Death in Venice

Death in Venice is Thomas Mann’s most famous - and infamous - novella. Published in 1912, it’s about the fall of the repressed writer Gustav von Aschenbach, when his supposedly objective appreciation of a young boy’s beauty becomes sexual obsession. It explores the link between creativity and self-destruction, and by the end Aschenbach’s humiliation is complete, dying on a deckchair in the act of ogling. Aschenbach’s stalking of the boy and dreaming of pederasty can appal modern readers, even more than Mann expected.

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  • Karolina Watroba No other episodes
    Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Modern Languages at All Souls College, University of Oxford
  • Erica Wickerson No other episodes
    Former Research Fellow at St Johns College, University of Cambridge
  • Sean Williams No other episodes
    Senior Lecturer in German and European Cultural History at the University of Sheffield

Reading list

  • "Der Tod in Venedig" and the Triadic Structure
    Alan Bance (Forum for Modern Language Studies, 1972) Google Books →
  • Approaches to Teaching Mann's Death in Venice and Other Short Fiction
    Jeffrey B. Berlin (ed.) (Modern Language Association, 1992) Google Books →
  • Global Intimations: Cultural Geography in Buddenbrooks, Tonio Kroger, and Der Tod in Venedig
    Elizabeth Boa (Oxford German Studies, 2006)
  • Fear of Form: Thomas Mann's Der Tod in Venedig
    Edward S. Brinkley (Monatshefte, 1999) Google Books →
  • Critical Essays on Thomas Mann
    Inta Ezergailis (ed.) (G. K. Hall, 1988) Google Books →
  • "Myth plus Psychology": a style analysis of Death in Venice
    Andre von Gronicka (Germanic Review, 1956) Google Books →
  • Thomas Mann: Eros and Literature
    Anthony Heilbut (Papermac, 1997) Google Books →
  • Taboos in German Literature
    David Jackson (ed.) (Berghahn, 1996) Google Books →
  • The Cambridge Introduction to Thomas Mann
    Todd Kontje (Cambridge University Press, 2010) Google Books →
  • Death in Venice and Other Stories
    Thomas Mann (trans. David Luke) (Vintage Publishing, 2001) Google Books →
  • Der Tod in Venedig
    Thomas Mann (ed. T. J. Reed) (Bloomsbury, 1998) Google Books →
  • Death in Venice: Making and Unmaking a Master
    T. J. Reed (Twayne, 1994) Google Books →
  • Thomas Mann: The Uses of Tradition
    T. J. Reed (Oxford University Press, 1996) Google Books →
  • The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Mann
    Ritchie Robertson (ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 2001) Google Books →
  • The Psychological Reality of Myth in Der Tod in Venedig
    Heidi M. Rockwood and Robert J. R. Rockwood (Germanic Review, 1984) Google Books →
  • Tonio Kroger and Der Tod in Venedig: From Bourgeois Realism to Visionary Modernism
    Richard Sheppard (Oxford German Studies, 1989-90) Google Books →
  • Thomas Mann's Death in Venice: A Novella and Its Critics
    Ellis Shookman (Camden House, 2003) Google Books →

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, Death in Venice is Thomas Mann's most famous novella.