The Magic Mountain
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In this dizzyingly rich novel of ideas, Mann uses a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps--a community devoted exclusively to sickness--as a microcosm for Europe, which in the years before 1914 was already exhibiting the first symptoms of its own terminal irrationality. The Magic Mountain is a monumental work of erudition and irony, sexual tension and intellectual ferment, a book that pulses with life in the midst of death.
upward on both sides, and the bones of the shoulder, the joint where Joachim’s arm began, looked lean and angular against the soft halo of flesh. The chest cavity was bright, but one could make out a web of darker spots and blackish ruffles. “Sharp picture,” the director said. “That’s the respectable leanness of military youth. I’ve had potbellies here—impenetrable, could recognize next to nothing. They still haven’t invented rays that can get through layers of fat like those. But this is clean
“Have we moved on to law? The idea, my dear sir, of both natural law and universal reason is alive in international law and—” “Pooh, your international law is once again merely a Rousseauian bastardization of the ius divinum, which has nothing to do with either nature or reason, but is based upon revelation.” “Let us not quarrel over terms, professor. What I honor as natural and international law, you may go right ahead and call ius divinum. The main thing is that above the positive law of
Settembrini said there was a medieval ring about a lot of things up here. The topic came up because of Adriatica von Mylendonk, because of her name. So how did you like him?” “The little fellow? Not very well. I liked some things he said. Courts of arbitration are goody-goody nonsense, of course. But I didn’t think that much of him. A fellow can say all sorts of fine things—but what good is that, if he’s a dubious character? And there is something dubious about him, you can’t deny it. His story
asking to be hoodwinked with harmlessness. He knew what he was doing, what he was risking, and that’s a man for you, who knows how to keep a stiff upper lip, to keep his mouth shut, which is a manly art, but not the sort nice little bipeds like yourself can understand. But this much I’ll tell you, Castorp, if you start making a scene, raise a hue and cry and give your civilian feelings free rein, I’ll hand you your walking papers. Because men want the company of men up here, if you understand
brown animal eyes to one side until the whites showed. THE GREAT STUPOR Yet once more we hear Director Behrens’s voice—let us listen closely. We are hearing it for perhaps the last time. At some point even this story will end; it has lasted quite a long time—or rather, its content-time is rolling along so fast that there is no stopping it now and even its musical time is running out. Perhaps there will be no further opportunity to lend an ear to the cheerful cadences of our idiomatic