“Death In Venice” (Novella)

April 6, 2013 in - 71 views

Death In Venice

The novella "Death in Venice" was written by the German author Thomas Mann, and was first published in 1912 as "Der Tod in Venedig".  The plot of the work presents a great writer suffering writer's block who visits Venice and is liberated and uplifted, then increasingly obsessed, by the sight of a stunningly beautiful youth. Though he never speaks to the boy, much less touches him, the writer finds himself drawn deeply into ruinous inward passion; meanwhile Venice, and finally the writer himself, succumb to a cholera plague. The novella is powerfully intertextual, with the chief sources being first the connection of erotic love to philosophical wisdom traced in Plato's Symposium  and Phaedrus, and second the Nietzschean contrast between the god of restraint and shaping form, Apollo, and the god of excess and passion, Dionysus.

The boy in the story ("Tadzio") is based on a boy (Wladzio or Adzio, nicknames for the Polish name Wladyslaw or Tadeusz respectively) Mann had seen during a visit to Venice in 1911.

Suggested to us by Uncle Jim. 

"Death In Venice"