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The Magic Mountain > Reading Schedule

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message 1: by Everyman (last edited Mar 17, 2013 11:11AM) (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments The discussion of The Magic Mountain will begin on March 27th. In the meantime, we're posting the reading schedule early so you can plan ahead.

There will be separate discussion threads for each section of the book (except that a few very short sections may be combined) so that you can share your thoughts on each section as you finish it even if you haven't finished all the reading for that week. We're assuming that all editions of the book have the sub-section titles. If yours doesn't, let us know.

Here's the planned schedule:

Mar27-Apr 2 -- Foreword through One Word Too Many
Apr 3-Apr 9 -- But of Course, a Female through Table Talk
Apr10-Apr16 -- Growing Anxiety through “My God, I See It”
Apr17-Apr23 -- Freedom through Research
Apr24-Apr30 -- Danse Macabre through Changes
May 1-May 7 -- Someone Else through An Attack Repulsed
May 8-May14 -- Operationes Spirituales through Snow
May15-May21 -- A Good Soldier through Vingt et un
May22-May28 -- Mynheer Pepperkorn (cont) through Fullness of Harmony
May29-Jun 4 -- Highly Questionable through end


message 2: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 6 comments Really looking forward to this, I have my copy at the ready!


message 3: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Moran | 83 comments Got my copy a week ago in the mail, not sure on the translator though.


message 4: by Jan (new)

Jan Littrell (janlittrell) | 17 comments I've only just gotten started with The Magic Mountain, but I can already tell it's going to be a wonderful read. My translator is John E. Woods.


message 5: by Jan (new)

Jan Littrell (janlittrell) | 17 comments Everyman--Be sure everyone realizes that you meant "March 27" above. Don't want anybody to think they have missed anything (if they don't continue to read down your message).


message 6: by Christine PNW (last edited Mar 17, 2013 11:21AM) (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) I am wondering about translation. Any that are recommended, and are any of the free (or under $5.00) e-versions any good?

Nevermind my question. I just checked amazon & it hasn't been released in ebook.


message 7: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Jan wrote: "Everyman--Be sure everyone realizes that you meant "March 27" above. Don't want anybody to think they have missed anything (if they don't continue to read down your message)."

OOps. Thanks! Will edit.


message 8: by Susan (new)

Susan | 22 comments What about translations and/or editions?


toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) | 186 comments just got my copy. So I'm in


message 10: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 6 comments Mine is the 1999 Vintage Classics edition, translated by H.T. Lowe-Porter. Includes a postscript by the author "The Making of The Magic Mountain".


toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) | 186 comments @Paul peszci snap. that's the edition I'm reading


message 12: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Paul 'Pezski' wrote: "Mine is the 1999 Vintage Classics edition, translated by H.T. Lowe-Porter. Includes a postscript by the author "The Making of The Magic Mountain"."

It will be good to have an alternate translation being read. I think we may even have a few readers reading it in German!


message 13: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Paul 'Pezski' wrote: "Mine is the 1999 Vintage Classics edition, translated by H.T. Lowe-Porter. Includes a postscript by the author "The Making of The Magic Mountain"."

Does your edition include the section titles? (They may read a bit differently from those in the Woods translation; if it's confusing, ask.


message 14: by Lily (last edited Mar 18, 2013 08:15AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 5057 comments At least for those with the Everyman's Library (hardback) edition translated by J.E. Woods, the following page numbers may be of use:

(view spoiler)

I don't know how closely other editions may track.


message 15: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Lily wrote: "At least for those with the Everyman's Library (hardback) edition translated by J.E. Woods, the following page numbers may be of use: ..."

Just for peoples' information, we're averaging about 85 pages a week, though in order to end each week at the end of a full section some are a bit longer and some a bit shorter.


message 16: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 6 comments Everyman wrote: Does your edition include the section titles? (They may read a bit differently from those in the Woods translation; if it's confusing, ask.

