The Magic Mountain was a book that I want to take long breaks from, but also I wanted to read it in a sitting. I could not leave it because Hans Castorp (the main character of our book) does not allow you to go, he asks you to stay with him in the sanatorium in Switzerland and get to know the people and understand the “particular time” in there. I wanted to take breaks because I didn’t want to think about death and illness – as a person who is so much affected by books. This is an entirely personal situation, as you can see.
On the other hand, if you give this book a chance, you will read a rare literary work. I must confess it is not an easy read; on the contrary, it is one of the hardest books I’ve read so far. Besides, being so awarding Magic Mountain is a work that shows what literature can skillfully do.
I will have some humble advice for those who are interested in the book. Although The Magic Mountain is on every reading list and is a Nobel Prize winner, it is not for everyone. I am not saying it because of its content; I am saying it because of its speed (or the lack of it). One needs to be a little ready to read this book. Otherwise, you may find yourself hating an exquisite novel. Leave it as soon as you are bored and come back to it later. Don’t forget to enjoy it!
The Magic Mountain
With this dizzyingly rich novel of ideas, Thomas Mann rose to the front ranks of the great modern novelists, winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929. The Magic Mountain takes place in an exclusive tuberculosis sanatorium in the Swiss Alps-a community devoted to sickness that serves as a fictional microcosm for Europe in the days before the First World War. To this hermetic and otherworldly realm comes Hans Castorp, an “ordinary young man” who arrives for a short visit and ends up staying for seven years, during which he succumbs both to the lure of eros and to the intoxication of ideas.
Paul Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist. And the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. His highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas are noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: