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Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family (1901)

de Thomas Mann

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

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5,6931091,797 (4.18)382
A Major Literary Event: a brilliant new translation of Thomas Mann's first great novel, one of the two for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1929. Buddenbrooks, first published in Germany in 1900, when Mann was only twenty-five, has become a classic of modem literature -- the story of four generations of a wealthy bourgeois family in northern Germany. With consummate skill, Mann draws a rounded picture of middle-class life: births and christenings; marriages, divorces, and deaths; successes and failures. These commonplace occurrences, intrinsically the same, vary slightly as they recur in each succeeding generation. Yet as the Buddenbrooks family eventually succumbs to the seductions of modernity -- seductions that are at variance with its own traditions -- its downfall becomes certain. In immensity of scope, richness of detail, and fullness of humanity, Buddenbrooks surpasses all other modem family chronicles; it has, indeed, proved a model for most of them. Judged as the greatest of Mann's novels by some critics, it is ranked as among the greatest by all. Thomas Mann was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1929.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 106 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Buddenbrooks.

The name alone conjures up richness, grandeur, and decay. A sense of history pummelling us into submission, and of small moments lodged alongside great ones. I'm not as well-read in Mann as I should be (he seems, these days, to be one of the shibboleths of the literary establishment), but Buddenbrooks is the very definition of a classic.

Four generations of 19th century Germans across 700 pages sounds like a cruel ask, but Mann is writing with a style that is Stendhal crossed with Zola, although he lacks the cynicism of either of those gentlemen. Indeed, for all of his symbols of elegant decay, one gets the sense that Mann rather empathises with this beguiling family.

If you're going to join the clan, you can't go wrong with John E. Wood's famous translation. Straightforward, poetic, and compelling:

"The consul climbed the stairs to his living quarters, and the old man groped his way down along the banister to the mezzanine. Then the rambling old house lay tightly wrapped in darkness and silence. Pride, hope, and fear all slept, while rain pelted the deserted streets and an autumn wind whistled around corners and gables."

Every character in the extended family is beautifully realised, from resentful old Thomas to larrikin Christian, their determined sister Tony (my favourite character) and grey-haired old Ida. The book is written in a succession of very short chapters, creating a sense of the piling up of moments like individual knitting loops that come together to form a rich tapestry - or, for that matter, the lines drawn in the old, gold-striped family notebook representing each branch of the family, so childishly (yet ominously) crossed out by the young Hanno, certain before his maturity that there will be no more. Think of the party that opens the novel, or Hanno's captivating piano recital.

"Is that how the world works - like a pretty melody? That's merely flimsy idealism."

Of course, you don't need silly old me to tell you that Mann was a literary luminary. Still, I can't emphasise enough the ease and poignance of this great novel. It shouldn't be an intimidating classic, by any means. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 21, 2024 |
I loved the optimism of the first half (5 stars), but the second half was depressing (3 stars). This book reminded me of Eline Vere by Couperus (the drama, the focus on discontent) and Publieke Werken by Rosenboom (the role of ambition and feeling self-important). It is a shame that Mann does not seem to like or respect his characters, as most of them turn into caricatures. They keep repeating the same affected mannerisms, keep saying the same lines. I guess this is meant humourously, as a form of satire, but it made it very hard to like them. ( )
  jd7h | Feb 18, 2024 |
A Book Set In A Different Country

Buddenbrooks is the multi-generational tale of the of the eponymous merchant class family in northern Germany during the mid-1800s. The novel centers around the lives of the third generation of Buddenbrooks: Thomas, his brother Christian and their sister Tony. This generation encompasses both the pinnacle of the family's success and its tragic downfall. Each child is an archetype: Thomas, the tradition-oriented businessman and politician, Christian, the self-indulgent, hard-living ne'er-do-well, and Tony, the obedient daughter obsessively protective of the family's honor.

Despite its length, Thomas Mann's debut novel engagingly portrays the rise and decline of the family as it navigates the changing social customs of an industrializing Germany. Mann refreshingly avoids interjecting authorial commentary, instead allowing his narrative to depict the wisdom or foolishness of the business and marital decisions which bring about the Buddenbrook's many misfortunes. Thomas' misplaced reliance on appearances rather than competency and his inadequacies as a father which result in the lack of a suitable successor to the family business. Christian's unsuitability for work in the family business and his decadent lifestyle. Tony's arranged marriage to a swindling, much older man she does not love. Her subsequent marriage to a man whose cultural inadequacies doom this relationship. Her daughter's unfortunate marriage to a man brought down by the disfavor of his enemies.

Buddenbrooks is an absorbing yet ultimately discouraging portrait of a family's dissolution amidst a changing environment in what for them must have also felt like a story set in a different country.
  skavlanj | Dec 17, 2023 |
excellent indeed… but a bit long, a few too many “toni’s quivering top lip… ( )
  diveteamzissou | Nov 28, 2023 |
My first novel by Manne, and his first published novel.
Set in the mid 1800s, the book tells the story of a leading business family in a small regional town in what is now northern Germany. I found it fascinating - the characters believably fallible, and set in a rich background of town and commercial life.
It made me realise how little I know of that place and time.
It also made me wonder why I couldn't think of an English language twin - what 19th century English books are centred on the business class? From Austen to Hardy, they all seem to focus on the clergy, landholders, or the aristocracy. Dickens covered the disadvantaged - but who wrote about the families driving the industrial revolution? ( )
  mbmackay | Oct 18, 2023 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (130 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Mann, Thomasautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Fontcuberta i Gel, JoanTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Graftdijk, ThomasTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lowe-Porter, H. T.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Molenaar, Johan deTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Noble, PeterNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Parker, DerekIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Quanjer, Th. A.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Reed, T.J.Introduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Rho, AnitaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Rosoman, LeonardIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Wallenström, UlrikaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Woods, John E.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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p. 262: "A businessman cannot be a bureaucrat," he told his former schoolchum Stephen Kistenmaker--of Kistenmaker & Sons--who was still Tom's friend, though hardly his match intellectually, and listened to his every work in order to pass it on as his own opinon.
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p 506: What was Death? The answer came, not in poor, large-sounding words: he felt it within him, he possessed it. Death was a joy, so great, so deep that it could be dreamed of only in moments of revelation like the present. It was the return from an unspeakably painful wandering, the correction of a grave mistake, the loosening of chains, the opening of doors - it put right again a lamentable mischance.
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A Major Literary Event: a brilliant new translation of Thomas Mann's first great novel, one of the two for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1929. Buddenbrooks, first published in Germany in 1900, when Mann was only twenty-five, has become a classic of modem literature -- the story of four generations of a wealthy bourgeois family in northern Germany. With consummate skill, Mann draws a rounded picture of middle-class life: births and christenings; marriages, divorces, and deaths; successes and failures. These commonplace occurrences, intrinsically the same, vary slightly as they recur in each succeeding generation. Yet as the Buddenbrooks family eventually succumbs to the seductions of modernity -- seductions that are at variance with its own traditions -- its downfall becomes certain. In immensity of scope, richness of detail, and fullness of humanity, Buddenbrooks surpasses all other modem family chronicles; it has, indeed, proved a model for most of them. Judged as the greatest of Mann's novels by some critics, it is ranked as among the greatest by all. Thomas Mann was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1929.

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