Thomas Mann biography

Thomas Mann

Novelist, Author

1875 – 1955


Who was Thomas Mann?

Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist and 1929 Nobel laureate. His highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, are noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual. His analysis and critique of the European and German soul used modernized German and Biblical stories, as well as the ideas of Goethe, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. Mann was a member of the Hanseatic Mann family and portrayed his family and class in the novel Buddenbrooks. His older brother was the radical writer Heinrich Mann and three of his six children, Erika Mann, Klaus Mann and Golo Mann, also became important German writers. When Hitler came to power in 1933, Mann fled to Switzerland. When World War II broke out in 1939, he emigrated to the United States, whence he returned to Switzerland in 1952. Thomas Mann is one of the best-known exponents of the so-called Exilliteratur.

Famous Quotes:

  • What is uttered is finished and done with.
  • Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them.
  • Human reason needs only to will more strongly than fate, and she is fate.
  • The meeting in the open of two dogs, strangers to each other, is one of the most painful, thrilling, and pregnant of all conceivable encounters; it is surrounded by an atmosphere of the last canniness, presided over by a constraint for which I have no precise name; they simply cannot pass each other, their mutual embarrassment is frightful to behold.
  • We, when we sow the seeds of doubt deeper than the most up-to-date and modish free-thought has ever dreamed of doing, we well know what we are about. Only out of radical skeptics, out of moral chaos, can the Absolute spring, the anointed Terror of which the time has need.
  • Every reasonable human being should be a moderate Socialist.
  • Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous- to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd.
  • I have always been an admirer. I regard the gift of admiration as indispensable if one is to amount to something; I don't know where I would be without it.
  • Order and simplification are the first steps towards the mastery of a subject.
  • Extraordinary creature! So close a friend, and yet so remote.


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"Thomas Mann." STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 24 Jan. 2021. <>.

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Jun 6, 1875
Also known as
  • Paul Thomas Mann
  • Mann
  • Dr Thomas Mann
  • Germans
  • Czechoslovakia
  • United States of America
  • German Empire
  • Technical University of Munich
  • Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Aug 12, 1955

on July 23, 2013

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