Thomas Mann e la guerra, la guerra di Thomas Mann

Elena Alessiato


The war experience was decisive for the political and artistic development of Thomas Mann. One of his most ambiguous and much-discussed book dates back not accidentally at the time of the First World War: the Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen. The present paper tries to clarify the different meanings according to which the Betrachtungen can be read as a Kriegsbuch, a war book. In fact, in those pages Mann wages his personal war against the western modernity (westliche Zivilisation), against democracy and capitalism, against the artistic avant-guard trends and his Francophile brother Heinrich. But that war was also a war against himself. For this reason the Betrachtungen show a twofold meaning, that the paper aims to focus: they are one of the most representative books of the German conservative war culture. At the same time they account for a crucial stage on the way the apolitical (unpolitisch) writer Thomas Mann went in order to get a grown-up political conscience.


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