MANN, THOMAS. (1875-1955). German novelist and essayist whose works include the autobiographical Buddenbrooks, as well as Death in Venice and The Magic Mountain; winner of the 1929 Nobel Prize for Literature. DS. (“Thomas Mann”). 1p. Tall 4to. N.p., January 23, 1945. A typed contract between Mann, represented by the Franz J. Horch agency, and Editora Irmaos Pongetti of Rio de Janeiro, for the Portuguese language rights to his 1943 work Cervantes, Goethe, Freud.
Born in Lubeck to a middle-class German father and a Brazilian mother, Mann began working in the insurance industry after completing his education in Munich. He published his first story, “Little Mr. Friedemann” in 1898, and for the next decade continued to write short stories and novellas that included his autobiographical novel Buddenbrooks (1901) and his well-known novella Death in Venice (1912). That same year, Mann’s wife, Katia, spent several months in a sanitarium in Davos, Switzerland. The author’s visits inspired his novel, The Magic Mountain, published in 1924 and considered one of the most influential works of the 20th century. Set in the years leading up to WWI, The Magic Mountain “chillingly foresaw the disintegrating faith in reason and the corresponding surrender to the irrational that only a few years later produced Adolf Hitler and caused Mann’s own books to be burned in Germany,” (“Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, The vitality of big ideas,” The American Scholar, Bordewich).
For his oeuvre, Mann won the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature, yet with the 1933 rise of Nazism in Germany, Mann fled his country and moved first to neutral Switzerland and then, two years later, to New Jersey as a visiting professor at Princeton, settling in California’s Pacific Palisades in 1941. Horch (1901-1951) was an Austrian-born, American literary agent for many exiled writers, including Mann’s brother, Heinrich, and his son, Klaus.
On onion skin contract paper and neatly signed. Folded with scattered damp staining, creased and worn along the right edge.