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La montagna incantata

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  43,691 ratings  ·  2,610 reviews
«La montagna incantata è un fedele, complesso, esauriente ritratto della civiltà occidentale dei primi decenni del Novecento e, nella sua incantata fusione di prosa e poesia, di vastità scientifica e di arte raffinata, è il libro, forse, più grandioso che sia stato scritto nella prima metà del secolo.» Con queste parole, un entusiasta Ervino Pocar concludeva l'introduzione ...more
Paperback, I grandi scrittori, 689 pages
Published January 27th 2011 by Corbaccio (first published 1924)
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Mark Hebwood I was asking myself this same question the entire time I was reading it. I think this novel is best enjoyed as a reading experience in itself, just as…moreI was asking myself this same question the entire time I was reading it. I think this novel is best enjoyed as a reading experience in itself, just as a piece of music is enjoyed in itself. I do not believe this novel is about anything, it is certainly not a novel of ideas, as some critics have claimed. Thomas Mann himself advised contemporaries to read it like an orchestral symphony, to follow common themes, and just let the narrative play. And I think if you try this, this actually works - so my answer would be that Mann wrote a piece of literature that can be "listened to", and that's all it needs to be.(less)
Mark Hebwood It's in French in the original German, too. This is a stylistic device - in the 19th century, French was the language of the educated classes, and it …moreIt's in French in the original German, too. This is a stylistic device - in the 19th century, French was the language of the educated classes, and it was entirely normal for other European nationals to converse in that language (compare, for example, the opening scenes in Tolstoi's War and Peace, or certain - shorter - passages in Buddenbrooks). Mme Chauchat is an educated Russian and speaks better French than German, and that is why Hans Castorp conducts his first ever conversation with her in French. But it is more than just form, it is also a stylistic device. If you examine the scene, you'll see that the HC's French contributions become longer and longer, until he delivers an impassioned monologue about his love for Chauchat, and the relationship between love, death, and the human body in general. That monologue is almost a page long, and by that time statements in German, which still shot through the French up till then, were totally crowded out. The idea here is, I think, to emphasise the "otherwordliness" of the scene, HC often makes reference to a dream, a realm in which he loses his inhibitions, and declares his love for Chauchat.(less)
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Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


It is dusk, and we are on a slim boat, similar to a black gondola and approach an isolated island. As I can make out better the shapes, I realize I have seen this before. The image in front of my eyes is like a black and white version of Arnold Bocklin’s painting and now I am transported to his Isle of the Dead. There is deep silence. I can only hear the very faint stirring of the water as the boat slides over it. Well no, there is also a faint melody which be
I am in a good mood today!

Which should be readily apparent, because if I were not, this book would probably have received only two stars from me—not as a reflection of its literary quality per se, but rather as a reflection of my own reaction to it.

Here is what happened yesterday: I finished this book and tossed it forcefully onto the coffee table next to me in what may be seen as a transparent attempt to attract attention to myself (which is something I tend to do often) and sure enough someone
Ahmad Sharabiani
(Book 706 From 1001 Books) - Der Zauberberg = The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann

The Magic Mountain is a novel by Thomas Mann, first published in November 1924. It is widely considered to be one of the most influential works of 20th century German literature.

The narrative opens in the decade before World War I. It introduces the protagonist, Hans Castorp, the only child of a Hamburg merchant family.

Following the early death of his parents, Castorp has been brought up by his grandfather and later, b
Vit Babenco
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some novels are like low hills… And some are like high mountains…
Love stands opposed to death – it alone, and not reason, is stronger than death. Only love, and not reason, yields kind thoughts.

