Hans Castorp, a patrician’s son from Hamburg, spends seven years in a tuberculosis sanatorium in the Swiss Alps. He is healthy, yet he prefers the company of the terminally and imaginary ill to those “in the valley.“ Far from human everyday life, he goes into introspection. He witnesses intellectual conversations about the fate of the world, held by people who will never return to this world. He will fall in love with a mysterious Russian patient. He will find out how quickly one can forget the world. Yet the wold, does not forget one.
Xin Peng Wang dared to counter the magniloquence of this novel with the language of dance, which makes the decadent and morbid atmosphere of the sanatorium, and the period the novel is set in, palpable. Thomas Mann conceptualized his novel as a farewell to a whole epoch. The story ends with the outbreak of World War I. For Wang, the historical memento mori becomes a moment of reflection: whenever one world perishes, another is created.
Estonian composer Lepo Sumera (1950-2000) composed the suggestive music to this powerful story .