Member Blogs > Books Tell You WhyThomas Mann: An Exploration of Philosophy and Practicality

  • Fri, 05 Jun 2015 08:00:00    Permalink

    Thomas Mann was born into the Hanseatic ruling Mann family, a wealthy clan who held great influence over the city republic of Lübeck, in what was then the German Empire. Mann grew up under the aegis of privilege, raised by tales of his ancestors’ prosperity and the ethos of bourgeoisie practicality. The Manns, as ruling families are wont to do, were preoccupied with the maintenance of their influence, wealth, and respectability. Thus, when the 21 year-old Thomas Mann announced his plans to become a writer, his family took his artistic calling as a betrayal of his auspicious pedigree. Despite his family’s protests, Mann would not abandon his vocation, and he was effectively disowned. The irony of this event, of course, is that Mann would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and earn the reputation for being the most significant scribe in German letters since Nietzsche, becoming the most revered member of the very family that spurned his artistic pursuits.

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