Medicine, Modernism, and Mysticism in Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain
Published in 1924, The Magic Mountain is a novel of education, tracing the intellectual growth of a budding engineer through a maze of intellectual encounters during a seven-year sojourn in a sanatorium set high in the Swiss Alps. It engages with the key themes of modernism: the relativity of time, the impact of psychoanalysis, the power of myth, and an extended dispute between an optimistic belief in progress and a pessimistic vision of human nature. Through its detailed discussion of disease (tuberculosis) this remarkable text connects the study of medicine to the humanities. Taught in English.