Monday, April 5, 2010

1927: Magic Mountain to Der Steppenwolf

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Thomas Mann. German. 1927. Novel. The Magic Mountain. Bildungsroman. TB sanatorium is a scale model of Europe on the eve of WWI. Unhealthy separation between the artistic or intellectual life (mountain) and the vital, active life below. Highest attainments of reason contain deadly pagan decadence. Enlightened, constructive activity and superstitious, destructive decadence are inseparable. Leaves the sanatorium. Last seen in the army with exploding shrapnel, etc.

Ernest Hemingway. American. 1927. Stories. Men Without Women. Sinister dramatic restraints; feeling of impending doom. Contains “The Killers” and “The Undefeated.”

Isaak Babel. Russian. 1927. Stories. Odessa Tales. Set in the Black Sea city of Odessa. Also known as Jewish Tales.

Hermann Hesse. German. 1927. Novel. Der Steppenwolf. Artist an outsider; inability to be part of the world. Surrealistic imagery; learns that to relate successfully to humanity, he must overcome social and sexual inhibitions. However, unrestrained release equals chaos.

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