Glad you brought that up; my headings vary considerably - sometimes obviously, "Dance of Death" instead of "Danse Macabre", others entirely different, and there seem to be extra chapters between some of the sections you listed. I'm sure I'll be able to work it out, although I may ask if I get lost, thank you. And there's always the ever-useful Wikipedia!


message 17: by Wendel (new)

Wendel (wendelman) | 609 comments I will be with you for a few weeks until we leave for The land of Dante :).
I will be reading a PDF from a German edition. Maybe we could open a Background & Resources thread?


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

I just finished my first read through over the weekend. I am posting this not to boast but, rather, to encourage others who may be "on the fence" or intimidated by the book to give it a try.

For me, it helped to just give myself to the flow of the narrative (a theme we will be aware of, itself, early in the discussion) and not worry too much about the parts that went over my head. I am sure that the discussion with more experienced readers will shed light on those more abstruse arguments.

This truly is a novel of growth. On page 47 I wrote a note to myself: "If the next 650 pages don't mature this callow youth, I will shoot myself." On page 641 I wrote, simply: "WOW. See page 47."

So, again, for anyone with doubts, I encourage you to begin the climb. With Everyman and Thomas as our guides, and seeing already some of the others who are joining in, I believe our ascent of the Magic Mountain will be both enjoyable and rewarding.


message 19: by Jim (new)

Jim Zeke wrote: "This truly is a novel of growth. On page 47 I wrote a note to myself: "If the next 650 pages don't mature this callow youth, I will shoot myself." On page 641 I wrote, simply: "WOW. See page 47.".."

Thanks for sharing that. I'm inspired by your story!


message 20: by Christina (new)

Christina (cjcourt) | 26 comments Still struggling through Paradisio, but I'm excited to climb this mountain too! :-)

I borrowed Essays on Thomas Mann by Georg Lukács from the library to get me into the right frame of mind.


message 21: by Lily (last edited Mar 18, 2013 08:31AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 5057 comments Paul 'Pezski' wrote: "...there seem to be extra chapters between some of the sections you listed...."

Paul -- Mann has used a seven chapter organization with sections that seem rather like short chapters within that overall structure. I believe we will see reasons for that seven chapter construction -- the (sub)sections still have me confused. There are many short ones near the beginning of the book, which almost feel like a way of drawing the reader into the story in short steps before demanding more from that reader. I discovered today that my copy (not the same edition as yours) does have a table of contents, which I had missed. I had actually worked through the book trying to capture the various titles, but was glad to find the TOC, because I'd overlooked a few when scanning, even though this edition has section names in the header, a nicety seldom provided in books any more (cost, one publisher once explained to a group of us on another forum).


message 22: by Lily (last edited Mar 18, 2013 08:21AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 5057 comments Zeke wrote: "...This truly is a novel of growth. ...I believe our ascent of the Magic Mountain will be both enjoyable and rewarding...."

Back to Purgatorio, huh? lol.


message 23: by Jan (new)

Jan Littrell (janlittrell) | 17 comments My J.E. Woods translation exactly corresponds to the chapter headings provided.


message 24: by Adelle (new)

Adelle | 148 comments I've had a copy waiting for years. It's the Lowe-Porter translation.


message 25: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Paul 'Pezski' wrote: "...there seem to be extra chapters between some of the sections you listed..."

I just gave the starting and ending section headings for each week. Yes, there will be other sections inbetween them (that's why it says through). For example, the opening week is "Foreword through One Word Too Many." That includes the following sections:

Foreward
Arrival
Room 34
In the Restaurant
The Batismal Bowl/Grandfather in his Two Forms
At the Tienappels/Hans Castorp's Moral State
Teasing/Viaticum/Interrupted Merirment
Satana
Clarity of Mind
One Word Too Many

All of that only occupies 81 pages in the Woods edition. The later sections tend to be longer; for example, Snow is 35 pages long. And Operations Spirituales is another 34.


message 26: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Lily wrote: "Zeke wrote: "...This truly is a novel of growth. ...I believe our ascent of the Magic Mountain will be both enjoyable and rewarding...."

