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Thomas Mann's world : empire, race, and the Jewish question /
Todd Kontje.
imprint
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2011.
description
viii, 256 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0472117467 (cloth : acid-free paper), 9780472117468 (cloth : acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2011.
isbn
0472117467 (cloth : acid-free paper)
9780472117468 (cloth : acid-free paper)
contents note
Buddenbrooks : province, nation, and empire -- The married artist and the Jewish question -- Reflections of a nonpolitical man : conservative anti-imperialism -- Empires of air : the hermetic world of The magic mountain -- Joseph and his brothers : fascism, orientalism, and ancient cosmopolitanism -- Doctor Faustus : from Sonderweg to universal catastrophe -- Confessions of Felix Krull : the final journey.
catalogue key
7388342
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 235-249) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-07-01:
Kontje (Univ. of California, San Diego) provides a balanced analysis of Mann's relationship to Judaism and the Jews as reflected in his writings and life. As scholars have pointed out over the years, anti-Semitic tendencies--character portrayal in particular--are undeniably present in Mann's fiction and diaries from beginning to end. That fact, and the perception in the 1970s that his work was dated, damaged his reputation, especially among German intellectuals. This view has changed in recent years as critics have reevaluated the flaws of a man considered "the representative German writer of the twentieth century," one who strongly opposed Nazism. Kontje illuminates the roles played by unsympathetic or comic figures representing Jewish personages, or by racial "types" such as Mme Chauchat in Magic Mountain. Despite his erudition, the patrician Mann could not completely escape the biases of his age. This chronological study treats works often neglected--Royal Highness, Joseph and His Brothers, Felix Krull. Kontje's analysis of the Egyptian tetralogy as "combin[ing] elements of anti-Semitism in its seeming celebration of the Jews" and at the same time work of "immense psychological subtlety and intellectual profundity" is particularly illuminating. This lucid, magisterial book draws on vast knowledge of Mann and his age. Summing Up: Essential. All readers. J. Hardin emeritus, University of South Carolina
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A comprehensive and judicious study, which would examine Mann's representations of race and gender as a whole and with some measure of sympathy, has been badly needed. Todd Kontje deserves gratitude for providing such a study.... It can be enthusiastically recommended." --- Modern Language Review
"A comprehensive and judicious study, which would examine Mann's representations of race and gender as a whole and with some measure of sympathy, has been badly needed. Todd Kontje deserves gratitude for providing such a study.... It can be enthusiastically recommended." Modern Language Review
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2011
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This title provides a comprehensive re-evaluation of Mann as the representative German author of the 'Age of Empire', placing Mann's comments about Jews and the Jewish characters in his fiction in the larger context of his attentiveness to racial difference, both in the world at large and in himself.
Main Description
". . . a refreshing example of what literary discourse can teach us about national identity, even historical events and trends---those aspects of a nation's evolving heritage and tradition usually reserved for other disciplines." ---Colloquia Germanica"Kontje has pulled off the amazing feat of a grand narrative: from the epic literature of the Middle Ages to very recent texts on the emerging multicultural Germany. Kontje's grand narrative, it should be noted, is not at all simplistic or reductionistic. He gets at the individual texts in complex ways . . . he displays an enviable erudition and scholarship, tracing lines through centuries when most scholars today limit themselves to narrow specialties." ---Russell Berman, Stanford UniversityExactly how Thomas Mann's significance registers with the scholarly and general public has been subject to change. For many, Mann retains the aura of the "good German," the Nobel Laureate who was the most vocal leader of the exile community against Hitler and the Third Reich. His diaries, however, contain some rather nasty comments about Mann's many Jewish friends and acquaintances, inspiring a renewed look at the negative Jewish stereotypes in his fiction. The man once venerated as a voice of reason and cosmopolitan tolerance against racist bigotry has been eviscerated as a clandestine anti-Semite.Thomas Mann's Worldis a comprehensive reevaluation of Mann as the representative German author of the Age of Empire, placing Mann's comments about Jews and the Jewish characters in his fiction in the larger context of his attentiveness to racial difference, both in the world at large and in himself. Kontje argues that Mann is a worldly author---not in the benign sense that he was an eloquent spokesman for a pan-European cosmopolitanism who had witnessed the evils of nationalism gone mad, although he was that, too---but in the sense of a writer whose personal prejudices reflected those of the world around him, a writer whose deeply autobiographical fiction expressed not only the concerns of the German nation, as he liked to claim, but also of the world in an era of imperial conquest and global conflict.Todd Kontje is Professor of German and Comparative Literature and Chair of the German Department at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author ofGerman Orientalisms(University of Michigan Press, 2004).Jacket photographs: Thomas Mann, approximately 1900 and 1955, reproduced with the generous permission of the Buddenbrookhaus, Kulturstiftung Hansestadt Lubeck.
