Lecture by Charles Lock

Davos and Thomas Mann

Der Zauberberg was inspired in the spring of 1912 by Thomas Mann’s visit to Davos where his wife Katia was a patient at the Waldsanatorium. Though published in 1924 the novel had been substantially completed by 1914. In this centenary lecture Charles Lock, Professor of English Literature at the University of Copenhagen, will look at the representation of Davos in Der Zauberberg and consider how that novel has subsequently determined the image of Davos and of Alpine treatments of tuberculosis and other diseases. Charles Lock knows Davos well for he spent a year of his childhood as a patient in a sanatorium there; he is also familiar with the regime under which patients were treated, whether for tuberculosis or, in his case, asthma. The sanatorium culture has now almost disappeared from the Alps, and few people today can have Charles Lock’s memories of a place that in 1967 was not very different from the world of Der Zauberberg.

Organised in coorporation with the Danish Thomas Mann Society