Now what is there that I can say about the book itself, and the best way to read it? I shall begIn with a very arrogant request that it be read not once but twice. A request not to be heeded, of course, if one has been bored at the first reading. A work of art mUst not be a task or an effort; it mUst not be undertaken against one's will. It is meant to give pleasure, to entertain and enliven. If it does not have this effect on a reader, he mUst put it down and turn to something else. But if you have read The Alagic Mountain once, I recommend that you read it twice. The way in which the book is composed results in the reader's getting a deeper enjoyment from the second reading. Just as in music one needs to know a piece to enjoy it properly, I intentionally used the word II composed tt in referring to the writing of a book. I mean it in the sense we more commonly apply to the writing of
music. For music has always had a strong formative influence I
upon the style of my writing. Writers are very often "really tt ,~
something else; they are transplanted painters or sculptors or architects or what not. To me the novel was always like a sym- phony, a work in counterpoint, a thematic fabric; the idea of the musical motif plays a great role in it.
People have pointed out the influence of Wagner's music on my work. Certainly I do not disclaim this influence. In particular, I followed Wagner in the use of the leitmotiv, which I carried over into the work of language. Not as Tolstoy and Zola use it, or as I used it myself in Buddenbrooks, natUralistically and as a means of characterization - so to speak, mechanically. I sought to employ it in its musical sense. My first attempts were in T onio Kroger. But the technique I there employed is in The Magic Mountain greatly expanded; it is used in a very much more com- plicated and all-pervasive way. That is why I. make my presump- tuous plea to my readers to read the book tWIce, Only so can one
really penetrate and enjoy its musical association of ideas. The ;;.~ first time, the reader learns the thematic material; he is then in a ~~ position to read the symbolic and allusive formulas both forwards
and backwards.
I retum to something I spoke of before: the mystery of the time element, dealt with in various ways in the book. It is in a double sense a time-romance. First in a historical sense, in that it s~eks to present the ~nner significance of an epoch, t~e p~e-war period of European hIstOry. And secondly, because time IS one of its themes: time, dealt with not only as a part of the hero's experience, but also in and through itself. The book itself is the substance of that which it relates: it depicts the hermetic enchant- ment of its young hero within the timeless, and thus seeks to abrogate time itself by means of the technical device that attempts to give complete pr~enmess at any given moment to the entire world of ideas that it comprises. It tries, in other words, to estab- lish a magical nunc stans, to use a formula of the scholastics. It pretends to give perfect consistency to content and form, to the apparent and the essential; its aim is always and consistently to be that of which it speaks.
But its pretensions are even more far-reaching, for the book deals with yet another fundamental theme, that of .. heightening," enhancement (Steigerung). This SteigeTUn,~ is always referred to as,alchemistic. You will reln.ember that my Hans is rea~ly a simple- Ollnded hero, the young scion of good Hamburg society, and an indifferent engineer. But in the hermetic, feverish atmosphere of the enchanted mountain, the ordinary stuff of which he is made undergoes a heightening process that makes him capable of ad-
ventUres in sensual, moral, intellectual spheres he would never have dreamed of in the "flatland." His story is the story of .
heightening,rocess, but also as a narrative it is the heightening process itsel . It employs the methods of the realiStic novel, but actually it is not one. It passes beyond realism by means of ~ bolism, and makes realism a vehicle for intellectual and ideal ele- ments.
All the characters suffer this same process; they appear to the reader as something more than themselves - in effect they are nothing but exponents, representatives, emissaries from worlds, principalities, domains of the spirit. I hope this does not mean that they are mere shadow figures and walking parables. And I have been rea.~red on this score; for many readers have told me that they have found Joachim, Claudia Chauchat, Peeperkorn, Settembrini, very real people indeed.
Whilst listening somewhat breathless to The Other Man. Alizzed had the scribe take a time out counting names
Number of letters in the name Joachim 7 Claudia 7 Chauchat, 7 Peeperkorn, 10 Settembrini 11.
