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Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull

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Memoriile escrocului român George Manolescu – unul dintre modelele lui Felix Krull – traduse în germană în 1905 de Paul Langenscheidt au devenit sursă de inspirație pentru mai mulți scriitori și subiect pentru cercetări psihologice sau criminologice În romanul de față figura acestui escroc simpatic se combină subtil cu protagoniști din marea literatură universală și cu personaje din viața lui Thomas Mann„Escrocul internațional Felix Krull își scrie la patruzeci de ani memoriile O poveste captivantă despre furturi amor înșelăciuni și aventuri prin hoteluri luxoase ale Europei Departe de a fi însă un vulgar răufăcător Felix face parte din categoria aleșilor thomasmannieni are har Plăcut la înfățișare visător și cuviinc. In writing Felix K

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Ios cu voce frumoasă și o retorică fără cusur el vorbește o mulțime de limbi străine și are un talent actoricesc înnăscut Mai presus de orice însă Felix are capacitatea aproape supranaturală de a convinge și a învârti pe degete pe oricine chiar și pe cititorii lui de azi Scrisă la începutul și la sfârșitul carierei lui Thomas Mann între 1910–1913 și 1951–1954 cartea a rămas neterminată ceea ce nu i știrbește cu nimic savoarea În ultima parte la proces escrocul ar fi urmat să i convingă pe jurați de nevinovăția lui Le rămâne cititorilor pe lângă bucuria lecturii și aceea a ghicirii verdictului“ Ioana PÂRVULESCUInspirându se din volumul de memorii Ein Fürst der Diebe Un prinț al hoților de George Manolescu un bes. A friend's review

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Tseller din primele decenii ale secolului XX în Germania Thomas Mann scrie în Mărturisirile escrocului Felix Krull o autobiografie ficțională în care tradiția clasică a bildungsromanului se contopește fericit cu picarescul Cartea prinde contur în tinerețea scriitorului este apoi abandonată pentru a fi reluată după aproape patru decenii „Prima parte a memoriilor“ apare în 1954 cu un an înainte de sfârșitul vieții autorului iar în arhiva Thomas Mann rămân planurile de continuare a aventurilor lui Felix seducătorul protagonist născut lângă Mainz plecat să și caute norocul la Paris și deja la el acasă în cercurile selecte ale Lisabonei urma să facă înconjurul lumii scriindu și memoriile la sfârșitul carierei sale extraordina. I recently reread

  • Paperback
  • 400
  • Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull
  • Thomas Mann
  • Romanian
  • 10 January 2018
  • 9789736899164

About the Author: Thomas Mann

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10 thoughts on “Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull

  1. says:

    The Great German Picaresue that never was interrupted by Mann’s passing at the tender age of 80 Apparently a parody of Goethe’s pompous autobio the antihero of Felix Krull is a self regarding poseur in the likeable mould and the comic antics in the novel are sparse making the novel a bildungsroman than a Fieldingesue romp As the novel was part of a proposed epic there are longueurs galore most of which are riveting exchanges on the nature of beauty morality and shiny things aristocrats own The Robin Askwith adaptation filmed in 1978 as Confessions of a Saucy Maruis was one of the finer British sex comedies and no discerning cineaste of softcore will forget the romping scene with Felix and Zouzou played by a young Jane Leeves in the asters of the rear garden without throbs of nostalgia

  2. says:

    I had a sudden thought about this book which I had read some time ago which was how curious it was that a writer's last work was focused on a confidence trickster and his trickery when what is writing but a confidence trick created with the collusion of the reader As a result this is a book about fantasy and invention in which we might be best advised to trust nothing and to believe lessI wondered how far the subject of the book was a confession on the part of the author the Patriarch with bad relations with many of his children the husband with a taste for same sex relationshipsthe non political man who ended up in exile for political reasons all the same we can see the author as one who played at different identities as much as his fictional herosuch anyway were my idle thoughts on my way to a hospital out patient appointment as I wondered if my shirt and underwear would pass muster as Felix's did before the conscription board

  3. says:

