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Selected Short Works by Klaus Mann


Edited By Timothy K. Nixon

Selected Short Works by Klaus Mann makes available for the first time a number of pieces by the author of Mephisto and The Turning Point. Klaus Mann (1906–1949) was an early opponent of Nazism, an émigré to the United States who enlisted in the U.S. Army to fight the German fascists, and the eldest son of Nobel laureate Thomas Mann. The works in this collection include brand new translations of a novella about the final days of Ludwig II (Bavaria’s Mad King Ludwig) and an essay challenging the homophobic maneuvers of certain enemies of German fascism. In addition, Selected Short Works by Klaus Mann includes a drama and three short stories written in English, all but one of which are appearing for the first time in print. One of the pieces in this volume, «Speed, a Story,» was considered by Christopher Isherwood to be Klaus Mann’s best writing. Taken as a whole, this collection suggests Klaus Mann should, at a minimum, be considered a German-American author. Although his infatuation with and his hopes for the United States were short-lived, while in America, Klaus Mann dedicated himself to writing exclusively in English. The final four works in this collection make a rich contribution to twentieth-century American letters. These selected works will appeal to those with an interest in lesbian and gay history, exilic studies, and twentieth-century German and American literature.
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Multiple people played key roles in bringing this project to life. Sean Ireton is to be thanked for introducing me to the life and works of Klaus Mann during numerous strolling conversations in the parks of Hamburg, way back in the late 1980s. Mike Holloway was very generous in lending me the money to travel to Germany for an initial round of archival research while I worked on my dissertation; it was on that first trip that I discovered the unpublished, English manuscripts. The generosity of the Shepherd University Foundation supported additional travels to Germany for subsequent trips to the archives, as well as helping to cover some of the expenses associated with the publication of this collection. The staff at the Monacensia Literature Archive in Munich could not have been more welcoming or more helpful each time I went. Uwe Naumman’s encouragement and enthusiastic support of the project emboldened me to move forward. Annette H. Murphy is to be thanked for endowing the Faculty Excellence Award in English that bears her name; that award certainly helped offset much of the costs of publication. I cannot thank Rachel Krantz enough for her considerable role in working with me on translations and offering me guidance for the French passages that occur throughout the texts. Eva-María Suárez Büdenbender and Suzanne Shipley were extremely helpful in reading early drafts of the translated novella. Dow ← xxiii | xxiv → Benedict and Betty Ellzey provided more professional support and encouragement than they...

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