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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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... and the memories it scarcely leaves. As I hope the above quotation illustrates, the translator Leslie Willson has worked wonders with some very difficult passages. There are other splendid successes, such as the rendering of the apparently untranslatable Urkram as ‘primal odds and ends’, and Kurzke’s own energy undoubtedly comes across. It is ...

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