Books by Thomas Mann

(1875-1955) was the premier German novelist of the 20th century.


DEATH IN VENICE by Thomas Mann
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1998

New versions of 12 celebrated stories, including the famous title novella, many previously collected in Mann's seminal Stories of Three Decades. Neugroschel's persuasive "Preface" makes a strong case for fresh translations, given both this century's inevitable linguistic shifts and Mann's employment within individual works of specific vocabularies and styles (e.g., those of Wagnerian opera in the hair-raising "The Blood of the Walsungs"). And Neugrîschel essentially finesses the issue of revealing the stories' inherent sexuality; their author was, after all, a master of elegant indirection dedicated to muted presentations of matters that were anathema to both his public and his own sedulously respectable persona. That said, it's wonderful to have vivid, lucid English versions of Mann's sophisticated portrayals of sexual obsession and humiliation ("Little Herr Friedemann"), illness- as-metaphor in a tale ("Tristan") that concisely prefigures The Magic Mountain, and the transfiguring intersection of artistic with homosexual passion (Death in Venice, Tonio Krîger). Brilliant work, in any case, from one of the century's great writers. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1998

"The letters of the brothers Mann constitute a crucial document of 20th-century German culture and politics, and they are by any standard fine reading."
The brothers Mann, both articulate witnesses of this century's European upheaval, give lively testimony to their usually competing perceptions. Read full book review >
DOCTOR FAUSTUS by Thomas Mann
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 9, 1997

The modest Thomas Mann boom, begun with the recent publication (by New Directions) of his early stories, continues with this fine new English translation of the author's last great novel, first published in 1948. A work written in old age and suffused with Mann's moral despair over his country's complacent embrace of Nazism, Doctor Faustus unrelentingly details the rise and fall of Adrian LeverkÅhn, a gifted musician (modeled, as Mann admitted, on modernist innovator Arnold Schoenberg) who effectively sells his soul to the devil for a generation of renown as the greatest living composer. Woods's vigorous translation works brilliantly on two counts: It catches both the logic and the music of Mann's intricate mandarin sentences (if one reads closely, the rewards are great); and it gives the novel's narrator (``Adrian's intimate from his hometown'') a truly distinctive voice, making him more of an involved character than a rhetorical device. Mann's most Dostoevskyan novel should, in this splendid new version, speak more powerfully than ever to contemporary readers. Read full book review >
THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN by Thomas Mann
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 10, 1995

"For all that, it's important to have a contemporary updating of a classic novel, and for its clarity and syntactical vigor alone, Woods' new translation may be considered an impressive success."
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. Read full book review >