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Michael Maar

Bluebeard's Chamber: Guilt and Confession in Thomas Mann


The themes of guilt and redemption that grew ever stronger in Thomas Mann's fiction are generally ascribed to the author's homosexuality, this, many critics have said, is the basis of the dynamic underlying his creative work in general, and the reason for Mann's panic in 1933 that his early diaries would fall into the hands of the Nazis. Michael Marr convincingly explodes this consensus. Mann was remarkably open about his sexual orientation, which he saw as no reason for guilt. But sexuality in Mann's work is inextricably bound up with an eruption of violence. Marr pursues this trail through Mann's writings, and traces its origins back to Mann's second visit to Italy, during which the Devil appeared to him in Palestrina. Something happened to the twenty-one-year-old Thomas Mann in Naples that marked him for life with a burdensome sense of guilt ...but what exactly was it?

Format: Hardcover
Published: in 2003
Publisher: Verso Books
Pages: 284
Language: English
ISBN 13: 9781859845295
ISBN 10: 1859845290

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Bluebeard's Chamber: Guilt and Confession in Thomas Mann