Thursday, March 26, 2009

Death in Venice Part 2

I said I wouldn't write one (because what can I say about this book that hasn't been said???), but here's a MINI review of Death in Venice. I'm going a bit into some of what I'll cover in my future posts about this story (Gus von A as a fallen dandy), but whatever. I don't think anyone is reading this blog yet lol.

In 'Death in Venice', Thomas Mann allows his readers to view a respectable man's descent into madness, into a dark, disturbing obsession where reason and logic have no impact on actions - where passion reigns sovereign... and it's jarring to *witness*.

The story begins with such attention taken to establish the story's protagonist (*Gus von A*) as hyper-disciplined, possessing the utmost aplomb and self-mastery - only to have him come undone as the book progresses.

This is one of those stories where syntax and diction play as much a part in the reader's investment as does the plot itself. Mann's sentences are at first long, and intricate - with far too many dependent clauses (seriously, try to diagram some of these suckers!)... but by the story's end, peppered amongst the ornate are an equal number of staccato phrases (often the protagonist's hurried and ill-considered decisions to act on whim).

I love the art of writing and Mann's style is the equivalent of literary porn. The subject matter isn't lacking scandal either. GREAT read. It's short enough to read quickly, but why rush. Savor it a bit.