Tonio Kroger

Author: Thomas Mann

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It is a novel written in early 1901 and first published in 1903. The work traces the key events in the life of Tonio Kroger, from his school days to his adulthood, when he becomes a famous writer. He is the son of a northern German merchant and an artistically gifted southern mother.

As a child, he experiences contradictory feelings towards the bourgeoisie, feeling both superior in knowledge but at the same time envious of them, a conflict that lasts until his adulthood. In addition, our protagonist struggles for balance between art and life.

This novel, largely autobiographical, addresses the issue of the separation between the world of art and the world of everyday life, as well as the artist's position between the two: “the person who lives does not work and… an artist must virtually die in order to be fully creative”.


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