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Der Tod in Venedig
Der Tod in Venedig
Der Tod in Venedig
eBook126 Seiten1 Stunde

Der Tod in Venedig

Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen

3/5

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SpracheDeutsch
HerausgeberArchive Classics
Erscheinungsdatum1. Jan. 1954
Der Tod in Venedig
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Autor

Thomas Mann

German essayist, cultural critic, and novelist, Thomas Mann was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929. Among his most famous works are Buddenbrooks, published when he was just twenty-six, The Magic Mountain, and Doctor Faustus.

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Rezensionen für Der Tod in Venedig

Bewertung: 3.017921146953405 von 5 Sternen
3/5

1.116 Bewertungen45 Rezensionen

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  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    Stars for Mann's novella are superfluous. It needs no recommendation. This new translation, by Michael Heim, does deserve the accolade of a five star rating. In his brief introduction Michael Cunninham makes the persuasive point that Heim presents a subtly new reading of the original in which Aschenbach, ageing disgracefully, achieves a perversely heroic status.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    3/5
    At first, it was quite boring. After that, it became interesting with all the details about Venice, it was like I was there again. I felt how every word of his is making my heart warmer. And then there was this love about that boy that I couldn't understand. Was it father-son love, or was it some kind of wrong love, if you know what I mean. The ending was expected and disappointing.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    Very good, but also very heavy stuff. It was an intelligent, very well written novella that I enjoyed reading. I recommend it to the philosophical thinker or someone in the mood for a more serious read. :)
  • Bewertung: 2 von 5 Sternen
    2/5
    Another classic book I felt I should read... Well, I read it. And you can get the same emotional impact by reading the Wikipedia article.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    How I wish I discovered Mann earlier
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    Stars for Mann's novella are superfluous. It needs no recommendation. This new translation, by Michael Heim, does deserve the accolade of a five star rating. In his brief introduction Michael Cunninham makes the persuasive point that Heim presents a subtly new reading of the original in which Aschenbach, ageing disgracefully, achieves a perversely heroic status.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    3/5
    I must admit to a dose of uneasiness with the protagnist's creepy paiderastial stalking, but I put it down to a sign of the times much like one would with the stalker-story lyrics in Daddy Cool's "Come Back Again". But as Appelbaum (the translator) suggests in the notes, in basing the novel on an the author's personal experience, Mann "preserved his decorum and his wits, or we would never have had a story", so the reader need not get too morally involved in the details. At first glance some recurring grotesque characters belie the Dionysion versus Appolonian development of the plot as Aschenbach's infatuation takes over. The title, of course, does not hide the ending. Nonetheless, Mann's interweaving of Greek mythology in support of the central theme neatly presents German philosophy in this rather deep novella. I have started to watch the 1971 movie based on this novel but I must say I am glad (as always) at having read the book first - the mythological figures which one can re-imagine after my initial reading of the characters is most certainly lost in the opening scenes of the movie - but that should come as no surprise.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    3/5
    Gustav von Aschenbach, a lonely German author, decides to take a long vacation in Venice, away from the drudgery of his normal life. In Venice he spies a young Polish boy, vacationing with his family. von Aschenbach becomes obsessed with this beautiful young boy trying to catch sight of him all over the city. Many people compare this to Lolita except von Aschenbach is a pedophile interested in young boys. Although he is definitely attracted to the boy, he never really approaches him, or crosses that line where he plots a seduction. For me, the story was just ok, but I really enjoyed the intro to this audiobook. Author Michael Cunningham who discusses the new translation of this German novella and all the nuances and little decisions involved in creating a good translation of a classic
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    3/5
    I appreciated the beauty of the writing. The descriptions at times were stunning, but the initial coolness in the writing meant I struggled to feel sympathy with the characters. Aschenbach is self centred and leaves no room for anyone else's emotions, but his descent into obsession and his surrender to passion was compelling and I ended by finding him very human. I thought Mann cleverly drew parallels between Ancient Greek society and that of early 20th century Europe, but it felt more like an intellectual exercise than a novel at times. The motifs of death, fate, obsession and trying to stir up passion in a regulated heart were interesting, but real feelings seldom broke through the cleverness, and only really succeeded towards the end. That kept me from loving the book.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    Strange desire for death, strange compulsion for beauty.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    3/5
    Book Description One of the most famous literary works of the 20th century, the novella Death in Venice" embodies themes that preoccupied Thomas Mann (18751955) in much of his work; the duality of art and life, the presence of death and disintegration in the midst of existence, the connection between love and suffering, and the conflict between the artist and his inner self. Mann's handling of these concerns in this story of a middle-aged German writer, torn by his passion for a Polish youth met on holiday in Venice, resulted in a work of great psychological intensity and tragic power. It is presented here in an excellent new translation with extensive commentary on many facets of the story.

