Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Friday, November 4, 2016

Royal Highness by Thomas Mann (1909)

This will be the fifth year The Reading Life has participated in German Literature Month.  This event is one  of the reason it is great to be part of the international book blog community.  Last year I was motivated to read world class literary works by writers like Thomas Mann, Hermann Broch, Stefan Zweig, Hermann Hesse as well as lesser know treasures.  I learned a lot from the many very erudite posts by coparticipants and from those by our very generous hosts Caroline of Beauty is a Sleeping Cat and Lizzy of Lizzy's Literary Life.  You will find excellent reading suggestions and planned events on their blog.  To participate all you have to do is to post on any work originally written in German and put your link on the event blog.  

My Readings For German Literature VI November 2016

1.  The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse

2.  Royal Highness by Thomas Mann

Lsst November during German Literature V I read one of the greatest novels of the last century, Buddenbrook The Decline of a Family by Thomas Mann.  In previous years I have read his classic The Magic Mountain and his very popular novella, Death in Venice. 

Royal Highness is perhaps a lighter, and certainly a shorter work, than Mann's gargantuan classics.  It seems to me almost a comedy and some have likened it to a fairy tale.  

The story is set in a small German principality.  The time is the early 20th century.  It is kind of like the inherited royal family thinks they are really ruling the family when they are really just figureheads caught up in Byzantine Dramas.
Aprince ascends to the thrown when his older brother is just to lazy to bother.  The prince wants to improve the lives of his subject.  Unfortunately the ministers that run things are very incompetent.  The finances of the country are in a horrible mess.  

The plot excitement begins when the prince falls in love with a very wealthy American woman.  There are all kind of people in the novel.  It is Avery charming satire of the pretentions of minor European royalty.  It can also be seen as an America versus Europe story.  

I enjoyed this book am glad I read it.  I would suggest those new to Mann dive into his classic Magic Mountain.  

I have a copy of Dr Faustus on my E reader and hope to read it one day not to far away. 

Please share your favorite Mann works with us

Mel ü


Edith LaGraziana said...

I see that you're quite an expert as regards the books of my birthday twin Thomas Mann! I don't think that too many have read his Royal Highness (link to my review from July) as we have. It's certainly one of his less known works. I enjoyed also his novellas Tonio Kröger (1903) and Mario and the Magician (1930).
LaGraziana @ Edith's Miscellany

Mudpuddle said...

i read Buddenbrooks this last summer; it was ok, but i was expecting more; many years previously i had been immersed in "the Magic Mountain" and was enthralled by it. I'll look around for a copy of "royal Highness"; it sounds a bit bouncier than his other works... tx for the post...

Fred said...

Mel u,

Are you going to read any of his short works this session? It's been so long since I read _Royal Highness_ that I remember nothing about it. Both Tonio Kruge and Mario are interesting reads also.

Mel u said...

Edith LaGarazina-fR from expert. I do hope to read the works you mentioned one day. Thanks for your comment

Mel u said...

Mudpuddle. I hope to retread MAgic Mountsin. Hopefully next year

Mel u said...

Free. As of now I have no more Mann plans for November but for sure I want to read his short works. Thanks for your suggestions