Celebrated novella of a middle-aged German writer's tormented passion for a Polish youth met on holiday in Venice, and its tragic consequences. New translation with extensive commentary.
|Edition description:||Color Interior ed.|
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.68(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 18 Years|
About the Author
AKA @katerwriter, Kate Robinson began her literary career writing bad poetry at age ten. After working as a grocery clerk, nursing assistant and home health aide, city bus driver, museum aide, a variety of clerical positions, and K-12 substitute teacher, all while studying (BA 1999, MA 2010) and raising a family, scribbling looked like a suitable diversion. Kate honed her creative writing and editing chops in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, Wales, Kenya, and Finland, which serves her well as chief word-whacker at Starstone Lit Services and Tootie-Do Press. Kate promises to dance always with absurdity and paradox.
Table of Contents
Death in Venice
By Thomas Mann
Buccaneer Books IncCopyright ©1983 Thomas Mann
All right reserved.
Gustav Aschenbach or von Aschenbach, as he had officially been known since his fiftieth birthday, set out alone from his residence in Munich's Prinzregentenstrasse on a spring afternoon in 19.. -- a year that for months had shown so ominous a countenance to our continent -- with the intention of taking an extended walk. Overwrought from the difficult and dangerous labors of the late morning hours, labors demanding the utmost caution, prudence, tenacity, and precision of will, the writer had even after the midday meal been unable to halt the momentum of the inner mechanism -- the motus animi continuus in which, according to Cicero, eloquence resides -- and find the refreshing sleep that the growing wear and tear upon his forces had made a daily necessity. And so, shortly after tea he had sought the outdoors in the hope that open air and exercise might revive him and help him to enjoy a fruitful evening.
It was early May, and after a few cold, wet weeks a mock summer had set in. The Englischer Garten, though as yet in tender bud, was as muggy as in August and full of vehicles and pedestrians on the city side. At Aumeister, to which he had been led by ever more solitary paths, Aschenbach briefly scanned the crowded and lively open-air restaurant and the cabs andcarriages along its edge, then, the sun beginning to sink, headed home across the open fields beyond the park, but feeling tired and noticing a storm brewing over Föhring, he stopped at the Northern Cemetery to wait for the tram that would take him straight back to town.
As it happened, there was no one at the tram stop or thereabouts. Nor was any vehicle to be seen on the paved roadway of the Ungererstrasse -- whose gleaming tracks stretched solitary in the direction of Schwabing -- or on the road to Föhring. There was nothing stirring behind the stonemasons' fences, where crosses, headstones, and monuments for sale formed a second, uninhabited graveyard, and the mortuary's Byzantine structure opposite stood silent in the glow of the waning day. Its façade, decorated with Greek crosses and brightly hued hieratic patterns, also displayed a selection of symmetrically arranged gilt-lettered inscriptions concerning the afterlife, such as "They Enter into the Dwelling Place of the Lord" or "May the Light Everlasting Shine upon Them," and reading the formulas, letting his mind's eye lose itself in the mysticism emanating from them, served to distract the waiting man for several minutes until, resurfacing from his reveries, he noticed a figure in the portico above the two apocalyptic beasts guarding the staircase, and something slightly out of the ordinary in the figure's appearance gave his thoughts an entirely new turn.
Whether the man had emerged from the chapel's inner sanctum through the bronze gate or mounted the steps unobtrusively from outside was uncertain. Without giving the matter much thought, Aschenbach inclined towards the first hypothesis. The man -- of medium height, thin, beardless, and strikingly snub-nosed -- was the red-haired type and had its milky, freckled pigmentation. He was clearly not of Bavarian stock and, if nothing else, the broad, straight-brimmed bast hat covering his head lent him a distinctly foreign, exotic air. He did, however, have the customary knapsack strapped to his shoulders, wore a yellowish belted suit of what appeared to be loden, and carried a gray waterproof over his left forearm, which he pressed to his side, and an iron-tipped walking stick in his right hand, and having thrust the stick diagonally into the ground, he had crossed his feet and braced one hip on its crook. Holding his head high and thus exposing a strong, bare Adam's apple on the thin neck rising out of his loose, open shirt, he gazed alert into the distance with colorless, red-lashed eyes, the two pronounced vertical furrows between them oddly suited to the short, turned-up nose. Thus -- and perhaps his elevated and elevating position contributed to the impression -- there was something of the overseer, something lordly, bold, even wild in his demeanor, for be it that he was grimacing, blinded by the setting sun, or that he had a permanent facial deformity, his lips seemed too short: they pulled all the way back, baring his long, white teeth to the gums.
