Mephisto Klaus Mann Thomas Mann s son wrote MEPHISTO while living in exile from the Germany of World War II In it he captures the Isherwood like atmosphere of Nazi Germany while telling a satiric story about t

  • Title: Mephisto
  • Author: Klaus Mann Robin Smyth
  • ISBN: 9780140189186
  • Page: 148
  • Format: Paperback
  • Klaus Mann Thomas Mann s son wrote MEPHISTO while living in exile from the Germany of World War II In it he captures the Isherwood like atmosphere of Nazi Germany while telling a satiric story about the rise to power of one man a thinly veiled caricature of his own brother in law The man is Hendrik Hofgen, a character actor who in his own life plays a bizarre partKlaus Mann Thomas Mann s son wrote MEPHISTO while living in exile from the Germany of World War II In it he captures the Isherwood like atmosphere of Nazi Germany while telling a satiric story about the rise to power of one man a thinly veiled caricature of his own brother in law The man is Hendrik Hofgen, a character actor who in his own life plays a bizarre part in the elite circle of the Third Reich Hofgen is publicly a revolutionary, but secretly he is a man driven by an obsessive need for power and fame Although he benefits from the prestige of being married to the daughter of an eminent politician, he endangers his rise in Nazi society by his compulsive involvement with a black Venus His brilliant success as Mephisto in FAUST brings him the support of the F hrer s prime minister, who appoints him head of the State Theater His dreams are finally realized, but the story ends on a note of despair as Hofgen is forced to confront the emptiness of his life Mann weaves his tale with amazing skill The result is a fascinating novel of decadence and evil.Klaus Mann, the second child of Thomas Mann, was born in Munich in 1906 He began writing short stories and articles in 1924, and within a year was a theatrical critic for a Berlin newspaper In 1925 both a volume of short stories and his first novel, THE PIOUS DANCE, were published His sister, Erika, to whom he was very close, was in the cast of his first play, ANJA AND ESTHER Mann left Germany in 1933 and lived in Amsterdam until 1936, during which time he became a Czechoslovakian citizen, having been deprived of his German citizenship by the Nazis He moved to America in 1936, living in Princeton, New Jersey, and New York City He became a U.S citizen in 1943 He died at the age of forty two in Cannes, France Robin Smyth was a European correspondent for the London Observer.

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    1. Klaus Mann Robin Smyth

      Son of Thomas Mann, author of The Magic Mountain In 1930s Klaus had to leave Germany because of Nazi regime He wrote Mephisto and scandal around this book made him famous after his death Klaus Mann died in Cannes overdosing sleeping pills.

    743 thoughts on “Mephisto”

    1. Mephisto, Klaus Mann (1906 - 1949)Mephisto – Novel of a Career is the sixth novel by Klaus Mann, which was published in 1936 whilst he was in exile in Amsterdam. It was published for the first time in Germany in the East Berlin Aufbau-Verlag in 1956. This novel (a thinly disguised portrait of the actor Gustaf Gründgens), the Tchaikovsky novel Symphonie Pathétique and the emigrant novel Der Vulkan are Klaus Mann's three most famous novels. An award-winning 1981 movie was based on Mann's novel [...]

    2. I greatly underestimated this book. It's been sitting on my shelf unread for well over ten years. Now I really wish I had read it much earlier.Klaus Mann had a talent for writing satire, and even just reading the first chapter of Mephisto leaves no question about why Mann had to emigrate and why the book was published in the Netherlands and elsewhere in 1936 but remained unpublished in Germany until much later - 1956 (in East Germany). In 1966 Mephisto became the object of a law suit that would [...]

    3. Would we make the same deal with the devil knowing what we know now about the Third Reich in order to have some luxury? Knowing what people are most people would. To gain everything and to lose your soul. Sacrifice for moral reasons is something we like saying but rarely do . The main character in Mephisto Hendrik Hofgen, knows what kinds of people that the Third Reich are but, make selfish justifications for his entanglement with the far right. Hendrik loses his wife, mistress, his friends from [...]

    4. Klaus Mann based his portrayal of the everyman evil that was responsible for the ease with which National Socialism seized control of everything German upon his brother-in-law, the actor Gustav Gründgens. Written during Mann's political exile in Czechoslovakia, Mephisto is a withering literary accusation blasted at the commonplace moral capitulation that enveloped German society in the early thirties and allowed itself to be stirred to a fever pitch of aggression.Gründgens, thinly disguised in [...]

