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Impossible Wishes

Michael Wood: Thomas Mann, 6 February 2003

The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Mann 
edited by Ritchie Robertson.
Cambridge, 257 pp., £45.50, November 2001, 9780521653107
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Thomas Mann: A Biography 
by Hermann Kurzke, translated by Leslie Willson.
Allen Lane, 582 pp., £30, January 2002, 0 7139 9500 9
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... Friends of German opera, who probably still had more friends in Germany than they ought to have. Hermann Kurzke, quoting this sentence, says Mann ‘all too often . . . got a glimpse of the Fascist grimace beneath the festive veneer’. After the war he became suspect in the USA and in West Germany, because he refused to attack East Germany, and because ...

Closet Virtuoso

Seamus Perry: Magic Mann, 24 February 2022

The Magician 
by Colm Tóibín.
Viking, 438 pp., £18.99, September 2021, 978 0 241 00461 6
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... Mann wrote gnomically in his undestroyed diary towards the end of his life. But as the scholar Hermann Kurzke has said, it would be quite wrong to see Mann as leading some sort of double life in the way that, say, Wilde did. That he did not commit forbidden acts was no doubt partly down to timidity, but it was also the product of a tenacious ...

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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... his Wilsonism etc are antiquated and withered.’ In his biography of Mann, published in 1999, Hermann Kurzke traces the ironies, the contradictions and changes of opinion in Mann’s politics between 1918 and 1922, when, in a speech called ‘The German Republic’, he seemed to recant. Kurzke writes that Mann, in ...

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