The sanatorium is a powerful metaphor of civilisation – there is everything: love and hate, hope and despair, life and death, wisdom and stupidity, profanity and religion, science and ignorance, metaphysics and mysticism.
…our interest in death and illness is nothing but a way of expressing an interest in
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews

Imagine hiking up a steep mountain. You are not quite winning the game of hide & seek with the Sun and it has got its fiery eyes firmly on you. Your legs are chewing your ears off with incessant grumbling. With each step you take, a wish to flop down right there grows stronger. One of these steps carries you to a spot where a spectacular vista suddenly opens up before you. For the briefest moment, the scene in front of you consumes not only your vision, but your consciousness. It is only in the

You’re faced with a daunting task when you try to talk about The Magic Mountain – there are so many threads that to pull on one seems unfair to the others. For some it’s a meditation on time, for others it’s the foundational ‘sick-lit’ masterpiece; it’s an allegory of pre-First World War Europe, say one group of supporters; not at all, argue others, it’s a parody of the Bildungsroman tradition.

And yet despite the profusion of themes and ideas, this is a supremely contained book. ‘Insular’ you mi
Lance Greenfield
Oct 07, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
At the risk of being labelled a Philistine, I declare that this book is one of the most insufferably boring tomes that has ever made it onto my bedside table. I admit that I only struggled my way through the first 170 pages, but that was enough to convince me that I should not waste any more minutes of my precious life wading through any more of this drivel.

I know, I have also been chastised for criticising modern art in the same way. Tracey Emin's "Unmade Bed" and Thomas Mann's "The Magic Moun
Michael Finocchiaro
Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain: "An ordinary young man was on his way from his hometown Hamburg to Davos-Platz in the canton of Graubünden. It was the height of summer, and he planned to stay for three weeks."

Here we are introduced to Hans Castorp (one of my all-time favorite bumbling protagonists) with a load of telling adjectives. Mann insists that he is a young man (although he will act like an old man in many ways) and ordinary (and we will see that this was probably a fatal flaw in being t
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Socratic Dialogues

"The Magic Mountain" is a sequel to “Death in Venice”.

Just as Plato’s Socratic Dialogues were the foundation of the novella, they guide the narrative of "TMM", a "Bildungsroman" that is concerned with the education of the protagonist, Hans Castorp, during the seven year period from ages 23 to 30.

Castorp doesn’t so much learn or grow by his physical actions. The character development is intellectual, a development which is equally apparent in both the author and the reader.

Reviewed in December, 2013

I love when the themes of two books I happen to be reading overlap. And when those themes also reflect aspects of my own life experience, I feel a wonderful convergence, an exchange of awareness at an almost physical level as if the the space between the pages where the authors ideas are laid out and my reading of their pages has become porous and a continual flow happens between all three, an exchange not unlike the one that happens in the deepest tissues of the respir
Imagine being stuck in a place where all sense of time is lost in the web of inactivity, a place which enables people to lead a life devoid of any greater purpose and only focused on recuperation from a queer illness, a place almost hermetically sealed and self-controlled, successfully keeping the repercussions of wars and diplomatic feuds between nations at bay. Imagine being rid of all your earthly woes of finding means of survival and all the elements that stand as pillars supporting the norm ...more
RIP, 19th century!

What a journey it has been, following the slow death of a culture choking on tuberculosis before erupting in a communal suicide. While I was reading the last pages, my son played Schubert's song on the piano - the one that Hans Castorp sang on the muddy trails of world war insanity after seven years of slow motion tragedy.

Where the Zauberberg ends, Remarque's Im Westen nichts Neues takes up the thread and tells the sequel. And then Solzhenitsyn tells the sequel of the sequel
If you give this book a chance, and some long quiet hours with your full attention, you will be in the midst of incredible richness.

Wise, erudite, deeply engaged but titanically remote, grand, magisterial, ironic, cosmopolitan, comic in a sly gently mocking way.

