n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - "Über den Sprachen ist Sprache". Thomas Manns Roman

Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1273



<b>"Beyond languages is language" - Thomas Mann's novel <I>Der Erwählte&lt;/I&gt;&lt;/b&gt; &lt;br&gt; The starting-point of this article is a consideration of the implications of the linguistic and prosodic, partly parodistic idiosyncrasies of Thomas Mann's novel <I>Der Erwählte (The Holy Sinner)&lt;/I&gt; in the light of the statements made by the narrator about himself and his work, and indications of the extent of his sceptical approach to his subject-matter. This reveals substantial contradictions which indicate the unreality of the world within the novel except as a linguistic construct. Mann saw his work as a final flickering of a long tradition before its imminent extinction and referred frequently to the significance in the work of notions of sin and divine forgiveness, but it is argued that it is only in the artificial world created by the narrator that these notions can still retain their significance.

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