The Magic Mountain

the-magic-mountainThomas Mann

First Sentence:     An unassuming young man was travelling, in midsummer, from his native city of Hamburg to Davos-Platz in the Canton of the Grisons, on a three weeks’ visit.

Back of the book:

Hans Castorp is ‘a perfectly ordinary, if engaging young man’ when he goes to visit his cousin in an exclusive sanatorium in the Swiss Alps. What should have been a three week trip turns into a seven year stay. Hans falls in love and becomes intoxicated with the ideas he hears at the clinic – ideas which will strain and crack apart in a world on the verge of the First World War.

Quotes from the book:

“Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.”

Thus music and narration are alike, in that they can only present themselves as a flowing, as a succession in time, as one thing after another; and both differ from the plastic arts, which are complete in the present, and unrelated to time save as all bodies are, whereas narration – like music – even if it should try to be completely present at any given moment, would need time to do it in.

* * * *

 Last Sentence:     Out of this universal feast of death, out of this extremity of fever, kindling the rain-washed evening sky to a fiery glow, may it be that Love one day shall mount?

Advertisements