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Gabriele Annan, 7 February 1991

Reminiscences and Reflections 
by Golo Mann, translated by Krishna Winston.
Faber, 338 pp., £25, January 1991, 0 571 15151 5
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... The Mann family romance is among the tragic real-life soap operas of the century, a large-cast drama of genius, talent, fame and infamy, fraternal hatred, rocky and rock-hard marriages, open and covert sexual deviancy, secrets and suicides. It provided material for Thomas, Heinrich, Erika and Klaus Mann’s novels and plays, and for plenty of biographies and psycho-literary studies besides ...

When in Bed

David Blackbourn, 19 October 1995

Reflections on a Life 
by Norbert Elias.
Polity, 166 pp., £35, October 1994, 0 7456 1383 7
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The Civilising Process 
by Norbert Elias.
Blackwell, 558 pp., £50, March 1994, 0 631 19222 0
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... in the Belle Epoque, Elias offers surprisingly little material detail, given the central role that manners and habitus play in his best-known work. Then, too, Benjamin was broken by the events of the Thirties and eventually took his own life, whereas Elias repeatedly emphasises the inner confidence he gained from his early years, enabling him to cope with the ...

Marseille, 1940-43

Neal Ascherson, 18 July 2013

... constellations of German, Austrian and Eastern European anti-fascist celebrities: Heinrich and Golo Mann, Hannah Arendt, Anna Seghers, Simone Weil, Arthur Koestler, Victor Serge, Walter Benjamin, Franz Werfel and his wife Alma Mahler, Lion Feuchtwanger, Konrad Heiden (Hitler’s first truthful biographer), Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz, Moïse ...

I Could Sleep with All of Them

Colm Tóibín: The Mann Family, 6 November 2008

In the Shadow of the Magic Mountain: The Erika and Klaus Mann Story 
by Andrea Weiss.
Chicago, 302 pp., £14.50, May 2008, 978 0 226 88672 5
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... Thomas and Katia Mann had six children. It was clear from early on that Katia most loved the second child, Klaus, who was born in 1906, and that Thomas loved Erika, the eldest, born in 1905, and also Elisabeth, born in 1918. The other three – the barely tolerated ones – were Golo, born in 1909, Monika, born in 1910, and Michael, born in 1919 ...

Mann v. Mann

Colm Tóibín: The Brother Problem, 3 November 2011

House of Exile: War, Love and Literature, from Berlin to Los Angeles 
by Evelyn Juers.
Allen Lane, 400 pp., £25, May 2011, 978 1 84614 461 5
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... The imposing house on Stockton Street in Princeton where Thomas Mann lived between 1938 and 1941 is these days owned by the Catholic Church. The main room is large enough for a congregation to assemble, and now contains pews and an altar. At either end of this room there are two beautiful smaller rooms with walls of glass, one made for summer light and the other designed for the winter ...

Why should you be the only ones that sin?

Colm Tóibín, 5 September 1996

Thomas MannEros and Literature 
by Anthony Heilbut.
Macmillan, 636 pp., £20, June 1996, 9780394556338
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Thomas MannA Biography 
by Ronald Hayman.
Bloomsbury, 672 pp., £20, March 1996, 0 7475 2531 5
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Thomas MannA Life 
by Donald Prater.
Oxford, 554 pp., £20, September 1995, 0 19 815861 0
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... Adrian Leverkuhn, Felix Krull – are shaped by their uneasy and ambiguous homosexuality. For Mann being German came first, and he learned, as Anthony Heilbut rather quaintly puts it, to read German history as one long queer epic – he alluded to Frederick the Great’s homosexuality and depicted Bismarck as ‘hysterical and high-pitched’. When ...
... bourgeois democracy, as opposed to merely criticising it, had ever been a particularly good idea. Golo Mann, writing after World War Two, usefully dared to suggest that post-World War One society in Germany and Austria got far more satire than it needed. This suspicion is not necessarily dispelled by an extended study of Karl Kraus, who in my experience ...

Bring me another Einstein

Matthew Reisz, 22 June 2000

American Pimpernel: The Man who Saved the Artists on Hitler’s Death List 
by Andy Marino.
Hutchinson, 416 pp., £16.99, November 1999, 0 09 180053 6
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... Catholic monarchist who acted as the ‘unofficial ambassador to Vichy’; Otto Albert Hirschmann, known as ‘Beamish’ for his sunny smile, a francophile German Jew who claimed to be American, despite his atrocious English accent; Jean Gremahling, a young man who was so enthusiastic about his ‘promotion’ to illegal work that he looked at Fry as if ...

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