„Alle Frauen sind hier größer als die Männer“. Klaus Maria Brandauers Verfilmung von Mario und der Zauberer vor dem Hintergrund der gendertheoretisch informierten Thomas Mann-Forschung

Yahya Elsaghe


The film adaptation of Mario and the Magician, produced shortly after German reunification, exhibits a consistent series of changes to, and extensions of, Thomas Mann’s novella. These can be understood as very much a part and expression of their time, especially with regard to the momentum then gathering in gender discourse, which had begun to yield concrete legal results. In light of their respective gender mentalities, the time of the film’s realization has something significant in common with the conditions under which Mann wrote his novella and which he addressed therein. Recent research has specifically drawn attention to Mann’s use of Johann Jakob Bachofen’s cultural theory, a connection of which the filmmakers cannot have been aware. The film’s open and repeated staging of female power and male weakness is thus all the more noteworthy. It intuitively reveals aspects that specialized scholarship only subsequently uncovered by means of archival research.

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