Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family

Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family

Thomas Mann John E. Woods / Jun 04, 2020

Buddenbrooks The Decline of a Family A Major Literary Event a brilliant new translation of Thomas Mann s first great novel one of the two for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in Buddenbrooks first published in Ge

  • Title: Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family
  • Author: Thomas Mann John E. Woods
  • ISBN: 9780679752608
  • Page: 424
  • Format: Paperback
  • A Major Literary Event a brilliant new translation of Thomas Mann s first great novel, one of the two for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1929.Buddenbrooks, first published in Germany in 1900, when Mann was only twenty five, has become a classic of modem literature the story of four generations of a wealthy bourgeois family in northern Germany WiA Major Literary Event a brilliant new translation of Thomas Mann s first great novel, one of the two for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1929.Buddenbrooks, first published in Germany in 1900, when Mann was only twenty five, has become a classic of modem literature the story of four generations of a wealthy bourgeois family in northern Germany With consummate skill, Mann draws a rounded picture of middle class life births and christenings marriages, divorces, and deaths successes and failures These commonplace occurrences, intrinsically the same, vary slightly as they recur in each succeeding generation Yet as the Buddenbrooks family eventually succumbs to the seductions of modernity seductions that are at variance with its own traditions its downfall becomes certain.In immensity of scope, richness of detail, and fullness of humanity, Buddenbrooks surpasses all other modem family chronicles it has, indeed, proved a model for most of them Judged as the greatest of Mann s novels by some critics, it is ranked as among the greatest by all Thomas Mann was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1929.From the Hardcover edition.

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    About "Thomas Mann John E. Woods"

      • Thomas Mann John E. Woods

        Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name See this thread for information.Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual His analysis and critique of the European and German soul used modernized German and Biblical stories, as well as the ideas of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer His older brother was the radical writer Heinrich Mann, and three of his six children, Erika Mann, Klaus Mann and Golo Mann, also became important German writers When Hitler came to power in 1933, Mann fled to Switzerland When World War II broke out in 1939, he emigrated to the United States, from where he returned to Switzerland in 1952 Thomas Mann is one of the best known exponents of the so called Exilliteratur.


    1. Occasionally, reading and family life interfere with each other! I have raised my children with the sole dogma that "I read, therefore I am". Being a family, we can't keep from judging each other according to our own specific reading preferences, and we usually believe that "we are what we read". At the moment, my son is reading Buddenbrooks while I am working my way through Brothers Karamazov, and we like to compare notes, especially as both novels are focusing on complicated family patterns - [...]

    2. Πρόκειται για ένα αριστούργημα. Γράφτηκε απο τον Τόμας Μαν όταν ήταν 25 ετών και του έδωσε επάξια το βραβείο Νόμπελ λογοτεχνίας το 1929. Ακολουθούμε με χαρακτηριστική μεγαλοπρέπειατο έπος παρακμής μιας χανσεατικής επιτυχημένης οικογένειας. Η ιστορία των Μπούντενμπρουκ μέσα [...]

    3. MEAN REVERSION IS A BITCH!!!There is a concept in statistics, Regression or Reversion to the Mean, which is widely used in a variety of fields of knowledge. It was first realized by Sir Francis Galton, cousin of Charles Darwin, when he worked on the correlation of heights between adult children and parents.The concept refers to the tendency for any variable which exhibits an extreme value at any point of measurement to move towards the average next time it is measured.This mathematical tool is u [...]

    4. True to his elegant style, detailed and generous in the petty small details, Thomas Mann returned with this voluminous novel in which narrates the decline and anguish of a German family of the late nineteenth century.All the complexes that can live (and suffer) people of the upper class, when they see themselves in distressing needs, are described here, with a halo of nostalgia that surrounds the conversations, which, more than conversations, are reminiscent of a glorious and buoyant past that w [...]

    5. Reviewed in September 2013Buddenbrooks sat on a high shelf in the back-room of my mind for many years, and though it remained unread it was nevertheless honoured with a prime position; I hoped to read it one day but doubted my own ability to comprehend what I thought must surely be a very difficult text.I first came across Buddenbrooks among my older sister’s university text books. Her German edition impressed me not only for the mysterious title composed of familiar syllables which the string [...]

    6. "The sad thing is that one lives but once—one can't begin life over again. And one would know so much better the second time!"The family saga of the Buddenbrooks is considered a classic of German literature, a book many people have already heard about, yet never read for a very simple reason it's loooong. And if you appreciate your books with action and thrilling stuff, then Thomas Mann's novel is not exactly the book you should turn to because it would only disappoint you.It took me almost th [...]

    7. My previous experiences of Mann were The Magic Mountain and Doctor Faustus, both of which were rewarding but challenging. Buddenbrooks was Mann's first major novel, a thinly veiled account of his own family's rise and fall over the course of the mid nineteenth century. For a book written by a young man who was only 25 when it was published, it is extremely impressive, but it is very much a book of its time, and by modern standards it sometimes seems glacially slow moving, but very atmospheric, a [...]

