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Thomas Mann: New Selected Stories

Thomas Mann: New Selected Stories

Thomas Mann: New Selected Stories

By Thomas Mann
Translated by Damion Searls

"In this vigorous new version . . . Searls takes pains to bring Mann’s decades-old prose to life without anachronism or false breeziness . . . A well-chosen, confidently translated gathering of stories that casts new light on its author."―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Searls infuses the prose of Nobel laureate Mann (1875–1955) with momentum and energy in this excellent collection. English-language readers will find the humor and digressive appeal of Mann’s prose enhanced... A well-chosen excerpt from the novel Confessions of a Con Artist, by Felix Krull exhibits a connection between the title character, a peripatetic young man, and Mann’s other protagonists: “What a royal gift the imagination is, and what pleasure it affords us!” Felix narrates. Throughout, the characters are linked by their unspeakable desires, and their inner worlds are just as significant as, and often more so than, their actions. Scholars as well as those new to Mann will find much to appreciate in Searls’s stimulating approach."―Publishers Weekly

Sparkling new translations highlight the humor and poignancy of Mann’s best stories―including his masterpiece, in its first English translation in nearly a century.

A towering figure in the pantheon of twentieth-century literature, Thomas Mann has often been perceived as a dry and forbidding writer―“the starched collar,” as Bertolt Brecht once called him. But in fact, his fiction is lively, humane, sometimes hilarious. In these fresh renderings of his best short work, award-winning translator Damion Searls casts new light on this underappreciated aspect of Mann’s genius.

The headliner of this volume, “Chaotic World and Childhood Sorrow” (in its first new translation since 1936)―a subtle masterpiece that reveals the profound emotional significance of everyday life―is Mann’s tender but sharp-eyed portrait of the “Bigs” and “Littles” of the bourgeois Cornelius family as they adjust to straitened circumstances in hyperinflationary Weimar Germany. Here, too, is a free-standing excerpt from Mann’s first novel, 
Buddenbrooks―a sensation when it was first published. “Death in Venice” (also included in this volume) is Mann’s most famous story, but less well known is that he intended it to be a diptych with another, comic story―included here as “Confessions of a Con Artist, by Felix Krull.” “Louisey”―a tale of sexual humiliation that gives a first glimpse of Mann’s lifelong ambivalence about the power of art―rounds out this revelatory, transformative collection. black-and-white frontispiece. 

272 pages
Liveright, 2023
6.3 x 1 x 9.4 inches
ISBN 9781631498480     
Short Stories, Literature

$30.00 $30.00