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Andrea Weiss: In the Shadow of the Magic Mountain

Andrea Weiss: In the Shadow of the Magic Mountain

The Erika and Klaus Mann Story. USA 2008, 302 pp., hardbound, € 21.79
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Thomas Mann's two eldest children, Erika and Klaus, were empowered by their close bond, they espoused vehemently anti-Nazi views in a Europe swept by fascism and were openly, even defiantly, gay in an age of secrecy and repression. Although their father's fame has unfairly overshadowed their legacy, Erika and Klaus were serious authors, and political visionaries. Their views earned them exile, they had to move eventually to the U.S., where both served as members of the U.S. armed forces during the war. Abroad, they enjoyed a wide circle of famous friends, including André Gide, Christopher Isherwood, Jean Cocteau, and W.H. Auden. But the demands of life in exile, Klaus's heroin addiction, and Erika's new allegiance to their father strained their mutual devotion, and in 1949 Klaus committed suicide.
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