Why is Tadzio a Boy? Perspectives on Homoeroticism in Death in Venice

This essay was probably first essay focusing on same-sex desire in Mann’s Death in Venice to be in a collection aimed at student audiences. It provides background information about the homosexual emancipation movement in Germany during Mann’s lifetime and biographical information about Mann’s own same-sex desires. As it uncovers many of the homosexual signifiers in the novella, it concludes that the novella depicts the relationship between sexuality and cultural production, showing “Mann’s awareness, not only of the influences of sexuality on textuality, but also of the effect of textuality on sexuality.”


“Why is Tadzio a Boy?  Perspectives on Homoeroticism in Death in Venice,” Thomas Mann,  Death in Venice:  A New Translation.  Background and Contexts. Criticism, ed. Clayton Koelb (New York:  Norton, 1994) 207-32.