International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

The Artist as Daemon: Tonio Kröger and the Urge for Creativity
Mas'ud Hamdan

This article explores the relationship between personality and creativity as reflected in Thomas Mann's novella, Tonio Kröger. The interactions between love and suffering and creation, artist and audience are the main intersections that will be examined. The central argument is that Tonio Kröger, the eponymous hero of this novella, is a poet who clearly corresponds to the schizoid character type as defined by Anthony Storr (1972). This serves as a successful means for self-expression and as compensation for his loneliness, sense of meaninglessness in life and the impotence that derives from existential weakness, or as Laing puts it "ontological insecurity"(Laing, 1960: 40-64). Engagement in creative work grants the schizoid artist the power to bear the curse of his existence. The existential curse of the schizoid derives from his experience of profound contradictions that prevent him from creating a consistent self-identity. Creative activity helps him to establishes an alternate identity which is the valid form for an erroneous life.

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