Cinema: Soul Destroyed

Vladimir Nabokov called it "posh-lost," a Russian term he translates as "crude pseudo literature." Thomas Mann called it Death in Venice, perhaps the most celebrated novella of the 20th century.

One can understand the great Russian's distaste for the work of the great German. In the story, the sun does not rise and set; instead "the naked god with cheeks aflame drove his four fire-breathing steeds through heaven's spaces." Venice is not a city, but "the fallen Queen of the Seas." The symbolism accompanying the dense, involuted prose is no less affected. But Death...

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