Books: Magic Mountains

ESSAYS OF THREE DECADES (472 pp.)—Thomas Mann, translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter—Knopf ($4).

When Thomas Mann's first great novel, Buddenbrooks, was published in 1901, there still lived in Germany a nonagenarian schoolteacher who had talked not only with young Leo Tolstoy, but with old Goethe himself. Mann, who has published 36 books in his 72 years of life, cites this old schoolteacher as the 20th Century's last physical link with the great world of Goethe, Beethoven, Mozart. But he does not suggest that that world's principal literary descendant today is Thomas Mann himself....

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