THE book, then, both spatially and intellectually, outgrew the limits its author had set. The short story became a thumping two- volume novel- a misfortune that would not have happened if The Magic Mountain had remained, as many people even today still see it, a satire on life in a sanatorium for tubercular patients. When it appeared, it made a stir in professional circles, partly of approval, partly of the opposite, and there was a little tempest in the medical journals. But the critique of sanatorium therapeutic methods is only the foreground of the novel. Its actuality lies in the quality of Its backgrounds. Settembrini, the rhetorical ration- alist and humanist, remains the protagonist of the protest against the moral perils of the Liegekur and the entire unwholesome milieu. He is but one figure among many, however-a svmpa- thetic figure, indeed, with a humorous side; sometimes a mouth- piece for the author, but by no means the author himself. For the author, sickness and death, and all the macabre adventures his
hero passes through, are just the pedagogic instrument used to
accomplish the enormous heightening and enhancement of the simple hero to a point far beyond his original competence. And precisely as a pedagogic method they are extensively justified; for even Hans Castorp. in the course of his experiences, overcomes his inborn attraction to death and arrives at an understandinO' of a humanity that does not, indeed, rationalistically ignore d;ath, nor scorn the dark, mysterious side of life, but takes account of it, without letting it get control over his mind.
What he comes to understand is that one must go through the deep experience of sickness and death to arrive at a higher sanity
and health; in just the same way that one must have a knowledge of sin in order to find redemption. .. There are," Hans Castorp once says, .. two ways to life: one is the regular, direct and good way; the other is bad, it leads through death, and that is the way of genius..' It is this notion of disease and death as a necessary route to knowled~e, health, and life that makes The Magic Moun- tain a novel of inItiation.
That description is not original with me. I got it recently from a critic and make use of it in discussing The Magic Mountain be- cause I have been much helped by foreign criticism and I consider it a mistake to think that the author himself is the best jud~e of his work. He may be that while he is still at work on it and hving in it. But once done, it tends to be something he has got rid of, something foreign to him; others, as time goes on, will know more and better about it than he. They can often remind him of things in it he has forgotten or indeed never quite knew. One always needs to be reminded; one is by no means always in pos- session of one's whole self. Our consciousness is feeble; only in moments of unusual clarity and vision do we really know about ourselves. As for me, I am glad to be instructed by critics about myself, to learn from them about my past works and go back to them in my mind. My regular fonnula of thanks for such refresh-
ment of my consciousness is: .. I am most gracyul to you for hav-
ing so kindly recalled me to myself." I am sure I wrote that to Professor Hennann Weigand of Yale University when he sent me his book on The Magic Mountain, the most fundamental and com- prehensive critical treatment the work has received.
I read a manuscript by a young scholar of Harvard University, Howard Nemerov, called" The Quester Hero. Myth as Universal Symbol in the Works of Thomas Mann," and it considerably re- freshed my memory and my consciousness of myself. The author places The Magic Mountam and its simple hero in the line of a great tradition that is not only Gennan but universal. He classifies it as an art that he calls .. The Quester Legend," which reaches very far back in tradition and folklore. Faust is of course the most famous Gennan representative of the fonn, but behind Faust, the eternal seeker, is a grou
rof compositions generally known as the Sangraal or Holy Grai romances. Their hero, be it Gawain or Galahad or Perceval, is the seeker, the quester, who ranges heaven and hell, makes terms with them, and strikes a pact with the un- known, with sickness and evil, with death and the other world, with the supernatural, the world that in The Magic Mountain is called .. questionable." He is forever searching for the Grail-
that is to say, the Highest: knowled~e, wisd°I?I'. cons:cration, the philosophers' stone, the aurom potabzle, the elIXir of life.
The writer declares that Hans Castorp is one of these seekers. Perhaps he is right. The Quester of the Grail legend, at the be- ginning of his wanderings, is often called a fool, a great fool, a guileless fool. That corresponds to the naivete and simplicity of my hero. It is as though a dim awareness of the traditional h~d made me insist on this quality of his. Goethe's Wilhelm Meister- is he too not a guileless fool? To a great extent he is identified with his creator; but even so, he is always the object of his irony. Here we see Goethe's great novel, too, falling within the Quester category. And after all, what else is the German Bildungsroman (educational novel)-a classification to which both The Magic Mountain and Wilhelm Meister belong - than the sublimation and spiritualization of the novel of adventure? The seeker of the Grail, before he arrives at the Sacred Castle, has to undergo various frightful and mysterious ordeals in a wayside chapel called the Atre Perilleux. Probably these ordeals were originally rites of initiation, conditions of the permission to approach the esoteric mystery; the idea of knowledge, wisdom, is always bound up with the" other world," with night and death.