    In writing Felix Krull I wonder if Thomas Mann was trying to prove that after all his heavy duty works he could still turn out a romantic comedy although not the ordinary kind He's still Thomas Mann Magic Mountain is overshadowed by the inevitable coming of World War I Doktor Faustus directly confronts the evils of World War II Felix Krull takes place in 1895 a time when no one well no one but people like Bertha von Suttner had any inkling of the imminent tragedies of the 20th century Mann exercises his usual tricks but with a twist and a light touch He loves assuming the voice of an eccentric narrator This time it's a first person account by a no account fake maruis but a highly amusing fake who blithely tells his story for the refined and sensitive reader Krull assures us he only writes for a cultivated audience people cut from finer wood as he is himself Like Mann's other novels this one employs lots of teases to hook the reader On page nine Krull every so briefly mentions that he has served time in jail as well as lived in grand hotels And he likes grand hotels better But then he moves on and doesn't explain how he landed in jail though one could easily imagine Krull starts with his childhood and his close relationship to his godfather the painter with the improbable name Schimmelpreester who likes to paint his godson in the nude as well as in outrageous costumes such as a matador outfit a costume that plays a key roll at the end of the novel The refined reader can ignore the implications of this or he can fill in the part of the story that occurs off stage Like Tolstoy whom Mann worshipped the most important scenes are left behind a curtain Felix works his way up starting as an elevator boy in a grand hotel then a busboy and hits his stride as a waiter who serves a wealthy and frivolous clientele The main drift of the story is that Felix's schemes work because people want to be fooled So Felix steals a wealthy woman's jewels only to learn that she something of a sadist who loves humiliation would gladly give him in erotic play His charm and physical attractiveness becomes clear as people of both sexes offer him propositions Mann has a lot of fun with aristocratic pretensions as Krull easily assumes the identity of an aristocrat gets an audience with the king of Portugal and is awarded a medal so he can dress properly decorated for formal occasions One of the jewels of the book is Krull's letter home to the woman who is supposed to be his mother after he switched identities with a real aristocrat who wanted to continue slumming in Paris with a show girl Mother is delighted to receive such a polished and gracious and very long letter The fact that her real son could not possibly have written it just doesn't matter to her And she particularly likes his defense of the natural order of society because without beggars how could the upper classes show their sense of charity Aristocrats the wealthy mothers and even academics get skewered Mann himself came across especially to Americans as a professorial type even though he actually failed repeatedly in school and never went to college So I think there is a certain authorial empathy going on here Felix is a fake but he is genuinely interested in hearing the technical details of evolution from a distinguished paleontologist with the wonderful name of Professor KuckuckThey thoroughly enjoy each other's pretentions Well it goes on like this Supposedly an unfinished fragment the novel ends on a high note and really doesn't need any further elaboration Enough said

  4. says:

    Know that these are three loving stars given out of respect for what the novel accomplishes even though it's incomplete and most of the time aimless and wanderingConfessions of Felix Krull is Thomas Mann's attempt at the picaresue and Krull is something of a mix between Don uixote and Ignatius J Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces Parts of the novel are laugh out loud funny not a gut reaction I've ever had to a Mann novel I'm thinking in particular of a scene that could have been cut from Dunces where Krull a character very much like M Gustave H from Wes Anderson's film The Grand Budapest Hotel that is a character whose sexuality has nothing to do with a desire for men or women both of whom are eually at his disposal but with his erotic appetite for romantic civility is seduced by an older woman a novelist who calls him a slave in bed and wants him to call her a whore imagine Don uixote's reaction to something like this The scene is hilarious because he truly thinks she's chosen him for his social graces and charm he's a hotel elevator operator at this pointMann conceived of the book in 1905 published it as a short story in 1911 and attempted a novel the year before he died Imagine how different the Mann of 1954 must have been from the kid who first put Krull to paper That sort of disparity between decades of intellectual and emotional transformation deranges the plot of this novel unfortunately You never really get a grip on the trajectory which can delight a reader if one senses movement toward crisis or conclusion But the many faces of Felix Krull are not as the title would suggest the masks of a confidence man but rather the personas of different actors in different stories whose paths simply refuse to intersect Ultimately I'm not sure if it's worth the read unless you're a Mannophile like myself Hence the three loving stars

  5. says:

