Abstract

Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain conveys some insights into the distinction between images and reality. Like a prisoner in the Platonic cave, Hans Castorp is enslaved to images. His fascination for the X-ray images of the “interior portrait,” especially of Clawdia Chauchat, may anticipate the current illusion that brain imaging may allow access to the minds of other persons, may draw their mental portraits. In Mann’s novel, Director Behrens, the ardent materialist, anticipates such an illusion. It is only the “license of fiction,” however, that allows the narrator of this novel access to the minds of some of the characters.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 416-432
Launched on MUSE
2015-02-19
Open Access
No
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