New Meetup: Tolstoy: The Death of Ivan Ilych and Mann: Death in Venice

From: Arlinda S.
Sent on: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 3:57 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Classic Books!

What: Tolstoy: The Death of Ivan Ilych and Mann: Death in Venice

When: Sunday, March 28,[masked]:00 PM

Price: $2.50 per person

Crema Cafe
27 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138

They say you truly get to know someone when they are dying.

Ivan Ilych Golovin is a St. Petersburg high court judge, whose existence has been consumed by climbing the social ladder, all the while fending off a demanding wife and avoiding a miserable family life. Then a banal accident occurs. While hanging curtains for his new home, he falls awkwardly and hurts his side. The physician cannot pinpoint the source of his malady, but soon it becomes clear that his condition is terminal. Suddenly, Ivan Ilych must now confront his approaching death, and most painful perhaps, his life. It is Tolstoy's short masterpiece and one of the most profound and revered novellas ever written.

Gustav Aschenbach is a distinguished German writer, who at 53 has achieved fame, fortune and the highest distinction. He is a man dedicated to his art, disciplined and ascetic with little appetite for living. Yet fatefully, while on holiday in Venice he encounters and becomes entranced by a 14-year old boy named Tadzio. Soon the hot, humid weather begin to affect Aschenbach's health, but his ever growing obsession renders him powerless to leave. He remains immovable even as the city becomes engulfed in a cholera epidemic, thus facing near certain death. The story sets the demands and powers of Eros against the life of intellect, discipline, artistic creation, and order, and brilliantly serves up the great puzzle of life choices.

So, don't let the titles mislead you. These stories are much more about living than dying.

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