Thomas Mann

Death in Venice novel cover

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Thomas Mann (1875–1955), German writer. See Gay for Today

 A man of complexities and contradictions, this perhaps greatest German writer of the twentieth century created both a literature and a life that alternately masked and revealed homosexual desire.

Wikipedia  Thomas Mann Diaries 

Death in Venice

“He already knew he was homosexual—he had just ended a four-year love affair with a young painter, Paul Ehrenberg. This sexual relationship was a departure from Thomas’s usual pattern of platonic obsession. At fourteen he had become infatuated with an adolescent boy, one of his classmates; this first experience of passionate, unrequited love became an archetype in his later life and in his work. At twenty-five, Thomas no longer saw his homosexual desires as belonging to the caprice of his childhood, although the focus of his sexual passion would continue, throughout his life, to be adolescent boys. Decades later, when he reflected on his relationship with Paul Ehrenberg, he considered it to be the “central emotional experience” of his life. He wrote, “I have lived and loved… . I actually knew happiness, held in my arms someone I really longed for.” At the time, the great joy of that union was tarnished by his self-loathing and disgust at his “abnormality.”

 Thomas Mann


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