The Clown (German: Der Bajazzo, Clown) is a short story by the 19th and 20th-century German author Thomas Mann. It was first published in the German literary magazine Neue Rundschau in 1897, and were after his death, published as part of the collection Little Herr Freiedemann and Death in Venice and Other Stories.
The German title Der Bajazzo is formed from the Italian word used in the title of Ruggero Leoncavallo's opera Pagliacci, meaning clowns, an opera with which Mann was well-acquainted. The title has alternatively been translated as The Joker, suggesting an outsider or oddity. This is a theme strongly explored in this work. This is the most autobiographical of Thomas Mann's works before Tonio Kröger.As in Little Herr Friedemann Ibsen's idea of a life sustaining lie is explored as well. As in Little Herr Friedemann, the Joker learns that a life of aesthetic epicureanism cannot compensate for human isolation.
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date of publication: 1897 or 1898
- no edition found