    5. The dark and salutory tale of Hendrik Hofgen, an obsessive actor in pre-war Berlin who, when the Nazis come to power and his friends opt for resistance or flight, chooses to ingratiate himself with Goering when the latter enthuses over his performace as Mephistopholes in Faust. He is sucked into a corrupt and self-destructive world and realises too late that he himself has effectively sold his soul to the Devil. I read this after watching the German movie of the same name starring Klaus Maria Br [...]

    6. In the good middle-class families, it was the kind of thing that we hid. And more, there was a very strong paternal image Thomas Mann, the statute of the commander. He made shade to his brother Heinrich, he crushed his son, Klaus. This one moreover was gay.Klaus fought the Nazis in American army. He is committed suicide of despair in 1949.I would ever have known him without the cinema. "Méphisto" is a Hungarian film of Isvan Szabo. I had seen it because Méphisto was played by Klaus-Maria Brand [...]

    7. Some of the most fascinating books I've read recently have been criticisms of 1930's era Germany, written before any countries were invaded or any insidious "Solutions" adopted as official state doctrine. Mephisto is a particularly scathing novel published in 1936 by Klaus Mann, the son of the celebrated Thomas Mann, after he was exiled to Amsterdam forwell, pretty much everything about the man demanded immediate exile by the regime. (For the record, he soon emigrated to the US where he joined t [...]

    8. << Ya están cayendo obreros con el cráneo aplastado o el cuello degollado por fanáticos gorilas con uniforme pardo, mientras su gran demagogo, el "Führer", el líder de los "elementos reconstructores", el favorito de los grandes empresarios y generales, tiene la desfachatez de felicitar públicamente a los bestiales asesinos.>> (Mefisto. Capítulo IV: Algo indescriptible. p. 153).Me tomó tiempo conseguir un ejemplar. Un libro tan revelador debiera encontrarse accesible y asequib [...]

    9. This was interesting. You know, normally the good way is to read the book and then see the film, because the book is almost always better.This was not the case. The film is the best movie I have ever seen .István Szabó got a foreign film Oscar for it. enpedia/wiki/MephistoALthough it is abouot Nazism, directed by this brilliant Hungarian director, there were many allegoires to the system in the countries of the Eastern Bloc.The book and the film is about an actor who sells his integrity to the [...]

    10. This book can serve as a warning to everyone who is too self-absorbed to listen to the news. Set in Germany prior to the election of Hitler, the main character (based on the author's brother-in-law, Gustaf Grundgens) is completely ignorant of the political atmosphere around him. As his friends leave Germany to get away from censorship and fear of persecution, Grundgens goes about this own business, taking advantage of the new job opportunities opening to him as more talented people leave.The ele [...]

    11. Ich bin voller Bewunderung für Klaus Manns scharfen, gnadenlosen Blick auf eine Gesellschaft, die mit Verblendung und Opportunismus das Naziregime ermöglichte und am Leben hielt. Über 80 Jahre nach seinem Erscheinen ist Mephisto weniger als Schlüsselroman über den Schauspieler Gustaf Gründgens interessant denn als typologisches Bild der Entstehung einer totalitären Gesellschaft - und hat damit traurige Aktualität in der heutigen Welt.Mehr dazu in meinem Blog:buchuhu.wordpress/2017/09

    12. Read for my book club; had seen the movie when it first came out (early 80s). I thought it was compelling with a well-paced story, but I didn't think the writing was particularly strong (though it might have been the translation). The characters were really well-drawn and though I had a sense of dread as the lead character shape-shifted to suit the politics of the time, I read along with a slight detachment.

    13. Ανεξήγητα σε μερικά βιβλία η βαθμολόγηση μου είναι τσιγκούνικη! Το ΜΕΦΙΣΤΟ θα έπρεπε να το έβαζα τουλάχιστον 4. Ισως γιατί πάντα είμαι καχύποπτος απέναντι στην Γερμανική λογοτεχνία

    14. I first read Mephisto in the 1980s as part of my history degree and it's a book whose historical context remains greater than its literary value (hence the three star rating). As a published author, Klaus Mann is a relatively minor figure and Mephisto by far his best known work. The plot features an actor, Hendrik Höfgen and his progress from provincial German theatre in the mid-20s to fame and popularity under the Nazi regime. To achieve this, he apparently sheds both his original ideals (eg h [...]

