Art and Its Uses in Thomas Mann's Felix Krull
Thomas Mann's Felix Krull, written between 1910-13 and continued (though never completed) in 1951-54, uses contemporary accounts of these figures as a starting-point from which to explore the aesthetics of society. The early Krull marks an important stage in Mann's development in a number of respects.In writing it, Mann acquired a more flexible conception of identity and a new understanding of the relation between artist and public. Krull also signals a deeper engagement with Goethe and a shift in Mann's work towards a more open treatment of sexuality. The novel presents art as being central to the development of the individual and to social interaction. While Krull is nominally a confidence man, he is more of a performance artist, a purveyor of beauty who relies upon the complicity of his audience. The later Krull takes up where Mann left off and continues the justification of art as an essential human activity. This study draws upon unpublished material in order to provide a comprehensive reading of Felix Krull. It examines the novel within the context of Mann's work as a whole, and, in doing so, it seeks to demonstrate the remarkable continuity of Mann's creative achievement.
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aesthetic allusion artist audience Barthes becomes Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Bildungsroman Buddenbrooks bullfight Castorp chapter characters Cipolla creative culture Der Zauberberg describes Diane Houpflé Dichtung und Wahrheit Doktor Faustus DüD Egmont essay fact Felix Krull fiction Fontane Frankfurt a.M. Freud function Geist und Kunst genres Georg Simmel German GKFA Goethe Goethe’s Goethean Heinrich Mann Hochstaplers Felix Krull human identity implies interaction Joseph Karl Kerényi Klaus Heinrich Königliche Hoheit Kuckuck later Leben Leser Leverkühn Lotte in Weimar Mann’s Mann’s novel Manolescu Mario Marquis Menschen metaphor metaphysical modern moral Müller-Rosé episode Musterungsszene narrative narrator narrator’s nature Nietzsche Nietzsche’s play politics Professor Kuckuck reader reading Roland Barthes role Rozsa scene Scherrer and Wysling Schiller seems sein sexuality shows Simmel social society Sympathie Thomas Mann Tod in Venedig Tonio Kröger tradition Welt Werke wohl words Wysling Zauberberg Zauberer Zeitblom Zouzou