Thomas Mann's Artist-Heroes

Trade Cloth – $26.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2953-5
Publication Date
February 2014
Page Count
252 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Thomas Mann's Artist-Heroes

Jeffrey Meyers has written acclaimed biographies of many of the most influential authors of the twentieth century, but none has affected him as deeply as Thomas Mann. From his first youthful encounter with Death in Venice, Meyers has cultivated a lifetime obsession with Mann’s elegant style, penetrating irony, and insight into the life of the artist.Thomas Mann’s Artist-Heroes follows Mann’s own obsession with the artistic life through his characters: from the fiction of Gustav von Aschenbach in Death in Venice and the music of Adrian Leverkühn in Doctor Faustus, to Tonio Kröger’s life as a writer, to the artistically minded patient Hans Castorp in The Magic Mountain, and finally to Mann’s time in America and later memoirs by his family. Mann probes deeper than perhaps any other author into questions of how an artist is formed, why he must defy conventional society, and how suffering and disease affect his work.Admirers of Thomas Mann and of Jeffrey Meyers’s biographies will find in this remarkable book the best introduction to one of the greatest writers of the modern age.
About the Author

Jeffrey Meyers has written biographies of Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Conrad, Scott Fitzgerald, George Orwell, and John Huston, among others. He lives in Berkeley, California.


Thomas Mann’s Artist-Heroes is a cornucopia of passionate exposition, insight, and dissection. Meyers has waited a lifetime to give full form to his fascination with Thomas Mann—and we are the grateful beneficiaries.”—Nigel Hamilton, author of American Caesars and The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941–1942

“This brilliant and intensely rich book fills one, from the beginning, with the desire to know more—all there is—about Mann and the stories and novels that brought him to preeminence as Germany’s greatest modern writer and important moral force . . . This is a wonderful book written with verve. Thomas Mann, his person, themes, obsessions, and art have been of lifelong interest to Jeffrey Meyers, who brings to them the background and breadth that supreme literary art and the tremendous decades from 1900 through the 1940s deserve.”—James Salter, author of A Sport and a Pastime and Light Years