An extraordinary collection of stories from the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature -- the title story, one of Mann's most political, explores the rise of facism by way of a mysterious magician in a small Italian vollage.
In this extraordinary collection of short stories, Thomas Mann uses settings as diverse as Germany, Italy, the Holy Land and the Far East to explore a theme which always preoccupied him: the two faces of things. Thus, inA Man and His Dog and Disorder and Early Sorrow, small domestic tempests become symbolic of the discordant muddle of humanity. InThe Transposed Heads and The Tables of Law the demands of the intellect clash with the desires of physiology -- an idea developed more fully inThe Black Swan, where body and spirit are tragically out of harmony. Written between 1918 and 1953, these stories offer us both an insight into Mann's development of thought and also some impressive literature from these interesting times.
"The greatest German novelist of the 20th century" * Spectator * "A monumental writer" * Sunday Telegraph * "Mann is Germany's outstanding modern classic, a decadent representative of the tradition of Goethe and Schiller. With his famous irony, he was up there with Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Freud, holding together the modern world with a love of art and imagination to compensate for the emptiness left by social and religious collapse" * Independent * "Probably the greatest of modern German novelists" * New York Times *