Mario and the Magician

Mario and the Magician

& other stories

Summary

Mann’s short stories explore his abiding interest in the split nature of humanity and the discordance of the world it inhabits. In ‘A Man and his Dog’, domestic tempests are symbols of the muddle of humanity. In ‘The Black Swan’, the demands of intellect clash with physical desires. And in ‘Mario and the Magician’ a young family on holiday in Italy encounters a creepy entertainer: Cipolla, a hypnotist with a fascist-like will to control his audience.

Written between 1918 and 1953, this collection shows the literary development of one of Germany’s most important writers.

Reviews

  • The greatest German novelist of the 20th century
    Spectator

About the author

Thomas Mann

Thomas Mann was born in 1875 in Lubeck, of a line of prosperous and influential merchants. He was only twenty-five when Buddenbrooks, his first major novel, was published. Before it was banned and burned by Hitler, it had sold over a million copies in Germany alone.

His second great novel, The Magic Mountain, was published in 1924 and the first volume of his tetralogy Joseph and his Brothers in 1933. In 1929 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. In 1933 Thomas Mann left Germany for Switzerland. Then, after several previous visits, in 1938 he settled in the United States, where he wrote Doctor Faustus and The Holy Sinner. Among the honours he received in the US was his appointment as a Fellow of the Library of Congress. He revisited his native country in 1949 and returned to Switzerland in 1952, where The Black Swan and Confessions of Felix Krull were written and where he died in 1955.
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