    My Review I did not really care much for this novella by Thomas Mann which is considered a classical masterpiece. It is a very disturbing short story about Aschenbach, a famous writer, and his fascination for a beautiful 14 year-old young boy. Although he only stalks the boy, his death is a result of his obsession by not leaving Venice during an outbreak of cholera. There is lots of symbolism in the work and for being written in 1911 the subject matter of male heterosexuality was unheard of. I would like to read other books by Thomas Mann because I do believe him to be a talented writer but I think the subject matter turned me off from really liking this one. I would recommend it to those who would like to read about the destruction powers of the mind that could live within us."
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    This book by Thomas Mann is a novella that can give the reader a taste of the author's style. Thomas Mann writes with beauty and depth. The story is of an older artist, author who is suffering from writer's block. He decides to travel. At first he goes one place but "it isn't right" or he still can't write, so off to Venice he goes. On the way, he is annoyed by an older man trying to look young and hang out with youth. In Venice, he again feels suffocated and thinks to leave but circumstances occur and he stays where is obsession with a adolescent youth takes away any sense, logic and replaces it with passion and poor judgement. Nothing ever occurs, yet this love affair of the mind, leads to decay and death. A short but powerful story.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    3/5
    This edition was a collection of 7 of Mann's short stories, of which Death in Venice was the last. The others were 'Little Herr Freidemann', 'The Joker', 'The Road to the Churchyard', 'Gladius Dei', 'Tristan', and 'Tonio Kroeger'.I started off with very high hopes - I loved the first story 'Little Herr Friedemann', about a disabled young man whose unrequited love for the wife of the town's new lieutenant-colonel ends tragically. It was beautifully written and very compelling.Unfortunately, as I worked my way through the stories I grew more and more disenchanted with them. The majority of the stories felt like they were building up to a great twist which never happened. More often than not they ended with the inner turmoil and wrangling of the protagonist about either his own soul or that of society in general. Mann was heavily influenced by Freud and Neitzsche, and in many stories there was a lot of psychological introspection and classical allusions which grew tiring after a while.As 'Death in Venice' is the most well known of Mann's short stories, I expected that the best had been kept till last, but alas by the time I'd got to it I was worn down by the ever decreasing circles of the previous stories and found it over-hyped. His obsession with the young boy in Venice didn't engage me - I again felt there was too much psycho-babble which distracted from the story and the emotions of the protagonist.Perhaps if I'd read the story 'Death in Venice' in isolation I'd have enjoyed it more, but I just felt there was too much repetition of the same theme throughout most of the stories. I almost feel disappointed that this is my conclusion; there is no doubt that Mann can be an exquisite writer, and each story started with a fantastically imaginative setting. I just wish that he'd concentrated more on the plot and less on the philosophising.I can see how many would enjoy his work, but this just wasn't for me.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    3/5
    Not gay enough.
    lol jk
    I can see why people make comparisons about Death In Venice to Lolita (Tadzio is basically the male version of Lolita) but the themes are so different, so idk. It's not even really about erotic obsession. Will probably reread at some point when I'm more interested in the "dignity of the author" rather than the gheyness.
    Oh yeah, and this? Totally autobiographical. You know Mann totally had a boner for some teenage Polish boy.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    A compact novella without a wasted word or image, Death in Venice is clearly the work of a master--but it is a master whose obsession with myth and "grand" themes leaves behind much of the particular, humor, quirkiness and irony that I would generally prefer to find in a book. So no particular judgment on the merits, really just a matter of not being entirely to my taste.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    3/5
    So this tale is brief, somewhere between a short story and a novella. The first portion introduces the main character and discusses his views on literature, some of which are striking and some of which are gobbledygook. The setting then changes to Venice, where the main character falls in love with a fourteen year-old boy. Though you could argue the love stems from the perspective of a lover of beauty, or the old pining for the virtues of the young, the clearest explanation is that the main character feels romantic love towards the young boy. This is by no means a death-stroke to a story; Lolita dealt with a similar premise, and the crowning achievement of that novel was that it made you sympathize with the main character even with his reprehensible behavior and views. Once you took the time to consider the situation in the abstract the main character's behavior became abhorrent, but before that occurred the narrative made you sympathize with a character who was engaged in some of the most terrible actions possible, forcing you to re-examine your sympathies and they ways that fiction and point-of-view can warp your perspective.

