Alexander: A Novel of Utopia
by Klaus Mann
Translated by David Carter
Hesperus Press. 214 pages, $15.95
FOR SOME TIME NOW, familiarity with the works of Klaus Mann (1906–1949) in the English-speaking world has been limited to a small but devoted cadre of readers. Understandably, Klaus Mann, a noteworthy literary figure on both sides of the Atlantic from the 1920’s to the 1940’s, will forever be obscured by his much more famous father, Thomas Mann. Nevertheless, the small amount of notoriety given to Klaus Mann is oftentimes limited to his novel Mephisto (1936), a condemnation of Germans who abandoned their moral and ethical integrity during the Nazi regime. Mephisto, which remains one of the best selling German novels in the U.S., was made into an Academy Award-winning film in 1981. Klaus Mann devotees, however, believe that more of his œuvre deserves recognition and eagerly snatch up any new publication by or about this fascinating figure.