    15. Klaus Mann’s Mephisto is one of the greatest novels of the 20th Century. It is a satire on par with Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal, it is a novel of great style on par with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby and it is a tragedy above anything I’ve ever read.Klaus Mann tells the story of a talented actor Hendrik Höfgren from his days in Hamburg during the Weimar Republic to becoming a Senator and the head of the State Theatre during the Nazi reign. Höfgren’s character was based on G [...]

    16. It's not that hard to understand why this book had to be published outside Germany and why it was banned by the Nazis. After all, it gives no flattering view on the rise to power by the brownshirts and the way people switched sides for their own benefit. Klaus Mann uses the carreer of Hendrik Höfgen and his blatant opportunism to describe the way people were willing to go along with the nazis just to make fame and fortune. Throughout the story the main protagonist has some inner, moral struggle [...]

    17. Klauss Mann is Thomas Mann's son.Thomas Mann wrote Death in Venice,Tristan,Magic Mountain & Dr. Faustus. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.I love books about moral choice. Although I haven't picked this up since 1996, it is one of my favorite books.How easily some learn to embrace what they once abhorred when it effects them personally.Written in 1937 Mephisto gives a view of the rise of the Nazis before the subsequent Nazi mythology grew after the war.It is a portrait of Mann's broth [...]

    18. Klaus Mann wirft in diesem Buch einen schonungslosen Blick auf den opportunistischen, karrierebessessenen Künstler Hendrik. Hendrik verkauft um des "Geldes und Ruhmes willen sein Talent an die blutbefleckte Macht", nur um auf dem Höhepunkt seiner Karriere festzustellen, dass er zu "einem Clown zur Zerstreuung der Mörder" geworden ist.Dies ist ein Buch, das eine gespalten Persönlichkeit hat. Einerseits werden uns Teile geboten, wo die künstlerische und wortgewandte Intensität von Hendriks i [...]

    19. Fascinating read, the Big Issues neatly weaved with the inter-texts. I felt it a bit structurally flawed -- maybe I just mean too predictable -- but really insightful. I think there's much more to the central character than the narrative presents; when the narrative steers towards presenting Hendrick as a cliché, a case study in the sort of lost soul that would sell himself to the Nazi regime, I think it seems to at the same time present something more than that.Not to mention, I was shocked at [...]

    20. I think the story behind this semi-biographic novel is more compelling than the story told here. I'm not sure if this is the translation's problem or not- I would damn well make sure I read a good translation of this- I read the edition of the book pictured. I feel that the author stumbled upon a great real life situation to test moral boundaries against, but this journey is detailed much better in the novel, 'I Served the King of England" by Bohumil Hrabal, a Czech writer detailing the same tur [...]

    21. Very good book presenting a man making a career in diffcult time of Nazi rule in Germany in 1930s. It shows an artist that had to make a choice - accept the Nazi doctrine to keep the position on stage. Hendrik Höfgen becomes a character similiar to Dr Faustus from Thomas Mann's book Doktor Faustus (published in 1947 - 2 years before Thomas Mann's son, Klaus, commited suicide).

    22. An incredible spectacle of betrayal of self and the feeding of evil by simply dancing in its company. Mephisto is one of the few books that taps the human soul in a way that left me crying after putting the book down. The images are haunting and the almost glow in your mind after finish even a chapter.

    23. Roman einer Karriere - eine politische Satire über Gustaf Gründgens (1899–1963), Schauspieler und Intendant des Berliner Staatsschauspiels, das Porträt eines Menschen, der die politische Realität zugunsten eigener Vorteilsnahme ignoriert.

    24. brilliant, one of the best books I've read. A journey of a man who is selling all of his higher ideals for fame, subsequently loosing himself in the process. An excellent depiction of pre-war Germany and the rise of the Nazi regime.

    25. Wieder so eine GR-Empfehlung eines Buches, das ich vor vielen Jahren gelesen habe. Es gefiel mir ganz gut, aber leider fiel doch an der ein oder anderen Stelle allzu stark auf, dass es sich um persönliche Abrechnung handelt.

    26. Thomas Mann gets all the credit in the family but Mephisto is one of the best Third Reich-era "novels" that exists.

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