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.
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