    Here the narrative spurs no such higher-level analysis. Instead we are left with the narrative of an old man pining for the underage boy from afar, then meeting his fate. This makes for less than an appealing story, and the prose does not make up for this defect. This novella isn't horrible, but you're better-off rereading Lolita or reading anything with a character that is more dynamic. I will probably try another Thomas Mann work (likely The Magic Mountain), but this book has tempered my expectations.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    I remember reading "Buddenbrooks" in high school and didn’t enjoy it. However, after reading "Death in Venice", I just may give Mann’s earlier work another try. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Though there’s really not much to the storyline, I was intrigued by the main character. At times, Mann’s elongated prose, slowly inching the plot along, frustrated me. But, I couldn’t shake this pressing desire to learn of Gustav Aschenbach’s fate. Now looking back, the pages and pages of poetic “tension” only intensified my longing to read to the end. I was left remembering a Goodreads quote I saved years ago to my page: “We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love.”- Sigmund Freud
  • Bewertung: 1 von 5 Sternen
    1/5
    Not my cup of tea at this time
  • Bewertung: 2 von 5 Sternen
    2/5
    I know this will mark me as a philistine, but here is my two sentence review of this book. There's no fool like an old fool. Thank God this novella is only 60 pages long
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    My first foray into the work of Thomas Mann has been Death in Venice and other stories (Vintage Classics). I have been meaning to investigate since enjoying Colm Toíbín’s wonderful The Magician recently; this book of short stories seemed an accessible entry point and the translation from the original German by David Luke has been much lauded. Mann manages to paint lavish pictures with his extraordinary descriptive powers when not a lot may be happening in the tale he is telling. From the first short story, Little Herr Friedman to the almost novella length title story, the power of truly masterful writing is always evident. The growing obsession of Gustav von Aschenbach for the beautiful Polish boy, staying in the same hotel with his family, is disturbing in its ever-increasing intensity. I think I need a break before I dive into another Mann trap.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    3/5
    An interesting book rife with metaphors, this is a more cerebral read - meaning that there is not much dialogue or action. Much of the book explores von Aschenbach's thought processes and internal emotional struggles. Von Aschenbach is a successful writer who lives an ascetic lifestyle in Munich. He is a widower and his life is highly structured - a fact that he believes is essential to his success as a writer. But one day he has an epiphany and takes trip. He ends up in Venice where he finds himself attracted to a young boy, Tadzio. His attraction is an inspiration to his writing which begs the question does artistic creation flow from disciplined organization or passionate emotions? This is one of the main themes that intrigued me. The book is steeped in irony and perhaps the sublime irony is that while he never actually acts on his impulses they cause him to stay even when there is an outbreak of contagion (denied by many residents of the city even as the death toll mounts). Von Aschenbach eventually succumbs to the disease. While he finds inspiration watching Tadzio, he is too proper to act on his impulses and they go unfulfilled. A very deep book with lots of symbolism.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    [Death in Venice] by [[Thomas Mann]]Gustav Aschenbach, writer and nobleman, spurred by artistic restlessness, embarks on a trip to Venice. Once there he falls in love with a beautiful young boy. Meanwhile, Venice is dealing with an epidemic. Aschenbach slowly succumbs to both the disease of the body and the temptations of his own mind.Aschenbach’s obsession with the boy Tadzio is extremely complex, an aspect that made the stalking relationship . Tadzio is both an object of art and a vestige of Aschenbach’s lost youth. “Icon and mirror!” Ultimately, Aschenbach’s inability to escape his excess is a mark of his artistic nature – what today we would consider living on the fringe becomes damning. “We may deny the abyss and acquire dignity but, no matter how we try, it attracts us.” Mann was convinced that any artist could only deny their passions for so long. Even in translation, one can see what a gifted writer Mann is. The story is meticulously crafted. Varying motifs are repeated throughout, piecing together parts of the story and larger classical references. But my favorite portions were Mann’s observations on the human mind – things I have thought from time to time but wondered if anyone else ever thought this way. Deep insights that become silly in a few moments of thought:“Weary and yet mentally agitated, he spent the protracted mealtime considering abstract, in fact transcendental matters; he reflected on the mysterious combination of regularity and individuality that is requisite for the creation of human beauty; this led him to general problems of form and art; and finally he concluded that these thoughts and discoveries of his resembled those apparently felicitous inspirations in dreams which, when you are fully awake again, prove to be totally insipid and worthless.” And the daily interactions of strangers: “Nothing is stranger or more ticklish than a relationship between people who know each other only by sight, who meet and observe each other daily – no, hourly – and are nevertheless compelled to keep up the pose of an indifferent stranger, neither greeting nor addressing each other, whether out of etiquette or their own whim. Between them there exists a disquiet, a strained curiosity, the hysteria of an unsatisfied, unnaturally repressed need for recognition and exchange of thoughts – and also, especially, a sort of nervous respect.”
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    According to modern writing standards, the language can come off as contrived. I enjoyed the depth of writing and the use of imagery.
  • Bewertung: 1 von 5 Sternen
    1/5
