Thomas Mann, Tonio Kröger

Hannelore G. Mundt (University of Wyoming)
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Thomas Mann's early novella

Tonio Kröger

(1903) ranks amongst his most popular narratives. Written over a period of two years and regarded by the author himself as his “favorite literary child” (“literarisches Lieblingskind”), the text's central theme is the antagonism between life and art, an antagonism that also plays a major role in some of Mann's previous works. This can be seen in the novella

Der kleine Herr Friedemann

[

Little Herr Friedemann

, 1897], where a crippled outsider escapes into the realm of art to avoid life. In the novel

Buddenbrooks

(1901) the renunciation of a bourgeois existence is coupled with life-negating aestheticism and death. Art and life are also diametrically opposed in Mann's novella

Tristan

, published in the same year as

Tonio Kröger

. In

Tristan

1162 words

Citation: Mundt, Hannelore G.. "Tonio Kröger". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 February 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11468, accessed 13 April 2024.]

11468 Tonio Kröger 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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