They don't write 'em like this anymore. the title is onomatpoeic. The book itself is mountainous....some of the deepest philosophical prophecy on what the 20th Century was, and would become. The characters are allegorical, true, but the c
To read The Magic Mountain is to be wholly immersed in Hans Castorp’s little world, to really take part as Hans and his companions grapple with mankind’s dichotomies: life vs death, action vs intellect, reason vs emotion, naturalism vs mysticism, East vs West, god vs man, and, perhaps above all, love, that singular epitomic contradiction, that wonderful celebration of life, that raison d'être, which capriciously wields the power both to exult and to desolate.

The book’s characters - the wild and
Wimps in the Mist

Time is not a constant, said Einstein in 1916, and his fellow German Thomas Mann was like whoa. Eight years later he finished Magic Mountain, which proves that time is relative by making the experience of reading it last fucking forever.

Here is the "plot": Young Hans Castorp has found that he doesn't enjoy having a job, or anything else about life, so when he ambles up a mountain to visit his consumptive cousin Joachim who does nothing but sit around wrapped in a blanket all day
Lee Klein
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1997, in Jamaica Plain, Boston, ~4 am, mid-June, after a college friend's band that was blowing up at the time played the Middle East and everyone afterwards came back to our place, I remember a coolish girl on our porch saying to me something like "Oh, you like to read? I bet you like boring shit like The Magic Mountain." I don't remember my response but since then whenever I've thought of this book I've flashed to that scene and her assumption that only pretentious little fuckers read books ...more
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a contestant for the spot of my absolute favorite novel. The judgment is only being withheld due to the fact that I currently don't have a review for Of Human Bondage, so no accurate comparison can be made as of yet. However. It must be said that if the previous book gave me hope for the human condition, this one explosively revitalized my admiration for the human ideal.

Few people write like this nowadays. Most don't appreciate their world and its myriad ideas and o
Roy Lotz
Ah yes, irony! Beware of the irony that flourishes here, my good engineer.

In my freshman year of college, I took a literature course to fulfill a core curriculum requirement: Sexuality in Literature. It was a great class; we read Plato’s Symposium, Sappho’s poetry, the Song of Solomon, Sade, and Sacher-Masoch. But of all the great books we made our way through that semester, the one that most stuck with me was Mann’s collection of short fiction, which included Death in Venice.

I was a negl
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Seekers of the controversial currents of thought in the Nineteenth Century
Recommended to Dolors by: Thomas Mann
Impressions on my first reading of "The Magic Mountain" in 2009. Before GR

I finished this over-long book and I can only say I am not prepared to read it again, even if Thomas Mann himself asked me in person.
A complex book, philosophy, history and politics all mixed up with symbolism and irony. The author plays with the perception of time and the reader loses touch with reality. A swayed main character, too much of vain discourse and little sense.
I won't deny the singularity of the work, but I
T.D. Whittle
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
I am not going to review this book in any serious or analytical way. It's been reviewed by many clever readers already, over several generations and sprawling continents. It hardly needs my support. I am just going to offer my entirely subjective comments about what a great and thoroughly enjoyable read it is.

The plot should be familiar to Western readers by now, as this classic is a century old and much discussed in literary circles. However, in case you missed out, here's the synopsis from Goo
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

“The Hamlet of Europe now looks upon millions of ghosts” Paul Valery wrote. Elsinore is everywhere. “The time is out of joint” spoke Hamlet. And he gazed at laughing skulls and procrastinated and made colloquies with ghosts within the walls his cliffside castle. Hans Castorp also waits, lingers, decides not to decide, dallies with whether it is better to be or not to be, listens to his attendant spirits, weighs skulls in the palm of his hand while time pulses around him on great heights. But
Maru Kun
‘The Magic Mountain' was first published in 1924 and has as its hero the Everyman figure of Hans Castorp, whom Wikipedia tells us can be interpreted as Mann’s symbol for the Weimer Republic that was formed just five years earlier.