    This is a book which I really struggled to finish as on numerous occasions was so tempted to just pack it in. I was certainly grateful that it only ran to 64 pages. I found myself reading nearly every paragraph twice as each seemed so conveluted. I believe in free speech and not in censorship so have no real problem with the subject matter even if it does smack of paedophilia, which to every right-minded person should be abhorant. All the same I am amazed that a book like this was ever published but then perhaps paedophilia was not as well publized by the press as it is today. I believe that Mann himself struggled with his own sexuality so perhaps this book is a symbol of that inner struggle.I did not like the main character much and felt him conceited and self-centred. The writing style and plot was painfully slow. I am not too great on my Greek mythology so struggled to the relevance on more than one occasion and the ending seemed somewhat inadequate.On the whole not my type of book and not one that will live long in the memory. If truth be told it felt like a book written with the express aim of winning a literary prize, to satisfy the so called intelligenzia rather than for the pleasure of the general public but at least it was so short
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    I actually liked this one more than I thought I was going to. At first I thought I was going to be turned off by the topic, an older man chasing after a young boy, which I will admit is somewhat creepy. However, once you get past that the you find that the book has many layers. To get the most out of the book one should have some passing knowledge of Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy, as one of the central themes is how Aschemback goes from Appolonian restrained life to a Dionysian one of obsession once he meets Tadzio and how he struggles and is eventually doomed by this. There was also nice irony in that the inspiration for Ashenmack's urge to travel came from a personification of Death and that when he finally reaches Venice he's ferried across the lagoon by a representation of Charon who ironically says that you will pay. In fact Aschemback is visited many times throughout the book by personifications of Death each representing a point where he could turn back, yet as Aschemback slips deeper into the Dionysian mode he ignores the warnings. Overall if you can get past the creepy man stalking a young boy and look at it through its Greek & Nietzsche influences you will find a very enjoyable book.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    3/5
    The two words that came to mind most often as I read this brief novella were "overwrought" and "self-indulgent". OK, I guess it wasn't that bad, but pretty close. Aschenbach, an aging writer, travels to Venice, sees a beautiful young boy who he becomes obsessed with (though never really interacts with, this is an internal obsession), and then dies. I struggled to see the point. I loved Mann's first novel, Buddenbrooks, that he wrote in his youth, but this just seemed like it was trying to hard. I will read The Magic Mountain someday, and I hope I like it more than this.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    3/5
    An oddly moving tale about an older man who uproots his routine to go on a spur of the moment vacation in Venice. While there, he develops an unexpected romantic obsession with a beautiful young boy. A hauntingly sad story of unusual beauty.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    The Book Report: I feel a complete fool providing a plot precis for this canonical work. Gustav von Ascherbach, literary lion in his sixties, wanders about his home town of Munich while struggling with a recalcitrant new story. His chance encounter with a weirdo, though no words are exchanged between them, ignites in Herr von Ascherbach the need to get out of town, to get himself to the delicious fleshpots of the South. An abortive stay in Illyria (now Bosnia or Montenegro or Croatia, no knowing which since we're not given much to go on) leads him to make his second journey to Venice. Arriving in the sin capital of the early modern world, and even in the early 20th century possessed of a louche reputation, brings him into contact with two life-changing things: A beautiful teenaged boy, and cholera. I think the title fills you in on the rest.My Review: I know this was written in 1911-1912, and is therefore to be judged by the standards of another era, but I am bone-weary of stories featuring men whose love for other males brings them to disaster and death. This is the story that started me on that path of dislike. Von Ascherbach realizes he's in love for the first time in his pinched, narrow life, and it's with a 14-year-old boy; his response is to make himself ridiculous, following the kid around, staying in his Venetian Garden of Eros despite knowing for sure there's a cholera epidemic, despite being warned of the dangers of staying, despite smelling decay and death and miasmic uccchiness all around, because he's in love. But with the wrong kind of person...a male. Therefore Mann makes him pay the ultimate price, he loses his life because he gives in and falls hopelessly, stupidly in love. With a male. Mann makes his judgment of this moral turpitude even more explicit by making it a chaste, though to modern eyes not unrequited, love between an old man and a boy. Explicit references to Classical culture aside, the entire atmosphere of the novel is quite evidently designed to point up the absurdity and the impossibility of such a love being rewarding or rewarded. It's not in the least mysterious what Mann's after: Denial, denial, denial! It's your only salvation, faggots! Deny yourself, don't let yourself feel anything rather than feel *that*!This book offends my sensibilities. Gorgeously built images and sonorously elegant sentences earn it all of its points.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    3/5
    Death in Venice was well-written and kept my interest, but it was also creepy and depressing. II enjoyed the irony of how the main character, Gustav, changed in such a short time over the course of the book, due to his obsession. He began to look and act like those he had previously thought ridiculous. When he first reached Venice, I pictured Gustave a bit like Peter Ustinov in Evil Under the Sun. By the end, he was a sad caricature of his former self.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    3/5
    Another book that has been luking on my shelves for years. I did try to read this book when I first got it but could not get past the first chapter - I found it tedious and overblown. On trying for a second time I found myself enjoying the intellectual challenge of the writing although perhaps not the the central focus of the storyline - ageing German intellectual falls in love and starts stalking a Polish adolescent he encounters during a summer stay in the increasingly pestilential city of Venice. Some heavyhanded use of repeating motifs but overall worth the effort.

