I've never been a great fan of hospitals and when asked one of my answers is that I struggle with the concept of a largely artificial community.
What I mean by that is the way that you are forced by circumstance into a situation with other people that you might avoid if you had more freedom.
In these communities of circumstance sometimes people can become confused about reality and it is exactly that scenario that Mann is writing about in Tristan.
A rather eccentric writer is holed up in a sanatorium and he falls for a woman who has been pushed to the brink by a difficult child birth.
The woman, who is described in angelic terms, finds the author amusing and interesting and through him discovers that not everything the doctors have told her she cannot do are bad for her.
As she plays the piano and Tristan and Isolde rings out in the sanitorium she finds some solace and provides the writer with the strength to tell her husband some home truths. Sadly they come too late.
Apart from reflections on the story what you are left with here are thoughts about the connections that can be made quickly and deeply between patients and the calming abilities of nature.
At moments you can picture the sanitorium as clearly as if you were flicking through a brochure on the place.