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Vision and Revision

The Concept of Inspiration in Thomas Mann's Fiction


Karan Drabek Vogt

This study examines the concept of inspiration in Thomas Mann's major novels and the redemptive possibilities of the artist vis-a-vis his society. Mann's high moral seriousness is revealed in his belief that the artist embodies the society's concealed illness and through his art provides the possibility of a healing catharsis.
Contents: Certain gorgeous butterflies, writes Serenus Zeitblom in Doctor Faustus, are visible and seductive - Yet they fly about with perfect ease because the world knows them to be disgusting to eat - Others, equally beautiful, are perfectly edible; they also fly untouched. They are inedible by association. So Thomas Mann described the plight of art and the artist in his own time.