Back to Purgatorio, huh? lol."


I think the meaning of mountains and high places will be one of the issues we will want to discuss. When the time comes. [g]


message 27: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Moran | 83 comments H.T. Lowe-Porter is the translator in my edition.


message 28: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Moran | 83 comments Jan wrote: "My J.E. Woods translation exactly corresponds to the chapter headings provided."

Looks like I have the 1958 published by Alfred A. Knopf, and translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter. It has the Making of Magic Mountain at the end like Paul's '99 edition.


message 29: by Susan (new)

Susan | 22 comments I just found the Woods translation at the library and have it on request. Should have it by Thursday.


message 30: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 5057 comments Jonathan wrote: "Looks like I have the 1958 published by Alfred A. Knopf, and translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter. It has the Making of Magic Mountain at the end like Paul's '99 edition...."

That excellent article called to our attention by Paul and Jonathan (and others?) is available online at page 486 here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/31583019/Th...

The indication on the site is that not all documents continue to be available -- so be aware. Nonetheless, some readers might consider the essay to include spoilers, so also be aware of that possibility if you choose to read it.


message 31: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Moran | 83 comments Yeah, I will not read it until after I am done with the book. I hate reading any type of introduction, synopsis, or summary prior to reading a book. They give so much of the plot away. It is the author's story, let him tell it.


message 32: by Lily (last edited Mar 19, 2013 12:36AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 5057 comments Jonathan wrote: "Yeah, I will not read it until after I am done with the book. I hate reading any type of introduction, synopsis, or summary prior to reading a book. They give so much of the plot away. It is the au..."

Jonathon -- That is definitely a personal choice. I do sometimes avoid intros, et al, for the biases in interpretation they may bring. While this article, which indeed is the author's story, perhaps doesn't "give away" the plot, it does suggest what the reader has ahead. Personally, I seldom read novels of this depth for plot any more. But that is perhaps because I don't have enough lifetimes left to read them twice or thrice. And I love a fast-reading good read, too.


message 33: by Wendel (new)

Wendel (wendelman) | 609 comments Not much of a plot to give away, I presume. And no need to fear undue influence from the Making of. In my German edition the translation of Mann's Princeton lecture is even added as a second Preface, before the original Vorsatz.


message 34: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 232 comments Do we all want to have separate threads for each section? I found the individual canto threads for the Divine Comedy overwhelming to read through and would have found a consolidated weekly thread easier . . .


message 35: by Adelle (new)

Adelle | 148 comments That's a good question. Suddenly I wonder how Everyman plans to organize the discussion.

(Individual preferences vary so. ;) I had to laugh. For me, the individual canto threads were perfect and I would have found a weekly/ combined thread overwhelming.)

Well, however it's set up, I'll adjust. I started reading and i have my colored pencils active! Notes all over the margins.

It's odd. I read the first chapter last month and I didn't care for it at all. It was a chore to read.
Then I started over this week at the beginning and I find myself completely engaged and I find I really WANT to keep reading and thinking.


message 36: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Rosemary wrote: "Do we all want to have separate threads for each section? I found the individual canto threads for the Divine Comedy overwhelming to read through and would have found a consolidated weekly thread e..."

That's a fair question, as Adelle noted.

I should point out up front that Thomas is co-moderating the discussion, and he and I haven't yet gotten into detail about the specifics of how to organize the discussion, so what follows is just my view, and it may change if Thomas and I decide to do something different. But this is my thinking for the plan.

As to the Divine Comedy discussion, for me a consolidated weekly thread would have been very confusing, particularly with all the wonderful art that Lily was posting; trying to track all the art for seven cantos and trying to separate out the particular levels that a poster was talking about if all were merged in one thread would have seemed to diminish its status, make things much harder, at least for me. So for myself, I'm grateful for the way Laurel structured the discussion.

There are, however, several differences between the DC structure and what I am considering for MM.

