Becca's Reviews > Death in Venice and Other Tales

Death in Venice and Other Tales by Thomas Mann
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Mar 26, 09

Read in March, 2009

In 'Death in Venice', Thomas Mann allows his readers to view a respectable man's descent into madness, into a dark, disturbing obsession where reason and logic have no impact on actions - where passion reigns sovereign... and it's jarring to *witness*.

The story begins with such attention taken to establish the story's protagonist (*Gus von A*) as hyper-disciplined, possessing the utmost aplomb and self-mastery - only to have him come undone as the book progresses.

This is one of those stories where syntax and diction play as much a part in the reader's investment as does the plot itself. Mann's sentences are at first long, and intricate - with far too many dependent clauses (seriously, try to diagram some of these suckers!)... but by the story's end, peppered amongst the ornate are an equal number of staccato phrases (often the protagonist's hurried and ill-considered decisions to act on whim).

I love the art of writing and Mann's style is the equivalent of literary porn. The subject matter isn't lacking scandal either. GREAT read. It's short enough to read quickly, but why rush. Savor it a bit.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Keely (new)

Keely I'm curious what you mean when you say the syntax and diction don't play a part in the reader's investment. If they mirror the narrator's psychological progress from ornate and distant to simplistic and emotional, wouldn't the textual structure then be progressing the tone?


Becca Keely wrote: "I'm curious what you mean when you say the syntax and diction don't play a part in the reader's investment. If they mirror the narrator's psychological progress from ornate and distant to simplisti..."

That's actually the opposite of what I say. We're agreeing. The writing style lends itself to the subject matter.


message 3: by Keely (new)

Keely It seems my eyes were playing tricks on me. Perhaps it's time I went to bed.

Thanks for setting me straight.


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