Archive for April, 2010

Stupid, Precise Crystallometry

Posted in Clavdia on April 15, 2010 by Clavdia Chauchat

The chapter “Snow” in Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain can be seen as a concentrated version of many of Hans Castorp’s experiences at the sanatorium. Like the Magic Mountain itself, the snowy Alpine wilderness can be seen as existing outside of time and space, and invokes in Hans Castorp the sensations of dizziness and confusion which occur in an environment which denies the possibility of progress. The wild also offers all the temptations and risks associated with the pursuit of transcendence and Naphta’s void, and so Hans Castorp’s adventures play out the conflict between Settembrini and Naphta’s ideologies in the context of a direct and immediate experience of nature’s indifference. Continue reading