Black and white photograph of German novelist and essayist Thomas Mann.

Thomas Mann

(1875 - 1955)

Death in Venice grew out of a trip Thomas Mann took to Italy in 1911, during which time he learned of his acquaintance Gustav Mahler’s death in Vienna; he cut out a newspaper photograph of the composer and relied on it for describing Gustav Aschenbach. A year later Mann spent time visiting his wife while she was in a tuberculosis sanitarium, and he reworked the hospital’s mise en scène for his novel The Magic Mountain, which was published in 1924. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929. 

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Vladimir Nabokov referred to Thomas Mann once as a “quack” and to Ezra Pound as “that total fake.”

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