Category: Aschenbach, Gustav von (Fictitious character)
Britten's last opera, Death in Venice, is based on the short story by Thomas Mann. It follows the inner turmoil of the aging novelist Gustav von Aschenbach, who becomes infatuated by a boy he sees on the beach in Venice. Unable to confess his love, he dies as the city is ravaged by plague. Full of atmosphere and intense soundscapes, the simple yet subtle motives pull the opera together with great sureness of touch.
I knew of the plot of the book so I was ready to dive into a whirl of emotions. No - this is not how Mann writes. We follow the story of Gustav von Aschenbach, a middle-aged man who is at the height of recognition as an artist and basically on the verge of going downhill. He tries to find inspiration anywhere, and this has to be Venice. From the beginning, I could not sympathise with him. Because the story is told by an unknown third person, I find there is too much distance between myself and the main character. While I can read about his struggle, it felt like reading a report on some unknown soldier in a far-away land. How much more impressive it would have been had I been reading Gustav's own thoughts and fears and expectations! That was a point I was really astonished with and it triggered a bit of research into Mann's point of view: It turns out that the story of this book is based on Mann's own experience. This put everything into a new perspective: did Mann deliberately want to "tone down" the connection between Gustav and himself? Was he afraid that if he had the protagonist talk for himself, he might have revealed more than he was comfortable with? And why should he be uncomfortable?
Death in Venice, by Nobel Prize-winning author Thomas Mann, is one of the most popular and widely taught works of German literature. It is also a complex work of art that challenges its readers. This reference is a convenient guide to the novella. In addition to providing a plot summary, the volume helps students and general readers discover the literary and intellectual qualities of Mann's famous story. The guide alsos surveys Mann's life and works, compares Death in Venice to Mann's other fiction, as well as to works by other writers, summarizes the events Mann relates, and discusses the genesis, editions, and English translations of his novella. Mann's literary and non-literary influences are considered, along with his narrative style, and the historical, cultural, and sociological factors surrounding Death in Venice. The guide also explains how the issues Mann treated remain current today, and reviews the critical and scholarly reception of his text.
REA's MAXnotes for Thomas Mann's Death in Venice MAXnotes offer a fresh look at masterpieces of literature, presented in a lively and interesting fashion. Written by literary experts who currently teach the subject, MAXnotes will enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the work. MAXnotes are designed to stimulate independent thought about the literary work by raising various issues and thought-provoking ideas and questions. MAXnotes cover the essentials of what one should know about each work, including an overall summary, character lists, an explanation and discussion of the plot, the work's historical context, illustrations to convey the mood of the work, and a biography of the author. Each chapter is individually summarized and analyzed, and has study questions and answers.
A Queer Film Classic on Luchino Visconti's lyrical and controversial 1971 film based on Thomas Mann's novel about a middle-aged man (played by Dirk Bogarde) vacationing in Venice who becomes obsessed with a youth staying at the same hotel as a wave of cholera descends upon the city. The book analyzes its cultural impact and provides a vivid portrait of the director, an ardent Communist and grand provocateur. Will Aitken's novels include Realia and Terre Haute. Arsenal's Queer Film Classics series cover some of the most important and influential films about and by LGBTQ people.
Thomas Mann (1875-1955) won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1929. This is a collection of his shorter works. "Death in Venice," later filmed by Lucion Visconti starring Dirk Bogarde, was published in 1911. It is a poetic meditation on art and beauty, where the dying composer Aschenbach (modelled on Gustav Mahler) becomes fixated by the young boy Tadzio. The other stories are: "Tonio Kroger"; the collection entitled "Tristan"; "The Blood of the Walsungs"; "Mario the Magician"; and "The Tables of the Law." A number of essays are also included.>
Thomas Mann (1875-1955) won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1929. This is a collection of his shorter works. "Death in Venice", later filmed by Lucion Visconti starring Dirk Bogarde, was published in 1911. It is a poetic meditation on art and beauty, where the dying composer Aschenbach (modelled on Gustav Mahler) becomes fixated by the young boy Tadzio. The other stories are: "Tonio Kroger"; the collection entitled "Tristan"; "The Blood of the Walsungs"; "Mario the Magician"; and "The Tables of the Law". A number of essays are also included.