By Frank Donald Hirschbach
When I first considered this subject I encountered many ex pressions of shock between my better-read neighbors, and a couple of them requested me: "Is there quite a lot love in Thomas Mann's works, and is it particularly important?" The posing of this query is the direct results of 3 many years of feedback which has represented Mann almost always as a significant and sober novelist, and regularly additionally as a prosy and prolix writer who "clutters up" his works with superfluous bits of erudition. HisMagicMountain bids reasonable to affix the record of immortal works of worldwide literature which individuals carry again from their summer season vacation trips - unread. Mann is, in fact, critical and sober and intensely North German in such a lot of his works, and the cost of occasional verbosity and divagation can good be substantiated. however, Mann has, in my view, attempted to be essentially a stand-up comedian all through his existence and occupation, no longer within the traditional experience of the note within which Fritz Reuter, P. G. Wodehouse or Ring Lardner qualify, yet as a guy who at an astonishingly early age observed via his fellow people, analyzed and outlined their simple confiicts and determined to be a mediator, a prophet of the area of the center. The humor in Mann's works derives from his demeanour of taking a look at the human comedy, and our enjoyment is in direct share to our skill to parent a comic book point in existence, even in tragedy.
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Additional resources for The Arrow and the Lyre: A Study of the Role of Love in the Works of Thomas Mann
With the exception of A Gleam, it is generally the man who is the chief bearer of the suffering which is the concomitant of love. As a result most of the women assume the roles of minor characters. Most of them seem to have a rather normal intelligence, although in most cases we are not told enough about them to judge. Emotionally, they run from the cold (Gerda von Rinnlingen) to the very sensuous (Sita), but in the case of many women (Anna Rainer, Gabriele Kloterjahn, Ingeborg Holm, the Baroness Anna, Emmy or Sieglinde) it would be vain to speculate about their emotional potentialities.
Only very few of their number, such as Morten Schwarzkopf, Ida Jungmann or Grobleben emerge as individuals. When they do, it is always in the capacity of 34 LONELINESS AND HAPPINESS servants to the Buddenbrooks. More generally they remain nameless, indistinguishable groups, such as the surging throng of the revolution of 1848, the crowd that waits patiently in the slush before the city hall for the results of the Senatorial election, or the troop of sailors. The significance of this societal factor emerges when we are tempted to say that love and romance seem to be almost unknown in Lubeck.
Morten kisses her once, and Tony claims to love him and even announces to her father her intention of marrying him. But her feelings hardly deserve to be called love, and to see in her marriage to Griinlich a sacrifice and a renunciation of her true love, is a great exaggeration. For one thing, can one imagine anything more ridiculous than a marriage between the firebrand son of a marine pilot, who is far from "upper class," and the daughter of a stolid Lubeck merchant? No, Morten, who is perhaps the first to treat her as an adult, is a symbol of the passing of her girlhood.