Book Reviews Caroline Joan ("Kay") Picart, Thomas Mann and Friedrich Nietzsche: Eroticism, Death, Music, and Language. Atlanta: Rodophi Books, 1999. DEBRA B. BERGOFFEN In Thomas Mann and Friedrich Nietzsche: Eroticism, Death, Music, and Language, Caroline Joan ("Kay") Picart appeals to Dürer's magic square of music, eroticism/sexual love and death, laughter and irony, to examine the relationship between Friedrich Nietzsche and Thomas Mann. She argues that Mann, despite his attempts to distance himself from what he saw as the demonic influences of Nietzsche's thought, never overcame Nietzsche's influence. Picart does not claim that Nietzsche and Mann engaged the elements of Dürer's magic square in the same way. Her point is that though they saw the relationship between these elements differently, they were both engaged in working with these elements in their thinking and writing. According to Picart, Nietzsche saw these elements as offering a secular redemption from the decadence of modernity; whereas Mann, living in the wake of the Nazi appropriation of the demonic, found the Dionysian aspects of the magic square more problematic. Mann's relationship to Nietzsche is, in short, ambiguous. According to Picart, he is anti-Nietzsche when he disavows the overman or blond beast but remains a
The Journal of Nietzsche Studies – Penn State University Press
Published: Jul 8, 2003
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