Author(s): Thomas Mann
Death in Venice is a story of obsession. Gustave von Aschenbach is a successful but ageing writer who travels to Venice for a holiday. One day, he notices an exceptionally beautiful young boy who is staying with his family in the same hotel. Soon Aschenbach’s days begin to revolve around seeing this boy and he is too distracted to pay attention to the ominous rumours of disease spreading through the city. This volume includes six additional stories: Little Herr Friedemann; The Joker; The Road to the Churchyard; Gladius Dei; Tristan; and Tonio Kröger.
'A story of the voluptuousness of doom' Thomas Mann
"The real theme is fading creativity and the search for inspiration...A deep and highly complex drama of the psyche" Financial Times "This complex fin-de-siecle masterpiece...seems eerily to pre-echo the destructive decadence that would shortly shatter European civilisation itself" The Times "Thomas Mann's story of obsession and spiritual malaise" Observer "What Mann understands and laughs at, though it grips him, is the quasi-sexual attraction of beauty and philosophy...Death in Venice is one of the undisputed classics of contemporary European literature" Independent "Mann's obsessive story explores the complex, haunted relationship between an ageing writer and a beautiful Polish boy" Express
Thomas Mann was born in 1875 in Lubeck, of a line of prosperous and influential merchants. Mann was educated under the discipline of North German schoolmasters before working for an insurance office aged nineteen. During this time he secretly wrote his first tale, Fallen, and shortly afterwards he left the insurance office to study art and literature at the University of Munich. After a year in Rome he devoted himself exclusively to writing. 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 to live in 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 recieved in the USA 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.