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Der Tod in Venedig

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First trade edition, first printing, one of only 1,000 copies only, of Mann's celebrated Venetian novella. This story was uncovered by Andrzej Dołęgowski, Thomas Mann's translator, around 1964, and was published in the German press in 1965. One evening, the boy directs a charming smile at him, looking, Aschenbach thinks, like Narcissus smiling at his own reflection. Diaghilev often stayed at the same hotel as Aschenbach, the Grand Hotel des Bains, and took his young male lovers there. Doch in der Stadt grassiert die Cholera, und der Dichter stirbt - an der Seuche und an einer verbotenen Sehnsucht.

Aschenbach nennt seine Verfallenheit an diese schöne Form eine 'Sehnsucht' und sieht diese als "Erzeugnis mangelhafter Erkenntnis" an. Aschenbach checks in to his hotel, where at dinner he sees an aristocratic Polish family at a nearby table. The novella is rife with allusions from antiquity forward, especially to Greek antiquity and to German works (literary, art-historical, musical, visual) from the 18th century. Mahler had made a strong personal impression on Mann when they met in Munich, and Mann was shocked by the news of Mahler's death in Vienna.This translation was published in book form the following year as Death in Venice and Other Stories. In 2023 Luk De Bruyker transformed the book into a stage play titled Dood in Venetië in Ghent, Belgium, with Koen Crucke in the lead role.

I have begun work on a strange thing which I brought with me from Venice, a novella, earnest and pure in form. I purposely avoided reading about the real life events that inspired the book because I think a work of literature should stand on its own merits and as much as possible we should approach it without the distractions of What Really Happened. Later, after spying the boy and his family at a beach, Aschenbach overhears Tadzio, the boy's name, and conceives what he first interprets as an uplifting, artistic interest. Although hauntingly-written (I had to follow along with an English translation side-by-side to insure I understood it all) with many devices that seemed almost cinematic such as the recurrent red-headed man, harbinger of death and aging in every case, I simply could not overcome my aversion to the idea of a middle-aged man (who in the early 20th century would have been closer to death than a similarly-aged European today) so attracted to a boy (14 in the story, but the story is based on an actual crush the author developed on a 12-year-old while visiting Venice) that he prolongs his stay. Over the next days and weeks, Aschenbach's interest in the beautiful boy develops into an obsession.Quarter vellum-like paper spine over marbled paper boards with a Prussian blue spine label lettered in gilt. However, Aschenbach's feelings, although passionately intense, remain unvoiced; he never touches Tadzio or speaks to him, and while there is some indication that Tadzio is aware of his admiration, the two exchange nothing more than occasionally surreptitious glances. Damion Searls translation in Mann, Thomas, New Selected Stories, New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2023, p. After a false start in traveling to Pula on the Austro-Hungarian coast (now in Croatia), Aschenbach realizes he was "meant" to go to Venice and takes a suite in the Grand Hôtel des Bains on the island of Lido. The boy who inspired "Tadzio" was Baron Władysław Moes, whose first name was usually shortened as Władzio or just Adzio.

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