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Der Tod in Venedig - Thomas Mann

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Der Tod in Venedig, by Thomas Mann

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Title: Der Tod in Venedig

Author: Thomas Mann

Release Date: April 22, 2004 [EBook #12108]

Language: German

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK DER TOD IN VENEDIG ***

Produced by Ari J Joki and PG Distributed Proofreaders

Thomas Mann

Der Tod in Venedig

Die Texte folgen den Ausgaben:

>Der Tod in Venedig< aus

München, Hyperionverlag Hans von Weber 1912

Erstes Kapitel

Gustav Aschenbach oder von Aschenbach, wie seit seinem fünfzigsten Geburtstag amtlich sein Name lautete, hatte an einem Frühlingsnachmittag des Jahres 19.., das unserem Kontinent monatelang eine so gefahrdrohende Miene zeigte, von seiner Wohnung in der Prinz-Regentenstraße zu München aus, allein einen weiteren Spaziergang unternommen. Überreizt von der schwierigen und gefährlichen, eben jetzt eine höchste Behutsamkeit, Umsicht, Eindringlichkeit und Genauigkeit des Willens erfordernden Arbeit der Vormittagsstunden, hatte der Schriftsteller dem Fortschwingen des produzierenden Triebwerks in seinem Innern, jenem »motus animi continuus«, worin nach Cicero das Wesen der Beredsamkeit besteht, auch nach der Mittagsmahlzeit nicht Einhalt zu tun vermocht und den entlastenden Schlummer nicht gefunden, der ihm, bei zunehmender Abnutzbarkeit seiner Kräfte, einmal untertags so nötig war. So hatte er bald nach dem Tee das Freie gesucht, in der Hoffnung, daß Luft und Bewegung ihn wieder herstellen und ihm zu einem ersprießlichen Abend verhelfen würden.

