PhD title: A Comparative Study of Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg and T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land
Supervisors: Dr Nicholas Martin and Professor Steve Ellis
Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain, 1924) and T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922) are two landmark Modernist texts, both of which were composed during and published after the First World War. They are dominated by death, crisis and the declining role of the individual in the context of violent change in Europe. Mann’s novel spans over 1000 pages, while Eliot’s poem comprises only 433 lines, yet both these seminal texts present a myriad of typically Modernist concerns: the experience of time; the possibility of fate; the stagnancy and mechanisation of the Western metropolis; the unexplored mysticism of the East; and the heavy influence of myth, most notably the Grail legend. I aim to highlight these affinities in detail and believe that a comparative study of the works will bring out fresh and mutually illuminating perspectives on these texts.
My research is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
As part of my project I will spend two months in early 2014 at the Huntington Library in California exploring mutual American influences on Mann and Eliot. This placement is also funded by the AHRC.
I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Birmingham in German Studies with English Literature (2007-2011) followed by an MPhil in Modern European Cultures (2011-2012).
The decision to continue my studies at Birmingham was easy due to the excellent quality of supervision I received during my MPhil. Alongside my studies I work as a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant and a Senior Language Ambassador, allowing me to gain experience in teaching both undergraduate and school students.