First, the DC cantos were posted one per day, which I think worked fine, but I intend to post all the threads for each week's reading at the start of the week, so those who are ready can discuss the entire week's reading right away.

Second, there won't be nearly as many threads. Probably two or three per week. But I'm finding in my reading that the focus of each section, particularly as I get into the middle of the book, is quite different, and for some of the sections I think it would be confusing to be discussing several quite different concepts in one thread. That's not so true of the early sections, but I'm finding it very true of the later sections.

Third, and this isn't really different from the DC discussion but maybe is of more importance here, a thread won't be just for the discussion of that section, but of everything up to the end of that section. So if people are discussing a section in week three, it's not only fine but often very appropriate and valuable to relate the discussion back to earlier sections.

A minor point, but a factor, is that this is a book to be chewed over, not read quickly, and as people finish a section (or group of shorter sections) I want to give them the chance to discuss it right away without having to wait to finish the entire week's reading before being able to post about it without encountering spoilers from sections they haven't gotten to yet.

That said, don't expect a thread for every section. For example, the beginning sections are quite short, and will probably be condensed into a few threads.

But in the end, Thomas and I will try to be flexible as the discussion proceeds, and if an alternate way of structuring the discussion looks advisable, we will certainly be open to adapting the structure to make the discussion as interesting and productive as possible. And we will certainly be open to hearing any ideas that the group members can offer, either here or through Private Messages.


message 37: by Lily (last edited Mar 19, 2013 11:19AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 5057 comments Wendelman wrote: "Not much of a plot to give away, I presume. And no need to fear undue influence from the Making of. In my German edition the translation of Mann's Princeton lecture is even added as a second Prefac..."

Wendel -- you must have enjoyed this paragraph (no spoilers here):

"The Magic Mountain is a very German book, and that might be the reason foreign critics very much underestimated its universal appeal. A Swedish critic, member of the Swedish Academy, with a decisive voice in the Nobel Prize awards, told me in public, and very decidedly, that nobody would dare to venture a translation of this book in a foreign language, as it was absolutely unsuited to such a purpose. That was a false prophecy. The Magic Mountain has been translated into all the European languages, and, so far as I can judge, no other of my books has had an equal success—I may say with pride that this is especially the case in America."

These become the times when I wish I'd continued study of German -- the only foreign language from which I occasionally grasp tidbits when listening to an opera. We get to be jealous of you this round, like we are of Thomas and others on things classical.

Thomas Mann received the Nobel for Literature in 1929 (which cites Buddenbrooks rather than Magic Mountain). Magic Mountain was published in 1924. Lowe-Porter's translation seems to be 1927. So we can presume this distinguished gentleman (they were certainly all still men?) of the Nobel committee was speaking in that three year interim between 1924 and 1927?

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prize...

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prize...


message 38: by Thorwald (last edited Mar 19, 2013 01:40PM) (new)

Thorwald Franke | 215 comments Hello - I am new and I will read the book in German. I am amazed how many interested readers there are :-)

The Magic Mountain is the book for which Thomas Mann was awarded with the Noble Price for Literature, only this could not be said officially, because a member of the Noble committee did not agree. So the Noble committee said the Noble Price is for the Buddenbrooks ...

PS: It is Noble Prize, not Noble Price?


message 39: by Wendel (new)

Wendel (wendelman) | 609 comments Lily wrote: "We get to be jealous ..."

From where I live it may be just 50 km to the German border, but it's a real challenge for me to read this intimidating book in the original. I rely on Mann's tremendous sense of humour to pull me through.


message 40: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Thorwald wrote: "Hello - I am new and I will read the book in German."

Fantastic! Delighted to have you. I hope you'll be able to help clarify any passages that are particularly challenging in translation.


message 41: by Lily (last edited Mar 21, 2013 06:29AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 5057 comments Thorwald wrote: "The Magic Mountain is the book for which Thomas Mann was awarded with the Noble Price for Literature, only this could not be said officially, because a member of the Noble committee did not agree. So the Noble committee said the Noble Price is for the Buddenbrooks ......PS: It is Noble Prize, not Noble Price? "

Thorwald -- thanks for that tidbit! It seems consistent with other stories about the Academy's choices through the years. The Buddenbrooks mention on the official site surprised me. Besides, oft times the expressed view has been the prize is for an author's oeuvre, rather than a specific writing.