Aschenbach's half-distracted, half-inquisitive scrutiny of the stranger may have been lacking in discretion, for he suddenly perceived that the man was returning his stare and was indeed so belligerently, so directly, so blatantly determined to challenge him publicly and force him to withdraw it that Aschenbach, embarrassed, turned away and set off along the fence, vaguely resolved to take no further notice of him. A minute later he had forgotten the man. It may have been the stranger's perambulatory appearance that acted upon his imagination or some other physical or psychological influence coming into play, but much to his surprise he grew aware of a strange expansion of his inner being, a kind of restive anxiety, a fervent youthful craving for faraway places, a feeling so vivid, so new or else so long outgrown and forgotten that he came to a standstill and -- hands behind his back, eyes on the ground, rooted to the spot -- examined the nature and purport of the feeling.
It was wanderlust, pure and simple, yet it had come upon him like a seizure and grown into a passion -- no, more, an hallucination. His desire sprouted eyes, his imagination, as yet unstilled from its morning labors, conjured forth the earth's manifold wonders and horrors in his attempt to visualize them: he saw. He saw a landscape, a tropical quagmire beneath a steamy sky -- sultry, luxuriant, and monstrous -- a kind of primordial wilderness of islands, marshes, and alluvial channels; saw hairy palm shafts thrusting upward, near and far, from rank clusters of bracken, from beds of thick, swollen, and bizarrely burgeoning flora; saw fantastically malformed trees plunge their roots through the air into the soil, into stagnant, shadow-green, looking-glass waters ...
Excerpted from Death in Venice by Thomas Mann Copyright ©1983 by Thomas Mann. Excerpted by permission.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Contest and Other Stories by Joe Dibuduo and Kate Robinson is an amazing book about finding yourself and doing what you love. The book has some amazing and inspiring stories such as one that introduces a man named Peter. A banker who longs to have a career in art and the approval of his uptight father. He may get the chance with an untimely death in the family that will send him on a journey of self-discovery. There are also stories that tie into the main story. One, in particular, is about Vincent van Gough and the struggles he had to overcome to become the artist we know today. This book examines the struggles, trials, and accomplishments we all face and delivers a positive message that no matter what life throws at you, you have to make yourself happy. Don’t let what someone else thinks or feels about you matter because at the end of the day it's about what you think or feel about yourself. The Contest and Other Stories written by Joe Dibuduo and Kate Robinson is very inspirational and heartwarming. I love how the writers captured the struggles that each individual character went through, the longing for approval and acceptance of others and their fears of the unknown. I felt that the layout of the book could have a better structure. One moment I was reading one story and then the book jumps into another. Without some orientation, this can be a little jarring. One example of this is in The Contest; there is a painting of Van Gogh that was used in the contest and then immediately we go into a story about Van Gogh. After each chapter the authors leave you with a cliffhanger that makes you want to keep reading. Even though this book jumps back and forth between stories, it's a minor quibble, and I find this book worthwhile in all aspects. I would recommend this book to anyone that feels like they aren’t good enough or feel like they need some encouraging words. This is an engaging and entertaining read that will leave you with a positive feeling.
Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite The Contest and Other Stories by Joe DiBuduo and Kate Robinson is a beautiful collection of stories that are exquisitely written, stories that deal with art, love, family, and other themes that readers can easily relate to. What makes this collection an exceptional one is the compelling cast of characters, the realism infused into the plot lines, and the plot structure that makes each story a must-read. The conflict is handled with skill. The writing is stellar, the stories awesome, real, and captivating. The stories in this collection are well-crafted and the authors have mastered the art of making each story into a sumptuous dessert for the reader. They are short and characterized by an emotional and psychological intensity that make them hard to put down. “The Impostor,” “A Twisted Garden,” “Alone,” and “Success” were my best stories in this collection, and I enjoyed these tales for their existential themes and the philosophical questions they ask. You’ll move from one story to the next without noticing it, each delivered through masterful hands, transporting the reader into the minds of the compelling characters, making the reader relive their dilemmas and allowing the reader to feel their excitement or their pain. With realistic themes of love, success, pain, life, solitude, and death written into the stories, readers will not be able to miss the connection that makes these stories relevant. The Contest and Other Stories by Joe DiBuduo and Kate Robinson is a gorgeous treat for short story buffs and the diversity in style, plot, and themes makes this a book that will appeal to a wide audience.