Thomas Mann – Work and Time

  • Dieter Borchmeyer in conversation with Jochen Hörisch
  • Literature

Hardly any other author of world literature of the past century has been written about as extensively as Thomas Mann. And yet, among the detailed biographies, the many thousands of books, commentaries, and essays on his novels and stories, there is still no account that comprehensively interprets and illuminates his complete works. Dieter Borchmeyer’s monumental monograph is the first to fulfill the desideratum of such an overall presentation. It does not exhaust itself in the details of the oeuvre and does not follow the fashionable trend of biographism, but always focuses on Thomas Mann as a whole, and also relates him to the history of mentality, aesthetics, and world literary tradition, describing their exciting parallelism to the intellectual situation of his time.

Thomas Mann’s political transformations as reflected in his stories and essays from the Empire through the Weimar Republic and the Nazi era to the war and postwar period in Europe and America play an important role in this book. Above all the gentle to stormy undulations of his work, however, humor arches as the central narrative and evaluative instance, a serenity transcending the abysses of existence as the metaphysical horizon of his poetry.

Prof. Dr. Dieter Borchmeyer, born in 1941, is professor emeritus at the University of Heidelberg and continues to teach within the framework of a foundation lectureship. His field of work is primarily German literature from the 18th to the 20th century and music theater.

Jochen Hörisch is professor emeritus at the University of Mannheim and appears regularly in numerous radio and television programs on topics of cultural and media analysis.

Foto: Sarina Chamatova

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