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Death in Venice: A New Translation by Michael Henry Heim | [Thomas Mann]

Death in Venice: A New Translation by Michael Henry Heim

Published on the eve of World War I, a decade after Buddenbrooks had established Thomas Mann as a literary celebrity, Death in Venice tells the story of Gustav von Aschenbach, a successful but aging writer who follows his wanderlust to Venice in search of spiritual fulfillment that instead leads to his erotic doom.
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Publisher's Summary

Published on the eve of World War I, a decade after Buddenbrooks had established Thomas Mann as a literary celebrity, Death in Venice tells the story of Gustav von Aschenbach, a successful but aging writer who follows his wanderlust to Venice in search of spiritual fulfillment that instead leads to his erotic doom.

In the decaying city, besieged by an unnamed epidemic, he becomes obsessed with an exquisite Polish boy, Tadzio. "It is a story of the voluptuousness of doom," Mann wrote. "But the problem I had especially in mind was that of the artist's dignity."

Translation ©2004 Michael Henry Heim; (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers

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  •  
    Lawerence Brooklyn, NY, USA 09-18-04
    Lawerence Brooklyn, NY, USA 09-18-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
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    "Brilliant gem"

    This long short story is one of the greatest ever written. While not really modernist in the sense of Woolf, Faulkner, etc, I found myself in a 'symbolic' state of dreamy, beautiful imagery & thought the whole way. This is a journey near the end of a basically proper classic intellectual European life that turns into a quest for the nectar of the gods at a distance. Lolita is clearly prefigured here. You will think of Durrell and Nabokov and so many others who must follow and the myths and so many who are encompassed. I felt like Death in Venice was one of those works that will stay in my mind the rest of my life.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William North Bay, Ontario, Canada 10-21-06
    William North Bay, Ontario, Canada 10-21-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "For the Love of Language"

    "Death" in Venice" can be enjoyed on several levels. I continue to enjoy it, time and time again, if only for the sheer beauty of Mann's writing. He is the Mozart of the written word; there are no unnecessary or discordant notes. This new translation is so superb as to be beyond criticism. We simply need more like it.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alain santa Fe, NM, United States 07-06-07
    Alain santa Fe, NM, United States 07-06-07 Member Since 2005

    professor. like great and VERY good books, fiction and history, mainly

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Death in Venice"

    A gorgeous reading of a great masterpiece. Couldn't be better.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 08-04-12
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 08-04-12 Member Since 2006

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I know I'm not being fair but"

    maybe I just wasn't in the right frame of mind. I know this is one of the giants of modern literature, the prose is brilliant, the exposition is brilliant, the one and only real character is brilliantly detailed and nuanced, but the subject just didn't resonate with me. OK, so it's the biggest most important subject in the world. Yes, I agree with that. It is also, within the boundaries of this book, a very tiny exploration of a specific perspective on that subject. Maybe audio just isn't the right medium for a first trip through this book. It's the kind of book that requires you to just stop and savor each thing the author says.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bookoholics Anon 01-19-14 Listener Since 2009

    No Pink Ponies

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A masterpiece from Thomas Mann"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a great way to read Thomas Mann, who can be long and wordy.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The descent into lust, madness, obsession and degradation is one of literature's most dramatic scenes. The master artist Aschenbach, restrained, honored, and successful debases himself in a pursuit of beauty. That it is forbidden love makes the debasement more horrifying and sickening. There is always a combination of gorgeousness with absolute ugliness and horror.


    What about Simon Callow’s performance did you like?

    This is a restrained, refined performance.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The end is one of those passagese in literature that you read and re-read. Though it's inevitable, it still is shocking.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe K. 10-18-08
    Joe K. 10-18-08 Member Since 2004
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    "Not to my liking."

    How this story is told is masterful, but what is told I don't appreciate.

    4 of 14 people found this review helpful
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