Origins of The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann (1875–1955) had already tasted critical and popular success with his bestselling novel "Buddenbrooks" when he started work in 1913 on what he initially conceived as a "humorous, even grotesque" companion piece to the novella "Death in Venice". His new project was inspired by a visit to Davos to see his wife Katia and by the letters she sent him during her six-month stay at the Waldsanatorium in 1912.
Mann interrupted work on the book from late 1915 to spring 1919 in favour of other writings, and eventually completed it in September 1924. Despite swelling to over 1,000 pages in length, it proved an instant classic – and continues to enthuse readers and spark the imaginations of other writers and artists to this day.
The next few years will see a series of major occasions in the life of the novel and its author:
– 2024 is the centenary of the first edition of "Der Zauberberg";
– 2025 will mark the 150th anniversary of Thomas Mann's birth and 70 years since his death; and
– on 1 January 2026 his work comes out of copyright.