1924 was also a year when the body-politic was beginning to show some early signs of illness, of dark forces within its interior beginning to stir. And, just like that of Hans Castorp when he entered the Berghotel Sanatorium Schatzalp which is the stage for the events o
Adam Dalva
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A winter book - one of the strangest experiences I've had reading. It is a slow go without ever being remarkably difficult. I could never (except for the ending, which does ramp up) manage more than 50 pages in a day. And yet, as I became familiar with Mann's cadence and goals, there was a dizzy pleasure to it. This is the second piece of writing ever that has made me miss a subway stop - the first was "A Supposedly Fun Thing" - and, bizarrely enough, the precipitating moment was Hans Castorp as ...more
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The lure of death Edited Sep 2019

One of my all time favorites. The magic mountain symbolizes a community detached from the flatland, the normal values, duties, history, time, indulging in its physical closeness to and spiritual longing for sickness and death. Hans Castorp, after entering into this fatigued, detached, and self-perpetuating community, became increasingly obsessed with the romanticism of sickness and death, which he considered noble. Mann not only associated sickness death with dec

I know I'm not the only person who's had The Magic Mountain (1924) on the shelf (figuratively speaking, in my case*) for a few years, occasionally glancing over at it and wondering what the experience of reading it is like, whether it's worthwhile, what its deal is. So now that I've read it, I feel some degree of responsibility to send back word from the summit. It probably couldn't hurt at the outset then to mention two thematically-relevant songs that kept playing in my head throughout the cli
The context is that of a society where work was how one asserted oneself, one truly existed. Only respect for hard work, which had almost a divine nature, made a man worthy of interest.
This initiatory tale highlights the pure, modest, and naive nature of an orphan preparing for studies. His hazardous passage through a sanatorium represents a discovery of human nature.
The biting, learned, disturbed and depressed residents teach him a lot about illness, death, and the human condition. Distress is
E. G.
Translator's Note

--The Magic Mountain

The Making of 'The Magic Mountain'
Katia N
Feb 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a borderline somewhere between the physical reality and the reality of mind. It is by design a symbol and the object of time. The time it takes to read this novel is paced by the narrative itself. One cannot speed it up or slow it down. It possess its own life, its own time span and one needs to live it through if one is to read it.

I’ve tried to read it once before and got out of its hermetic world before properly getting in. I did not have Hans Castorp’s patience, fascination or p
Aug 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those with patience and perseverance
Recommended to Lawyer by: The Thomas Mann Group
The Magic Mountain: Thomas Mann's Ambiguous Bildungsroman

Ah, Thomas Mann, you have held me captive from a hot summer's day in August until I have begun to see the first hints of color tinging the leaves with a hue that will lead to their fall and ultimate decay. You have occupied my thoughts during long days and nights. I do not know whether to bless you or curse you, for I recognize how precious time is. At times the tick of the clock sounds ominous.

At its most basic level Mann tells us of the
Nov 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I just finished Thomas Mann's Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain, tr. John Woods), and without a doubt it is among the five best works of literature that I have ever read. Covering more than 700 densely-packed pages, it is not for the light of heart, but provides ample reward for the tenacious reader. Published in 1924 and winning the Nobel Prize for literature in 1929, The Magic Mountain should reside on your shelf next to The Brothers Karamazov, The Persian Letters, The Sorrows of Young Werthe ...more
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James Mustich's 1...: The Magic Mountain — June 2021 9 18 Sep 22, 2021 09:40AM  
Reading 1001: The Magic Mountain-Thomas Mann 6 32 Apr 28, 2021 05:45PM  
Usage of Hans Castorp’s full name throughout the book 2 11 Mar 07, 2021 02:16PM  
Reading 1001: The Magic Mountain 1 20 Oct 13, 2020 05:33PM  
The Thomas Mann G...: Music in The Magic Mountain 32 126 Apr 01, 2020 06:32PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Correction 3 36 Oct 27, 2019 11:36AM  

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Serbian: Tomas Man

Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and Nobel Prize laureate in 1929, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psycholo

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