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Thomas Mann's WarLiterature, Politics, and the World Republic of Letters$
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Tobias Boes

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501744990

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501744990.001.0001

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The Isolated World Citizen

The Isolated World Citizen

(p.239) Chapter 7 The Isolated World Citizen
Thomas Mann's War

Tobias Boes

Cornell University Press

This chapter considers Thomas Mann's role in postwar Germany. For a number of reasons, the idea of Mann leading postwar Germany on its thorny path back to democracy was utterly illusory. However, Mann's future was uncertain now that it was no longer necessary to represent the autonomy of German culture against the totalitarian demands of the Nazis. This issue would plague Mann for the remainder of his life and lead to the decline of his public reputation in America during the late 1940s and early 1950s. As had been the case in the 1930s, however, Mann's search for a new representative role did not take place in a vacuum. The American cultural landscape was changing as well, and realigning itself in ways that made the once-topical author come to seem superannuated.

Keywords:   postwar Germany, democracy, Thomas Mann, American culture, German culture, Thomas Mann

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