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Description de l’éditeur
THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE 2022
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION 2022
From one of our greatest living writers comes a sweeping novel of unrequited love and exile, war and family.
The Magician tells the story of Thomas Mann, whose life was filled with great acclaim and contradiction. He would find himself on the wrong side of history in the First World War, cheerleading the German army, but have a clear vision of the future in the second, anticipating the horrors of Nazism.
He would have six children and keep his homosexuality hidden; he was a man forever connected to his family and yet bore witness to the ravages of suicide. He would write some of the greatest works of European literature, and win the Nobel Prize, but would never return to the country that inspired his creativity.
Through one life, Colm Tóibín tells the breathtaking story of the twentieth century.
'As with everything Colm Tóibín sets his masterful hand to, The Magician is a great imaginative achievement -- immensely readable, erudite, worldly and knowing, and fully realized' - Richard Ford
'No living novelist dramatizes artistic creation as profoundly, as luminously, as Colm Tóibín . . . reading him is among the deepest pleasures our literature can offer' - Garth Greenwell
'This is not just a whole life in a novel, it's a whole world' - Katharina Volckmer
The Booker-shortlisted T ib n (House of Names) unfurls an expansive fictional biography of Thomas Mann, a Nobel laureate who was devoted to family, obsessed with physical beauty, and driven by desire. T ib n draws on excerpts from Mann's diary entries, exposing unrequited loves and erotic encounters with male classmates and boarders as a young man in L beck, Germany, around the turn of the 20th century. The Mann who emerges in these pages is a man led by dangerous impulses and constantly pursued by the "lure of death and the seductive charm of timeless beauty" who creates a thinly veiled depiction of a merchant family from L beck in Buddenbrooks, records his hypersexual attraction to a young Polish boy in Death in Venice, and draws from his visits to his ailing tubercular wife at a sanatorium for The Magic Mountain. An academic sojourn in Princeton and worldwide lecture tours lead a U.S. State Department official to tell him, "after Einstein, you are the most important German alive." But a series of traumatic events including several suicides (siblings and two of his six children) compound the effects of the wars and his struggles with his sexuality, and he goes into exile in the Pacific Palisades. The glory of music dominates much of the novel the strains of Wagner's Lohengrin; the "collision between bombast and subtlety" of Mahler's Eighth Symphony; and the glow said to have radiated from Bach when his music was performed, which Mann aspires to replicate in prose. This vibrates with the strength of Mann's visions and the sublimity of T ib n's mellifluous prose. T ib n has surpassed himself.