    There are few authors whose works bring me as much pleasure as Thomas Mann This continues to be the case with this all too short and all too incomplete book Mann was working on this when he died in 1955 – I’m sure this information is out there Mann is significant enough of a literary figure that – like Joyce and Eliot and other titans of 20th century literature – he is documented almost to the point of exhaustion though I’ve yet to run across it I can’t help but wondering what Mann intended for this book “The Early Years” designation would seem to suggest that this was the first entry of some sort of larger series; even with this book – clocking in at 384 pages – it’s not clear how long the work was intended to be I mean 384 pages is not necessarily a short book but it feels like Mann is just starting to hit his stride in the last 100 or so pages of the book – his prose begins to become much philosophical and poetic as Krull begins to travel – and from a narrative perspective it feels like he’s barely begun to document Krull’s life as a “confidence man”; Krull is barely two months into his travels; and just around a year into having left home The potential for expansion and continuation is fairly staggering The book itself ends abruptly – though it manages to end on both a humorous beat as well as a nice cliff hanger for the avid reader – and all I wanted there at the end was for it to continue to go on; and as a reader I am sad that it will never be completeIt was only after I read this that I realized it was a continuation of a short story Mann had written – once I recognized that I remembered that of all the stories in the Death in Venice collection that Vintage put out the story this is based on was the true standout of the collection In fact it would be a number of years after I read that collection that I would return to Mann as I found myself a bit underwhelmed by most of the stories It goes absolutely without saying – but I’ll say it anyways – that I am overjoyed that I returned to Mann eventually as his oeuvre is simply stunning; I cannot imagine my literary life without himI was worried starting this book that I would not like it as much without Woods as the translator but Mann’s writing is as wonderful as ever here; Mann himself was too talented of a writer to overly suffer a lesser translation; so while this was not as good as the Woods’ stuff it is an accomplished enough work that it shines through But the real jewel of the book is the character of Krull himself; his narrative voice is a joy to read; he is funny witty and observant in a way that manages to disclose an overwhelming amount of details as Mann loves to do while always flowing at a brisk clip This book retains the compulsive readability and feeling of being over much too uickly that Mann’s other later works Joseph and His Brothers Doctor Faustus also had; and though it never rises to the heights of those later books it should still be considered an essential read for lovers of Mann Sleep soundly Dream of Being and of Life Dream of the whirling galaxies which since they are there bear with joy the labour of their existence Dream of the shapely arm with its ancient armature of bones and of the flowers of the field that are able aided by the sun to break up lifeless matter and incorporate it into their living bodies And don’t forget to dream of stone of a mossy stone in a mountain brook that has lain for thousands upon thousands of years cooled bathed and scoured by foam and flood Look upon its existence with sympathy Being at its most alert gazing upon Being in its profoundest sleep and salute it in the name of Creation All’s well when Being and Well Being are in some measure reconciled A very good night

  6. says:

    A friend's review of this is great first half dull second half My review is the exact opposite which suggests that this is just about taste The first half for me was a little too cutesy with the symbolism as Krull discovers how much he enjoys acting impersonating and being praised for his beauty Well done but also for me hampered by the impossibility of doing anything new with the first part of life stories You'll be surprised to learn that Felix has a family there is a crisis he matures and strikes out to start life on his own There is fun to be had with the threefold perspective of young Felix narrating Felix and implied author Mann but to be honest if you haven't had your fill of unreliable narrators at this point of history I don't know what to say The second half on the other hand is a perfectly done 18th century picaresue but in the early 20th century and here the threefold perspective comes into its own since the combination of modernist narrator and picaresue tale is something I at least haven't seen much of before I don't count the pomo narrators in this category There's not much else to say It's very funny parts of it remind me of many other novels I have loved a dash of Proust; a hint of Bassani; Mann's other works of course I unlike my aforementioned friend am very sad that he never finished it This could easily have surpassed Buddenbrooks and the Mountain simply because big serious novels are so rarely hilariously funny Also I read somewhere that Mann modeled the narrative voice after Goethe's memoirs which he found unbearably pompous I enjoyed reading it much once I could assume that the pseudo aristocratic style really was meant to be mocked

  7. says:

    Upon reading Felix Krull I have determined that I do not know as much about nothing as I thought I did Clearly Thomas Mann has much of a grasp on it than me After reading the last lines of this novel I was left with the distinct feeling of just having lost something valuable but not knowing uite what I think that my lost feeling might be attributed to the fact that the writing of Thomas Mann is confounding and at least in the case of Felix Krull is dumbfounding I think that the book is a comment on the arbitrary nature of our identity’s superficial reliance upon language or accurately perhaps that our identity IS language While not immediately convincing I must admit that the novel has stuck in me a new feeling of inadeuacy or perhaps just reaffirmed my previously held suspicion that I am nothing than what I say I am

  8. says:

