Dionysian Creativity in Selected Works by Gabriele D’Annunzio and Thomas Mann
The Dionysian – an impetus towards abandon, intoxication and creativity, but also chaos, death and dissolution – captured the imagination of both Gabriele D’Annunzio and Thomas Mann, two authors whose work otherwise seems antithetical. Both admired Friedrich Nietzsche and engaged with his iconic yet enigmatic idea of the «Dionysian» in their depictions of writers and artists. Like many of their own fictional characters, D’Annunzio and Mann appear to have been drawn towards this idea and its significance in an artistic context. In their novels and short stories, both portray writers and artists who rely on the precarious form of creativity that results from interactions with the Dionysian. This book argues that the portraits of the artist offered by D’Annunzio and Mann, and the depictions of creativity found within these portraits, demonstrate that these two giants of European literature were more alike than has hitherto been acknowledged – and more alike than they would perhaps have liked to think.
This book was the winner of the 2016 Early Career Researcher Prize in German Studies, a collaboration between the Institute for German Studies at the University of Birmingham and Peter Lang.
I thank my thesis supervisors, Dr Nick Martin and Dr Clodagh Brook, to whom I remain indebted for their feedback, advice and encouragement, and for kindling my enthusiasm for this subject. I would like to thank the anonymous reviewer for Peter Lang for their helpful comments and suggestions. Thanks are also due to the AHRC, for funding my doctoral studies, and to the University of Birmingham, for allowing me continued use of its resources in order to complete this book.
I am grateful, too, to my family and friends for their support and patience. ← ix | x →
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