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Tonio Kroger (German edition) Paperback – February 1, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0881336559 ISBN-10: 0881336556

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Paperback, February 1, 1992
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 126 pages
  • Publisher: Waveland Pr Inc (February 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881336556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881336559
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,349,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Novella by Thomas Mann, originally published in German in 1903. The partially autobiographical work explores the problem of the artist who, in his devotion to his craft, confronts the antithesis of spirit and life. From earliest childhood Tonio Kroger is aware of his separation from other people, in particular his two schoolmates Hans Hansen and Ingeborg Holm, who represent the bourgeois norm, symbolized by their blond good looks. Tonio longs to be accepted into their company, but his artistic nature will not permit him to fully join their ranks. As Tonio grows older his talent matures and he becomes a writer, but he still feels like a stranger and yearns to fit into the world. He continues to be preoccupied with the essential dichotomy between life and art, between personal happiness and the discipline that leads to great achievement. These themes are known to have obsessed Mann throughout his career, and Tonio Kroger is almost certainly a representation of the author's persona. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

From the Publisher

Title of related interest also available from Waveland Press: Heller-Ehrlich, Dichter, Denker, und Erzahler: A German Reader (ISBN 9780881334326).

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joseph D. Rockelmann on February 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
In this short story, Mann very nicely depicts the problems of the lonely artist, who will always remain an outsider because he is different. In the short story it becomes obvious that it is very difficult for the protagonist Tonio Kroeger to accept this. Tonio Kroeger, who is a writer, falls in love with two people, Hans and Ingeborg, who have blue eyes and blond hair, because they possess the qualities he is longing for. He wants to be as care free as Ingeborg and Hans Hansen, who are not plaged by profound thoughts eliciting them to be depressed. It is extremely well written and will have a lasting effect on you.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
In this short story, Mann very nicely depicts the problems of the lonely artist, who will always remain an outsider because he is different. In the short story it becomes obvious that it is very difficult for the protagonist Tonio Kroeger to accept this. Tonio Kroeger, who is a writer, falls in love with two people, Hans and Ingeborg, who have blue eyes and blond hair, because they possess the qualities he is longing for. He wants to be as care free as Ingeborg and Hans Hansen, who are not plaged by profound thoughts eliciting them to be depressed. It is extremely well written and will have a lasting effect on you.
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Format: Paperback
This story is a profound meditation on the role of the artist (a writer) in society (in the beginning of the 20th century).

For Tonio Kröger (Thomas Mann), the artist (the writer) has the highest power on earth, the power of the spirit and the verb. But, his job is a curse, because he has the knowledge of what sits at the bottom of the world, what's behind all actions and verbiage: ridiculousness and misery. The artist is a doomed person, a loner, for whom integration in the bourgeois society of `innocent' people with their carefree souls is simply impossible. On the contrary, for the bourgeoisie an artist is only vermin, because he undermines their peace of mind and their self-righteousness.

But, a writer cannot continue to be overwhelmed by the sadness of the world. He has to scrutinize all that moves around him, to record and to use even the most frightening discoveries, while being joyful and fully aware of his moral superiority.
Tonio Kröger (Thomas Mann) is a bourgeois who tumbled into art, a gypsy who has the nostalgia of good manners, an artist tormented by an evil conscience: his bourgeois mentality tries to force him to consider all artistic activity as something deeply ambiguous, suspicious and doubtful.

Thomas Mann was heavily influenced by the German philosopher A. Schopenhauer with his pessimistic view of the world as well as his vision on art. For Schopenhauer, a real artist discovers and exposes critical key aspects of reality, the bottom of all actions and verbiage.

This story is not the best introduction to Thomas Mann's work. A better start would be his short novel 'Death in Venice', which reveals a hidden aspect of Thomas Mann's personality. It came only to the surface after the publication of his diaries.
Highly recommended.
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