On Art, Beauty & Obsession Thomas Mann’s „Death in Venice“ (1911)

Oscar Wilde died shortly after being released from jail – broken, humiliated and mortified. For two years, the crown had arrested him for gross indecency and sodomy. In particular, parts of his most successful novel „The Picture of Dorian Gray“ had been quoted to prove him guilty. On several occasions Wilde tried to point out that „there is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book“, criticising „those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things“ as being „corrupt without being charming“. Admittedly, even with our knowledge about him today it is hard to believe that Mr. “I have nothing to declare but my genius” was really able to stay true to his art for art’s sake philosophy, meaning a clear separation between his own personality and his writings. “He put too much of himself into his novel” a contemporary critic observed correctly. Thomas Mann, one of the greatest German authors of the 20th century, managed to escape such a fate. Weiterlesen

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