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This review is from: Death In Venice And Other Stories (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
I'm glad that I chose to read all of this collection because it certainly shows Mann's growth as a writer, but also chronicles how he revisits concepts and improves on them each time, or approaches the subject in an entirely different way. Nearly all stories included an intellectual, often a writer, and his struggles with the feeling of being an outsider, and yet each story was fresh and new and took on a different approach - many times showing the growth in Mann's maturity as a person and a writer.
The introduction is well worth a read, though I would recommend reading it after you have read the novellas. It gives a great background to Germany and the literary scene at the time of these novellas, as well as Mann's life and how this influenced his work, particularly referencing his inspiration from Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Wagner, and his interest in nihilism and naturalism. I will say, however, that if you haven't read Buddenbrooks then elements are revealed in the introduction which may spoil it for you..
I would definitely recommend this! Very interesting and thought-provoking. I found the Germanic literary style difficult at times - the vocabulary! Amazing! But, nevertheless, this was brilliant,and it is understandable that Mann's literary talents were recognized with a Nobel Prize.
I will definitely be picking up another Thomas Mann book in the future..