    I recently reread Confessions of Felix Krull Confidence Man The Early Years Thomas Mann's last novel and a comic masterpiece Felix Krull's confessions are filled with humorous episodes worthy of the Mann's story telling mastery Mann based the novel on an expanded version of a story he had written in 1911 and he managed to finish and publish part one of the Confessions of Felix Krull but due to his death in 1955 the saga of the morally flexible and irresistible conman Felix remained unfinished In spite of that it is still one of the best novels I have read dealing with the uestion of identity It is that and much Early in the story Felix learns to deal with circumstances by changing his character as needed and he continues to shift identities becoming whomever he needs to be in all the ensuing predicaments that he encounters The expression of a latent admiration for a human being who can metamorphose himself into multiple identities reminds me of The Confidence Man by Herman Melville That earlier novel is in a way a precursor to the modernity of Mann's unfinished opus Felix Krull seems to view the world like a chessboard on which he can take pleasure in manipulating the pieces at will and cultivate his ambition and his knowledge of the ways of the world by spending whole days peering into shop windowsThere are three moments in the Confessions that exemplify the merging of identity and destiny of young Felix Krull Early in the story Felix encounters an actor Muller Rose whose extravagant operetta performance makes an indelible impression on him The contrast between his stage character and his backstage repulsive self is a vision that impresses the young boy The second moment occurs in Paris when Felix attends the circus The performance of the acrobats and the high wire euilibrist Andromache were mesmerizing to Felix Andromache Her vision painful and uplifting at once lingered in my mind long after her act was over and others had replaced it p 194The third moment occurs after Felix has settled into his identity as Venosta and is established in Lisbon There is a bullfight which combines the flamboyance of the toreador costumes with the ravishing sensation of the duel to the death with the bull Felix describes his impressionsthe atmosphere that lay over all at once oppressive and solemnly joyous a uniue mingling of jest blood and dedication primitive holiday making combined with the profound ceremonial of death p 375Each of these moments capture the sensation of Eros and Thanatos pleasure and death and form a counterpart to the often light hearted way that Felix led his life as a confidence manHe fools Venosta's parents with a lengthy letter that mimics the style of the man whose identity he has assumed and goes on to impress his contacts in Lisbon Yet he maintains a calm demeanor throughout his escapades filled with confidence in his ability The reader eventually succumbs to his charm in spite of an episodic life in different identities that was full of nervous suspense It seems that Mann still had story telling magic left at the end of his life after World War II and decades after his great beginnings with Buddenbrooks and Death in Venice The only regret is that Mann was unable to finish the novel; yet the early years of Felix Krull still amounts to a small masterpiece

  9. says:

    WARNING This book review contains spoilersI would not recommend the book Confessions of Felix Krull by Thomas Mann to anyone I can honestly say it was one of the worst books I have ever readThe book is basically about a pretty boy who gets everything he wants in life I did enjoy the book at first but as the story progressed it became less believable and annoying Felix Krull the main character and narrator grew up in Germany As a child when Felix didn’t want to go to school he would pretend to be sick so his parents wouldn’t make him go Apparently he was so good at pretending to be sick that he actually gave himself legitimate symptoms such as a fever I admit that seemed like it was testing the limits of reality but I believed it for the sake of the story Felix’s father owned a wine shop and Felix was a young adult his father’s business went bankrupt Felix’s family was evicted from their house so his father committed suicide This is where the book peaked for me Felix was distraught when his father died but his father’s death did not seem to have much of a long term effect on Felix If my father killed himself I would never be the same Felix just continued to go about his life and hardly mentioned his father after his death A realistic situation would be if the tragic story of his father was his motivation for the rest of his life I was interested to see where Felix’s life would take him at that point in the story The book had a lot of potential so far but Mann let me downAfter the death of Felix’s father Felix’s life continually and uickly took positive turns Felix’s godfather Schimmelpreester got Felix a job as an elevator boy at a hotel in Paris and the manager of the restaurant at the hotel noticing how amicable Felix was with the guests gave Felix a job as a waiter As a waiter Felix continued to charm the guests with his intelligence and extraordinarily good looks He even befriended a wealthy guest named Louis Venosta Venosta’s parents thought that Venosta’s romantic interest in a girl named Zaza was too distracting for him so they decided to send him on a trip around the world to rid him of this distraction Venosta asked Felix to take the trip for him using his identity so that Venosta could stay in France with Zaza and Felix agreedNow Felix was assuming the identity of a man traveling the world who had money than he could possibly spend The first stop on the trip was Portugal Felix meets and falls in love with a young woman about his age named Zouzou Apparently Mann was horrible at coming up with original names Zouzou did not want to engage Felix romantically claiming that all men had a warped perception of what love really was I was very pleased at this point because Felix finally wasn’t getting everything he wanted Unfortunately for me the book ends with Zouzou giving in and kissing Felix Of course The whole book is about how Felix EASILY went from being broke when his father died to living luxuriously in Portugal as Louis VenostaOther than the atrocious plot I was not satisfied with Confessions of Felix Krull because it was very wordy At times there would be many pages where there was no dialogue In these wide gaps Felix would use pretentious vocabulary to describe events in his life that had little connection to the plot I often found myself wondering what I was reading and why I was reading itPlease do not read this book It may make you angry

  10. says:

    Who knew the man who wrote Magic Mountain and Death in Venice might actually have a sense of humor? I orginally read this in college while doing a course on Hesse and Mann After many grueling hours pushing complex sentence structures up Magic Mountain this came as uite a shock It was as if it were written by a completely different Mann This is probably the funniest book I've ever read out of Germany I particularly liked watching Felix worm his way out of the German draft and trying to pass himself off as an accomplished tennis player I don't think it will wind up on anyone's top 10 list but it's certainly worth a read

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