Greece, Kavala

Thomas Mann's the Magic Mountain: the True, the Good, the Beautiful

online course
when 2 August 2020 - 9 August 2020
language English
duration 1 week
credits 1.5 EC
fee USD 450

Published in 1924, Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain is, together with Joyce's Ulysses and Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, one of the most intellectually rewarding and philosophically ambitious novels of the 20th century. Compelling characters, strong narrative, and acute social commentary all abound in Mann's portrayal of Hans Castorp's seven-year stay in a tuberculosis sanitarium in the Swiss Alps in the years leading up to WW I. The distinguishing achievement of the novel is its treatment of large philosophical questions, chief among them, “What is reality,” “why does it matter,” “how do we know it?”. Hans asks these questions when he encounters extraordinary beauty, virtue, or intellectual power, during his seven year stay at Davos, the mountain spot Mann calls "Magic" in his title. In this class we will examine how, in The Magic Mountain, Mann presents truth, beauty, and goodness as the conditions which bring about humanity's access to reality, the absolute power enabling or wrecking developmental human purposes. Fascism, science, religion, honor, and desire blaze through the novel, compelling its hero to discern and choose real from illusory flourishing. That flourishing will be our chief topic- how it happens, what prevents it, and how truth, goodness, and beauty reveal and offer it to us.

Course leader

Theoharis C. Theoharis, Harvart University

Target group

From high school seniors to college professors

Fee info

USD 450: It includes lecture attendance, hotel, two meals/day, an all-day excursion


Yes. See our registration page for more details.