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Tonio Kröger

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  5,377 ratings  ·  219 reviews
A title in the Bristol Classical Press German Texts series, in German with English notes, vocabulary and introduction. Thomas Mann (1875-1955), was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1929, and "Tonio Kroger" occupies a central position in his spiritual and artistic development. A study of youth, it draws together many strands of his life and work: the duality of his ...more
Paperback, 67 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Bristol Classical Press (first published 1903)
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Luís C.
The author presents us with gusto, in this very short novel, typical moments of ideals by existential growth of a bourgeois artist named Tonio Kröger.
The latter, tossed by the winds and tides where the boat of his existence bathes, faces his anguish, preserving as best he can the unstable equilibrium of his sensitive soul.
He takes both reflection and immediacy seriously, persisting almost heroically in keeping them both in existential tension, instead of unifying them into a comfortable gloom.
Buddenbrooks redux.

I can not really imagine anyone reading this for pleasure. As a piece of literature it is as dull as ditchwater, and just as murky.
It starts engagingly enough. Tonio falls in love, first with Hans, then with Inge. Both represent that class of good, solid, decent Northern citizen that Tonio admires so much, those who live their lives as unselfconsciously as the flowers of the field and the birds of the air, without reflection, without self-doubt. Tonio himself, as his name
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elham by: Luís C.
Shelves: classics, germany
Tonio Kröger is the first work that I read of Mann's world. I am glad I did.
An autobiographical novel in which profound, artistic and literary character of Thomas Mann is demonstrated in the form of unaccepted loves, first in his childhood (Hans Hansen) and second in his adolescence (Ingeborg Holm), both blondes with blue eyes who could never understand the melancholic, poetic face of an artist. As he grows up, in his thirty, Tonio Kröger who is now a great literary writer rediscovers his
Wiebke (1book1review)
We read Tonio Kröger in School and I hated it, so I wanted to see if I liked it better this time. And no, I didn't. Tonio was just as annoying as when I was a teenager.
I also read Mario und der Zauberer, for the first time, and it turned out to be very tiring. I don't know, I guess Thomas Mann is not for me.

I could see how well he portrayed character, atmosphere and personalities in his writing, but somehow it kept putting me to sleep.
“ich stehe zwischen zwei welten, bin in keiner daheim und habe es infolge dessen [sic!] ein wenig schwer.”

read this in german, translation in the english edition according to goodreads: “i stand between two worlds. i am at home in neither, and i suffer in consequence.”

had to read this for school and probably wouldn’t have done so otherwise because it isn’t really my cup of tea and what i enjoy reading in my free time. the characters were dull and the lack of plot got tedious after a while. i
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Are you feeling detached, isolated, generally not understood by the majority of your social surroundings. Do not despair for you are actually not alone. Tonio Kroger is one of your friends, a fellow Artist burdened with the weight of describing the universe without taking part into it.
This novella celebrates Artistry, its agonies and ecstasies, as opposed to a life of mere living and bourgeois shallow certainties.

“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“i stand between two worlds. i am at home in neither, and i suffer in consequence.”

This is the first work of Mann that I read, and I totally loved it!
I think anyone can relate to Tonio and his feelings of detachment, loneliness and incomprehension.
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
The alienation of the artist, the sense of "not belonging", all felt really flat and cliché to me. I really liked the beginning with Hans Hansen and the protagonist as kids. It felt real and fresh. However, I did not quite enjoy how the story progressed. It did not feel compelling. The conversation Tonio has with his artist friend seems like a bunch of common places and broodings of someone who clearly lacks an occupation. The idea that artists live aside from the world of common people has to ...more
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This short novel, written in 1901, is the story of a writer's struggle for meaning and fulfillment in life and art. His artistic pursuits alienate him from the perceived joys of ordinary life. The people he admires the most are socialites who have no interest in art. He is drawn to their physical beauty (as defined by the northern German culture of the late 1800s) and awed by their social confidence. Though he has committed himself to the creative life, and knows his works will be recognized, he ...more
Lily ☁️
Actual rating: 1.5 stars

DNF at 23%.

If you know me at all, you know that I hate giving up on books. However, I'm not the most patient person in the world, and when it comes to books I don't particularly enjoy, I've learned not to finish books just for the sake of it. After all, time is precious, and you shouldn't waste it on books that don't satisfy you, when there are so many others on your to-read list that probably will.

Just for future reference, I will put down a few words, just to remind
Song Yee
Dec 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
There is a solid reason why Mann's my favorite: he pores into his characters so deeply that I fall in love with every single one of them.
Jul 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
“Tonio Kröger” must be one of Thomas Mann’s most amiable short stories. Wherever he goes, the improbably named Tonio always feels out of place and yearns to belong like “everyone else”. On the one hand, Tonio is driven to fulfill his destiny as a writer, presumably an inheritance from his vivacious dark-eyed Mediterranean mother, and on the other hand, Herr Kröger longs to fit into his North German hometown, like his respectable blond, blue-eyed father.

It takes a jibe from another member of the
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well, yesterday I went with Julia (the woman I live with at the moment) in the Alte Donau sidewalk, which in Vienna (where I live now) is the Danube's old sidewalk. Beautiful spots were you can lay on old wooden docks; yesterday here was very sunny, the river was calm, and among plays of light and shade birds were chirping, people sunbathing, reading, sleeping, playing chess, and so on and so on...
There, cradled by the Danube's lullaby, I was reading this book.
And I have a Latin mother.
And I
Priscila Jordão
Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: alemã
There is an echo through the works of great authors: they repeat theirselves on and on. Sometimes profoundly, others not that deep, their writings frequently surround the same themes.

