Revision with unchanged content. It is a commonly held belief among literary scholars that translation is a nuisance, to be performed only when necessary, and capable of producing only failed copies of an irreproducible original. Translation, however, involves exceptionally close readings of works, and by this token, is an important tool for the study of literature. This importance is demonstrated by Patrick O' Neill's macrotextual model of reading, which views translations neither as inferior copies of an original, nor as mere “metatexts” about an original, but as extensions of the original. In a refreshing turn, it allows us to view all translations – even “bad” ones – as legitimate expansions, rather than distortions, of the original text. In light of this, this study embarks on close, comparative readings of Thomas Mann’s Der Tod in Venedig (1912) and twelve of its English, French, and Italian renderings. It puts forth suggestions as to the most valuable observations to have arisen from the readings, and comments on the extensions undergone by the original text. This book is intended not only for Thomas Mann scholars or specialists in the field of translation studies – it is addressed to all those who share an interest in literature and who seek novel ways by which to access it.