    8. How could Katia Pringsheim have gone on to marry Thomas Mann if she had ever read his first novel, Buddenbrooks beforehand? The long story of a families multifaceted decline across four generations features mental anguish, bankruptcy, insanity and no happy marriages.Thomas Mann's first novel is set among the Lübeck Patrician class of leading merchants who dominated the small city-state. Mann drew heavily upon the family background that he left behind along with the world of business to make him [...]

    9. 782. Buddenbrooks, Thomas Mannتاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و ششم ژانویه سال 2012 میلادیبودنبروک‌ها (زوال یک خاندان) - توماس مان (ماهی) ادبیات آلمان، 782 صفحهرمان با یک مهمانی خانوادگی شروع می‌شود. همه هستند، پدربزرگی که بانی ثروت خانواده است و در زمان جنگ آذوقه به جنوب برده، پدری نگران همه چیز، دخ [...]

    10. This is my first reading group experience and I have to thank both Kalliope and Kris for having pointed this work out to me and for having allowed me to participate. I also want to give thanks to all the reading partners who keep posting invaluable comments which have helped me to better grasp the nature of this novel. "Life was harsh: and business, with its ruthless unsentimentality, was an epitome of life."(Buddenbrooks, p.363)Had I been told that an objective, even detached depiction of the [...]

    11. bbc/programmes/b01lsts9Description: Michael Maloney and Barbara Flynn star in this story of an old Hanseatic merchant family fighting to keep their commercial supremacy in the changing world of 1840s Europe.Four generations of Buddenbrooks try to sustain their inheritance - a once highly successful trading company in the port of Lübeck on the Baltic Sea - in a world where the old ways no longer seem to work. It's 1848, and the revolutionary tide running through Europe has finally reached Lübec [...]

    12. Un uomo non educato dal dolore riman sempre bambino I personaggi abbondano ma sono presentati in modo spartano, delineati con i tratti necessari. Non c'è quell'esasperazione tipicamente e insopportabilmente russa, infarcita di politica, patronimici e dovozione alla Grande Madre. Non ci sono quei capitoli infiniti, satolli di tirate filosofiche. I capitoli dei Bundenbrook sono brevi, per essi riesumo un paragone che si presta bene data l'ambientazione tedesca: un litro di birra si beve più velo [...]

    13. Il mio stato d'animo a lettura ultimata:Seconda fase:Terza fase (rivolgendo il mio pensiero a Thomas Buddenbrook, in particolare):

    14. Decline of a great family always evokes interest– people watch it like they would–a train wreck, a road-side accident, or a disaster movie– with fascination.There's also an element of schadenfreude involved in "How the mighty have fallen!"In this group read of Mann's first novel Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family, we got to watch up close and personal, the Buddenbrooks- their joys & sorrows, triumphs & defeats, honour & cowardice, births, marriages, divorces & deaths, ri [...]

    15. Absolutely excellent, descriptive writing. Writing that pulls the reader in. Characters that are fully developed and totally real. A book with humor. A book with serious topics to consider. A book about life’s ups and downs. Every time the theme changed I was astonished to once again see how this topic and that topic and every topic touched upon had something to say to me. A long book that does not drag. I loved reading a book set in Germany before either of the world wars! The Revolution of 1 [...]

    16. Bra-effin'-oh, young Mann -- I'm pretty sure this breaks the world record for precocious achievement of towering literary artistry. Published in 1899 when dude was like 25 years old. Must've taken a couple years to write. Can't imagine a current undergrad publishing something like this in a few years. But I didn't actually read Mann's text -- Mann comes to me filtered through John E. Woods's sensibility and super-steady, elastic, attentive prose style. The duo is as good as it gets. Of the four [...]

    17. Monumentale invidiaEcco un altro tomazzo che la pimpante Noce ha letto durante il liceo, periodo d’oro ove, per sfuggire a una preoccupante timidezza, faceva incetta di letture classiche. Poi, non avendo nessuno con cui confrontare le sue giovanili impressioni, si dimenticava il tutto nel giro di un annetto. La prima pagina reca la scritta, in bella grafia tonda tondissima, da liceale per niente sui generis “Roma, ‘95”. Il che vuol dire che lo comprai alla Stazione Termini, mentre con la [...]

    18. I am especially grateful for Kris Rabberman's invitation to join this group read. My experience with Thomas Mann had been limited to the short novella Death in Venice. This group has broadened my reading horizons. Without the enthusiasm of the moderators and group members, it is highly unlikely I would have turned toward Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family.My review will be forthcoming, with the added proviso that I am woefully behind on my reviewing. However, in short, Buddenbrooks: The Decli [...]

    19. «Λυπηρό ήταν μόνο πως πάντα πριν από τέτοιες γιορτές συσσωρεύονταν πολλά αποκρουστικά πράγματα που μέχρι την τελευταία στιγμή κατέστρεφαν την ελεύθερη και χαρούμενη προοπτική.»«Πόσο ξένη σου είναι η μουσική αποδεικνύει το γεγονός ότι οι μουσικές σου προτιμήσεις δεν είν [...]

