Allusions in the Magic Mountain

By Meyers, Jeffrey | Notes on Contemporary Literature, January 2013 | Go to article overview

Allusions in the Magic Mountain


Meyers, Jeffrey, Notes on Contemporary Literature


The Magic Mountain is one of the most difficult and densely allusive modern novels (1924; trans. H. T. Lowe-Porter, London: Secker & Warburg, 1957). Thomas Mann challenges the serious reader to identify the thematic allusions: the Bible, Shakespeare, anonymous poetry, Donne, Blake, Scott, Keats, Tennyson, Whitman, Longfellow and Conrad; to German literature, especially Goethe's Faust and Schiller's Don Carlos; to the Classics, Italian, French and Russian literature; to history, philosophy, religion, music and art. An understanding of Mann's 71 allusions, an essential part of his style, adds to the novel a new dimension of meaning, interest and intellectual pleasure.

48 & 627--"flat, stale, and unprofitable": Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1.2.133 (1601)

59--"O salute, O Satana, O ribellione, O forza vindice della ragione!" (O salvation, O Satan, O rebellion, O avenging force of reason): Giosue Carducci, "Inno a Satana" (Hymn to Satan), 1863

61--"A fowler bold in me you see, forever laughing merrily!": Mozart, The Magic Flute (1791)

98--"Placet experiri" (It is pleasing to experiment): Francesco Petrarch (1304-74)

129--"O God, how beautiful life was!": Friedrich Schiller, Don Carlos (1787)

130--"Come unto me, all ye who are weary and heavy-laden": Matthew 11:28

140--"One word from thy sweet lips / Can strangely thrill me": Popular song by Hermann Kletkes (1813-86)

141--"Ah, time is a riddling thing, and hard it is to expound its essence": Hugo von Hofsmannsthal, libretto to Richard Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier (1911)

149--"May I beg admission into this charmed circle?": Richard Wagner, Tannhauser (1845)

160--"What a creature is man, how idly his conscience betrays him": Hamlet, 2.2.312

193--"I need the light": Goethe's last words, "More light" (1832)

249--"he was ashamed to have a body": Porphyrius, pupil and biographer of Plotinus (c.205-270 AD), Roman philosopher and founder of neo-Platonism

252--"Behold, behold, Timotheus!": Schiller, "The Cranes of Ibycus"

253--"Begone, dull care": anonymous English song (1687)

254--"Anch'io sono pittore" (I'm also a painter): Antonio Correggio (1489-1534), on seeing a work by Raphael

286--"The Dance of Death": Late medieval allegory on the vanity of earthly life and inevitability of death. Inspired a series of woodcuts by Hans Holbein (early 1520s)

290--"Ich trage meine Minne / Mit mir herum" (I carry the song of love in my heart): Karl Henckel, set by Richard Strauss, Opus 32, no. 1 (1896)

294--"Cover, my lords": Schiller, Don Carlos

294--"In my own France how different!": Schiller, Don Carlos

295--"Sire, grant freedom of thought" (Geben Sie Gedankenfreiheit)": Schiller, Don Carlos

295--"Leise, leise, fromme Weise" (Softly, softly pious melody): Carl Maria von Weber, Der Freischutz (1821)

298--"Schiller's translation of Benedetto Cenelli": Frau Stohr means Goethe's translation of Benvenuto Cellini

308--"Let the dead bury their dead": Mathew 8:22

322--"Walpurgis-Night": In Goethe's Faust, Part 1 (1808), the witches' sabbath and diabolical revelry that bring Faust to his lowest state of sensuality

322--"the gayest gallants of the night, in brilliant rows advancing": Faust, 3934-35

324--"See the gorgeous tongues of fire---/ Club as gay as heart's desire": Faust, 4057-58

324--"But mind, the mountain's magic-mad to-night, / And if you choose a will-o'-the-wisp to light / Your path, take care, 'twill lead you all astray": Faust, 3868-70

326--"The Harz. Near Schierke and Elend!": towns in the Harz mountains, near the old border of East Germany, scene of Walpurgis-Night

326--"See beldam Baubo riding now" on a sow: Faust, 3962

327--"The fair one, see! 'Tis Lilith! ... Adam's first wife is she": Faust, 4118-19

327--"belle dame sans merci" (beautiful woman without mercy): title of a poem by John Keats (1820)

330--"Here Urian sits up above" / Throughout and about, with clamor and shout: Faust, 3959

343--"leur abondance de delicatesses organiques sous leurs coussins de chair! …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Allusions in the Magic Mountain
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.