Man's search for wholeness, or a "fullness of harmony," is of universal import. This theme has inspired artists in every field to create masterworks. The German born author, Thomas Mann, is no exception, for in his novel Magic Mountain, he probes the widely-loved "quest" theme to the fullest.
Magic Mountain was to have been a brief story based upon a personal experience. Mann's wife, suffering from a lung ailment, was obliged to spend six months in a sanitorium in Davos, Switzerland. Toward the last of that period Mann spent three weeks with her and there experienced the tantalizing "high altitude" atmosphere of a prewar luxury Kurhaus.