The Magic Mountain 2020 discussion

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Week Two --- Read to half-way point

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't know what the half-way point is in everyone's book, but just calculate the page numbers


message 2: by tortoise (new)

tortoise dreams (tortoise_dreams) | 4 comments For me a good goal will be to read to the end of Ch. 5 (close to halfway), as that will leave a chapter a week for the rest of the novel (I assume the book is structured the same regardless of language). That way I can keep the chapters together.


message 3: by Nadine (new)

Nadine | 5 comments I have tried. But 41% into the book, I’m giving up. It’s simply not for me.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Nadine wrote: "I have tried. But 41% into the book, I’m giving up. It’s simply not for me."
Nadine, believe it or not I think I am feeling very much the same right now.


message 5: by tortoise (new)

tortoise dreams (tortoise_dreams) | 4 comments Oh! Thank you! I'm so glad it's not just me. I'm still plodding along, but only because of criminal stubbornness. Trying not to be negative, but I'm unsure who the audience for this book would be ...


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

so far I feel like we're all sitting in a circle looking at each other going: "this book sucks right? RIGHT? please? someone?"


message 7: by Nadine (new)

Nadine | 5 comments Actually... I was going to comment after the end of the reading challenge. But I might as well now.
I don’t know whether the book sucks or not. It makes me uncomfortable. But it contains nuggets of wisdom that you have to work a lot at getting to.
One issue has to do with the French translation. It was done in the 30s, close to the publication of the book. Being a translator myself (albeit not a literary translator), there are instances when I’ve questioned the choice of words (doesn’t make sense) or editing (or lack of), and translation from German is a difficult endeavour. A more translation has been published.
The book is a reflection of the society of its time, in particular the science: space and time, medicine, psychology. I love Dottore Settembrini and his humanism. But the universe of that sanatorium, which I found so promising at the beginning, as representing the breadth and diversity of « real life », as compared to the staid, well-oiled life of the young man, ended up being too uncomfortable for me in many ways.


message 8: by Nadine (new)

Nadine | 5 comments * a more recent translation.
*in many ways.


message 9: by Salla (new)

Salla | 5 comments I read to the end of Chapter 5 for last week and intend to read a chapter a week for the rest of the book. In a weird way, I enjoy the book! I don't struggle with it, and actually find the philosophical aspects quite intriguing. It is slow and nothing happens, but somehow I think it's the point? Maybe the book tries to make the reader feel like they are also in the sanatorium, losing the concept of time (or being painfully aware of it?).

I am reading the book in Finnish alongside the original text, and it seems that some parts have been left out or rearranged. The Finnish edition is 724 pages while the German version is 900 pages which seems quite big a difference and nothing is mentioned in the book of it being abridged.


message 10: by Nadine (new)

Nadine | 5 comments Interesting. The French translation is 975 pages long, and the pages are very densely packed.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

okay so I'm starting to consider that maybe the English translation is not the best because everyone reading in English is having different feelings from other languages....interesting... .


message 12: by Neenah (new)

Neenah (cornersofabookshelf) | 3 comments There is no way I can catch up XD i think the book is good enough to read, but at this point it is going to take me months to finish it because I keep reading other books instead.


message 13: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer  | 3 comments Finally got through the first half. I’m still finding this really slow. Another issue I had is that in my translation from German to English, the French is not translated, so I had a very hard time making out the last exchange with Hans and Claudia.


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