ESSAYS OF THREE DECADES by Thomas Mann

ESSAYS OF THREE DECADES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sixteen essays, a rich course in European literature, for he writes not only of the specific personalities he has chosen, but abundantly of their contemporaries, their place in history, in the arts. Brilliant scholarship, profound philosophical as well as historical content, these essays are, for my choice, Thomas Mann's security in the hall of fame. I felt that when I read his slighter volume, Past Masters, ten years and more age. A few of those essays are reprinted here,- one on Lessing, one on the Suffering and Greatness of Richard Wagner. A good quarter of the text is concerned with Goethe, with essays and lectures done ever some six years,- Goethe's Faust, Goethe's Career as a Man of Letters, Goethe and Tolstoy, etc. He brings into awareness of the uninitiated such figures as Chamisso (I knew only his Peter Schlemihl), Theodor Strom (I studied Immensee but otherwise would have groped for knowledge of him). He writes of Schopenhauer, of The Old Fantane, of Kleist's Amphitryon. And he closes with an essay entitled Voyage with Don Quixote, a diary of the trip to America, a voluntary exile from a country that had sold out to Hitler... For students of literature.

Pub Date: June 6th, 1947
Publisher: Knopf