Review: Weiss, In the Shadow of the Magic Mountain
The UK’s Spectator magazine has published an excellent review of Andrea Weiss’s new book In the Shadow of the Magic Mountain: The Erika and Klaus Mann Story, a biographical account of the lives of the two eldest children of renowned writer Thomas Mann. Though Thomas’s fame and prestige has often eclipsed the literary and intellectual achievements of his children, as the Spectator‘s Allan Massie notes, Weiss’s new book uncovers their significant contributions to the worlds of art and literature. Massie’s review begins:
The subtitle is The Erika and Klaus Mann Story, and the shadow is that cast by their father, Thomas Mann, the greatest German novelist of the 20th century.
Erika and Klaus were the oldest two of his six children, and, while it is fair to say they lived in his shadow, they were not obscured by it, being extraordinary people in their own right, Klaus at least a remarkable writer himself also. Andrea Weiss, an American film-maker as well as writer, an associate professor at the City College of New York, tells their story with enthusiasm, sympathy and insight, in a style mercifully free of the clotted jargon we tend, not always unfairly, to expect from American academics.…