Thomas Mann Tonio Kroger (German edition)

ISBN 13: 9780881336559

Tonio Kroger (German edition)

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9780881336559: Tonio Kroger (German edition)
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PUBLISHED IN GERMAN. This classic novel examines the theme of the soul divided against itself. Tonio Kroger endeavors to resolve within himself the ever-present conflict between art and life; his life is that of the bourgeois but his soul is that of the artist. In an effort to rise beyond the mundane mechanism of the working class, Kroger associates himself with the Bohemian. Instead of finding freedom and enlightenment, he discovers that their academia has made them cold and aloof, contemptuous of the very warmth, life and honesty that Kroger is trying to find. His "awakening" opens his eyes to the art present in the life around him. Readers will learn a great deal about Mann in what he reveals about himself through Tonio Kroger. Like his character, Mann was born into the bourgeois as the son of a Burgermeister and, as such, felt acutely the separation and isolation of an artist in such a society. Mann reveals his own struggle in Kroger's search to reconcile the dichotomy of an artist's heart coursing with bourgeois blood. A winner of the Nobel prize for literature, Mann shows us the artistic temperament and the agonies and ecstasies inherent in it through a compelling narrative augmented with the use of leitmotif and alliteration.

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From the Publisher:

Title of related interest also available from Waveland Press: Heller-Ehrlich, Dichter, Denker, und Erzahler: A German Reader (ISBN 9780881334326).

Review:

Novella by Thomas Mann, originally published in German in 1903. The partially autobiographical work explores the problem of the artist who, in his devotion to his craft, confronts the antithesis of spirit and life. From earliest childhood Tonio Kroger is aware of his separation from other people, in particular his two schoolmates Hans Hansen and Ingeborg Holm, who represent the bourgeois norm, symbolized by their blond good looks. Tonio longs to be accepted into their company, but his artistic nature will not permit him to fully join their ranks. As Tonio grows older his talent matures and he becomes a writer, but he still feels like a stranger and yearns to fit into the world. He continues to be preoccupied with the essential dichotomy between life and art, between personal happiness and the discipline that leads to great achievement. These themes are known to have obsessed Mann throughout his career, and Tonio Kroger is almost certainly a representation of the author's persona. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

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