Talk:The Magic Mountain

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Germany (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Germany, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Germany on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Novels (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Novels, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to novels, novellas, novelettes and short stories on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit one of the articles mentioned below, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and contribute to the general Project discussion to talk over new ideas and suggestions.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.


Both the summaries and significance are way too short. --Soumyasch 11:44, 25 February 2006 (UTC


"In the informative afterword written for the 1927 English translation, Mann states..." This is not an afterword for the 1927 translation, but an article from the Atlantic January 1952, as stated on the copyright page of the Vintage Classics. It is not included, for instance, in the Penguin edition of this translation published in 1977, nor, I believe, does it feature in the previous Penguin editions from 1962. Indeed it is clear from the piece in question that it dates from significantly later than three years after the novel's original publication. This is eveidenced by Mann's mentions of Joseph and His Brothers whose volumes post-date 1927. Moreover, the overall tone is retrospective, one of looking back, and he draws (not without irony) upon academic sources to refer to his. The development of an academic body of work also reveals the later date. All in all, it is an alarming oversight on the part of our budding Wikipedia chronicler.

"[Hans'] imminent death on the battlefield is suggested."

This is not the case. The novel does not at any point say so. Rather it says (in Lowe-Porter's translation): "The desparate dance [i.e. the war] in which thy fortunes are caught up, will last yet many a sinful year; we should not care to set a high stake on thy life by the time it ends." The suggestion is that the probability, (the narrator's betting instinct - the 'subjective probability') is against Hans surviving the war. The end might come that night, it might be in a years time - Mann goes on to cryptically concede, albeit rather indifferently, that it is possibile that the war might not carry him off at all. Hans' death is certainly in no way marked as "imminent" - it is precisely just such a melodramatic finale that Mann does not give us, and if lesser readers, ill-equipped for a work of such stature, feel required to invent such an ending for themselves I suggest that they reserve it for their own famished imaginations rather than risk diluting it by offering it to those as undeserving of its nourishment as ourselves. (I have a performed a quick edit accordingly.)

These are only the two most glaring oversights. Overall the article seems firmly in the grip of the American academicism that Mann so ruthlessly parodies in the article that our esteemed encyclopediast believes to be an afterword to the 1927 translation, a translation published, I add, in 1928. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:26, 3 March 2010 (UTC)


The discussion of Settembrimi seems too positive. I feel as though he mostly remains a sort of caricature of the Democratic Liberal, even if this somewhat lessens as the book goes on. Also, his rather grotesque nationalism ought to be mentioned - Mann seems to make much of the fact that Settembrimi's humanist universalism is combined with a very crude, parochial Italian nationalism. john k 17:54, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Surely a follow encyclopedist like Settembrini can expect favourable treatment by his colleagues here on Wikipedia? :-) I am sure that, had the Zauberberg be set in our times, the good man would have a laptop (an Olivetti), enjoying the good wireless coverage of the Berghof to hunt vandals, engage in editing wars on Liberalism, and make his voice heard on AfD? Arbor 18:03, 20 March 2006 (UTC)


See Chauchat. Coincidence or is her name an allusion to the coming WW I? Leibniz 18:17, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

it seems to me that Mme Chauchat's name is cognate with the important Hindu yama of purity, or "shaucha." She represented purity - the perfectly unattainable - and yet was diseased and dying. User:Suzannel

Using the word « purity » in relation to Clawdia Chauchat is presumably ironic? Though she has a husband in Daghestan, she enters into an ambiguous relationship with the head of the sanatorium and later becomes the overt mistress of Mynheer Peeperkorn. --Clifford Mill (talk) 19:00, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

About Mynheer Peeperkorn I read somewhere (but I do not remember the source) that he was modelled after Gerhard Hauptmann. In light of Settembrini portrayed as too positive one can say about him that he too is too complacent for leaving the sanatorium and practising what he preaches.

Given her role in the awakening of Hans' sexuality, her name could also be a portmanteau of the French chaud chat, which would mean something like "hot pussy." (talk) 01:03, 17 December 2013 (UTC)


I wonder if Hans Castorp`s character is really symbolic of the Weimar Republic, because although Mann completed the novel several years after WWI ended, the novel ends with a view of Castorp disappearing into the fog of WWI - which makes it seem more likely that he represents pre-war Germany (?) Lugub 19:41, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

You are perfectly right! But note that the article writes "... can be seen ..." ; this is OK, although I would not see it that way. -- User 87.160. ..., 10 Oct. 2007, 19:30 CEST

The problem with symbolism is that symbols are subjectively interpreted. Does anyone really know that Mann wanted to make a certain character a symbol of an abstract concept? Do you think that Mann sat down and said to himself, "I will make Castorp a symbol of the Weimar Republic and Clavdia Chauchat will be a symbol of the coming war"? I do not think that such authors write in this manner. No one, however, really knows what was in Mann's mind. His own statements about his thoughts are the only facts that we have, and he never said that his characters were mere symbols for abstractions.Lestrade (talk) 13:06, 8 February 2008 (UTC)Lestrade


Substituted 'ss' for ß in the name Ziemssen. Most English readers will not recognize ß – and this is, after all, English Wikipedia. Sca (talk) 20:15, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

ß is merely a joining of the Long s and the short s.Lestrade (talk) 20:12, 7 February 2008 (UTC)Lestrade
Well, the long and the short of it is that "ss" is at least recognizable to an English audience.JGC1010 (talk) 01:57, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Beauty & Eros[edit]

The adjective "erotic" in the phrase The erotic allure of the beautiful Polish boy Tadzio has been deleted for the following reason. Eros implies sexual love. Beauty does not imply sexual love. On the contrary, beauty is disinterested (cf. Kant, Critique of Judgment, § 5). The Polish boy's fascination was the result of youthful, Ideal beauty, not of sexual interest.Lestrade (talk) 15:50, 15 March 2008 (UTC)Lestrade


The "Trivia" section is truly a waste. I would like to delete it.Lestrade (talk) 23:51, 9 April 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

Naphta is Lukacs[edit]

Alasdair C. MacIntyre's essay on Lukacs and Mann (in Against the Self-Images of the Age) quotes Mann that Lukacs failed to recognize that Naphta was simply a parody of Lukacs. This is obvious to anybody who has looked at "History and Class Consciousness" and knows the horrifying story of Luckacs's self-subordination to the party line. The unsourced statements to the contrary should be removed. Thanks Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 21:44, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps Mann had Lukacs in mind, but Lukacs, later a major advocate of Mann's importance, was in no way either Niezschean nor (in the 1920s) a sell out to the party line. If anything, his Hegelian Marxism (in History and Class Consciousness) resonates more with Settembrini than with Naphta.----.
Why no references? NachBlattern (talk) 11:53, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
You seem unaware of the history of Lukacs's auto-da-fe (self transcendence in his own BS). Nietzschian? I added a reference to MacIntyre, and removed the unsourced material. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 14:39, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Madame Chauchat (again)[edit]

The text today, much improved, still offers us mysteries about this character. To start with, what is her first name? In the book, as I remember it, she is always Clawdia. Shouldn't the article use that spelling throughout? Next, it is suggested that this name includes the English word «claw». The name is Latin, has been used by Christians for over 1900 years because it is in the Greek New Testament, and is here assigned to a Russian in a book written in German. In none of these four languages does the pronounciation ( clou'dia, clou'dia, clou'dia, cluv'dia) echo the English word «claw ». So how is «claw» significant? --Clifford Mill (talk) 17:46, 12 February 2015 (UTC)