April Reading Club: Tonio Kröger - Εικόνα

The SNFCC Reading Club, coordinated by Giannis Palavos, continues in April.

On Monday, April 26, bibliophiles renew their monthly appointment, to discuss the book they read during the month that just passed. The group of readers will once again have the opportunity to come together and use the book of the month as a starting point to share experiences, emotions and ideas, as well as to create new friendships and exchange opinions.

April Book of the Month: Thomas Mann, Tonio Kröger 

Thomas Mann (1875 – 1955) has claimed a place in history as one of the most iconic authors of the twentieth century. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929, and the Goethe Prize twenty years later, while several countries (Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, USA, etc.) awarded him major distinctions and honorary titles in recognition of his contribution to the world of Letters. The prolific author, whose major influences include Schopenhauer, Freud, Goethe, Schiller and Nietzsche, created an entirely personal style that combines penetrative realism with the power of symbolism. Some of his most widely known novels are Buddenbrooks, The Magic Mountain, Doctor Faustus, and Death in Venice.

His multifaceted work – novellas, short stories, novels, essays, etc. – captures the anguished struggle of the modern Western man, who seeks balance between the material and the spiritual world, tenderness and violence, brutality and peace. His writings are run through by a profound humanism and often express his contemplations on society and politics. In fact, in the 1930s, his liberal political beliefs brought him into conflict with the Nazi regime, leading to his long-term self-imposed exile, originally to Switzerland and subsequently to the United States. 

His novella Tonio Kröger (1903) was written when Thomas Mann was only just 25 years old, and contains several autobiographical references. It was, in fact, by his own admission in an interview, his most favorite of his works. In the pages of the book, which has been loved by many generations of readers, there are discernible traces of Mann’s subsequent masterpieces that explore, just like Tonio, the artist’s ongoing struggle to strike a balance between the real and the imaginary. 

The book follows the protagonist’s efforts, from his schoolboy days through to adulthood, to reconcile his bourgeois background with his artistic nature, logic with emotion, yesterday with today. He comes into conflict with his father, questions his school environment, takes a stance against the teachers’ authority on knowledge, seeks role models and friendship among his popular schoolmates, and discovers romantic love. As he grows into maturity, Tonio concludes that “To be an artist, one has to die to everyday life”. Will he find the strength to transcend his own boundaries? Will he manage to break his ties to his past, so that he can ultimately embrace his true nature, which is to be a writer? 

Giannis Palavos was born in Velvento, Kozani, in 1980. He studied Journalism at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and Arts Administration at the Panteion University in Athens. He has written the short story collections True love and other stories (Intro Books 2007), Joke (Nefeli 2012), which received the State Literary Award for Best Short Story, and the Short Story Prize of the online literary journal O Anagnostis, and The child (Nefeli, 2019). Working together with Tasos Zafeiriadis, he wrote the script for the graphic novels The Corpse (Jemma Press 2011) and Gra-Grou (Ikaros 2017), illustrated by Thanasis Petrou; Gra-Grou received the prize for Best Comic and Best Script at the Greek Comics Awards. He also edited the republication of Athanasios Gravalis’ short stories Broken Columns (1930), as part of the “Prose Tradition” series by Nefeli Publishing (2019), and translated works by Tobias Wolff, Alden Nowlan, Breece D'J Pancake, Wallace Stegner, Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, etc. 

Monday 26/04, 18.30-20.30


For adults
Up to 50 participants
Participation by online pre-registration

Pre-registration starts on Thursday 01/04 at 12.00

Coordinator: Giannis Palavos, author

To take part in the Reading Club, registered participants are required to have read the book of the month. 

The Reading Club will meet online via Zoom.

Due to public health measures, there may be changes regarding either the staging of the event, or the maximum number of participants.

See also

Sunday 18/04, 17:00

Reading Club: Children’s Literature | Summer, autumn, winter, spring, summer…


Sunday 25/04, 13:00

Reading Club: Teenage Literature | Treasure Island