Interior portraits in the magic mountain and brain imagi ng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain conveys some insights into the distinction between images and reality. Like a prisoner in the Platonic cave, Hans Castorp is enslaved to images. His fascination for the X-ray images of the "interior portrait," especially of Clawdia Chauchat, may anticipate the current illusion that brain imaging may allow access to the minds of other persons, may draw their mental portraits. In Mann's novel, Director Behrens, the ardent materialist, anticipates such an illusion. It is only the "license of fiction," however, that allows the narrator of this novel access to the minds of some of the characters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-432
Number of pages17
JournalPhilosophy and Literature
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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