The Magic Mountain

The Magic Mountain

January 22, 2017 Growing-up novel

“The Magic Mountain” by Thomas Mann is one of the most difficult books that I’ve read. I advice you not to read this book too fast. I could read one page 2-3 times before I understood what the author meant. This novel describes the life of tuberculosis sanatorium, which is located in the highlands of Switzerland. The main character, Hans Castorp, comes to stay with his cousin for three weeks, but, in the end, he remains there for a few years. The novel, of course, is boring. There is no exciting plot or at least just interesting events. It is about an ordinary sanatoriums life of seriously ill patients in all its terrible boredom, detailed down to the smallest details. To such tiniest ones that you will know in what color socks heroes were wearing today, what they ate for breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner, which was a body temperature in the morning and night, and so on. Why did the author do this? Perhaps for the reader to be accustomed to this especial atmosphere. And the atmosphere in the resort is quite original, with unusual blurred over time. Time seems to stop for the guests of sanatorium. They have no important events in their lives anymore. The author reveals his reasoning during the plot or by any reflections of Hans Castorp or by doctors lectures or by constant disputes among patients, from which can be identified two opposites: a supporter of progress, a kind of revolutionary in the bud – Settembrini and his antagonist, reactionary-conservative cleric Nafta. In these debates, perhaps, lies the point of the book. And then began the First World War. Hans Castorp was sent to the front. The author does not tell us about his future and I think, everything becomes clear that it was all over for him, since the book ends.

The novel turned out to be philosophical, very thorough and generally good, but extremely strange. Thomas Mann managed to draw the reader into the timelessness place. Mann writes brilliantly, his language is amazing, his ideas are interesting and strong, his conclusions are powerful, honest and absolutely true, his story is intriguing, his philosophical arguments make me exciting. For me, Thomas Mann is a perfect writer. And “The Magic Mountain” is a perfect work.

About the author

Gebbert Friedrich: