Susie Dent on Thomas Mann
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Thomas Mann was a German writer whose books explored themes around family, beauty and the creeping threat of fascism in Europe. Mann's best-known 'Death in Venice' revealed the author's attraction to young boys and it was turned into a film in 1971 starring Dirk Bogarde. Mann moved to Switzerland before the outbreak of the Second World War and lived in exile in Europe and the USA for the rest of his life. From his home in California he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Einstein and Brecht, and he recorded broadcasts for the BBC urging the German people to rise up and over throw Hitler. He was married and had six children, two of whom took their own lives. Lexicographer and word expert on 'Countdown' Susie Dent says German was her first love and she first-read Mann whilst studying at University. She loves the tension in his work between the pull of one's senses and the desire to stay aloof and detached. Susie and Matthew are joined by Karolina Watroba, Research fellow in German and Comparative Literature at the University of Oxford. Karolina was born in Poland where Mann is a huge cultural icon and she first read 'The Magic Mountain' in the summer before she went to University. Future subjects in the series include Hattie Jacques and Stamford Raffles, founder of London Zoo and Singapore. Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Toby Field
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