Saturday, June 14, 2014

Death in Venice

Death in Venice, by Thomas Mann

I knew nothing whatsoever about this novella (short story?) when I put it on my Classics Club list, except that it is quite famous.  And I figured someone would probably die in Venice.

Aschenbach is an older gentleman who has spent his life writing, especially about the arts, but now he has writer's block.  He decides to go to Venice, but once there, becomes infatuated with a young boy of about 12-14 vacationing with his family.  Aschenbach watches this boy every day, and even follows him around, but rarely speaks to him; instead, he thinks about Platonic treatises on love and so on.  His obsession tears down his moral sense, until, when a cholera epidemic hits Venice, he fails to warn the family because he can't stand to think of them leaving.  He pays the price when, just as they are leaving anyway, he succumbs to the plague himself.

Meh. 

3 comments:

cleopatra said...

Sounds weird.

I read Mann's The Magic Mountain and was left a little "meh" too, but perhaps I didn't really get it. It was riddled with philosophy and very long. I have his Buddenbrooks too, which I was going to give a try. I don't think I'll every like his writing but it would be nice to learn to appreciate something about it. Perhaps I'm asking too much though ….

Jenny @ Reading the End said...

Huh. That's the plot of Death in Venice? That is...not what I expected. Not great, Thomas Mann!

Jean said...

Yeah, it took me by surprise.