The Arrow and the Lyre

A Study of the Role of Love in the Works of Thomas Mann

  • Frank Donald Hirschbach

Part of the International Scholars Forum book series (ISFO, volume 1)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XI
  2. Frank Donald Hirschbach
    Pages 1-32
  3. Frank Donald Hirschbach
    Pages 33-52
  4. Frank Donald Hirschbach
    Pages 53-84
  5. Frank Donald Hirschbach
    Pages 85-114
  6. Frank Donald Hirschbach
    Pages 115-148
  7. Frank Donald Hirschbach
    Pages 149-187
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 188-195

About this book


When I first thought about this topic I encountered many ex­ pressions of surprise among my better-read friends, and a number of them asked me: "Is there really much love in Thomas Mann's works, and is it really important?" The posing of this question is the direct result of three decades of criticism which has represented Mann mainly as a serious and sober novelist, and frequently also as a prosy and prolix author who "clutters up" his works with superfluous bits of erudition. HisMagicMountain bids fair to join the list of immortal works of world literature which people bring back from their summer vacations - unread. Mann is, of course, serious and sober and very North German in most of his works, and the charge of occasional verbosity and divagation can well be substantiated. Nevertheless, Mann has, in my opinion, tried to be fundamentally a humorist throughout his life and career, not in the conventional sense of the word in which Fritz Reuter, P. G. Wodehouse or Ring Lardner qualify, but as a man who at an astonishingly early age saw through his fellow humans, analyzed and defined their basic confiicts and decided to be a mediator, a prophet of the realm of the middle. The humor in Mann's works derives from his manner of looking at the human comedy, and our amusement is in direct proportion to our ability to discern a comic element in life, even in tragedy.


English literature German Thomas Mann humans humour literature love media

Authors and affiliations

  • Frank Donald Hirschbach
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1955
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-017-4586-4
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-4776-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site