Thomas Hansen's New E-Notated Translation and Jens Kruse's Radio Interview Top the Website

July 8, 2013

Two Wellesley German professors currently headline the eNotated Classics website: Thomas Hansen leads the new publication list with the release of his enotated translation of Death in Venice; Jens Kruse is featured prominently in an audio interview about his enotated Kafka books, recorded at WZLY.

Thomas Hansen

In the new enotated version of Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice, says the website, Wellesley Professor of German Thomas Hansen shares with the reader what he has learned during three decades studying and teaching Mann and German literature, acting as a guide to the philosophic, artistic, and literary themes that permeate Mann's influential and engaging narrative.

Based on the centennial translation of the novella by Thomas S. Hansen and Abby J. Hansen published in 2012, this volume includes more than 200 eNotations and 100 Mann and Venice related images that extend Mann’s writing by providing a new layer of information behind the text the reader can access before, during, and after reading Death in Venice. 

An introductory essay, "Thomas Mann on the Lido," describes the background, genesis, and reception of the novella as well as Mann's major themes. An extensive bibliography offers the interested reader a path to Mann and his other works and a chronology puts Mann's life and writing into the context of his times.

As of this writing all reviewers have given the work the maximum five-star rating, and one commented:

As a Germanist, I can say with certainty that the Hansens have produced the best translation of Mann's important novella thus far. It is not only a stylistic step forward--in terms of a lucidity that remains true to Mann's style--but it corrects mistakes found in earlier versions. I should add that Hansen's essay on Mann and sexuality is one of the best on the subject: multi-layered and highly contextualized, a real nuanced piece of work. For those of you who love Thomas Mann this is a must read.

Hansen, who is on leave through Fall 2013, teaches elementary and advanced German language and literature across many themes, such as Masterpieces in German Literature and The Culture of Turn-of-the-Century Vienna: the Birth of Modernism. In addition to his work on Mann and Vienna, other main research interests include German exile literature from the period 1933–1945, and the works of postwar writer Arno Schmidt and book designer George Salter.

Jens Kruse

Wellesley Professor of German Jens Kruse has published four enotated works by Franz Kafka: Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony, A Hunger Artist, and A Country Doctor.

Kruse, also on leave through Fall 2013, has particular interest in late 18th and early 19th century literature, especially the works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; and 20th century literature, especially the works of Franz Kafka and Martin Walser. He has also taught comparative literature courses, such as Classic Western Texts in Contemporary Perspective and Imaginary Crimes and Courts: the Law in Literature

He spoke to Wellesley's WZLY earlier this year about how he came to specialize in writers of such different styles as Goethe and Kafka, about his introduction to e-notating texts, and how technology like e-readers can be used in teaching.

Kruse joined the Wellesley College faculty in 1983. He teaches both German language and literature on all levels of the curriculum and has served at various times as chair of the German Department and Coordinator of Foreign Language Chairs. He served as associate dean of the College from 1992 until 1999.