Juden, Frauen und Litteraten
In this brilliant essay, literary critic and German literature scholar Heinrich Detering explores the role of the writer in Thomas Mann’s early work. For Thomas Mann, writers – and artistic figures in general – are outsiders who continually question their social position and legitimacy.
In his original survey of Mann’s early texts, Heinrich Detering shows how the writer Thomas Mann locates his artistic identity in socially-stigmatized groups: above all women and Jews. They have one thing in common with writers: “the disgust with what one is”. Thomas Mann adopts this stigma, positing himself as a female and Jewish writer, as a way of arriving at his own artistic productivity.
Not only does Heinrich Detering hone our perceptions of Thomas Mann’s work, his startlingly new and fresh reading invites us – indeed, compels us – to rediscover the young Thomas Mann.