy philosophical debates between Herr Settembrini and Herr Naphta. These philosophical debates are central to the message of the novel raising questions and speculations that mirror our own. The world of Hans Castorp, upon leaving the sanatorium, becomes a mirror for ours. Who is our Mephistopheles?

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