Jerzy's Reviews > Death in Venice and Other Tales

Death in Venice and Other Tales by Thomas Mann
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's review
Mar 14, 2010

it was ok

I guess I do not have the proper background to understand this book on my own, and it didn't grip me enough to bother to read up on the background.
The language was too dry for me to be able to tell whether the author is serious or ironic when he seems to be talking about how amazing and deep artists are, and how their lives and struggles are so important and set them apart from mere mortals.
If he's serious, then -- ugh and ick. You're just another dude who writes books, okay? Take yourself and your art with a grain of salt.
The main character seems to believe that "moral resoluteness transcends knowledge" i.e. it's more important to follow strict unambiguous morals than to be compassionate. I *think* Mann is poking fun at such people -- if so, then great, I agree they're silly.
And he does have a great descriptions of how the main character feels when he's on holiday, feels sick and decides to leave Venice, but then regrets it immediately and is happy when his luggage gets lost so he has an excuse not to leave after all. I can relate to regretting a hasty travel decision and wishing it wouldn't pan out somehow.
But the pedophilia just creeps me out. If the book weren't so short I probably wouldn't have finished it.

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