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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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“African Romance, a Story”


Doris and Marcel didn’t know much about each other, although they practically lived together. Their intimacy was natural—indeed, inevitable—under the circumstances. Foreigners made themselves rare in French Morocco in those days. Most tourists left as soon as the war broke out, while others stayed until the day France collapsed. Then, all sorts of dire rumors began to circulate. According to the head waiter of the Palace Arabe, Morocco was on the point of declaring war on Germany, making an alliance with Hitler, becoming an American colony, an Italian sphere of influence, the headquarters of General de Gaulle, or alternately the private playground of Field Marshal Hermann Goering. The concierge had information to the effect that all British subjects still residing in this part of Africa would be shortly interned, if not court-martialed and executed.

The French district of Fez—once teeming with gaudy life—gradually assumed the bleak aspect of a ghost town. As for the Palace Arabe—a fancy caravansary situated in the Arabian town proper—it might as well have closed, if it had not been for Doris and Marcel. At lunch time, they were all by themselves in the vast, empty dining hall. It would have been fatuous—indeed, frightening—to eat at two separate tables. So they shared their meals and their apprehension. ← 45 | 46 →

It was only about the cocktail hour that some people dropped in—natives of high social standing, French officers and officials, and, time...

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