Death in Venice is one of the greatest novellas of the twentieth century and has been adapted for film (1971, directed by Luchino Visconti) and opera (1973, with music by Benjamin Britten and libretto by Myfanwy Piper). In this story, Mann further develops many of the ideas that he had so successfully explored in Tonio Kröger.
The story is centered on Gustav von Aschenbach, a famous writer who has come to Venice for a vacation. Aschenbach is suffering from fatigue and world-weariness, the result of intense literary efforts and an incipient emotional crisis. When Aschenbach arrives at his hotel in Venice, he notices a Polish family that is also on vacation, in particular, a young boy named Tadzio....
(The entire section is 644 words.)