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Jephcott London: Verso, , — Thus, the political drama of the events pre- ceding the collapses of both the Weimar Republic and the Austrian Republic is postponed, and instead an in-depth discussion on art is inserted. By using the literary technique of suspension, both authors invoke artistic discourse in order to achieve a dramatic effect before the culmination of the political events.
This similarity demonstrates how, in spite of the ideological rift be- tween the authors, both chose to approach the aesthetic sphere and render it as sacred. In this sense, both writers constitute art as a domestic, harmonious sphere, depicted in contrast, or as an antidote, to the harsh reality that lurks outside the confines of the narrative. Whether Mann had in fact decided that this chapter was superfluous for the German reader, or whether he regretted its inclusion in the original, is a matter left for speculation. His repeated references to celebrated artists who came to Salzburg are essential to his case, in that they invoke his cosmopolitan vision of a community of geniuses.
However, as a result, the artistic activity that had taken place seems to lose its meaning as a productive experience, reduced to a mere journalistic item, or a catalog of a long-gone golden era. Nonetheless, he assumes his position as a self-absorbed patron and host to all artists — includ- ing those who had already been driven into exile from Nazi Germany, such as the Berlin born Jewish conductor Bruno Walter.
Ultimately, for Zweig, art at this critical time signifies a return home.
Jeanette R. Thus, he built a wall of grandeur, a sort of Gesamtkunstwerk, in order to escape reality: Many desired and famous guests came into our house in those years, but in the hours of solitude, too, a magic circle of exalted figures whose shadow and trace I had slowly succeeded in conjuring up, gathered around me: in the manuscript collection, which I have already mentioned, the greatest masters of all times, had assembled in their hand- writing. That which I had begun amateurishly at the age of fifteen had, in the course of the years, thanks to much experience, larger means and an even augmented passion — developed from a mere accumulation into an organic structure and I feel free to say into a real work of art.
His house in Salzburg was seized, and with it his bond with the famous men among the living. So I do not lament for what I once owned; for if we, driven and hunted in these times which are inimical to every art and every collection were put to it to learn a new art, it would be that of parting from all that once had been our pride and our love. It is from the example of my saints and heroes that I drew the strength for my own endeavors. His first step in this direction is to position himself within the patriarchal father-son structure.
Inevitably he will try to imitate the pa- ternal model and at the same time to underline his own originality. In fact, entire segments in the chapter invoke a catholic mystery play. To him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Jewish and Christian philosophies, becomes a prophet — forecasting with striking insight the scope and impact of developments subterranean, invisible at that time, but which have meanwhile revealed their devastating dynamics. His warnings to the French to beware of the Teutonic danger anticipate not only the disasters of and but, moreover, the calamity we now witness.
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Bearing this difference in mind, we shall now outline one of the watershed moments in their autobiographical interrelations through an examination of their encounters with composer Richard Strauss. One may start this episode in the aftermath of the war: in Mann visited Strauss incognito at his home in Garmisch-Partenkirchen as a US army journal- ist writing for the newspaper Stars and Stripes. He thus writes: To him nothing in the world seemed to matter except the personal affairs of Dr.
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Richard Strauss — his comforts, his income, his fame […] Hitler? No, Dr. His musical tastes were deplorably one-sided. Could I ever enjoy Rosenkavalier and Salome again, having listened to his shockingly callous talk?
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The collaboration caused the composer, already in his official post, some trouble with the Nazi authorities. The fascinating corre- spondence between composer and librettist throughout the whole affair is an instructive historical document about dissidence and collaboration, politics and culture. Steinberg has pointed out, the artistic compatibil- ity between Zweig and Strauss was based on the harmony between their perso- nal ambitions. This form of ambiguous, indeed non-reflective, resistance is fully ar- ticulated in an intriguing letter Strauss sent to Zweig in June I know only two types of people: those with and those without talent.
The people [Das Volk] exist for me only at the moment they become audience. What matters is that they pay full price for admission. Michael H. He saw in him an estimable colleague who shared his meritocratic views. But fundamentally I loathe public and pathetic gestures; besides, I was reluctant to cause difficulties for a genius of his rank. Yet, simultaneously, it seems that Mann, much like Arendt and Theodor Adorno, tends to disregard the limited space that was left for subjective expression and minor acts of defiance under fascism, dismissing it as vain activity.
Hence, it became involved in the cult of inwardness as practiced by declining segments of the bourgeoisie, especially in Germany — that impotent and malicious reversion to the private sphere, tucked away in its nook with all its joys and miseries. Samuel Weber and Shierry Weber, pts.
See: Mann, The Turn- ing Point, The moment that struck us most was when the aging Marschallin [the heroine] confides to her young lover that sometimes she would get up in the middle of the night and stop all clocks in her house […] Time flies, she is no longer young, she has to renounce her love. She will die. It is all very simple.
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The simplest things are the most mysterious ones. The basic facts of our lives are horrifying beyond lament. The unburied spirits of a former age that continued to inhibit them. Conclusion In this article we have attempted to show that both Zweig and Mann sustained a similar spatial division of outside versus inside that continued and even inten- sified during the Nazi era. Despite their numerous differences, using their juxta- position as an analytic tool has enabled us to develop a deeper understanding of each author.
Zweig and Mann shared a basic modernist drive towards artistic self-assertion within oppressive political circumstances. Nevertheless, each drew different con- clusions about how to face the inheritance of apolitical bourgeois culture. Thomas Mann and his son Klaus. An earlier version of this article was presented at the German Studies Association conference in Denver, Our translation. See: Klaus Mann, Briefe und Antworten, Related Papers. By Uri Ganani. Stefan Zweig and Russia. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
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Erika and Klaus Mann in New York: Escape from the Magic Mountain
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