On Wednesday, November 10th, BISR faculty Nathan Shields, Rebecca Ariel Porte, and Christine Smallwood gathered to discuss the interrelation of art and politics in the work of renowned novelist Thomas Mann. From Buddenbrooks to Magic Mountain to Doctor Faustus, how can we understand Mann’s evolving artistry alongside his changing political and intellectual commitments? What does it have to do with his shared exile, in Los Angeles, with Arnold Schoenberg and Theodor Adorno? How, ultimately, did Mann understand the rise of fascism: as a sudden eruption of mass hysteria, or as a phenomenon entailed by the very contradictions of capitalist-bourgeois society? The discussion gets underway at the 6:30 mark.
Thomas Mann: Art, Politics, and Exile was co-sponsored by Goethe-Institut New York and held in conjunction with Goethe’s exhibition and event series Thomas Mann: Democracy Will Win.