Main Description
Exactly how Thomas Mann's significance registers with the scholarly and general public has been subject to change. For many, Mann retains the aura of the "good German," the Nobel Laureate who was the most vocal leader of the exile community against Hitler and the Third Reich. His diaries, however, contain some rather nasty comments about Mann's many Jewish friends and acquaintances, inspiring a renewed look at the negative Jewish stereotypes in his fiction. The man once venerated as a voice of reason and cosmopolitan tolerance against racist bigotry has been eviscerated as a clandestine anti-Semite. Thomas Mann's Worldis a comprehensive reevaluation of Mann as the representative German author of the Age of Empire, placing Mann's comments about Jews and the Jewish characters in his fiction in the larger context of his attentiveness to racial difference, both in the world at large and in himself. Kontje argues that Mann is a worldly author---not in the benign sense that he was an eloquent spokesman for a pan-European cosmopolitanism who had witnessed the evils of nationalism gone mad, although he was that, too---but in the sense of a writer whose personal prejudices reflected those of the world around him, a writer whose deeply autobiographical fiction expressed not only the concerns of the German nation, as he liked to claim, but also of the world in an era of imperial conquest and global conflict. Todd Kontje is Professor of German and Comparative Literature and Chair of the German Department at the University of California, San Diego.
Main Description
Praise for Todd Kontje ". . . a refreshing example of what literary discourse can teach us about national identity, even historical events and trends---those aspects of a nation's evolving heritage and tradition usually reserved for other disciplines." ---Colloquia Germanica "Kontje has pulled off the amazing feat of a grand narrative: from the epic literature of the Middle Ages to very recent texts on the emerging multicultural Germany. Kontje's grand narrative, it should be noted, is not at all simplistic or reductionistic. He gets at the individual texts in complex ways . . . he displays an enviable erudition and scholarship, tracing lines through centuries when most scholars today limit themselves to narrow specialties." ---Russell Berman, Stanford University Exactly how Thomas Mann's significance registers with the scholarly and general public has been subject to change. For many, Mann retains the aura of the "good German," the Nobel Laureate who was the most vocal leader of the exile community against Hitler and the Third Reich. His diaries, however, contain some rather nasty comments about Mann's many Jewish friends and acquaintances, inspiring a renewed look at the negative Jewish stereotypes in his fiction. The man once venerated as a voice of reason and cosmopolitan tolerance against racist bigotry has been eviscerated as a clandestine anti-Semite. Thomas Mann's Worldis a comprehensive reevaluation of Mann as the representative German author of the Age of Empire, placing Mann's comments about Jews and the Jewish characters in his fiction in the larger context of his attentiveness to racial difference, both in the world at large and in himself. Kontje argues that Mann is a worldly author---not in the benign sense that he was an eloquent spokesman for a pan-European cosmopolitanism who had witnessed the evils of nationalism gone mad, although he was that, too---but in the sense of a writer whose personal prejudices reflected those of the world around him, a writer whose deeply autobiographical fiction expressed not only the concerns of the German nation, as he liked to claim, but also of the world in an era of imperial conquest and global conflict. Todd Kontje is Professor of German and Comparative Literature and Chair of the German Department at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of German Orientalisms(University of Michigan Press, 2004). Jacket photographs: Thomas Mann, approximately 1900 and 1955, reproduced with the generous permission of the Buddenbrookhaus, Kulturstiftung Hansestadt Lubeck.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
Beginning in Brazilp. 2
Racial Difference and the Jews in Thomas Mann's Diariesp. 6
Thomas Mann's Worldp. 14
Empire, Race, and the Jewish Questionp. 19
Organization and Overviewp. 25
Buddenbrooks: Province, Nation, and Empirep. 26
The Buddenbrooks and the World of the Hansap. 27
The Rise of Prussiap. 29
From Hamburg to Britain and Beyondp. 32
The Buddenbrooks' Jewish Rivalsp. 37
Conclusionp. 43
The Married Artist and The Jewish Questionp. 45
Mann's Earliest Fiction: Pathetic Men and Deadly Womenp. 48
Wälsungenblut: Marriage as Traumap. 52
Royal Highness: Marriage as Fantasyp. 57
Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man: Conservative Anti-Imperialismp. 65
German National Identity and the Jewish Questionp. 69
"Intellect and Art"p. 71
The Jewish Question in the Reflectionsp. 74
The Gender of Germannessp. 77
Empires of Air: The Hermetic World of the Magic Mountainp. 85
Reading for the Plot: Interracial Romance on the Magic Mountainp. 87
Negative Dialectics: Settembrini, Naphta, and the Brotherhood of Manp. 97
Excursus: Sexual Politics and the Weimar Republicp. 100
Jesuits, Freemasons, and Jewsp. 104
Jewish Psychoanalysis and the Undead Soldierp. 107
Joseph and His Brothers: Fascism, Orientalism, and Ancient Cosmopolitanismp. 118
Fascism, Orientalism, and the Jewish Questionp. 123
Prelude: Temporality in Joseph and His Brothersp. 126
The Stories of Jacob: Pride and Prejudicep. 129
Joseph in Egypt: Romance and Racismp. 138
Joseph the Provider: The Chosen One as Realpolitikerp. 145
Coda: The Tables of the Lawp. 148
Doctor Faustus: From Sonderweg to Universal Catastrophep. 153
Germany and the Germansp. 154
Aesthetic Totalitarianism: Leverkühn, Mann, and Adornop. 156
Hetaera Esmeraldap. 161
Germanic Evil as Civilization's Otherp. 164
Doctor Faustus and the Jewish Questionp. 168
Confessions of Felix Krull: The Final Journeyp. 174
Felix Krull and the Primordial Racep. 175
Conclusionp. 180
Notesp. 185
Works Citedp. 235
Indexp. 251
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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