In The Magic Mountain there is a great deal said of an alche- mistic, hermetic pedagogy, of transubstantiation. And I, myself a guileless fool, was guided by a mysterious tradition, for it is those very words that are always used In connection with the mysteries of the Grail. Not for nothing do Freemasonry and its rites playa role in The Magic Mountain, for Freemasonry is the direct de- scendant of initiatory rites. In a word, the magic mountain is a variant of the shrine of the initiatory rites, a place of adventurous investigation into the mystery of life. And my Hans Castorp, the Bildungsreisende, has a very distinguished knightly and mystical
ancestry: he is the typical curious neophyte - curious in a high sense of the word - who voluntarily, all too voluntarily, embraces
disease and death, because his very first contact with them gives promise of extraordinary enlightenment and adventurous ..dvance- ment, bound up, of course, with correspondingly great risks.
Young Nemerov's is a most able and channing commentary. I have used it to help me instruct you - and myself - about t:ny novel, this late, complicated, conscious and yet unconscious link in a great tradition. Hans Castorp is a searcher after the Holy Grail. You would never have thought it when you read his story - if I did m~lf, it was both more and less than thinking. Perhaps you will read the book again from this point of view. And perhaps
you will find out what the Grail is: the knowledge and the wis- dom, the consecration, the highest reward, for which not only the foolish hero but the book itself is seeking. You will find it in the chapter called/" Snow," where Hans Castorp, lost on the perilous heights, dreams his dream of humanity. If he does not find the Grail, yet he divines it, in his deathly dream, before he is snatched downwards from his hei~hts into the European catastrophe. It is the idea of the human beIng, the conception of a future humanity that has passed through and survived the profoundest knowledge of disease and death. The Grail is a mystery, but humanity is a mystery too. For man himself is a mystery, and all humanity rests upon reverence before the mystery that is man.
the spirit alone that distinguished man, as a creature largely di- vorced from nature, ,lar~efy opposed t<;, ,her in, fr?m all oth~r. forms o!or~mc ~fe.,In man's spmt, the~, rcslde,d his true nobility and his ment - In hIS state of disease, as It were; In a word, the more ailing he was, by so much was he the more man. The genius of disease was more human than the genius of health. How, then, could one who posed as the friend of man shut his eyes to these fundamental truths concerning man's humanity? Herr Set- temb~ni had progress ever on his li~: was he aware ,that all prog- ress, In so far as there was such a thing, was due to illness, and to illness alone? In other words, to genius, which was the same thing? H~d not the normal, since time was, lived on the achievements of the abnormal? Men consciously and voluntarily descended into disease and madness, in search of knowledge which, acquired by fanaticism, would lead back to health; after the possession and use of it had ceased to be conditioned by that heroic and abnormal act of sacrifice. That was the true death on the cross, the true Atone- ment.
" Aha! " thought Hans Castorp. " You unonhodox Jesuit, you, with your interpretations of the Crucifixion! It's plain why you never bec.ame a priest, jot; jesuite Q la petite tache bumide! Now roar, lion! "he mentally addressed Herr Settembrini. And the lion roared. He characterized all Naphta had said as quibbling, sophis- try, and confusion.
" Say it! "he cried to his opponent, .. say it in your character as schoolmaster, say it in the hearing of plastic youth, say straight out, that the soul is :- disease! Verily you will thereby encourage them to a belief in the spiritual. Disease and death as nobility, life and health as vulgarity - what a doctrine whereby to hold fast the neophyte to the service of humanity! Da-vvero, e criminoso! " And like a crusader he entered the lists in defence of the nobility of life and health, of that which nature gave, for the soul of which one did not need to fear. "The Form," he said; and Naphta rejoined bombastically: "The Logos." But he who would have none of the Logos answered: "The Reason," and the man of the Logos re- toned with " The Passion."
It was confusion worse confounded.
"The Object," cried one, the other: "The Ego! " "An " and " critique " were bandied back and fonh, then once more "na- ture " and "soul," and as to which was the nobler, and concern- ing the " aristocratic problem." But there was no oraer nor clarity, not even of a dualistic and militant kind. Things went not only by contraries, but also all higgledy-piggledy. The disputant not only
At this the meticulous point of another supremly important juncture of that quintessential moment of the point that never was. Alizzed and those az always accompanying shadows, once more surfaced az for that manner matter born.

