The Magic Mountain

The next course, "The Magic Mountain" will start on June 18th 2024
If you would like to find out more about forthcoming courses contact us or subscribe to our newsletter.

The slow reading approach gives us the time and space to examine this large text that is so concerned with ... time and space. And illness and death.

If that sounds very, perhaps even too, serious then it very early in the novel becomes apparent that it is also very funny and satirical. Indeed, Thomas Mann thought of it as a comic, even grotesque, response to his earlier work "Death in Venice".

For that reason we will be running two 'taster sessions' on "Death in Venice" on June 4th and June 11th. When you sign up for the main course you will be sent the links for these two sessions along with that for the first "The Magic Mountain" video and zoom.

This is how the course works:

As we will be using a slightly quicker, slow reading, approach with weekly videos and zoom sessions, there is below a reading plan for the whole course. This is based on page numbers for the John Woods translation, published by Everyman. We consider this to be the best translation, though we can also supply page numbers for the Lowe-Porter translation published by Vintage.

  • Week 1

    Pages 1 - 64: arrival, to the first meeting with Settembrini

  • Week 2

    Pages 64 - 146: settling in

  • Week 3

    Pages 146 - 217: Hans becomes a patient

  • Week 4

    First intermission: Thomas Mann and the context for this novel

  • Week 5

    Pages 217 - 340: a change of pace

  • Week 6

    Second intermission: Germany, Goethe, Schubert, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Wagner

  • Week 7

    Pages 340 - 488: the rest of the first year

  • Week 8

    Pages 488 - 649: a death

  • Week 9

    Third intermission: Music as a suspect art

  • Week 10

    Pages 649 - end: Mynheer Peeperkorn


The next course starts  June 2024. Later admissions are possible. Please, contact us for more information or visit our FAQs.

Included in the course:

  • A reading guide and explanation of the ten course units
  • Access to a series of ten fifteen minute online lectures, released each week throughout the course
  • A weekly zoom webinar/discussion group
  • Access to supporting material for those who want to read or view background material

Cost of the course:


If you have any questions please visit our FAQs page or email us

We want to make the course as accessible as possible so please email us if you need to discuss payment methods.

Sign up now: