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When I got the email from the Thomas Mann House (where I should be btw enjoying the life of a public intellectual right now) asking if I would like to participate at #MutuallyMann I instantly told myself: Finally! An excuse to take a break of my usual theoretical readings and enjoy some nice literature in my very mild German quarantine. Of course I could not keep up with the reading schedule (sorry @thomas_mann_house !) between my projects, dozens of too long video calls and the kids of very dear friends who think that their father is a real magician. Therefore, I just began reading “Mario and the Magician” in an anarchist move without checking the schedule again. Guilty 🙋🏽‍♂️ What would I do to drink a fresh lemonade in Torre di Venere right now!? If Corona is making me wait till I can be in Los Angeles, let me at least enjoy good old Bella Italia as they say in German. “Yes, decidedly one should go to Torre […] in May, before the water is warm enough to tempt the Southerner to bathe“, writes Thomas Mann. Mmmmmh 😌. Even imagining the magician with the ugly hair in front of me did not bother me initially. I maybe got used to men with ugly hair, it felt familiar anyway 🤷🏽‍♂️. Only the faces of the excited kids & their parents buying Cipolla’s shit show while he was humiliating its victims brought me back to reality tbh. I had to think about the 13%, the 22%, the 36%, the 51% of voters in different European countries & the United States… you might now the rest of this story. After reading the short text, as usual, I started to search the internet to look up if I am right or wrong with my analysis of the novel. It’s just a nerdy thing that I can’t let go. I spend a few minutes looking at the different covers of ancient issues of “Mario and the Magician” (see above). Then I found an article that compares Cipolla to someone else very familiar: “The Evil Magician Casts a Spell. Donald Trump's eerie likeness to Thomas Mann's Mussolini parable” (The New Republic, August 15, 2016). And there I was again in my good old thinking, reading and writing mode about who shapes our existence today and why so many people applaud watching the abuse of the marginalized.

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