    20. "That all those charms have pass'd away, I might have watch'd through long decay.""And Thou art Dead, as Young and Fair," Lord ByronThomas Mann's moving 1901 saga of the Buddenbrooks, a respected, wealthy family of grain merchants, begins in 1835 at the death of the patriarch. The three successive generations suffer a decline in their finances and family ideals as values change and old hierarchies are upset by Germany's rapid industrialization. Two of the siblings, Thomas and Antonie, subordinat [...]

    21. Mann é um dos representantes literários da grande erudição e riqueza lexical — a par com Proust, Pessoa e Nabokov — capaz de comunicar o que tem para dizer de forma não apenas imensamente acessível, mas ao mesmo tempo envolvente e sedutora. A elevação do seu registo, apesar de complexo nunca se enreda em palavreado desnecessário ou meramente exibicionista. A construção do texto, por mais trabalhada que surja, parece nunca dizer de mais, nem de menos, como se tocasse sempre o acord [...]

    22. I read a review recently of a historical novel. The reviewer believed that most historical novels fail, because they depict characters with a modern consciousness. These characters often defy the thinking of their times and act in ways that we can approve of. This novel is not historical fiction, but the fact that it was written over a hundred years ago and is full of completely recognisable, very vivid, and obviously historically accurate characters is just one of the things that wowed me about [...]

    23. مدت ها قصد خوندنش رو داشتم که تصادفی تو قفسه های کتابخونه دیدمش و چشام برق زد. موردی که در باره ی این کتاب خیلی روش تاکید میشه سن نویسنده هنگام نوشتن این اثره . توماس مان چهار سال از عمرش رو از سن بیست و دو سالگی تا بیست و شش سالگی صرف خلق بودنبروک ها کرده . کتابی هشتصد صفحه ای که ب [...]

    24. è troppo grande, non ho paroleEDITEppure, arrivata alla terza lettura di questo libro straordinario, qualche parola vorrei provare a scriverla. In fondo, questo è l’unico classico (fra i non molti che ho letto, lo ammetto) che parli alla mia sensibilità, grazie ad una modernità che non è scalfita minimamente dal fatto che i personaggi accendano lampade a gas e non luci a led, e si scrivano lunghe lettere e non messaggi whatsapp. Solo che non è possibile estrarre da questa opera totale un [...]

    25. This is a novel I may never have read had my friend Kalliope not invited me to join in a group read. While I'm an enthusiatic reader of 19th century English and (to a lesser extent) French literature, my exposure to German literature of this period has been sadly lacking. So I'm glad to have had the opportunity to read this novel along with other neophytes and with experts in German literature. While I mostly lurked on its fringes, the group discussion has been informative and stimulating.To a l [...]

    26. Apparently this was Faulkner's favorite novel from Mann. Aspects of it likely permeated his epic of the Compson family. Coincidentally I read this one while my wife's sister was staying with us over the holidays. The Sound and The Fury was read in 2004 when we visted her in London.I thought of this novel yesterday while reading Nancy Mitford's Pursuit of Love. One almost needs to polish silver when pondering these works.

    27. After thinking about this book for a bit I've decided it's now or never for this review. I've also decided to increase my rating to 5 after contemplating my primary reason for marking it a 4e tedious description of Hanno Buddenbrook's day at school. Discussion with others has caused me to look at this somewhat differently, as a portrayal of an unbearable situation during what was proving to be a quite unhappy life. All of this fits with Mann's subtitle "The Decline of a Family".The novel present [...]

    28. Mann's first novel and quite a saga it is; a family history stretching through the latter half of the nineteenth century and over three/four generations. It is more accessible than some of Mann's later works as here all the big topics that Mann raises are couched in routine and the daily rhythm of life. In his first novel Mann is writing about what he knows; these are the people and details of his childhood and upbringing, clearly set in his hometown of Lubeck.I was a little reminded of the Pall [...]

    29. In the introduction there is an anecdote about a female friend of Mann's who read Buddenbrooks and liked it very much, saying she was never bored by it, but she was unable to explain why. Word.I've never liked books like this; you know, multi-generational family sagas, sort of soap opera-ish. Perhaps it's because I was bored to tears as a kid by TV miniseries like East of Eden and Rich Man, Poor Man. After reading Buddenbrooks, though, I realize that maybe I just thought I've never liked books l [...]

    30. I have been stalling about writing a review. Just as I stalled about finishing the book. Buddenbrooks didn't exactly grab me in the beginning. The first few chapters seemed to be about a bunch of smug, self-indulgent people who wore elaborate outfits and stuffed themselves without restraint. I barely noticed the two sons, Tom and Christian, and Tony, the golden-haired daughter. If it hadn't been for the discussion threads provided by other members of our group, I may have abandoned it entirely. [...]

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