Death in Venice Essay

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In the following excerpt, Swales posits two levels on which Mann's Death in Venice advances critical understanding as virtue—the "metaphorical," and the "realistic, psychological."

Der Tod in Venedig (Death in Venice) (1912) tells the story of how Gustav von Aschenbach, a writer famous for the chiselled perfection of his work and for the values of order and self-discipline which it enshrines, decides to break out of his routine existence in Munich by taking a holiday in Venice. In Venice he becomes increasingly fascinated by a Polish boy, Tadzio, who is staying with his family at the same hotel. Aschenbach persuades himself that his interest in the boy is purely the disinterested one of aesthetic appreciation, but gradually it becomes clear that he has succumbed to a homosexual infatuation. Aschenbach's decline is echoed in disturbing events which occur in Venice: the weather is oppressive, the city smells...

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This section contains 2,312 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Death in Venice Study Guide
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Death in Venice from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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