HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Thomas Mann, 6 June 1875
“A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
I went through a huge Thomas Mann phase when I studied German at university. I loved The Magic Mountain, though from memory nothing much happens in it. It’s about a group of tubercular patients at a sanatorium high up on a mountain, who have long discussions about their symptoms and about philosophy. I realise that doesn’t make the book sound very exciting, but I did enjoy it. I also liked Felix Krull about a confidence trickster, and Buddenbrooks. Thomas Mann also wrote a powerful short story called Der Tunnel (The Tunnel) – you might like to try that.
6 June is also the birthday of French playwright Pierre Corneille, born in 1606, and of the great Russian poet and short story writer Aleksandr Pushkin, so this is a day for European literary celebrations!
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