00465 - Classical references and their significance in The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

00465 - Classical references and their significance in The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
Mida:
501.98 kB
Autor:
Pau Gilabert Barberà
Data:
01 Gener 2014
Descàrregues:
3 x

Key words: German novel, Greek philosophy, Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann, classical tradition, classical references

Although Thomas Mann’s novel The Magic Mountain has been the object of innumerable studies, this paper suggests that so far none of these has given truly close attention to the significance of the classical references in this novel with regard to the search for a true humanism. This is probably owing to the generally held belief that the influence of the classical tradition is relatively inconsequential in relation to the ample conjunction of philosophical ideas on which the novel is based. This article takes a differing view and, through a close analysis and comment of the explicit and implicit classical notions in the text, concludes that these ideas are also a valuable key to a greater comprehension of the ideological design of the main character, Hans Castorp, and to a certain degree they also help to continue to reflect on the most enigmatic and controversial episode of the novel: the young protagonist’s descent to the plain from the magical mountain (Zauberberg) in order to take part in the great tragedy of World War I, alien as is any war to the prevalent but ultimately futile desire that love (Liebe) should in the end prevail in the life of humans.