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Fragwürdiges bei Thomas Mann und Giorgio Bassani: Der Zauberberg und Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini im Vergleich

Stefan Bub


Pages 205 - 224



As well as the 19th century realists Giorgio Bassani’s (1916–2000) literary models also include Thomas Mann. We therefore find echoes of Mann’s motifs in Bassani’s narrative works, most strikingly, in his famous novel <em>Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini </em>(1962) which displays a number of analogies to <em>Der Zauberberg</em>. The following article compares occultist scenes in Mann’s novel, particularly the séances and the apparition of the dead Joachim Ziemßen with the description of a divinatory game – linked with Micòl and her brother Alberto – in the Finzi-Continis’ mansion against the backdrop of the respective looming historical catastrophe threatening to disrupt a hermetic world. In both cases, the reader encounters a problematic dialectic of delusional pastime and prophecy whose interpretation, however, diverges due to the different narrative attitudes in the two novels.

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