Against the Grain: Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks (1870)

Four Mondays, June 18, 25, July 2, July 9, 3:30 p.m  5:30 p.m.

$120.00(10% off for members)


"What is success? It is an inner, an indescribable force, resourcefulness, power of vision; a consciousness that I am, by my mere existence, exerting pressure on the movement of life about me.... Fortune and success lie within ourselves. We must hold them firmly – deep within us. For as soon as something begins to slip, to relax, to get tired, within us, then... one thing follows another, blow after blow – and the man is finished." --Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks (Pt 7, Ch.6)


Comparable in scale and artistry to the novels of Dickens, Stendhal, Flaubert and Tolstoy, the turn of the century Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann is the saga of a bourgeois family succumbing to decadence and decay over the course of four generations. The novel follows the fates of Antonie, Thomas, Christian and Hanno touched by death, divorce, depression, disease, and disgrace. Part autobiographical and realistic to a degree which garnered Mann both the Nobel Prize and the disdain of Lubeck relations who felt they had been ill-depicted, Buddenbrooks shows up the conflict between the artistic drifter, the social climber and the merchant class—the free and unguided spirit, or the musician-philosopher against the mark, and the grain. Published when Mann was only 26, diligent in detail, experimental in its use of dialects, deep plunges into character psychology, a structure which borrows from the Wagnerian leitmotif, and a hint of homosexual love, Buddenbrooks begins to veer into a new modernist territory which would prove home to Joyce, inspiring to Faulkner, and beloved to readers across the world.

Nicole Miller's prize-winning essays have appeared recently in New Letters and Arts & Letters magazines. Her fiction has been published twice in The Mays, edited by Jill Paton Walsh and Sebastian Faulks. She received an M.Phil. in Victorian Literature from Lincoln College, Oxford; a PhD in English at University College, London; and an MFA at Emerson College, Boston, where she held the Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing. At The Oxford English Dictionary, she has served as a scholarly reader for British Dialects since 2002. She edits faculty manuscripts in Harvard’s English Department and teaches nineteenth and twentieth century British literature at Politics and Prose in Washington D.C.

REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can issue class refunds up until seven (7) days before the first class session.

SKU: Buddenbrooks1870Product
Enter the name of the primary household member listed on the membership

Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679752608
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - June 28th, 1994