(The American spelling is Nobel Prize.)


message 42: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Moran | 83 comments All very interesting information. I am looking forward to a great discussion. Some of the groups I follow on here reserve their comments to things like: "I like or dislike this book because..." It seems like we will go more in depth.


message 43: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Jonathan wrote: "All very interesting information. I am looking forward to a great discussion. Some of the groups I follow on here reserve their comments to things like: "I like or dislike this book because..." It seems like we will go more in depth. ..."

Oh, most definitely! We have a group here of posters who love to really dig into these great books, and we have some wonderful exchanges, which to my great delight are vigorous but always respectful and courteous. For which I express my very great appreciation to all our great posters.


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

Mention of the Nobel Prize and brings up an amusing moment I had on Sunday.

Having finished Magic Mountain in the morning, I found myself in my local (independent!) bookstore looking for a "light" read. Much to my surprise, I ended up with a copy of Buddenbrooks in my hand for longer than I expected. In the end I put it back; simply couldn't imagine another 700 pages of German art. This is especially true since I have been saturated in Wagner's music, life and philosophy for the past several months.

Seriously, Buddenbrooks looks interesting, and I hope that, when relevant, people who know the book will comment about similarities/differences. Also, although I know it only from Britten's opera, it appears that Death in Venice will have some resonance as well.


message 45: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 5057 comments Zeke wrote: "Seriously, Buddenbrooks looks interesting, and I hope that, when relevant, people who know the book will comment about similarities/differences...."

Zeke -- It sits now on my stairs (apparently bought in the days of Borders closings and recently retrieved from where it was stored), and I am deeply tempted to read it rather than The Magic Mountain. A friend who has read it tells me it is a much easier read, a multi-generational story of his family and without the extent of metaphorical overlays of MM. It was written when Mann was only 27 years old and is considered brilliant with incredible insight for a person so young. (I'd enjoy comparing with early Fitzgerald and some of today's young talents.)

I want to find Mann's essay "The Reflections of a Non-Political Man," am hoping it is on the Net, haven't searched yet. Tonio Kröger is another, like Death in Venice, with resonance with MM. Both are novellas?


message 46: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Lily wrote: "...I am deeply tempted to read it rather than The Magic Mountain...."

Oh, dear. And I'm so looking forward to your contributions to the MM discussion.

"Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin." [g]


message 47: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 5057 comments Everyman wrote: "Oh, dear. And I'm so looking forward to your contributions to the MM discussion. ..."

Eman -- you're sweet! Thx. I've made the investment in a new hardcover MM and I don't do that lightly, so I suspect the discussion will be stuck with me. But, I will peek at BB.


message 48: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Lily wrote: "Eman -- you're sweet! Thx. I've made the investment in a new hardcover MM and I don't do that lightly, so I suspect the discussion will be stuck with me. But, I will peek at BB..."

I've had BB on my own TBR shelves for some time, but haven't gotten to it yet. But after MM, I plan to get to it within the year, since I'm finding Mann's writing so powerful.


message 49: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 20, 2013 04:01PM) (new)

That's another thing I like about this group--like Everyman, its members have TBR shelveS! Makes me feel a little less daunted by my own TBR pile.


message 50: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Moran | 83 comments I have far more TBR's than R's, but that is rapidly changing since I have joined Goodreads. My biggest problem before was that I had so many books to read, like 400 which I have purchased since last year when my Kindle went out, that I could not choose between them. For example, I would pick up the first Lord of the Rings book and think, "Well, I don't want to be stuck with this trilogy for the next 4-5 weeks, so I'll pick something else." Now that I have joined Goodreads, I just go with the monthly selection and I get a lot more classic reading done this way. Kind of nice!


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