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The Transposed Heads: A Legend of India

The Transposed Heads: A Legend of India

By Thomas Mann
Translated by Helen T. Lowe-Porter

The Transposed Heads is altogether delightful . . . It is certainly the most charming of Mann’s works . . . in short, a restatement in parable form of Mann’s intransigent faith in the human intellect. It is also a rich and subtle analysis of the psychology of friendship and love.”—Sewanee Review

From a Nobel Prize for Literature winner and one of the most iconic German writers of the 20th century, Transposed Heads is a beautiful story that explores the complex relationship between the spirit, body, and mind. Inspired by an ancient Hindu legend, Mann’s writes about two Indian friends, Shridaman and Nanda, whom together, decide to decapitate themselves. However, they awaken from their attempted suicides to find their heads restored, but to the wrong body. Now, Sita, the wife of Shridaman must determine the true meaning of identity as she navigates her own feelings as to which representation is her actual husband. As the love-triangle carries on, Mann shows just how entwined our mind, body, and spirit are.

128 pages
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1959
Originally published in 1940
4.3 x 7.2 inches
ISBN 9780394700861

$14.95 $14.95