Tristanessay - Lieu 1 Virginia Lieu Paul Dobryden German R5A Tristan by Thomas Mann Thomas Mann creates an association between beauty and illness

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Lieu 1 Virginia Lieu Paul Dobryden German R5A September 17, 2009 Tristan by Thomas Mann Thomas Mann creates an association between beauty and illness while employing concepts on which both Kant and Shklovsky elaborated, the principles in which objects that are good within themselves are beautiful and that art defamiliarizes ordinary objects. In “Tristan,” Spinell and his obsession with beauty and his hatred of commonality ultimately causes Gabriele sickness to grow worse. The theme of beauty and uselessness is connected to disease and frailty while that of usefulness and normality is linked with health and vigor. Her “strange and tiny vein branched out, pale blue and sickly, in the clarity and immaculateness of her virtually translucent forehead” (Mann 108). The narrator says, “If it had been her lungs, this new patient could not have presented a lovelier and more exalted, a more enraptured and ethereal image than now” (Mann 108). This is further demonstrated during the piano scene. The narrator states, “How clear and colorless her lips were, and how the shadows deepened in the corners of her eyes! Above her eyebrow, in her transparent forehead, the tiny pale-blue vein, strained and unsettling, emerged more and more sharply” (Mann 134). The scene demonstrates how beauty and art “sucks” health from Gabriele: “On the twenty-eighth, she coughed up a little blood…Oh, insignificant; still, it
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Lieu 2 was blood. She also felt faint, much more so than ever before, and so she stayed in bed” (Mann 135). Contrarily, Kloterjahn and Anton are the paragons of health and “usefulness.” Kloterjahn revels in life, “a true connoisseur of cuisine and wine cellars,” and is robust. He is not “averse to other earthy joys” (Mann 111). In spite of his worry for Gabriele, he returns to his
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This note was uploaded on 09/21/2009 for the course GERMAN R 5A taught by Professor Pauldobryden during the Fall '09 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Tristanessay - Lieu 1 Virginia Lieu Paul Dobryden German R5A Tristan by Thomas Mann Thomas Mann creates an association between beauty and illness

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