October 28, 2021

Literature Journal

World literature news

Heinrich Mann

Heinrich Mann is a German writer, author of prose, public figure, older brother of the famous writer Thomas Mann. Born in Lubeck on March 27, 1871 in a merchant family (his father successfully traded in grain, served as a senator), in which old patriarchal traditions reigned. Despite the fact that there were five children, the family lived richly, the childhood of the future writer was not overshadowed by any worries and worries.

After graduating from high school in 1899, Heinrich Mann came to Dresden, for some time he worked in the field of selling books. Berlin becomes his next place of residence. In this city he was an employee of a publishing house and a student at the Friedrich Wilhelm University of Berlin. In 1891, the father of the family dies of cancer, after which the family moves to Munich in 1893, where Heinrich constantly visits his mother, brothers and sisters.

The path of Heinrich Mann as a writer begins in 1900 with the novel Promised Land, which was warmly received by readers. In 1903, the trilogy “Goddesses” was published, in which the author is still far from the position of realism. In his early work, the influence of classics and modernism can be traced, forming a bizarre combination. The realistic beginning is noticeably strengthened in the novel The Teacher of Vile (1905).

The beginning of the 10s. becomes the starting point for Mann’s activities as a literary critic and publicist. In 1914, just a month before the start of the First World War, Mann completed one of his most significant works – the novel Loyal Subject. In 1915, it was published in Russia; at home, readers saw it only after 3 years. Published in 1925, the novels The Poor and The Head turned Loyal Subject into the first part of a trilogy titled Empire. During the existence of the Weimar Republic, G. Mann from 1926 bore the title of Academician of the Literature Department of the Prussian Academy of Arts, he became the chairman of the same department in 1931.

Since 1933, in the biography of Heinrich Mann, the period of emigration begins, associated with the coming to power of A. Hitler. The name of the writer appeared in the first list of persons who were deprived of German citizenship. Prague became his new place of residence, then he lived in French Nice, in Paris. In the capital, since 1936, he served as chairman of the German Popular Front Committee. In 1940, Mann moved to Los Angeles, USA.

During the years of emigration, a turning point in his worldview took place: Mann came to the conclusion that the bourgeois republic was not in a position to give the people true democracy, and turned to socialist ideology. Communication with representatives of the KKE in the framework of the anti-fascist struggle helps him to take a fresh look at the historical role of the proletariat, to take the position of militant humanism.

Written during this period, “The Youth of Henry IV” (1935) and “The Maturity of Henry IV” (1938) are recognized as the highest creative achievement of the later period of his literary career. In 1946, the book “Review of the Century” was published, in which the genre of autobiography was combined with memoirs and political chronicles. After the war, the writer was in active contact with the GDR; he was elected the first president of the German Academy of Arts established in Berlin. G. Mann intended to move there, but death found him in a foreign land on March 11, 1950, in the city of Santa Monica (California, USA).