Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Transposed Heads: A Legend of India” as Want to Read:
The Transposed Heads: A Legend of India
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Transposed Heads: A Legend of India

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  483 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
The novella, 'The Transposed Heads' is Thomas Mann's philosophical version of an Indian legend about the conflict between mind and body. In a twinned paroxysm, two friends, the intellectual Shridaman and the earthy Nanda, behead themselves. Magically, their severed heads are restored - but to the wrong body, and Shridaman's wife, Sita, is unable to decide which combination ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 12th 1959 by Vintage (first published 1940)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Transposed Heads, please sign up.

Recent Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Çağdaş T
Efsaneyi daha önceden bilmiyordum. Thomass Mann daha önce okumama karşın ilk 30 sayfada anlatımına zor alıştım, sonrasında akıp gitti. Malum olay yaşandıktan sonra kişilerin karakterlerinde beklemediğim belirgin değişiklikler yaşandı. Beğenmediğim ana unsur buydu.
Ana  Vlădescu
If this is a real Indian legend, there's something deeply unsettling about Indian culture. At the same time, it's fascinating to see how different motives are found all around the world.

Those "transposed heads" in the title refer to exactly that - the exchange of heads (or bodies, however you want to see it) between two of this short story's main characters. The two men fight over a woman that they're both in love with. One of them first saw her when she was little, and helped her with an India
Alberto D.
May 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Compared to other books by the same writer, a Nobel prize writer to boot, this book is simple and, with the exception of very few passages, is boring. There is a part, almost at the end of the book where Thomas Mann describes the life of hermits, when the book shows some promise, but it soon evaporates. I would dare to say that Hesse's Siddhartha is a much more refined and well done story. Mann's story revolves around a lady who loves two guys, the mind of one, and the body of the other. And, mi ...more
Bogdan Raț
Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it
To be honest I was a bit disappointed when the serenity had come to an end at the start of the 5th chapter - the narrator itself warns the reader not to be seduce by the calm, serene display of the events so far - but I have to give credit to Mann for doing that, because it was necessary in order to tell the story.
Maybe it's just me, but I was quite shocked about the violence displayed and I didn't react properly to the ironic.
A wonderful depiction of nature, meditation and beauty.
A brief but go
Damira Davletyarova
Jun 26, 2013 rated it liked it
This novel isn't the best way to get acquainted with Thomas Mann. If I didn't know much about Mann, I would be hesitant to pick up this author's book next time. But now I am reading his "Magic Mountain" and I love it!
Dario Andrade
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thomas Mann se aventura pelas terras indianas nesse Cabeças Trocadas, novela escrita em 1940. Inevitável não comparar com Herman Hesse, outro escritor de língua alemã, que também se envolveu com temas orientais. Penso aqui no Sidarta, um livro que me soou muito mais redondo. Mas esse Cabeças trocadas, se desigual, tem inegavelmente coisas interessantes. Se diferencia em vários sentidos de outras obras suas que li. Em resumo, há três personagens – dois homens e uma mulher – que se envolvem em um ...more
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edhasa
Es muy divertida, parodia el problema de un trío amoroso, y pone en duda la unión conyugal.
Ju Morais
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookshelf
That was actually my first book by Thomas Mann and I loved his writing. It’s poetic and beautiful. The story is magical and tragic. It wasn’t great but definitely not bad, and it’s quite short.
Alper Kumcu
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Değişen Kafalar, orijinal ismiyle Die Vertauschten Köpfe, Thomas Mann'ın tuhaf, kısa romanı. Romanı, anlattığı hikaye ve Thomas Mann'ı bu hikayeyi yeniden yorumlamakla bize anlatmak istedikleri olarak iki kısımda inceleyebiliriz. Değişen Kafalar uzun bir analizi hak ediyor. Ama ben kısa bir tanıtım yazacağım.

Hikayenin kendisi, isminden anlaşılabileceği gibi 12. yüzyılda geçen bir Hint efsanesi. Yüzeyde, Türkiye'deki yapımcılardan birine verirseniz size üç sezonluk bir yerli dizi çıkartacakları k
Oct 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
This folkloric, Hindu-light treatment of desire, loyalty and identity lacks the craft, gravity and heft of other Thomas Mann novels. His few prose outbursts in description of beauty or deity seem strained in their efforts to sound like products of a different literary tradition. Yes, the philosophy of India was exercising a noticeable pull on German thinkers around the time of Mann's composition and experimentation is fun; but Mann's homage doesn't seem particularly well informed or well execute ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Schoolboy's Diary and Other Stories
  • Empédocles
  • Peter Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte
  • Der arme Spielmann
  • The King and the Corpse: Tales of the Soul's Conquest of Evil
  • Haus ohne Hüter
  • The Thirtieth Year: Stories
  • Elde Var Hüzün
  • Плаха
  • 2150 A.D.
  • Gunnar's Daughter
  • Yılkı Atı
  • Deli Kurt
  • O ve Ben
  • Bay Düdük
  • Türklerin Tarihi: Pasifik'ten Akdeniz'e 2000 Yıl
  • Dikkat Vücudunuz Konuşuyor
  • Three Deaths
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

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