Eschenburg, Barbara: "Ist nicht der Russe der menschlichste Mensch?"
Thomas Manns Menschlichkeitsbegriff im Kontext russischer Literatur
"Is not the Russian the most human of men?" is the question Thomas Mann asks in his controversial essay Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen. At this point, it serves to polarize against France in order to present "the Russian" as a model of humanity by contrast. But it also invokes an image of humanity that goes beyond its temporal context, accompanying Thomas Mann's work up to Doktor Faustus and informed in particular by his view of two Russian writers: Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. Among other aspects, it is Dostoevsky's ideas of responsibility and Tolstoy's social revolutionary ideas that play a prominent role in shaping Mann's development from an individualistic concept of humanity towards a social humanism. In her book, Barbara Eschenburg finds points of contact between selected works by Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky and Thomas Mann's novels and essays – from Der Zauberberg to Joseph und seine Brüder and Doktor Faustus.
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