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Free read Der Zauberberg

Download ì Der Zauberberg é PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Õ In this dizzyingly rich novel of ideas Mann uses a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps a community devoted exclusively to sickness as a microcosm for Europe which in the years before 1914 was already exhibiting the first symptoms of its own terminal irrationalSm for Europe which in the years before 1914 was already exhibiting the first symptoms of its own terminal irrationality The Magic Mount. Some novels are like low hills And some are like high mountainsLove stands opposed to death – it alone and not reason is stronger than death Only love and not reason yields kind thoughtsThe sanatorium is a powerful metaphor of civilisation – there is everything love and hate hope and despair life and death wisdom and stupidity profanity and religion science and ignorance metaphysics and mysticismour interest in death and illness is nothing but a way of expressing an interest in lifeAnd this civilisation is sick – it is consumptive And it is a cauldron of human drama

Thomas Mann ß 5 Free read

Ain is a monumental work of erudition and irony sexual tension and intellectual ferment a book that pulses with life in the midst of dea. Imagine being stuck in a place where all sense of time is lost in the web of inactivity a place which enables people to lead a life devoid of any greater purpose and only focused on recuperation from a ueer illness a place almost hermetically sealed and self controlled successfully keeping the repercussions of wars and diplomatic feuds between nations at bay Imagine being rid of all your earthly woes of finding means of survival and all the elements that stand as pillars supporting the normative structure of life during a sojourn in a special secluded place Imagine a miniature diorama of a society thriving on its own divorced from society at large If you haven't been successful in imagining a real life scenario fitting aforementioned descriptions do not despair You can always discover this specially constructed safe haven in a certain fictional sanatorium in the Swiss Alps where our protagonist Hans Castorp languishes for seven whole yearsThe experience of reading this book is akin to a painstaking hike up a dangerously steep slope Excuse the overused analogy but it happens to be uite aptThere are long dry stretches reuiring ritualistic finding of one footing after the next ensuring that as a reader you do not slip and tumble headfirst into the gaping chasm of incomprehension And then there are the moments of perfect clarity when snippets of Mann's wisdom filter in like errant rays of sunshine through the drear of many tedious descriptions of long walks and repetitive conversations making the long and difficult climb seem worth it all of a sudden But he who knows the body who knows life also knows death Except that's not the whole thing but merely a beginning pedagogically speaking You have to hold it up to the other half to its opposite Because our interest in death and illness is nothing but a way of expressing an interest in life The summit of this magic mountain becomes the location of a metaphorical watch tower from where the spectacle of our collective civilizational march is viewed dissected and analyzed with precision The uirky patients inhabiting the sanatorium become mere proxies for some nations or disparate points of view their inter relationships often symbolic of some deeper ideological conflict woven intricately into the fabric of existenceBut despite the sheer brilliance of this premise there's something off about this book Something that prevented me from according that final star Even if this remains a lengthy and eruditely presented discussion on Europe's inner contradictions its juxtaposition of progress in all spheres of life and violence brewing under the veneer of that sanctimonious progress as a work of literature it is somehow imperfect and rough around the edges Since I was often tempted to believe it would have worked better as a nonfictional philosophical discourse It's sort of like what my elouent friend Dolors says 'The book lacks a soul' How succinctly put Read her well argued review hereThe characters are employed as mere mouthpieces never resembling well drawn sketches of actual people with their own stories The situations and backdrops are mere contrivances specifically begotten to tout ideas on life and death It's as if the whole narrative is an elaborate ruse developed to convey Mann's thoughts on the state of Europe prior to the First World War During my moments of exasperation with the book I was able to recall a few of Nabokov's thoughts in his article on Lolita All the rest is either topical trash or what some call the Literature of Ideas which very often is topical trash coming in huge blocks of plaster that are carefully transmitted from age to age until somebody comes along with a hammer and takes a good crack at Balzac at Gorki at Mann Clearly a jibe at TMM if I have ever seen one Not that I agree with Nabokov's opinion on TMM being topical trash but it surely gives rise to the suspicion that if you strip the book of all its allegorical significance almost nothing substantial remains And with the turn of the last page it leaves the reader with a sense of indescribable dissatisfaction about having just finished a journey neither very rewarding nor enjoyable Maybe a re read some time years later on in life will restore the elusive star Maybe it will not Originally posted on 31st October 2013

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Der ZauberbergIn this dizzyingly rich novel of ideas Mann uses a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps a community devoted exclusively to sickness as a microco. I am in a good mood todayWhich should be readily apparent because if I were not this book would probably have received only two stars from me—not as a reflection of its literary uality per se but rather as a reflection of my own reaction to itHere is what happened yesterday I finished this book and tossed it forcefully onto the coffee table next to me in what may be seen as a transparent attempt to attract attention to myself which is something I tend to do often and sure enough someone picked it up read its title and asked me what it was about providing me with a wonderful opportunity to roll my eyes dramatically another move with which I am somewhat familiar and ask “Do you realllllly want to know” I explained that it was about this aimless young gentleman who decides to kill some time before starting a new job by visiting his cousin in a tuberculosis sanatorium high up in the Swiss Alps but who begins to exhibit symptoms of ill health himself and whose visit becomes lengthened by increasing bouts of time until his initial 3 week stay has been stretched out to a full seven years and that this book was about his experiences in that sanatorium over the course of those seven years By this point my enuirer’s eyes were wide with interest and I was astounded In explaining the premise of a book that has actually kind of bored me have I inadvertently extolled its virtues Is this book perhaps interesting than I am giving it credit for The short answer to that is NO This exchange with my enuirer has merely revealed what I think is the essence of The Magic Mountain—it is a place that appears interesting a place a reader might wish to visit on account of that appearance but once there it is a place that traps the reader for seven long years and berates him with its endless philosophical musings and its explorations of moral ideologies and only upon being finally discharged does the reader discover his eyes are bleeding from all the fork stabbingNow I have gone ahead and made it all sound so horrible The truth is this book is very well written It has a lot to say about the cyclical nature of time and humanity’s fruitless attempts to anchor itself against its continuous passing It speaks of the mysteries of biology and brilliantly relates the starting point of life to an unexplained and unstoppable illness It presents death as merely an extension of life as opposed to its diametric opposite and eerily makes the reader feel comfortable with it And it exemplifies the importance of spiritual health to providing fulfillment for a life that is by most accounts cursory and meaningless But at the end of the day it is a book for the brain and as much as that may be adeuate for some I need a book with a heart and soul I need a book with characters I can relate to and empathize with and unfortunately this book had none of that So to the extent that I “enjoyed” my visit to this sanatorium it is not a place to which I would consider returning any time soon