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Doing my ‘homework’ like in the old days. 😊 Section two of Mario und der Zauberer. Lovely again, with a beatiful scene on an Italian beach in which the honour of Italy is at stake because of an innocent incident with a 8 year old girl “nach ihrer körperlichen Entwicklung ein gutes Jahr jünger zu schätzen und mager wie ein Spatz”. My comment on todays blog by Hedwig Richter: Broadly speaking the statement of the entanglement of the discourse of civilization with Western colonial ideas may be true, but I tend to read this particular story in a different way. ‘Afrikanisch’ here – at least in the part that I’ve reread now – clearly refers to temperature, not to culture. In so far ‘Unordnung’ is connected to culture, it is connected to Italian culture. Could it be that nationalism in this story plays a stronger part than colonialism? And that German enthousiasm in reception of this story in 1929 (as we heard about from Tobias Boes) stems from this underlying nationalist motive i.e. competition between two – European – nations/spirits, namely Nordic and Mediterranean? That might also shed light on the apparent contradiction with reception of the Wagnerlecture in 1933 (as also referred to by Tobias Boes). Then the public in Munich may have seen the Wagnerlecture as a turn on Mann’s account in comparison to his Mario und der Zauberer story from four years earlier. #mutuallymann #thomasmannhouse #thomasmann #germanliterature #buddenbrookhaus #fischerverlag #readinginitiative #stayathome

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