It's not different in this novel. Tonio Kroeger pre-announces some of Mann's greatests concerns to be better developed later in his short stories and romances.

The passage of time, solitude, the artist's exile from reality and maybe even homossexuality are some of what we'll find here as Mann introduces us to Tonio
Victor Bevz
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
So far I've only read the English translation, but the skill of the writing was in the imagery of tension. The mortal ultimatum of "icy intellect and scorching sense" is enough to summon up the suffering artist in anybody.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"What I have done is nothing, not much—as good as nothing. I shall do better things, Lisaveta—this is a promise. While I am writing, the sea's roar is coming up to me, and I close my eyes. I am looking into an unborn and shapeless world that longs to be called to life and order, I am looking into a throng of phantoms of human forms which beckon me to conjure them and set them free: some of them tragic, some of them ridiculous, and some that are both at once—and to these I am very devoted. But my ...more
Carme Diem
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favourite book ever. I love the way in which Thomas Mann writes, he is telling you a story with a philosopher eye and an aestethicism one. The way in which he sees sufferance as part of art, the biggest part of the artist sense, the deep entrance to the abyss of existence, is just stunning. Somebody taught me to take quotes from good books, those phrases or sentences that make an echo to your heart, I was unable to do it from this book so I choose to took the entire book as a ...more
E Azra
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
That was very cool. I like it so much, I wish that, this story should be more longer
Oct 20, 2014 rated it liked it
From the beginning of the novella, Tonio, the product of an un-poetic businessman and his exotic, alien wife, is conflicted. His desire to be an artist is at odds with his desire for a more pedestrian, bourgeois life. The beginning of the novella concentrates on his two early loves: Hans, a blond athletic specimen of a normal boy who reads books about horses not poetry, and Ingebord, the female equivalent of Hans. Eventually Tonio leaves both behind and is left wondering whether or not he is ...more
Jan 14, 2015 rated it liked it
In his speech during the Nobel award ceremony, Thomas Mann said about "Tonio Kröger":
Als junger Mensch habe ich eine Erzählung geschrieben, die immernoch jungen Menschen wohlgefällt, den Tonio Kröger. Sie handelt vom Süden und vom Norden und von der Mischung beider in einer Person: einer konfliktvollen und produktiven Mischung. Der Süden, das ist in dieser Geschichte der Inbegriff alles geistig-sinnlichen Abenteuers, der kalten Leidenschaft des Künstlertums; der Norden dagegen der Inbegriff
Akemi G.
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-fiction
A coming-of-age novella. Short & sweet. I identify with Tonio's feeling of marginalization . . . I am not a mix-blood, but I happen to be bilingual.

I suggest you read this along with Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther. Both are written by German authors, both are about the young protagonist's life and love. As you can see by the number of stars, I like Tonio better, but I'd love to hear your opinion.

(I read this, and Werther, in Japanese translation. English translation should be
Oct 10, 2016 rated it liked it
As veiled autobiography, Tonio Kröger is the left side of the book end, while "Death in Venice" the other. As a young man, TK is split by his parentage of the phlegmatic North and passionate South. In charting events of his upbringing and passage through young adulthood, TK accepted the calling of being a bourgeoise artist, a reconciliation between two temperaments. The story is told in several vignettes and conversations. The story resonates with the other stories in Mann's early work in its ...more
Nov 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: germany
I missed these long, sprawling sentences
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Some paragraphs are pure emotional truth genius that nothing less than five stars could apply.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
The simple fact is that I really like the work of Thomas Mann, but it usually takes me by surprise that I do. I have read quite a few of his books but not really any critical response to his writing, so this is an attempt to express my sense of his writing, and consider how it relates to the time he was working in.

I feel always reading Mann's work that there is a strange cold-blooded quality about it, that he is not just observing and describing the scene, but that he is holding himself so far
Joshua Guest
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tonio Kroger is the story of a young artist who grows up among common folk and has both love for his hometown and a contempt for their prosaic lives. He goes to live in the city to be among the artists living la vie Boheme. Tonio finds that he can’t stand to live among the Bohemian artists and returns to his hometown where he has the realization that even though he looks down upon his hometown, his love for them was real and he realizes the nobility and dignity of the common.

Loved it. Looking
Alexa Gi
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am not critic. I am just an avid reader. I have discovered Tomas Man at the age of 10 and I loved his work then and now (i m 27 ) . All I can say is that certain authors are not for everyone. Tomas Mann is one of them. If you are looking for summer reading .. for- get- it . This book is not for you .
Julius Light
Read this if you aspire to be an artist, to take that cold fruitless demeanor and slather it with an artless endeavor for the life, for the bright ones who dance in three-fourths, if you long for your same parents and for perhaps a degradation or uplifting of humanity within yourself.
Kathrin Peters
Nov 09, 2018 rated it liked it
The language is beautiful but it is too self-absorbed for me to give it more than three stars. The conflict between artist and bourgeois is too auto-biographical for me to make this a work of universal quality.
Lara Labric
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book so much! It really struck a chord with me.. I can relate to Tonio Krögers struggle between the 'art world' and the 'real world' and I will definitely re-read this one!
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

See also:
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
“I stand between two worlds. I am at home in neither, and I suffer in consequence. You artists call me a bourgeois, and the bourgeois try to arrest me...I don't know which makes me feel worse.” 36 likes
“Whoever loves the more is at a disadvantage and must suffer” 20 likes
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