Joachim Neugroschel’s brilliant new translation lets you enjoy the work of Nobel-Laureate Thomas Mann as never before. By using creative, contemporary language, Neugroschel reinterprets Mann for modern English-speaking readers. The author’s superb literary craftsmanship, his psychological insight, and the deeply erotic content of his work shine forth in this definitive English-language version of some of his most celebrated short works. This collection features the world masterpiece Death in Venice, with its controversial passages now restored. You will find fresh relevance in the story of an aging writer’s uncontrollable and humiliating passion, and the other poignant tales included here. These works subtly explore the great themes of Mann’s fiction - his mythic fascination with sexual inhibition and artistic creativity. This translation, with its recreation of the intricate rhythms of the author’s language, virtually sings in an audio format. Paul Hecht’s lyrical narration makes the music and meaning of Mann’s writing more accessible than ever to modern ears.
©1998 Joachim Neugroschel (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC
Painter, musician, bibliophile...
Having done German to English and English to German translations myself, I particularly appreciated the late Joachim Neugroschel's brief explanation of the challenges he faced in translating Mann. As he said, "Each author has his melodies, and each style, each language, its own music." (Those who are not interested in this can easily chapter-skip to the first story!)
The collection includes: The Will for Happiness, Tristan, Little Herr Friedemann, Tobias Mindernickel, Little Lizzie, Gladius Dei, The Starvelings, The Wunderkind, The Harsh Hour, Tonio Kroeger, The Blood of the Walsungs, and Death in Venice.
Mann is not an easy author to read, and these stories and two novellas are not the light entertainment provided by some collections of short pieces. However, whether or not one likes what he has to say, he is a thought-provoking writer and rarely leaves one unmoved.
His characters are unlikely to be forgotten. Since I first read the stories many years ago, I have never forgotten the tragic figure of Friedemann , the incestuous twins Sieglinde and Siegmund Aarenhold, the religious zealot Hieronymous, or Kroeger, the "artist who must die to everyday life."
Paul Hecht's narration is wonderful, both in his characterizations and pronunciation of German. He was a joy to listen to from start to finish.
Mann in translation on audio is not easy to find, so if you've been curious about his writing, make this collection your introduction. Don't be put off by the reams of literary interpretations and speculations out there. Listen to the stories for yourself. You may be surprised at what you find.
The first paragraph explains how this classic writer is not often translated into contemporary english by a non academic. So here we have a telling of classic stories that convey in todays words what the essence of Mann meant when writing in an older Germany
So many of his characters are fllawed. That is what most of this is about, how an individual unravels... Classical excellence in writing, a necessary read for anyone who truthfully tries to understand their own thoughts.
This is his first performance I've heard. He did well with all the Germanic names and titles.
So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.
I'll spare the Comparative Literature review by saying this is a complex read, which I enjoyed very much most of the time, but I would not recommend to everyone.
Mann wasn't awarded the Nobel Prize for literature because he was a bad writer; you can rightly assume this is masterful writing, that the prose is absolutely beautiful--and at the same time often threatens to take over parts of the already elaborate stories, especially some of the soul-tortured characters' philosophical reflections/rantings. The stories themselves are bitingly haunting, full of symbolism, and read like decadent, excessive operas.
I don't mean to drop the name...but a basic knowledge of Nietzche, his philosophies, especially some familiarity with his The Birth of a Tragedy, would be very helpful in understanding the most often misunderstood, and controversial, elements of some of the stories in this small Thomas Mann collection (as would a brief acquaintance [Hello-Wikipedia] with the author's own life history). Enough said... I leave you, the reader and listener, to grapple with the decision of whether or not this might be up your alley.
The book is read well and it always has been a classic, but due to its short length, I forget what happens. So then I can read it again. The other short stories included with it are very, very good. Now if someone could read Dr. Faustus to me to make it understandable . . . . . .
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