Death in Venice by Thomas Mann (1912). With a skillful use of classical allusion, Mann’s vaguely homoerotic novella describes an aging writer’s platonic infatuation with a beautiful young boy in Venice. Gustav von Aschenbach is a tragic idealist who has dedicated his life to the study and pursuit of high art and beauty. In young Tadzio he recognizes both the embodiment and inevitable transience of perfection in this story of heartrending poignancy.
Total Points: 3 (PM 3)