Es war Anfang Mai und, nach naßkalten Wochen, ein falscher Hochsommer eingefallen. Der Englische Garten, obgleich nur erst zart belaubt, war dumpfig wie im August und in der Nähe der Stadt voller Wagen und Spaziergänger gewesen. Beim Aumeister, wohin stillere und stillere Wege ihn geführt, hatte Aschenbach eine kleine Weile den volkstümlich belebten Wirtsgarten überblickt, an dessen Rande einige Droschken und Equipagen hielten, hatte von dort bei sinkender Sonne seinen Heimweg außerhalb des Parks über die offene Flur genommen und erwartete, da er sich müde fühlte und über Föhring Gewitter drohte, am Nördlichen Friedhof die Tram, die ihn in gerader Linie zur Stadt zurückbringen sollte. Zufällig fand er den Halteplatz und seine Umgebung von Menschen leer. Weder auf der gepflasterten Ungererstraße, deren Schienengeleise sich einsam gleißend gegen Schwabing erstreckten, noch auf der Föhringer Chaussee war ein Fuhrwerk zu sehen; hinter den Zäunen der Steinmetzereien, wo zu Kauf stehende Kreuze, Gedächtnistafeln und Monumente ein zweites, unbehaustes Gräberfeld bilden, regte sich nichts, und das byzantinische Bauwerk der Aussegnungshalle gegenüber lag schweigend im Abglanz des scheidenden Tages. Ihre Stirnseite, mit griechischen Kreuzen und hieratischen Schildereien in lichten Farben geschmückt, weist überdies symmetrisch angeordnete Inschriften in Goldlettern auf, ausgewählte, das jenseitige Leben betreffende Schriftworte wie etwa: »Sie gehen ein in die Wohnung Gottes« oder: »Das ewige Licht leuchte ihnen«; und der Wartende hatte während einiger Minuten eine ernste Zerstreuung darin gefunden, die Formeln abzulesen und sein geistiges Auge in ihrer durchscheinenden Mystik sich verlieren zu lassen, als er, aus seinen Träumereien zurückkehrend, im Portikus, oberhalb der beiden apokalyptischen Tiere, welche die Freitreppe bewachen, einen Mann bemerkte, dessen nicht ganz gewöhnliche Erscheinung seinen Gedanken eine völlig andere Richtung gab.

Ob er nun aus dem Innern der Halle durch das bronzene Tor hervorgetreten oder von außen unversehens heran und hinauf gelangt war, blieb ungewiß. Aschenbach, ohne sich sonderlich in die Frage zu vertiefen, neigte zur ersteren Annahme. Mäßig hochgewachsen, mager, bartlos und auffallend stumpfnäsig, gehörte der Mann zum rothaarigen Typ und besaß dessen milchige und sommersprossige Haut. Offenbar war er durchaus nicht bajuwarischen Schlages: wie denn wenigstens der breit und gerade gerandete Basthut, der ihm den Kopf bedeckte, seinem Aussehen ein Gepräge des Fremdländischen und Weitherkommenden verlieh. Freilich trug er dazu den landesüblichen Rucksack um die Schultern geschnallt, einen gelblichen Gurtanzug aus Lodenstoff, wie es schien, einen grauen Wetterkragen über dem linken Unterarm, den er in die Weiche gestützt hielt, und in der Rechten einen mit eiserner Spitze versehenen Stock, welchen er schräg gegen den Boden stemmte und auf dessen Krücke er, bei gekreuzten Füßen, die Hüfte lehnte. Erhobenen Hauptes, so daß an seinem hager dem losen Sporthemd entwachsenden Halse der Adamsapfel stark und nackt hervortrat, blickte er mit farblosen, rot bewimperten Augen, zwischen denen, sonderbar genug zu seiner kurz aufgeworfenen Nase passend, zwei senkrechte, energische Furchen standen, scharf spähend ins Weite. So—und vielleicht trug sein erhöhter und erhöhender Standort zu diesem Eindruck bei—hatte seine Haltung etwas herrisch Überschauendes, Kühnes oder selbst Wildes; denn sei es, daß er, geblendet, gegen die untergehende Sonne grimassierte oder daß es sich um eine dauernde physiognomische Entstellung handelte: seine Lippen schienen zu kurz, sie waren völlig von den Zähnen zurückgezogen, dergestalt, daß diese, bis zum Zahnfleisch bloßgelegt, weiß und lang dazwischen hervorbleckten.

Wohl möglich, daß Aschenbach es bei seiner halb zerstreuten, halb inquisitiven Musterung des Fremden an Rücksicht hatte fehlen lassen; denn plötzlich ward er gewahr, daß jener seinen Blick erwiderte und zwar so kriegerisch, so gerade ins Auge hinein, so offenkundig gesonnen, die Sache aufs Äußerste zu treiben und den Blick des andern zum Abzug zu zwingen, daß Aschenbach, peinlich berührt, sich abwandte und einen Gang die Zäune entlang begann, mit dem beiläufigen Entschluß, des Menschen nicht weiter achtzuhaben. Er hatte ihn in der nächsten Minute vergessen. Mochte nun aber das Wandererhafte in der Erscheinung des Fremden auf seine Einbildungskraft gewirkt haben oder sonst irgendein physischer oder seelischer Einfluß im Spiele sein: eine seltsame Ausweitung seines Innern ward ihm ganz überraschend bewußt, eine Art schweifender Unruhe, ein jugendlich durstiges Verlangen in die Ferne, ein Gefühl, so lebhaft, so neu oder doch so längst entwöhnt und verlernt, daß er, die Hände auf dem Rücken und den Blick am Boden, gefesselt stehen blieb, um die Empfindung auf Wesen und Ziel zu prüfen. Es war Reiselust, nichts weiter; aber wahrhaft als Anfall auftretend und ins Leidenschaftliche, ja bis zur Sinnestäuschung gesteigert. Er sah nämlich, als Beispiel gleichsam für alle Wunder und Schrecken der mannigfaltigen Erde, die seine Begierde sich auf einmal vorzustellen trachtete,—sah wie mit leiblichem Auge eine ungeheuere Landschaft, ein tropisches Sumpfgebiet unter dickdunstigem Himmel, feucht, üppig und ungesund, eine von Menschen gemiedene Urweltwildnis aus Inseln, Morästen und Schlamm führenden Wasserarmen. Die flachen Eilande, deren Boden mit Blättern, so dick wie Hände, mit riesigen Farnen, mit fettem, gequollenem und abenteuerlich blühendem Pflanzenwerk überwuchert war, sandten haarige Palmenschäfte empor, und wunderlich ungestalte Bäume, deren Wurzeln dem Stamm entwuchsen und sich durch die Luft in den Boden, ins Wasser senkten, bildeten verworrene Waldungen. Auf der stockenden, grünschattig spiegelnden Flut schwammen, wie Schüsseln groß, milchweiße Blumen; Vögel von fremder Art, hochschultrig, mit unförmigen Schnäbeln, standen auf hohen Beinen im Seichten und blickten unbeweglich zur Seite, während durch ausgedehnte Schilffelder ein klapperndes Wetzen und Rauschen ging, wie durch Heere von Geharnischten; dem Schauenden war es, als hauchte der laue, mephitische Odem dieser geilen und untauglichen Öde ihn an, die in einem ungeheuerlichen Zustande von Werden oder Vergehen zu schweben schien, zwischen den knotigen Rohrstämmen eines Bambusdickichts glaubte er einen Augenblick die phosphoreszierenden Lichter des Tigers funkeln zu sehen—und fühlte sein Herz pochen vor Entsetzen und rätselhaftem Verlangen. Dann wich das Gesicht; und mit einem Kopfschütteln nahm Aschenbach seine Promenade an den Zäunen der Grabsteinmetzereien wieder auf.

Er hatte, zum mindesten seit ihm die Mittel zu Gebote gewesen wären, die Vorteile des Weltverkehrs beliebig zu genießen, das Reisen nicht anders denn als eine hygienische Maßregel betrachtet, die gegen Sinn und Neigung dann und wann hatte getroffen werden müssen. Zu beschäftigt mit den Aufgaben, welche sein Ich und die europäische Seele ihm stellten, zu belastet von der Verpflichtung zur Produktion, der Zerstreuung zu abgeneigt, um zum Liebhaber der bunten Außenwelt zu taugen, hatte er sich durchaus mit der Anschauung begnügt, die heute jedermann, ohne sich weit aus seinem Kreise zu rühren, von der Oberfläche der Erde gewinnen kann, und war niemals auch nur versucht gewesen, Europa zu verlassen. Zumal seit sein Leben sich langsam neigte, seit seine Künstlerfurcht, nicht fertig zu werden,—diese Besorgnis, die Uhr möchte abgelaufen sein, bevor er das Seine getan und völlig sich selbst gegeben, nicht mehr als bloße Grille von der Hand zu weisen war, hatte sein äußeres Dasein sich fast ausschließlich auf die schöne Stadt, die ihm zur Heimat geworden, und auf den rauhen Landsitz beschränkt, den er sich im Gebirge errichtet und wo er die regnerischen Sommer verbrachte.

Auch wurde denn, was ihn da eben so spät und plötzlich angewandelt, sehr bald durch Vernunft und von jung auf geübte Selbstzucht

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