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"Jedoch war es zu spät?" Die Chancen der geistigen Erlösung Aschenbachs in Thomas Manns Novelle Der Tod in Venedig
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Baltic Languages, Finnish and German, German.
2012 (German)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of the following study was to illustrate that the death of the protagonist in Thomas Mann’s novel, Death in Venice, was, in the end, not just a corporeal, but rather a spiritual one, and ultimately the result of his failure to explore the potential and true depth of human feeling. The definition of the term decadence as a state "against nature: the revulsion against both physical and human nature, preference for the artificial" (Ritter 1992, 87) served as the main theoretical basis of the study and proved helpful in articulating the protagonist’s tragic flaw, namely, his preference for the shallow image of mere physical beauty. Furthermore, the perceptive views of critics Hermann Luft and Rolf Günter Renner on the novel’s underlying conflict between the spiritual and physical conception of beauty helped to substantiate the study’s own stance on the negative implications of the type of aesthetic formalism that leads to the protagonist’s ultimate demise. Focusing on these aspects helped to provide an analysis of the novel that is not only restricted to a socio-political-historical context, but which sees the novel in general as the embodiment of an essential universal and timeless message and ideal, namely, that one must strive to penetrate the realm of physical, sensual phenomena in this world in order to reach the content, i.e. the spiritual, eternal attributes which lie behind it.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 63 p.
Keyword [en]
Death, love, art, beauty, spirituality, redemption, fate, decadence, aestheticism
Keyword [de]
Tod, Liebe, Kunst, Schönheit, Geistigkeit, Erlösung, Schicksal, Dekadenz, Ästhetizismus
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-78623OAI: diva2:542031
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-07-30 Created: 2012-07-27 Last updated: 2012-07-30Bibliographically approved

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