Thursday, December 1, 2011

The One on Thomas Mann and Goodreads Group

December has arrived! Festivities for some, summertime for me. In celebration, I launched a Goodreads group through which you can also participate in the Nobel Challenge.

For example, this month we will be reading Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann. Click HERE if you're interested!

      The Nobel Project    
     The Nobel Project     1 member
     Inspired by the blog "The Years of the Nobel" ( this blog pursues to read as...

Books we've read


View this group on Goodreads »


Anyways, on Thomas Mann:

Appartently, Thomas Mann was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1929 "principally for his great novel, Buddenbrooks, which has won steadily increased recognition as one of the classic works of contemporary literature."

I am very sorry Thomas Mann, but that has been the most yawn-worthy reason for being rewarded this prize that I have read up to date. Especially because I won't even be reading Buddenbrooks, as I'm thinking it has small literary value today(I haven't been able to find it in any bookstore so far.) Also, from what I've gathered of his biography, some of his most important work was created after his receiving the Nobel Prize.

Anyways, from what I've collected on Wikipedia, Mann was German born. According to Wikipedia:

"known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual. His analysis and critique of the European and German soul used modernized German and Biblical stories, as well as the ideas of GoetheNietzsche, and Schopenhauer. His older brother was the radical writer Heinrich Mann, and three of his six children, Erika MannKlaus Mann and Golo Mann, also became important German writers. When Hitler came to power in 1933, the anti-fascist Mann fled to Switzerland. When World War II broke out in 1939, he emigrated to the United States, from where he returned to Switzerland in 1952. Thomas Mann is one of the best-known exponents of the so-called Exilliteratur."

And, even though the name slightly gave it away, I thought it better to click on the link to Exilliteratur and have more knowledge on what it is about. Of course, it was the following:

"German Exilliteratur (exile literature) is the name for a category of books in the German language written by writers of anti-nazi attitude who fled from Nazi Germany (Germany andAustria) between 1933 and 1945. Works of Exilliteratur were written and published by dissident authors who fled abroad in 1933 after the Nazi Party came to power in Germany and after Nazi Germany annexed Austria by the Anschluss in 1938 and abolished the freedom of press and started to prosecute the authors whose books were banned."

Also, given that I am a Freshman in High School, you could please excuse my ignorance on the fact that I have no idea what Goethe, Nietzche, and Schopenhauer's ideas were. So I researched them a little too, and came to the common ground that they all have a sort of cynic view. Anyways, my "research" was not in depth enough because, honestly, their ideas were too confusing to understand in less than 10 minutes,

Anyways, I want to finalize by mentioning a few things. First of all, I repeat, we will be reading Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann:

My grandmother taught me on Tuesday (we went book shopping, check in some other time to find about that!) that Dostoievsky says  never to read the back of a book to see if one will like it. The back part is intended to sell.

What Dostoievsky tells us is to read the first three sentences of the book.

Now, I will admit that when I did said exercise I wasn't even able to finish the three sentences because they extended over half the page!

And my mother tried to read The Magic Mountain a few years ago and she told me it was so dense that it was impossible for her to continue beyond the 20th page.

However, I believe in two of several things:

1) One gets used to the verbosity after 50 or so pages.
2) I was able to read Saul Bellow in its entirety, so I will read this!

However, I'm wondering whether it was a bad move to chose this as the first book for the Goodreads book club.

Oh well.

Have a nice day, check in tommorow! Remember, December I'll be posting every day!

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