Page 306

Visible World Intelligible World
The JIm The Good
{growth and
{reality and
Sollrce of light, Sollrce of trllth,
which gives which gives
visibility to objects of sense intelligibility to objects of thollght
and and
the power of seeing to the power of knowing to
the eye, the mind.
The facility of sight. The .faculty of knowledge.
'I must first get your agreement to, and remind you of
something we have said earlier in our discussion, I and
indeed on many other occasions.'
b 'What is it?' he asked.
1 replied, 'We say that there are many particular things that are beautiful, and many that are good, and so on, and distinguish between them in our account.'
'Yes, we do,'
, And we go on to speak of beauty-in-itseIf, and goodness- in-itself, and so on for all the sets of particular things which we have regarded as many; and we proceed to posit by contrast a single form, which is unique, in each case, and call it "what really is" each thing.'z
'That is so.'
, And we say that the particulars are objects of sight but not of intelligence, while the forms are the objects of intel- ligence but not of sight.'
t 'And with what part of ourselves do we see what we see?' 'With our sight.'
, And we hear with our hearing, and so on with the other senses and their objects.'
I. Pp. z69-70: 476d.
z. This is a difficult sentence of which variant translations are given.
The version above follows Adam and adopts his emendation leal
Meav for "aT' ll5eav. For the last phrase the modem philosopher might
well say 'what x really is'..
, Of course.'
'Then have you noticed,' I asked, 'how extremely lavish
the designer of our senses was when he gave us the faculty of sight and made objects visible?'
'I can't say I have,'
'Then look. Do hearing and sound need something of another kind in addition to themselves to enable the ear to
hear and the sound to be heard - some third element without Ii
which the one cannot hear or the other be heard?'
, And the same is true of most, I might say all, the other senses, Or can you think of any that needs anything of the kind?'
'No, I can't.'
'But haven't you noticed that sight and the visible do need one?'
'If the eyes have the power of sight, and its possessor tries to use this power, and if objects have colour, yet you know that he will see nothing and the colours will remain , invisible unless a third element is present which is specifically
and naturally adapted for the purpose.'
'What is that?' he asked.
'What you call light,' I answered.
, True.'
'Then the sense of sight and the visibility of objects are yoked by a yoke a long way more precious than any other- jo8 that is, if light is a precious thing.'
'Which it most certainly is,'
'Which, then, of the heavenly bodies' do you regard as responsible for this? Whose light would you say it is
that makes our eyes see and objects be seen most perfectly?'
'I should say the same as you or anyone else; you mean
the sun, of course.'
'Then is sight related to its divine source as follows?' 'How?'
J, Plato says' gods ' j he believed the heavenly bodies were divine.
'The sun is not identical with sight, nor with what we call b the eye in which sight resides.'
, Yet of all sense-organs the eye is the most sunlike.' 'Much the most.'
, So the eye's power of sight is a kind of infusion dispensed to it by the sun.'
'Then, moreover, though the sun is not itself sight, it is the cause of sight and is seen by the sight it causes.'
, That is so.'
'Well, that is what I called the child of the good,' I said. 'The good has begotten it in its own likeness, and it
I bears the same relation to sight and visible objects in the visible realm that the good bears to intelligence and intel- ligible objects in the intelligible realm.'
'Will you explain that a bit further?' he asked.
'You know that when we turn our eyes to objects whose colours are no longer illuminated by daylight, but only by moonlight or starlight, they see dimly and appear to be almost blind, as if they had no clear vision.'
a' 'But when we turn them on things on which the sun is shining, then they see clearly, and obviously have vision.'
, Certainly.'
'Apply the analogy to the mind. When the mind's eye is fixed on objects illuminated by truth and reality, it under- stands and knows them, and its possession of intelligence is evident; but when it is fixed on the twilight world of change and decay, it can only form opinions, its vision is confused and its opinions shifting, and it seems to lack intel- ligence.'
'That is true.'
I 'Then what gives the objects of knowledge their truth and the knower's mind the power of knowing is the form I of the
good. I~is the cause 9f knowledge and truth, and you will
be right to think of it as being itself known, and yet as being
something other than, and even more splendid2 than, know-
I. Idea. z. Kolos.